Country of Origin: India, Kenya - Region Assam, Kiambu
Cup Characteristics: A stout robust blend of February Kenya and second flush Assam. Superb colour, malty and very full-bodied. serve with a splash of milk.
Infusion: Bright and coppery.
Ingredients: Luxury Black tea.
Irish Breakfast is a strong, sturdy tea much favoured by the Irish, and also now many English. The longer it's brewed the stronger it gets.
It may surprise you to learn that the people of Ireland drink more tea per capita than any other population on Earth. It's true. In fact your average Irish citizen drinks about 6 cups per day. What's more, the cups they drink are so strong that you could almost stand a spoon upright in them. Indeed, the Irish prefer what some might call a sturdy cup of tea.
In order to provide the Irish with blends this strong, tea blenders supplying the market buy up top quality seasonal output from Assam and Kenya. The Assam teas are picked from the top production of the Second Flush, a period of high growth in the month of June. The Kenyans selected are usually those produced in either February or August when the most flavourful leaf is grown. The Assam component of this Irish blend gives the cup a strong, deep malty character with heavy layers of astringency that dry the mouth, feeling almost as if you could chew the tea. (This is similar to the way a very dry wine can make you pucker.) The Kenyan teas provide a bright coppery colour with profound floral notes that add a complex depth to the cup.
As with most teas, the longer you brew this tea the stronger it becomes. If you're Irish, you'll let this tea brew a good long time and then add a wee splash of milk. Milk, in the case of a tea this strong cancels out the tannins and diminishes the bitterness that can characterize some strong teas. Debate rages from Dublin to Tipperary as to when milk should be added - before the tea or after? The milk-first camp argues that milk added after the hot tea will scald and should therefore be added first so it can warm as the tea is poured. Milk-last devotees argue that the only way to properly measure the amount to add is to pour it last. (Non-users of milk regard the whole issue as quite silly.)
Either way, t'is a strong blend. Enjoy in the morning with toast, or a traditional Irish "fry-up!"
It's now time to throw away the tea bags and try a great taste experience. You may not believe the difference that comes with using premium tea and brewing in the old fashioned way. Just as coffee has seen a revival with millions of people changing from instants to fresh roast beans, so also has tea been seeing a revival with new tea houses opening around the country, and the world.
Place 1 teaspoon of tea per cup (and add 1 teaspoon for the pot) into your teapot. Pour boiling water into the pot and let it steep for about 3 - 7 minutes. Pour into your cup and enjoy.
Add milk and sugar to taste. Acceptable to drink 'straight up.'
Alternatively, put the tea in a tea infuser and brew right in your cup.
Make as for hot, but add extra tea - a general rule of thumb is to double the amount used. When the tea has cooled a little, pour over ice. It is important to make it a little stronger as the ice will water it down.
Alternatively, you can place the tea in a jug and add cold water. Leave to infuse for a few hours (or overnight in the fridge) strain and enjoy. Cold brewing will give a smoother taste.
First the view: reminds me of very small gunpowder leaves. Second the taste: believe me, whether your laptop has crashed or your car doesn't start, doesn't matter. You will enjoy this wonderful tea and the whole day
Bernd Zielmann | Hattingen, Germany | December 2020