Irish breakfast tea is a blend of several black teas, most often Assam teas and, less often, other types of black tea. Many tea producers make Irish breakfast tea blends specifically for the US market. In Ireland, it is not referred to as "Irish breakfast tea", but simply as "tea", being the popular regional style. It is consumed throughout the day and evening. The Irish brands, such as Lyons, Nambarrie's and Barry's, are heavily weighted toward Assam. Due to its strength, Irish breakfast tea is commonly served with milk, but some prefer to drink it straight or with lemon or sugar. In Ireland, most people drink tea with milk.
Irish Breakfast tea is often consumed in the morning for energy due to its strong flavor and energizing qualities. It can be served as an alternative to coffee because it contains higher caffeine content than regular tea. Since this tea is categorized in the black teas, it contains higher caffeine content than green tea, oolong tea, and white tea. It is also consumed throughout the day and evening due to its smooth and sweet texture. It can be found widely throughout the market such as your local grocery store or tea store as it is quite popular. Generally, the best Irish Breakfast tea is in loose leaf form because it comes from the best parts of the tea plant. When brewed, the loose leaves slowly unfold to release flavor. Ideally, the tea should be brewed loosely in a pot which will allow the tea to completely expand in the water. The color of the tea varies from very dark red to brown. Irish Breakfast tea can also be purchased in tea bag form but will vary in quality. Generally, this tea should be steeped for 3-5 minutes. Too long would cause a stronger and bitter taste. This tea also can be consumed cold or hot and still remain enjoyable. To consume this tea cold, simply add ice. Irish Breakfast tea is commonly described as strong, full-bodied, rich and sweet. Adagio's description of Irish Breakfast tea says, “It seamlessly blends the citrusy notes of a high-grown Ceylon with the malty underscore of a pungent Assam. Spicy and jammy aroma on the leaf, malty and deep flavor with a brisk and 'buzzy' mouthfeel. Rounded sweetness in the finish.”
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