Irish breakfast tea

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A box of Irish breakfast tea sold by Twinings. (Note the four filled in leaves on the packet denoting a high strength tea)

Irish Breakfast Tea (or simply "tea" to most Irish people) is a blend of several black teas, most often Assam teas. Irish tea brands, notably Barry's, Bewley's, Lyons and Robert Roberts in the Republic and Nambarrie's and Thompson's Punjana in Northern Ireland are heavily weighted towards Assam.


Due to its strength, Irish Breakfast Tea is commonly served with milk, but may also be consumed black, with sugar or even with honey. As dairy products are a major part of the Irish diet, most people drink tea with milk. Being a black tea, it has a strong flavour and higher caffeine content than green, oolong, or white teas. The tea is virtually never referred to as "breakfast tea" (except as the name of specific blends produced by Barry's, Bewley's, Thompson's and the British brand Twinings) and is drunk throughout the day.


The majority of tea is sold as boxes of tea bags, but all of the major brands are available in loose leaf form, allowing the consumer to inspect the proportion of hand-picked buds and whole tea leaves as against broken fannings of indeterminate origin. When brewed, the tea varies in colour from very dark red to brown.

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