What is Irish Breakfast Tea?

brew, Irish, tea -

What is Irish Breakfast Tea?

As spring starts to hedge into our periphery, the gardeners are collecting seeds so numerous they cannot possibly hope to sow them all, and Ireland celebrates its patron saint – St Patrick. In light of watching for signs of spring, preparing the garden, and being Irish myself, I find I am turning away from my winter favourite (Char’s comfortingly smoky Russian Caravan) and instead reaching for a familiar, strong brew to rejuvenate the energy I am now spending outside – Irish Breakfast tea.


But what exactly is Irish Breakfast tea?


I'd never really questioned it before I came to Char - it was just 'the stuff in the cupboard' - but there is an interesting story behind "breakfast teas".

Breakfast teas as we know them today are typically a mixture of black teas from Assam, Kenya, and Sri Lanka (Ceylon teas). The ratios of this blending result in differing tastes and strengths in tea, though all breakfast teas will give one a boost when consumed in the morning, chasing off the enticement of sleep that still clings to our minds.

Irish Breakfast vs English Breakfast

English Breakfast, for instance, is historically primarily a Ceylon tea base which gives it a smooth flavour that goes well with a little bit of milk. Different brands, of course, have different preferences in ratios and tea gardens which ultimately establish quite different-tasting teas which are all “English Breakfast Tea”. Anyone who has been subjected to a different brand of tea to the one they grew up drinking will probably already be familiar with this fact: there is no specific formulae for breakfast tea. We would like to take this moment to mention that we humbly believe our own to be the best English Breakfast tea on the market, to which a sizeable portion of our converted 'supermarket tea' customers would attest. 

Irish Breakfast tea, then, was created to suit the Irish market, who liked a black tea, but tended to prefer it a little bit stronger and maltier. Therefore, Irish Breakfast tea took on a tendency to have higher ratios of Assam tea, which is known for these specific qualities. From the mid 18th century, Ireland has taken this new blend of tea and turned it into a tool to cure any ailment of body, mind, or soul. You will not get far in Ireland without being offered a nice cup of tea. Unfortunately, St Patrick was about a thousand years too late to enjoy an Irish Breakfast brew, but imagine what he might have achieved.


If you enjoy a strong cup of tea, have a splash of Irish heritage, or a healthy mix of both, then Irish Breakfast is probably the one for you!

For the very best flavour around, buy Irish Breakfast Tea online at Char Teas.