Irish Tea

Irish Tea - Celtic Mornings Iceni Tea“Strong enough for a mouse to trot on” is an Irish saying regarding a good cup of tea. As a boy I never understood what my grandfather was talking about, why would you want a mouse trotting over your tea? At the age of ten I was finally allowed to have my first cup of tea and I have been drinking it ever since.

Traditionally, Irish tea was made using loose leaves. In recent decades the Irish have gravitated to tea bag. Irish breakfast tea, readily available in the US is usually a blend of black teas from the Assam region of India. Irish Breakfast contains dark brown leaves that brew a strong, malty, deep red tea that takes milk and sugar very well — perfect for breakfast. A proper cup of tea in Ireland is brewed strong and served with lots of milk, or “lashings” of milk, to “color the tay.” Sugar may be added to taste.

The Irish have a tendency to a make their tea stronger than the English. Today, the Irish drink more tea per person than any other country in the world. Popular teas are now produced by several Irish companies, including Bewleys, Barry’s and Lyons. Tea in Ireland is a social tradition. A time-honored hospitality rule which dates back to our ancient Celtic ancestors.The Irish initially relied entirely on the U.K. tea importers for their tea which was predominantly imported from India and Sri Lanka.  During World War II, Ireland chose not to ally itself with the U.K. A conglomeration of companies known as the Tea Importers (Éire), Ltd., was set up by the Irish government whose purpose was solely to import tea directly from tea producing countries. The Irish tea merchants began to include teas from East Africa, in their blends which proved very popular.

An old Irish Blessing:

May you always have
walls for the winds
A roof for the rain
Tea beside the fire
laughter to cheer you
Those you love near you
And all your heart.