Irish Breakfast - This is weird!

Fully oxidized tea leaves for a robust cup.

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Dec 4th, '11, 21:24
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Irish Breakfast - This is weird!

by Voort » Dec 4th, '11, 21:24

So I'm drinking my third steep of the Irish breakfast I bought a couple days ago.

The first one was...not awful, but "This is what I don't like about teas!" It's that very familiar Earl Grey taste. Very dark, powdery, dusty both in taste and smell.

My second steep was good. But now my third steep smells like honey and tastes like honey. It's very sweet.

Are all Irish Breakfasts like this?

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Dec 8th, '11, 05:00
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Re: Irish Breakfast - This is weird!

by needaTEAcher » Dec 8th, '11, 05:00

I don't know about the powdery, dusty taste, but the rest sounds normal-ish. I know that Irish Breakfasts are often Assam heavy, and known to have a little bit, but often with malty sweetness...

As per tasting like Early Grey, what makes it EG is that is has oil of bergamot in it, which is a citrus from Italy (I think), but I know it is often made with either Assam tea, or a blend of Assam and some cheaper Chinese black teas. So there should be some similarities there, but not others.

If you like the second steep, why not try a rinse? It is not the most orthodox method for black teas, but I find that it really reduces astringency, and it should also get rid of the dusty flavor. If it is a fast rinse, it won't wash away enough caffeine to matter.

BTW, what brand? In a bag or loose?

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Jan 20th, '12, 12:44
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Re: Irish Breakfast - This is weird!

by nrstooge » Jan 20th, '12, 12:44

I have also learned, as with English & Scottish breakfast teas - not all are the sane. I have had Irish breakfast tea from on company which I hated and others I have loved. Another thing that can change your taste dramically is water. My teas changed imensly when I quit using tap water and started using bottled spring water.

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Feb 6th, '12, 13:04
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Re: Irish Breakfast - This is weird!

by AlexZorach » Feb 6th, '12, 13:04

Irish Breakfast teas are a blend, and while they tend to have a fairly consistent character (strong, malty usually), there are sometimes major differences from one to the next. Usually Irish Breakfast has mostly Assam or all Assam, but the other teas used in it can vary.

If you're used to an Earl Grey with a particular base tea, like an Assam, or Ceylon, and then you encounter an Irish Breakfast with a large portion of a similar tea, it's going to taste quite similar.

Rarely, there are even some pure black teas that naturally have citrusy tones much like an Earl Grey. I've found this less common with the types of teas that are typically put into Irish Breakfast, but it's certainly possible.

I also think it's great that you noticed how the character of the tea changes with each infusion. This can be fun and interesting, allowing you to experience the tea in different ways. Although black teas and British- or Irish-style teas are less commonly brewed in this way, if you find a tea that works well like this, then that is great, you can get more mileage from the leaf as well as experiencing it more richly.

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