Irish Breakfast Tea from English Tea Store

English Tea Store's Irish Breakfast Brewing in the Teapot

English Tea Store ( sells an impressive variety of teas — both brand name as well as their own — and tea accessories. It’s hard to remember, but at least one of my teapots was purchased there.

I finally got around to sampling a couple of their teas — Scottish Breakfast and Irish Breakfast. This review concerns the latter.

English Tea Store packages their tea nicely in sturdy, resealable plastic bags. Their Irish Breakfast blend, a mix of Assam and Tanzanian teas, features tea leaves that are finely cut for faster brewing.

No special instructions are provided on the package, so I brewed the tea as I usually do: five teaspoons of tea in my four-cup teapot. I let it steep for about 3-4 minutes.

I could tell immediately after pouring the boiling water into the teapot that the tea would have a very malty characteristic. The amount of froth the teapot is a good indicator in my experience.

Irish Breakfast Tea with Whole Milk and Honey

I added whole milk and about a teaspoon of honey to my cuppa. As I would expect from an Irish breakfast tea, this one delivered a full-bodied, forceful flavor — slightly more robust than PG Tips and very similar to popular Irish brands like Lyons and Barry’s.

Like Barry’s Gold Blend, English Tea Store’s Irish Breakfast blend brews to a slightly reddish color. It is as appealing to look at as it is to drink. The 4.4 ounces I ordered won’t last very long in my house.

Whittard English Breakfast Tea

Whittard English Breakfast Black Leaf Tea

My local Kroger recently revamped its British foods section. Among the new additions were tea products — loose leaf and bagged — from a company called Whittard Chelsea 1886.

I brought home their English Breakfast tea which the packaging claims is strong, bright, and full bodied. It is a blend of Assam, Ceylon, and Kenyan.

Unlike the English and Irish teas that I drink most often, Whittard English Breakfast actually has an complex aroma. It reminds of the pipe tobacco my dad used to smoke. I detect some sweetness with a hint of vanilla.

When brewed this blend is equally complex. Present is the maltiness and strength I’m accustomed to plus a sweet, almost fruity, taste. It finished smoothly.

Whittard English Breakfast does not brew as dark as PG Tips, Lyons, or Barry’s, which took some getting used to. It is strong nonetheless and matches very well with milk.

It will get bitter if brewed too long, so stick with the 3-4 minute suggested brewing time. This one is a definite keeper — maybe not for breakfast, but definitely for an afternoon break.