Punjana Irish Breakfast: My St. Patrick’s Day Celebration

Punjana Irish Breakfast Tea

Of the many gifts the Irish gave the world, at least two were intended to be tossed back frequently: extra stout beer and strong black tea. I hardly touch alcohol these days, but I do appreciate a strong Irish tea.

My St. Patrick’s Day celebration began early in the morn whilst changing my son’s poopy diaper. The blueberries he ate the day before turned his stool a dark, mossy green — a reminder to me that this was the day to pay tribute to the Emerald Isle.

Since my last visit to a Big Lots store (about 5 years ago) they’ve added an international foods section, which happens to stock an Irish tea I’ve been wanting to try. Oh what my life has come to. The tea in question is Punjana Irish Breakfast, and drinking it — in addition to wearing a green shirt — would be my only commemorative activity of the day.

The tea itself was a pleasant surprise. I read about how flavorful it was compared to other Irish teas — a point that was proven true.

While its body isn’t as thick and its taste isn’t as malty as Barry’s or Lyons brand teas, it seems to exhibit a brighter and sweeter tone. I steeped one tea bag for A Punjana Toast to St. Patrick's Dayabout 5 minutes (much longer than the Irish brands mentioned above), yet I didn’t detect any bitterness in taste.

Punjana Irish Breakfast tea stood up well to milk and only required a little honey. I have 79 more tea bags which I intend to drink in the afternoon at work — hopefully with the help and in the company of others. Here’s to the Irish!

UPDATE 3/20/2012: Punjana Irish Breakfast tea steeps just as quickly as other Irish brands. If you give the tea bag a nudge or two while steeping, you can get a perfect cup in about 2 minutes. Five or more minutes will result in bitterness.

UPDATE 4/6/2012: This is great f***in tea! My new favorite.

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Author: Leo Kapusta

Of all the useless degrees he holds, Leo is most proud of his Bachelor of Science in Radio-Television-Film (Mass Communication Sequence) from the University of Texas at Austin.

12 thoughts on “Punjana Irish Breakfast: My St. Patrick’s Day Celebration”

      1. My taste is for strong tea (maybe its my Yorkshire genes) and to get tea to the strength I like, I have always had to use 2 teabags with supermarket brands such as Tetleys – even their BOLD brand. However I have abandoned supermarket brands in favour of Thompsons. A thought on its (for some) overpowering strength: I notice if you let the Thompsons Irish age naturally in the cup for its 2/3 minutes, and don’t be squeezing the bag with the spoon to accelerate the brewing process (like I want to do as I’m usually desperate for my first thing in the morning cuppa) – the taste is less tannin strong/harsh without losing the subtle flavours Leo so well points out.

  1. Being a real Irish person – ie. born and raised in Ireland I have never heard of Punjana tea or have ever seen it on sale in an Irish supermarkee. Not sure how they manage to put the “Irish” label on it to be honest. I will stick to Barrys and continue to laugh at the amusing “Punjana Irish tea” idea.

    1. Marlene – not sure how it gets to put the Irish on the label either, but this is a great tea. I have been drinking tea for 40 years and this is one of the best. Love Barrys too!

  2. It came into my life like all things I care for.
    An attractive outer cover in the TEA section of Morrisons.
    I tried one packet and was forever smitten.
    So was me wife, me sister, me cousins and the neighbours.
    I could have exported the stuff.
    Then I found it in TESCO and happiness was unbounded.
    Last week I suffered a serious loss.
    The Morrison shelf was devoid of the stuff.
    I hurried to TESCO and there found a sad five packets remaining.
    I bought the job lot.
    The question arises for the whole family-wherelse can I get it.
    My life and first cuppa will not be the same until I can get an alternative supply.

  3. My husband is from Northern Ireland. Punjana is from Belfast. Belfast is in Ireland. Punjana is Irish tea.

    We’re mad about the stuff and just wish we could get the huge bags over here!!

  4. I want to buy Punjana Original Tea Bags(Red Pack, 80 count per pack) 250 grams. Where can I get this particular one. I was born in Ireland and have been drinking it for decades!

      1. I buy direct from Thompsons too. $10 for 6×80 baggers for shipping, 22 british pounds in total, tea and delivery. it takes a while to get here – about a month.

        p.s. Where can I find a comparison of the Thompsons Original vs. the Irish. I’d be interested to see if it compares to my own thoughts.

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