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.

Irish Breakfast Tea from English Tea Store

English Tea Store's Irish Breakfast Brewing in the Teapot

English Tea Store (EnglishTeaStore.com) 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.