Difference Between Irish and English Breakfast Tea

Irish vs English Breakfast Tea

What is the difference between Irish and English breakfast tea is a question for tea lovers. Now, coffee is generally the popular ‘ pick-me-up’ beverage for the morning. For tea aficionados or those who want to opt for an alternative, there are the Breakfast Teas. They are called ‘Breakfast Teas’ because just like coffee, they serve as a nudge, an energy boost, to awaken your senses in the morning. English and Irish Breakfast Teas are both made up of black tea blends and they are ideal in accompanying a big breakfast meal. Both Breakfast Teas are essentially strong brews and therefore serve as a somewhat milder alternative to coffee. However, what differentiates an English Breakfast Tea from an Irish one?

What is English Breakfast Tea?

English Breakfast Tea is one of the most famous tea blends in the world and of course, a traditional favourite among the British. It originated in Scotland wherein the blend was historically comprised of Chinese black tea, more specifically, Keemun. Keemun tea, also known as Chinese congou tea, was considered as one of the most refined black teas in the world, producing a distinct flavour. Over time, however, and with the introduction of tea cultivation in countries such as India and Sri Lanka, English Breakfast Tea consisted of blends from teas in these countries.

Today’s English Breakfast Tea typically comprises a mixture of teas from Ceylon, Assam in India and sometimes teas from Kenya. Its flavour is strong and rich, more commonly identified as been robust or full-bodied. English Breakfast Tea is ideally consumed with milk and sugar, although this may vary with each tea drinker.

What is Irish Breakfast Tea?

Ironically, Irish Breakfast Tea is simply called ‘tea’ in Ireland and it is consumed both in the morning as well as in the evening. Irish Breakfast Tea is fairly similar to English Breakfast Tea, although the former is generally said to be more strong and robust in flavour. Most Irish Breakfast Tea blends contain a high concentrate of Assam Tea, that leaves a sharp, powerful, malty taste on the palette. The use of Assam Tea also contributes towards producing a dark, almost red cup colour.

Irish Breakfast Tea blends are most often sold to the United States due to its strong flavour and high content of caffeine. This Breakfast Tea contains a strong caffeine content as opposed to green tea or white tea. Given the intensity of its flavour, Irish Breakfast Tea is typically served with milk although some prefer it plain or with sugar.

Difference Between Irish and English Breakfast Tea

What is the difference between Irish and English Breakfast Tea?

• Irish Breakfast Tea produces a richer, stronger and more robust flavour. English Breakfast Tea is a bit lighter.

• An English Breakfast Tea contains a mixture of Teas from Ceylon, Assam and Kenya while an Irish Breakfast Tea traditionally contains mostly Assam Tea.

• An Irish Breakfast Tea brew produces a malty taste.

Despite the difference between the two Teas, there is no strict standard or authority which stipulates what type of teas should make up or compose a Breakfast Tea blend. Therefore, while there is a general definition of English or Irish Breakfast Tea blend, the types of tea that are included in either of the Teas might vary among different tea producers. For example, some tea producers tend to add Ceylon and Kenyan teas into their Irish Breakfast Tea blend.