Good Morning ! British Breakfast Tea
I shouldn’t admit to having a favourite, but this is it! There, I said it. My first morning cuppa is always a nice cup of Good Morning, to get me fired up and ready to face whatever comes my way. I guess being an old, very old Brit, this habit of a lifetime is hard to break. Then, as the day wears on, I spoil myself with a variety of flavours - hey, I liked it so much, I bought the company!
A stout robust blend of February Kenya BP1 and 2nd flush Assam. Superb color and very full-bodied.
It may surprise you to learn that the people of Ireland drink more tea per capita than any other population on Earth. It's true. In fact, your average Irish citizen drinks about 6 cups per day. What's more, the cups they drink are so strong that you could almost stand a spoon upright in them. Indeed, the Irish prefer what some might call a sturdy cup of tea. AND, anecdotally f course, Liverpool is the capital of Ireland (just don’t tell the good folks of Dublin). Apparently, Sir Richard Branson must actually be Irish….
In order to provide the Irish with blends this strong, tea blenders supplying the market buy up top quality seasonal output from Assam and Kenya. The Assam teas are picked from the top production of the Second Flush, a period of high growth in the month of June. The Kenyans selected are usually those produced in either February or August when the most flavorful seasonal quality leaf is grown. The Assam component of this Irish blend gives the cup a strong, deep malty character with heavy layers of astringency that dry the mouth, feeling almost as if you could chew the tea. (This is similar to the way a very dry wine can make you pucker.) The Kenyan teas provide a bright coppery color with profound floral notes that add a complex depth to the cup.
As with most teas, the longer you brew this tea the stronger it becomes. If you're Irish, you'll let this tea brew a good long time and then add a wee splash of milk. Milk, in the case of a tea this strong cancels out the tannins and diminishes the bitterness that can characterize some strong teas. Debate rages from Dublin to Tipperary as to when milk should be added - before the tea or after? The milk-first camp argues that milk added after the hot tea will scald and should therefore be added first so it can warm as the tea is poured. Milk-last devotees argue that the only way to properly measure the amount to add is to pour it last. (Non-users of milk regard the whole issue as quite silly.)
Either way, t'is a strong blend. Enjoy the top ‘o the morning with toast, or a traditional Irish "fry-up!”. And don’t; forget the baked beans!
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