It’s no secret the Irish love their tea. Per capita they are third in tea consumption in the world, according to WorldAtlas.com. With a stat like that, it is no surprise tea is as synonymous with Ireland as Guinness or the color green. Here are a few insights into how you can make Irish tea time a daily ritual in your own home.
When To Have Your Tea
While we like to think of certain designated times for tea, the reality is that any time is a good time for tea. Start your day with a breakfast tea, have mid-morning tea (also referred to as Elevenses) with a light snack and a visit from a friend, or take tea before you head to bed. Traditionally the hours of 3 – 5 p.m. are known as Afternoon Tea and often include a sweet snack to accompany the tea. Perhaps, most notably, High Tea is served at 6 p.m. This teatime includes a dinner meal.
What Kind of Tea to Drink
Black tea is the king of teas in Ireland. It is often preferred with milk to add a creamy taste. Irish breakfast tea is a blend of several different black teas—often Assam teas, which are from India. Numerous brands offer their own blends of breakfast or afternoon tea to enjoy.
How to Make Your Tea
The loose-leaf method is the preferred way to make Irish tea; however, bag tea and even Keurig versions are becoming more and more popular thanks to their convenience. For the traditional version, fill a kettle with water and warm on the stove. Add 1-1 ½ teaspoons of loose tea per cup to a strainer. Fill the cup with milk and sugar, place the strainer with the leaves on the cup, and pour the hot water over it. You may also add the loose leaves to an infuser for the teapot and allow them to steep for no more than five minutes.
What to Serve With Your Tea
Scones are, perhaps, one of the most popular choices for teatime treats. These are traditionally served with jam. Other selections include, Irish soda bread and buttered shortbread cookies. Additionally, Brambrack or Irish fruitcake and oatcakes are equally delightful options. Whatever you serve, make sure to extend it to your guests with hospitality—as it’s the Irish way.