Barry's Tea

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Recent Tasting Notes

72

OK – second attempt with this tea and I did a couple of things differently: I slightly underleafed, and I promptly stopped the brewing process after 3 minutes exactly. It made quite the difference! This is still a strong, solid black tea that can handle (really is best with) full fat milks, but brewed this way there is not a trace of bitterness. There is still a slight tannic quality, but much less than when I tried it the first time. I still want to try this iced, and am very glad I could salvage it – I was afraid I had to ditch it since it’s so far past the “best by” date.

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72

I was looking for a basic, hearty black tea this morning, and decided to tear this open. I know it’s not the fanciest tea in the world, but that’s fine with me, as long as it tastes good. I respected the brewing instructions and was glad I did because this is STRONG! Very tannic. I very rarely drink Irish Breakfasts, and this was (literally) an eye-opener. So. Awake. Now. Bordering on just starting to get bitter, so maybe slightly underleafing/less brew time for next time. I felt that the 1% milk I had would not stand up to it, so I used a drop of heavy cream (I know, so evil), and this tea can certainly stand up to it.

I was disappointed (in myself and the store I bought this from) to see that the “best by” date was long gone (June, 2014! Eep!), and the sad truth is that I bought it in August of 2014. Too distracted being a tourist on vacation to look at the date, which is so unlike me. Perhaps that is what is contributing to the very slight bitterness. I did drink this tea in the restaurant affiliated with this store, so I know it’s a strong tea, and I liked it then. Here’s the final kicker: I discovered a few months later that one of my local grocery stores carries this, so it’s not a big deal to get it.

Still, all that said, I enjoyed it and will continue to drink it. I will, of course, have to try it iced. I’ve got a good feeling about that. We’ll see!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Gold Blend by Barry's Tea
2368 tasting notes

Thank you MissB for sending this my way. Tbh I was nervous when I brewed this up because my first introduction to tea was a plain black tea bag and I hated it. It took me years to consider trying a new tea after that because I was so put off. As a result, I am always hesitant of plain black tea bags. However, this one is surprisingly decent. Granted it’s a bit astringent but still malty and sweet. This cup is actually enjoyable however given I have other straight black teas I prefer, I am okay with saying goodbye to this. 201.

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80

I didn’t care for this tea at first, but I’m starting to like it more as I drink more and more black teas. I can taste the Assam in this, but I’d prefer it to be more dominant. It’s strong and malty, but doesn’t quite have the bite of an Irish Breakfast. This one will probably grow on me, but I think I’ll prefer their Irish Breakfast; apparently that one is milder, not exactly what I want, but I’ll buy some to compare.

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78

Sipdown (119)!

This.

This is such a good example of bagged tea that doesn’t taste like bagged tea. It’s very, very well done and something that I would happily keep stocked for those lazy tea days. You all know the ones; we all have them!

Finished it off on the way to work with just a little bit of milk added in. The colour was beautiful; it was sort of coppery and reminded me a little bit of sweet potatoes. And how perfectly that worked out too because the flavour was rich, very creamy and malty and had a soft but consistent starchy, sweet potato flavour throughout! I definitely didn’t taste that the first time around, and I’ve just finished skimming the other reviews and I don’t see anyone else commenting on that flavour, but I know I experienced it. It was heavenly.

Thanks again MissB! This was a really nice surprise, and I understand why it’s so well loved. Not the best tea in the world – but spectacular by bagged standards.

Non Tea Related; the morning I had this one our store had a really bad power outage. A local power company was doing some work and messed something up and the whole little shopping strip we’re located on lost power – the Shopper’s, liquor store and us, a giant grocery store. It was kinda hectic, but also a touch funny.

When it happened I was on break in our staff room microwaving some leftovers, and the timer went off, but made a loud sort of “popping” noise (the sound of a fuse blowing, turns out?) and the microwave just kinda broke down. I was so sure I’d just broken the microwave! Everyone upstairs spent like five minutes trying to fix it before someone glanced out the staffroom window and pointed out that the lights in the dairy coolers, meat, cheese, and Deli departments, and the kitchen were all sporadically flickering on and off, and were completely out in the pharmacy.

Not all the lights (like the staffroom light) had gone out because of our backup generators which is why the outage wasn’t so immediately apparent to us in the breakroom. We only had about ten minutes of back up power though, so it was kind of frantic getting all the customers out and through the checkout before we lost all power and the tills shut off. The coolers that keep all the deli food, meat, cheese, and dairy at the right temperature weren’t working at all, and so those departments also had to rush to get them covered with plastic and cardboard to reduce the temperature dropping as much as possible. And, our security system was down so a whoe bunch of people had to stand at the doors and not only check for receipts as people left but also stop people from entering (the doors were wide open and stuck in place). Some poor teenage girl got dropped off to shop only to be turned away, and wind up having to chase down her ride in the parking lot.

And then, when the lights finally did give out and the tills died it was so dark in the store. The only light was from the windows (which thankfully there are many of). We have a hot food bar, and instead of tossing out the food they let the staff eat whatever they wanted from it, free of charge. That sort of made everyone’s day and relieved some of the tension and stress.

We were without power for a little over an hour, after which we got some of it back – though still not the coolers. All in all, we were closed for just under two and half hours. Thanks to everyone’s quick thinking by covering all the food to help maintain the temperature, none of the food dropped to an unsafe temperature and nothing had to be thrown out; we were very, very lucky about that.

Probably the most interesting shift I’ve had at Sobey’s to date.

Mikumofu

Sounds like quite an ordeal! I’ve experienced the same kind of power outage madness at work too…whether you’re trying to save a freezer of food or yeast cells for research, the panic is the same :p

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78

So yesterday I worked until 11:00 and instead of waiting to catch the bus at 11:30 and getting home after midnight, one of my supervisors very nicely offered to drive me home. I kind of felt like a charity case, but it saved me like an hour of time so I humbly accepted. And God – I’m so glad none of my coworkers are on Steepster, because damn. The supervisor who drove me home? He is fine. He’s European (but I can’t for the life of me remember what country he immigrated from – I think maybe Bulgaria?), so he’s got a really sexy accent. And, he’s sarcastic and witty and is very, very artistic. It just all comes together to be…

Well to be damn. He is literally “damn”.

So he drove me home last night and like the whole time I was mentally thinking stupid stuff like “Don’t do something awkward” and “Shit you’re in his car” and “This is so sweet of him”. Stupid, stupid really God awful cutesy shit. But really, it was no big deal. And he’s SO VERY out of my league anyway, in addition to him being my superior at work. But that’s not the point; the point is more…

He is a CRAZY driver. Now, my belief is sort of that since I can’t drive myself I don’t really have a right to criticize the way other people drive – but he like sped the entire way home, and because we’re in fucking Saskatchewan and there’s snow and ice and shit everywhere we were sliding around the road. I felt kinda unsafe, not gonna lie. He’s maybe kinda fucking crazy? Just a little. And, I think he noticed that I noticed he’s a crazy driver ‘cause just before we got to my house he said something along the lines of “Yeah, I used to race a lot”. What the fuck!? We’re in fucking Snow Central, Saskatchablah Canada! And it’s nearly midnight! Not the time for ‘racing’…

And that’s the other story I kind of wanted to share…

As for the tea…

This sample comes from MissB. I, admittedly, wasn’t really looking forward to this one but during the brief time I was in Steepster chat this morning we were talking about bagged teas and something (I’m sorry – I don’t remember who) mentioned this one by name as a really decent bagged tea, so I definitely had to try it sooner, rather than later, to understand what the fuss is about.

Dry it didn’t smell very monumental at all, but steeped up there was something very rich and comforting about it. Maybe it was the faint baking bread aroma; but it reminded me of home and my Grandma’s house? As corny as that sounds.

Taste wise, it was very brisk and bold without any astringency or bitterness and it had a lovely baked bread flavour with just a touch of malt to it. I don’t know why; I just really, really liked it! I only have one my bag left, but I got the impression that with just a splash of milk this would be very, very good – a smooth, comforting breakfast blend. So, I think I’m going to finish it that way.

But again, thanks MissB – this was delightfully surprising, and really good for a teabag.

leaf in hot water

aww i’m glad you got home safe! sounds like a bad boy type…

TheLastDodo

lololol. I know that feel.

Kaylee

You’re just full of great stories today :)

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drank Lemon and Ginger by Barry's Tea
1901 tasting notes

Another tea from MissB. Sadly I can’t find the ingredients anywhere on the internets.

And I’m curious, because it smells like there’s nettle leaf or parsley or something in it! Haha. It’s pretty good, all things considered. It is indeed lemon and ginger. A bit sweet. Slightly savoury from whatever the green leaves in the tea bag are (probably nettle!). I wonder if the bit sweet is from stevia or licorice. It doesn’t have too much of an aftertaste, so I can’t tell.

All in all, this is a nice lemony-gingery easy herbal tea.

(Oh, and I’m wrong! There’s lemongrass and lime flowers and BLACKBERRY LEAVES. So that explains the herbaceous touch, the delicate lemon, and the sweetness.)

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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70

*mistakenly logged over in another section. Oops! Now it has been moved…

Review:
Thanks for the sample MissB!
Not a bad black tea. But then again, not a memorable one either. Definitely needed some milk and sugar to boost things up. Next time, I’ll let it steep longer (I went with 3.5m this time)
Overall, its a basic breakfast black. A little bit of everything. Very balanced.
It went very well with the book I’m reading. I did like this cup!

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70
drank Barrys Irish Tea by Barry's Tea
1413 tasting notes

Thanks for the sample MissB!
Not a bad black tea. But then again, not a memorable one either. Definitely needed some milk and sugar to boost things up. Next time, I’ll let it steep longer (I went with 3.5m this time)
Overall, its a basic breakfast black. A little bit of everything. Very balanced.
It went very well with the book I’m reading. I did like this cup!

Kittenna

FYI this was their ‘Gold’ Blend – there are three entries for it which I’ll maybe email Jason about merging later, but I’d suggest you move your review there :P

Indigobloom

Oh bugger that’s where I thought I posted! thx for the heads up

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86
drank Lemon and Ginger by Barry's Tea
1413 tasting notes

Awesome! Thanks for the sample bag MissB!
Sans any sugar or other additives, this tastes just like a lemon ginger candy. The kind you sneak for sore throats. Except I actually really like them and have trouble not having any just because :)
I love how potent yet balanced the two flavours are, without being overwhelming.
Its very comforting and yet energizing in a non-caffeinated way. Five Noms for the win!!!

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drank Gold Blend Tea Bags by Barry's Tea
6160 tasting notes

Another one from MIssB this is for sure a milk tea! lol without it, it’s quite strong, but i’ve had it a couple times now with either milk or honey and lemon and its quite nice for a bagged, no fuss tea :)

MissB

This is what everyone, and I mean everyone, drinks in Ireland. Any store, restaurant, cafe.. this is your standard tea. Definitely needs milk! Glad you’re enjoying it. :)

Sil

aye the rest is off with the girls to steal from and share… :)

gmathis

This is on my list to try.

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74
drank Lemon and Ginger by Barry's Tea
6160 tasting notes

Another one from missB I’m trying to get through as many of her teas as possible since the girls are going to be picking up the box this weekend. I actually quite enjoyed this one. It’s got a nice balance of lemon and ginger and for a bagged tea…quite nice! :)

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72
drank Lemon and Ginger by Barry's Tea
1296 tasting notes

Wish I’d written down the ingredient list on this one; I’ll just have to grab more! This is box #2 so far of this, and I’m finding it a decent, if boring, cuppa before bed. Why this tea? Well, in Ireland, this is what’s readily available in every corner store without any sort of caffeination, and I love both ginger and lemon. Nothing fancy (nor expensive), I can count on this to settle me.

Flavors: Ginger, Lemon

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Sil

i really need to try the one you sent

MissB

You do! I’m pretty sure this is the one I sent… could be wrong though.

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drank Gold Blend Tea Bags by Barry's Tea
1296 tasting notes

If you get tea at a shop or restaurant in Ireland, this is most likely what you’ll be offered. It also lines the shelves in plentiful supply at every grocer, Spar, or Dunnes. So of course, I’ve had plenty a cup now in almost a month in Ireland.

Do I love it? No. Yet I get why it’s so popular here. It’s a solid, robust tea. It stands up to oversteeping impeccably, and it’s definitely tea, as opposed to coffee (that foreigners drink). As an Irishman informed me before I came here from Canada: our tea is strong and dark, you must have it with milk or it will rot your stomach.

Good call. And so, I enjoy at least a pot of this daily, pretending I’m a local until I open my mouth, and enjoy the conversation that invariably ensues over every cup.

Preparation
2 tsp 36 OZ / 1064 ML
Sil

Miss you!

gmathis

“Stands up to oversteeping impeccably…” that is my gold standard for blacke bagged teas!

yyz

I still miss coffee with double cream in Ireland, I wasn’t really into tea when I stayed there. I hope you continue to enjoy your time there.

ashmanra

There is a pretty decent brand over there called Robert Roberts that isn’t a stomach rotter, and if you are near a Marks and Soencer they have some decent tea that can be taken plain. Where are you in Ireland?

MissB

Sigh. Having a hard time replying on my phone. I’ve sent some of this and some Mark’s and Spencer to Sil. Yay! Currently in Galway, next up, Cambridge, England.

OMGsrsly

Have fun. :)

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93

The other night I was out for pizza and ordered an iced tea, which ended up being so weak and watered-down that I couldn’t taste much tea at all. Clearly they know not how to brew tea. The waiter claimed that the sweet tea was better, but it was just as weak. By the time I got home I still needed tea, so I figured I’d go for the most assertive tea in my cupboard. It was a gazillion percent improvement over the water I had with dinner. Stout, malty goodness.

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85
drank Gold Blend by Barry's Tea
3 tasting notes

This is my favorite tea to drink in the morning with a splash of milk. Always smooth, very little (if at all) astringency compared to other black teas. Faint caramel notes.

Flavors: Caramel

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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74

It’s not my favourite bagged milk&sugar tea, but it’s pretty much around no.3 (after Taylors Irish Breakfast and Yorkshire tea). It’s mostly because it’s more on the bitter side of things, without actually being bitter. It just tastes a bit more strong or something, so I only have it when I’m in a mood for that. But it’s lovely and it reminds me of Ireland, because I was staying in an Irish cottage with my fella one time and we bought a big box of Barry’s tea and just drank that the whole week. The first time I had this tea again after Ireland I just got a woooosh of Ireland memories come back to me – very Balzac. Unfortunately, that has since gone away, but a lovely tea nonetheless.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec

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63
drank Irish Breakfast by Barry's Tea
22 tasting notes

No notes yet. Add one?

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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85
drank Gold Blend by Barry's Tea
185 tasting notes

No notes yet. Add one?

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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45

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88
drank Gold Blend by Barry's Tea
22 tasting notes

When I am watching my 7 mo. old daughter, making breakfast and putting a lunch together, at dawn, this is a go-to tea. I love loose leaf tea, but a bag of Barry’s and a splash of milk is hard to beat in that situation.

I brew one bag with 12oz water in a 17oz porcelain teapot. With a generous splash of milk, it comes out to one of the smoothest tasting strong black teas I’ve found.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 12 OZ / 354 ML

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It’s a white Christmas in New York! :-) I’m visiting home, so this is what’s in my cup. Merry Christmas, Steepster!

TheTeaFairy

Merry Xmas to you also!

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