River Shannon Breakfast Blend (TB20)

Tea type
Black Tea
Assam Black Tea, Ceylon Black Tea
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Loose Leaf
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Edit tea info Last updated by Michelle Szetela
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 45 sec 125 g 8 oz / 236 ml

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From Our Community

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57 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I just love this tea. Its robust, brisk, and chewy. I just returned from the Dr. and I have strep throat. So, I'm going to drink tea and rest. I'll be back when I feel better which I hope is soon....” Read full tasting note
    Maniac49 429 tasting notes
  • “I was craving this after reading Dan's tasting note. I arrived home cold, rain soaked and mud splashed (once again!) so this was a perfect antidote :) Strong and brisk, no nonsense, takes milk and...” Read full tasting note
    JacquelineM 1112 tasting notes
  • “Ok, caveat guys: I am not, in fact, sure that this is River Shannon. It is in an Adagio Masala Chai sample tin, but it is definitely not chai. Because I am a giant nubcake, however, I failed to...” Read full tasting note
    chibibigos 382 tasting notes
  • “*The Final Sipdown: Day 10* Decupboarding Total: 18 Since I slacked yesterday (though not intentionally), I plan on decupboarding three teas today to keep my goal of two per day. So let's all...” Read full tasting note
    aug3zimm 911 tasting notes

From Upton Tea Imports

A blend of Tippy GFBOP Assam teas for strength, plus a distinctive, bright Ceylon tea for briskness. This Orthodox Process Irish Breakfast style tea is very flavorful. Reformulated with bolder and more uniform teas to produce a cleaner cup.

About Upton Tea Imports View company

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57 Tasting Notes

6770 tasting notes

Thank you Jacqueline for sending me a goodie bag or BOX of tea!!!! YOU ROCK! This is the first one I have tried! It was nice…great morning tea, I think. Dark. Starts semi-smooth ends pretty bold.


Yay, the package arrived!!!!


Oh, and yes – I make River Shannon when I need HELP :) Either freezing, exhausted or both! It really revives me.


YES the package arrived today!!!! Thanks so much!

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558 tasting notes

Thanks to Rabs and the geek pride give away, this tea was mine after rolling an 8 today. This deliciously rich amber brew held up well to a little cream and sugar and was just what I needed to lighten my spirits today. Thankfully there are a few cups worth to this sample. I can’t wait to make a pot tomorrow morning!

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136 tasting notes

This is my 3rd sample of various Upton “breakfast” blend type teas. So far, I haven’t had much luck finding one to love …

Not being brave enough to test this “naked”, I added a T. of honey to sweeten. First sip tastes promising. But now a bit of bitterness is creeping in. Phew, this is strong…too strong for me. Adding a touch of “sweet cream” is helping, but not sure this would be a blend for me (don’t want to have to add too many calories).

ETA: This got way better as it cooled (no bitterness).
Note to self: try less steep time next time, and level tsp, not rounded

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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14 tasting notes

A good strong black tea. I’ve been drinking this every morning for about 3 weeks and enjoying it very much. Drinking it is reminiscent of drinking coffee, however I put down the coffee mug several months ago in favor of the tea mug. It is like coffee in that it has an aftertaste like coffee, and has a very heavy, oven-roasted flavor. (This could be an effect of my using nearly boiling water to steep it though)

The leaves are very fine BOP colored dark red/brown with golden pieces interspersed. My upper lip goes numb when I drink River Shannon, so I would say there is some caffeine in it, or cocaine.

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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403 tasting notes

I took a better look at the leaves this time – it’s and interesting mix of broken black leaves and golden tips. I love the color of the liqueur, a really vibrant red. The taste isn’t wowing me this time though; the malty baked assam flavor is trending a little bit towards… sawdust. Sadly :( Even with a generous dollop of milk it’s drying my tongue out a bit. I have enough left in the sample for another cup or two though, so I’ll have to play with the steeping parameters (less leaf, maybe?) and see if it was my fault.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 15 sec

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355 tasting notes

Another JacquelineM tea. This is a bold breakfast blend featuring Assam and Ceylon. The Assam is definitely more prevalent, and I’m coming to discover that Assams just aren’t my favorite black teas. They taste too bitter to me. Still, this is a good morning pick-me-up.

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92 tasting notes

I didn’t have to rush out the door this morning, so I brewed up some of my River Shannon sample. I used 2.5 tsp of tea in 16 oz of water, and I brewed for almost 4 minutes.

Smell: dark and roasted

Taste (no additives): Whoa, nelly! This stuff is not playing games. Strong and malty with a slightly bitter finish. Needs milk and sugar for my personal taste, as it is really assertive. But then, I can’t drink black coffee in the morning either.

Taste (milk and sweetener): Perfection. The tea retains its strength and flavor, but to my surprise the bitter finish is totally smoothed out by the milk (I used 1%, and not very much of that was needed.)

I’ve been trying all of Upton’s breakfast teas. So far, this and the Scottish are tied. River shannon may have the edge, because I find the Scottish to be a little picky in terms of brewing times. But who am I kidding? I’ll probably order both!

Boiling 3 min, 45 sec

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658 tasting notes

This made a good, solid breakfast tea. Bright and bold but smooth. It didn’t blow me away, but I’ll definitely consider it again tomorrow morning as it’s a good, straight-forward, first-thing-in-the-morning-with-milk tea.

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300 tasting notes

Third breakfast blend of the morning and definitely my favorite. The smell and appearance were more pleasing to me than Upton’s CTC Irish Breakfast. You could tell these came from actual tea leaves though they were nowhere near whole, they were dark with silver and golden flecks (which I refuse to call tips in this case).

It smelled more subtle yet at the same time more complex than the CTC. The taste was somewhere between my two earlier samples. It was not as bright as the Bond Street, but the Ceylon was definitely present and later sips relieved a note of sophistication reminding me a bit of a Darjeeling or oolong. I was pleased this had that hint of butter, which was the only thing I had liked about the CTC, I think its appropriate for Irish teas to be buttery and it had a nice sweet note at the very end.

I felt a bit dizzy midway through this tasting so I decided I needed protein so I sliced some Blarney Castle cheese and they paired quite well. It was actually after the cheese than I noted the more refined notes at the end and a nice clean finish. There was a bit of dryness in later cups (I was drinking tiny 4oz cups) but nearly as much as the CTC. It took cream and sugar well but I think I prefer it without. Overall a far superior tea. It wouldn’t be my daily cup, mostly because of the caffeine but I will probably some more for St. Patrick’s Day and decaffeinate it at home.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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304 tasting notes

this is the second time I made this tea. The first time, it was just ok. Nothing special. Today I boiled my water and waited only 2 minutes for the infusion. It is better, but still nothing special. I added raw sugar and milk to cut the boldness of the assam. I am anxiously awaiting my GM order!

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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