Barry's TeaEdit Company
Popular Teas from Barry's TeaSee All 12 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
We awoke to friendly thunder and much-needed rain, but the early-awake required me to set aside the fluffy-sweetums-foofoo tea I had intended to sample this morning. Heavy stuff required. This does well. Good, hearty, dark, solid rye-bread Assam-iness to fortify myself for an Easter morning with 10 and 11-year-olds.
Since the morning will be joyful-noisy, I’m taking a few moments to quietly ponder. I pondered these beautiful borrowed words from a gifted writing friend I worked with years ago. Thought you might like them, too:
Wonder is forever upon us.
May we live with an eye toward that wonder.
May we refuse to be cynical about life or people.
Instead, today, may we experience the newness of everything as if it were our first day.
From today forward may we walk, sing, eat, work, play and write as if it were our first chance to get to do any of them.
And may we do everything with deep gratitude, expectation and dumbfounded surprise.
(More here: http://matttullos.com/its-sunday-2/)
This is a strong yet smooth cuppa for those who want an uncomplicated, full-flavored tea. Three minutes is more than enough time to produce a dark, rich brew. It has a malty, earthy taste that is never acidic. It’s bouquet is reminiscent of sharpening pencils in school on a cold morning. It simply tastes like quality.
Flavors: Earth, Malt, Oak wood, Smooth
Having grown up in Ireland, this is my everyday tea. I drink it morning, noon, and night, and leave the tea bags in the pot between cups, as I like my tea strong enough to stand up for itself. Always with milk and sugar for me. Delicious, tastes of home, and will always fix what ails you (as all Irish mums know, for more serious injuries, just add more sugar!)
I was looking for a very strong bagged tea to get me going when I am on the move, and not able to resteep tea leaves. This tea definitely fit the bill, and I have enjoyed it many times over the last couple weeks. The tea has the malty flavor and slight bite that I like in an Irish Breakfast tea as well.
I bought this tea more out of curiosity about Irish tea for two main reasons. First because I am part Irish and second because I know that as a nation the Irish consume even more tea than the British. Bary’s Tea was not kidding when they said that they used only teas from the top few CTC tea factories as this was the fist time that I found a CTC tea that was enjoyable and not on the bitter side when drank straight, and this is coming from guy that drinks almost exclusively whole leaf loose Chinese teas. This tea is strong but smooth and stops short of bitter. This tea literally changed my mind about CTC processing as I now realize that better quality teas are possible, especially when mixed with skillful blending. I have a feeling this will not be the last box that I buy of Barry’s teabags
I’ve been cold brewing this for iced tea (the weather’s been really hot lately), and I think I have it down. Do not start with water that is already very cold, otherwise your brew will be very weak (the husband really likes it this way, but I want a little bit of a stronger brew). I would say to start with room temp filtered water, let it sit for an hour or two, and THEN stick it in the fridge. Overnight is OK, 24 hours is better. Best thing is, you absolutely will NOT have bitterness at all. Just a lovely, sweet, refreshing black iced tea that’s really enjoyable. I ended up using 5 tsps of the tea to make one liter. So good.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
*mistakenly logged over in another section. Oops! Now it has been moved…
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!