English Vs. Irish Breakfast

Hey guys! I’m new to this site and I was Just wondering, what’s the difference between the two teas? Which do you like better? Thanks!

22 Replies
twiggles said

They are both blends of Chinese black teas, but I think Irish Breakfast typically has more Assam than English does. So Irish is a little stronger than English Breakfast. I actually prefer the taste of Irish Breakfast.

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Yes, Both are ‘blends’ of black teas. You may find some Irish Breakfast that includes Darjeeling as well. IB tends towards the malty.

Blendings including Keemun and Ceylon teas contribute to English Breakfast’s distintive aroma that is so familiar and comforting. I frequently have British visitors to my shop who will have nothing else but their English Breakfast.
Both are a strong rich brew that pairs well with milk and sugar.

I like to have toast and jam with English Breakfast.

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mbanu said

It will depend on the producer. There are no laws regarding what you can call an “English Breakfast” vs. “Irish Breakfast”, etc. Generally, when a company offers an English Breakfast and an Irish Breakfast, the Irish Breakfast will be the stronger one. English Breakfast is the older blend, but the sort of teas used in a “historic” English Breakfast blend aren’t necessarily the teas used in a modern one. Originally, English Breakfast blends were heavy on Chinese congou-style teas (think Keemun). Over time these were replaced with teas from India, then Sri Lanka. The actual term “English Breakfast” is an American one. I don’t know about “Irish Breakfast”… I think Twinings might have invented that term?

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I prefer Irish Breakfast tea over English Breakfast.. but I do like both.

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Mel said

I prefer Irish Breakfest, too. The English Breakfasts I have had always were too astringent for me. I love assam, so Irish is always a good tasty cup.

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gmathis said

I’ve always said English breakfast is a coax-you-awake; Irish breakfast is a kick-you-awake.

I gotta get kicked outta bed so I married an Irish man. LOL :-). Coaxing never did work for me. All kidding aside, I do enjoy both but the Irish sometimes has a little something more to it so I find myself leaning that way more often.

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Batrachoid said

Twinings must’ve invented it. When I was a kid we didn’t have Irish breakfast tea; we had English blends or straght assam, ceylon, or keemun blends.
But I must admit I like the made up terms. I’m Irish American and love assam.

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gmathis – I like your description! I agree!! :)

I like them both – totally depends on what I’m in the mood for, time of day, and if/what I plan to eat. If you would have asked me last year, I would have said I preferred Irish Breakfast. I didn’t care for some of the slightly smoky notes in some English Breakfasts, and now I love them!

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Mathrodite said

I agree; Irish breakfast is more of a jolt than a nudge! But I guess it varies company to company, maybe Irish became just a way of saying “not English”. I’ve only ever had Twinning’s Irish Breakfast and prefer English to it.

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I enjoy Irish Breakfast AND English Breakfast, but at different times of day. Irish gets my vote at actual breakfast time; I love a strong but comfortingly malty Assam when I wake up. English suits me for afternoon tea, when a good Keemun hits the spot.

And Scottish Breakfast, with its touch of peaty Yunnan, is great any time I want a stout and warming tea.

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