Irish Breakfast

Tea type
Black Tea
Assam Black Tea
Malt, Tannic, Honey, Wood
Sold in
Bulk, Loose Leaf, Tea Bag
Not available
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Patrick G
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 15 oz / 450 ml

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71 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I have a dear friend who loves rainy and cloudy days. She finds them romantic. I always think of her when it is cloudy, which is the only good thing I can find about repeated cloudy days. The sun...” Read full tasting note
  • “Tea of the morning here, what looks to be a nice broken leaf assam. I have gone through a few tins of this now and have always enjoyed it, especially for the price: $6.25/4 oz. I also like their...” Read full tasting note
  • “Wow, this was like a punch in the face. After it melted the paint off the walls I noticed a fruity taste. It smelled malty but I didn’t notice it in the taste. This is what I thought Irish...” Read full tasting note
  • “Tea of the morning….. Wow. Pow, right in the kisser. This one is strong. Of course I need to preface with the fact that I don’t like to add milk to my tea, so that will play a factor in my...” Read full tasting note

From Harney & Sons

100% Assam, like most traditional Irish blends, this is a good way to start your morning. Like cereal, it takes milk and sugar well. In contrast to other vendors, ours is a little more refined.

About Harney & Sons View company

Since 1983 Harney & Sons has been the source for fine teas. We travel the globe to find the best teas and accept only the exceptional. We put our years of experience to work to bring you the best Single-Estate teas, and blends beyond compare.

71 Tasting Notes

786 tasting notes

And this was our 2nd tea of the day at work today.

A basic breakfast tea. Strong, holds sugar well and I imagine it takes milk well also. A nice kick to the day and what I think of when I think of “Irish Breakfast tea.”

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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2148 tasting notes

Tea #12 from the traveling tea box.

I can’t remember the last time drank Irish Breakfast tea, it just isn’t something that I normally reach for. It is a pretty standard breakfast tea, strong, slightly malty, and a little bitter. This is a tea that I think would be best prepared with a bit of sugar and a splash of milk, however, I drank it straight this morning since I was up before 6am. I have no idea what got into me getting up that early since I’m generally up working late, but this sure helped me kick off the day.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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251 tasting notes

Dry: This tea is confusing me a bit. I almost wonder if I have the right one in the sample bag because the description and the tea itself doesn’t seem to match up so great. On the Harney site, it says the dry leaf is small broken brown Assam leaves. My dry loose leaf looks like small broken Assam with tons of bright golden tips instead with dark brown CTC (cut, tear, curl) pellets mixed in. The picture of the tea on the site and what is in my infuser doesn’t match, but it smells nice and malty like Irish Breakfast should. When I pour water into the infuser, the obvious CTC pellets (that the Harney description indicates are not included) rise to the top. If this is the right tea, it smells nice and strong for what it is worth. :)

Steeped: Dark brown clear liquor. I added milk and it looked almost like a coffee latte sitting on the counter this morning. Nice rich breakfast blend malty aroma.

Taste: This tastes like a pleasant Irish Breakfast even after I added milk, so maybe it is the correct sample and they modified the ingredients? A touch roasty, nice malt flavor, and overall a decent strong tea. I think this sample is more delicious than the English Breakfast, but my favorite of the Harney breakfast teas is Scottish Morn. This is a nice back-up though. Sipdown!

Boiling 4 min, 45 sec

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141 tasting notes

My first loose leaf tea. Rich, smooth, and malty. The flavor is similar to Twinings Irish Breakfast, but stronger and more intense. When I first tasted the tea after steeping, I wondered whether I put enough tea in the filter, but the flavor deepens and comes out even more as it cools. I almost think I am drinking coffee. Thanks, K S, for sending me this tea!

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

I suspect the first of many. This good one was shared with me by Ashmanra. She is THE Harney expert around here. If you aren’t following her, you should.

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110 tasting notes

A kinder, gentler Irish Breakfast tea. Excellent with milk and sugar. Tastes like a very good quality Assam should.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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47 tasting notes

I had a bagged version with a little addition of milk along with breakfast. It’s a pretty strong tea that stands up to milk, but not the strongest Irish Breakfast. Decent morning cuppa, but if I’m buying myself a breakfast tea from Harney&Sons, I would opt for the Keemun based English Breakfast.

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61 tasting notes

I’m generally not a big fan of black tea, specifically those title “breakfast” teas, but I don’t know. I was feeling festive (a week early).

It’s not awful. And I’m sure the fact I steeped it a tad too long is why it’s slightly bitter. But I can’t complain much. Considering black tea isn’t my favorite, I guess it means something that I’m not ranting about my hatred for it.

Maybe some day I’ll find a black tea I actually like.

7 min, 0 sec

Have you tried Lady Grey? It’s a pretty light weight one and was one of my starting teas.


Honestly, after a while all black tea tastes the same to me. So I don’t even know. But I’ll try it out.


Try altering how you prepare the tea: use somewhat cooler water, maybe 190F, and steep for four minutes. That should eliminate the vast majority of bitterness.

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9 tasting notes

Two cups of this in the morning have replaced my 7 am coffee. It’s a good transition from coffee to tea, partially because it is so good with milk and sugar. On its own, the tea is bold, full bodied, and astringent. Definitely smacks you in the face. The milk adds a smooth, creamy taste that calms the tea down. With milk and sugar, you can better appreciate the DELICIOUS malty taste so characteristic of Assams.

This is definitely for the black tea lover. It’s nice and simple no-bullshit black tea to provide a gentle pick me up in the morning.

190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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36 tasting notes

Interesting how my tastes have evolved. Although I had tried this in a tea bag quite a while ago and thought it was tasteless, I thought the loose version was pretty good when I first got my Breville. I think I have been spoiled by good single estate assams now, though, and find this one a bit boring.

I have a post-it note stuck to the tin of various adjustments I’ve made to the brewing, each one saying that the tea was a bit bland. Decided to give it one more try today – 2 gently rounded tsp/cup, 212, 5 minutes. More flavor than the Golden Moon Irish Breakfast I just tried, but still not much complexity. It has a typical “strong black tea” flavor but no maltiness, not much interest. There was a little bitterness that went away with the addition of some milk but then the tea tasted a bit blah. Unfortunately I have a 1 lb bag of this that we will never drink :( Lesson learned there…..

Going to try my new Upton GFOP assam blend to see how it compares.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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9 tasting notes

After an unpleasant confrontation with Citrus Blend, I wanted something to soothe my palate and reassure my stomach that everything was going to be okay. This gentle Irish Breakfast with the addition of milk and sugar was just the right solution.

Mild but still flavorful, this is a soothing Irish Breakfast. For a bracing, strong cup, I prefer CTC Assam and that will probably be the Assam I end up ordering a full tin of. This remains a beautiful tea and one I’m happy to enjoy. Refined and peaceful, gentle but not weak.

Boiling 5 min, 30 sec

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