Irish Tea Culture

Posted by Siobhan Nasby on

Irish Tea Culture

Irish Tea Culture


In a country that is in the top 100 smallest countries in the world and with a population of only 4.8 million people, would you believe Ireland drinks the most tea per capita in the world?

Ireland: Where drinking tea is a lifestyle 

The tradition of drinking tea is a sacred daily ritual, with Irish citizens drinking 4 to 6 cups of tea a day. When the tea arrived in the Emerald Isles during the 1800s it was a drink of the upper society, only those who had money could indulge in the dark nectar. Tea would make its way via tea clipper boats from the far-off shores of India. As tea grew in popularity, it became readily available to the rest of the Irish population, and that's where the obsession flourished. Tea is the cure for all in an Irish household. Pass a class, have a cuppa, get engaged, have a cuppa, a family member passes, have a cuppa. Whether it be good or bad, tea can fix any situation.

When World War 2 broke out, the tea import scene changed. The British government began to limit the amount of tea the Irish merchants could buy. This caused the Irish merchants to go straight to the source, India. With a different import source so came a different way of drinking tea. The Irish drink a cup of tea so strong it could make your hair stand on end, due to this they also like a good amount of milk in their cuppa. No matter how they like their tea or where they get it from, an Irish person’s 4 to 6 daily cuppas will always be the highlight of their day.

Tips for brewing the perfect Irish cuppa:

  1. Warm the cup by pouring in some boiling water and leave for 5 minutes.

  2. Always use loose tea leaves.

  3. Always brew with Irish spring water.

  4. Use a teapot to brew tea.

  5. Leave tea to steep for 3.5 minutes in the teapot before pouring.

  6. Enjoy with a biscuit or scone.

Hot Loaf of Irish Soda Bread

The perfect baked good to accompany a great cuppa is a nice, hot loaf of Irish Soda Bread. The recipe we are providing, by Odlums who is Ireland’s preeminent flour brand, steeps the raisins in black tea, for that extra umph of tea flavor.

Ingredients Needed

  • 1 pound of Odlums self raising flour or any self raising flour you can find

  • 1 level teaspoon of baking powder

  • Pinch of salt

  • 4 teaspoons of sugar

  • 2 oz of butter

  • 1 egg, beaten

  • ½ pint of milk (approx. might need a little extra if the mixture is dry)

  • 4 oz of raisins steeped in black tea.

How to:

  1. Preheat oven to 400*F. Lightly dust a flat baking round (8”) with flour.

  2. Sieve the flour, baking powder, and salt into a mixing bowl. Add the sugar and mix well.

  3. Rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the raisins, if used, and mix through.

  4. Finally add the egg and sufficient milk to make a soft dough, not too wet or sticky. Turn onto a lightly floured board and gently knead, just enough to bring the dough together.

  5. Transfer to prepared baking round and shape into the round, about 1 ½ inches deep. Cut a cross on top. The Irish cut a cross into the bread to ward off the devil and to protect the household. But there is also a more practical reason for the cross, the cross lets the bread stretch and expand so it cooks fully in the center.

  6. Bake for about 40 minutes until golden brown or until tapping underneath produces a hollow sound. Serve freshly baked and spread with butter.

    Want to try an Irish Blend of tea for yourself? 

    Then try our Irish Breakfast Tea that contains Assam and Chinese teas blended for a sophisticated and smooth taste.