Irish Breakfast (Loose)

Picture of Irish Breakfast (Loose)
Style:Irish Breakfast
Product page:Irish Breakfast (Loose)

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Reviewer pic59 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
(379 reviews) on

The version I'm rating is from the "American" tin (packed in Greensboro, NC, but presumably shipped over in bulk to parse out for that purpose). It doesn't look appreciably different from the photo I uploaded off Twinings' website.

Dry aroma was surprisingly weak for an Irish Breakfast blend, but pleasant to the extent it was there. Wet-cup aroma: same. The loose leaves are fairly finely chopped—not as small as, say, Dilmah teas (which are truly grainy), but around 2-3 mm per dry piece. They don't expand much when wet. These could be (are?) used in tea bags too. However, the fine chopping of the leaves, and the use of a high-tannin tea in the blend, probably are why the tea gets quite dark in-cup, quickly (less than 30 seconds). With about 1/3 of the tin gone now, I've tried assorted steeping lengths so far, and the best for balance seems to be just about 2 minutes. Much longer, and the bitterness increases greatly, quickly, without commensurate strengthening of the rest of the flavor elements. However, that relatively short brew time (for me anyway) also means the better-balanced iteration of the flavor isn't as strong as a lot of Irish Breakfasts I've had, despite the dark color. The aftertaste is tolerably bitter, otherwise fairly clean and dry. One certainly could do worse, but hopefully not for the same price ($7 for 3.53 oz. online...older tins are 4 oz., in an example of "shrinkflation").

It's a fairly straightforward tea without much other flavor to it, perhaps a little nutty. All in all: not bad, and I'll finish the tin, but one can get better for a similar cost.
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