Barry's Tea

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Recent Tasting Notes

I is for… Irish Breakfast!

This was definitely a super classic and traditional feeling cuppa! I got these teabags in a swap with a tea friend on IG, Sewwie, who is based in the UK – I’ve seen Barry’s Tea before carried by the British Tea Room back when I was living in Regina but since it’s sold in such bulk boxes (because it’s a lot of people’s go to “daily drinker” in the UK) I’d never ordered – I just didn’t want to get stuck with 50 Irish Breakfast teabags.

All that to say, I appreciated the inclusion of it in our swap even though it’s not a tea that would be considered “fancy” to most. It’s the shared bit of culture and daily life that makes it exciting to me! I suppose the Canadian equivalent to this would be how so many people grew up drinking Red Rose!?

I had this mug with a splash of cream and I think that suited it very well. Super malty, thick and rich – a little simple, but when you’re drinking a breakfast tea as part of a morning routine (like so many do) you don’t necessarily want the most exciting thing. It’s more about having a reliable/consistent drink that is still pleasant – and I see this definitely fitting in to a routine with that being the mentality.

Flavors: Malt

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78
drank Gold Blend by Barry's Tea
890 tasting notes

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! The Sipdown Challenge for today is to drink either an Irish Breakfast tea or a green tea!

I won these bags of Barry’s Gold Blend from Blue Monkey Tea’s “virtual” vendor booth during the Virtual International Tea Festival last year (along with some Yorkshire Gold and Glengettie). Since this was the Irish brand out of the three UK teas I won, I decided this would be a good morning for it!

Tea smells nicely bready. I’m getting a malty, baked bread flavor, with a subtle hint of raisin and molasses.

A satisfying breakfast tea! Leaves perhaps a very slight astringency after the sip, and if I brewed my blacks stronger, this could easily be hearty enough to be a milk-and-sugar tea, but it’s smooth enough I am having no issues drinking it straight-up.

Hopefully I can sneak in a cup of the Gyokuro Karigane from my March Madness brackets this afternoon as my green tea, as I’m still working on sipping it down, though I did start the morning with a lovely lime-and-rose flavored mango matcha smoothie. Yum!

It’s my birthday today in the long line of Pisces Steepsterites. Happy birthday Tiffany, Ashmanra, Roswell, Variatea, Derk, and those folks I inevitably missed!

Flavors: Baked Bread, Malt, Molasses, Raisins, Smooth

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 350 ML
Leafhopper

Happy birthday!

Martin Bednář

Happy birthday!

gmathis

Sounds like this one falls dead center of my happy zone! Better yet, I know where to find it locally.

ashmanra

Happy birthday, Mastress Alita! May this year be joyful for you!

mrmopar

Happy Birthday!

tea-sipper

What a smoothie! Happy birthday – a few hour yet. Hope your day went well.

derk

Eyyyy Happy Birthday, Mastress Alita!

Tiffany :)

Thank you Mastress Alita, happy birthday to you as well. Thank goodness for my rediscovery of Steepster this year, I love reading everyone’s notes and yours included! Here is to another year around the sun sipping/exploring tea! :)

LuckyMe

Belated happy birthday Mastress Akita!

Mastress Alita

Thanks, everyone!

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89
drank Gold Blend by Barry's Tea
139 tasting notes

I got this in a group buy with Sara.

I brewed one bag in about a 16oz mug. Mmm, the brewed tea smells malty, almost like molasses. I added a few ice cubes to bring it down to where it wouldn’t burn my tongue.

It tastes malty and sweet! I’m even getting a bit of baked bread flavor at the end of the sip. This is a fine black tea, and it rivals Yorkshire Gold for me. I can imagine sipping this and eating some Irish soda bread at a cafe in Dublin, while a server reminds me that it’s almost closing time, and I should finish up, but I want to stay and savor another minute.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Malt, Molasses, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Mastress Alita

Only the Art of Tea was from the groupbuy, the rest were gifts. These were the British teabag assortment I won during the International Virtual Tea Festival.

Todd

Ah, well thank you!

Mastress Alita

Specifically, this was the Irish blend from the set I won. The Glengettie teabags are Welch. (The other in the set was Yorkshire Gold from England, but you already have plenty of that).

White Antlers

The Dalai Lama drinks Barry’s.

Mastress Alita

I actually haven’t tried it yet! I plan to rectify that on my birthday, though. (I’m a St. Patty’s baby so an Irish tea is fitting, heh). I am a fan of Yorkshire Gold!

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drank Decaf Blend by Barry's Tea
1114 tasting notes

I decided I wanted this bagged tea that reminded me of tea at my Nann’s because sometimes comfort just makes everything better. I added coconut milk (from the tetra-pak, not the can) and it’s actually not bad. This tea is one of those breakfast teas like Red Rose and there’s definitely some astringency, but sometimes it just works. I’m also snacking on leftover homemade caramel popcorn we made last night and it’s super delicious.

Okay, back to this paper. I’m sure tea and popcorn will help!

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73
drank Lemon and Ginger by Barry's Tea
4953 tasting notes

Sipdown! 168/365!

Thanks to MissB for this sample! I think I had two bags, so I must have had one at another point, though I have no recollection of it. Anyhow, this was actually pretty good! A fairly bright lemony flavour, no resemblance to cleaner, and a light ginger (too light, IMO, but to appeal to the masses it was probably better at this level). Probably an excellent choice for when you’re sick, but not so sick that you can’t taste anything. Also, pretty good for a bagged tea.

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80

Had my normal cup of Earl Grey before leaving the house this morning.
But as it’s so rainy and dreary, I decided I needed another cuppa something warm when I got to the office. Something with a bit of pep, since it’s Monday and all…
My boyfriend bought this for me in loose leaf awhile ago, and I’m not sure why it didn’t make it’s way into my “daily use” teas.
The flavor is bold, the caffeine enough to give me a good kick in the morning.
It’s got the faintest hint of astringency to me, that adds to the enjoyment rather than taking away.
I’ll be keeping this on hand at the office, for sure.
Just ordered their Irish Breakfast, so I’ll be looking forward to that.

Flavors: Astringent, Malt, Tea

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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71

It’s straightforward black tea.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 5 min, 15 sec 1 g 34 OZ / 1000 ML

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100

This is my favorite tea to drink in the mornings. I drink this every single day as my first cup of tea. I love it with a little bit of milk and sugar.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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80

Daily breakfast tea, in a big travel mug with low fat milk and a bit of sugar. It’s a proper “tea” flavor, good Assam punch that stands up to breakfast whatever it may be that day, and is a bit of a comfort tea. Uncomplicated, tasty, good malt and tea flavors.

Flavors: Malt, Tea

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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/)

Evol Ving Ness

Thank you, gmathis. Beautiful. Happy Easter to you.

Nicole

Lovely

quietcreation

I enjoy some Barry’s Gold occasionally as well as Classic Blend. Both very strong and good for days you crave it. Also really like that saying. It made me smile and is wise advice for anyone.

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90

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, Smooth

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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90

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90

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90

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!)

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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85
drank Irish Breakfast by Barry's Tea
136 tasting notes

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.

Mookit

Hi, welcome back! Long time no see :)

Mike

Hello! Thanks so much! How have you been? I definitely have to get back on here more often! :P

Mookit

I’ve been well, trying to cut down on my tea stock but I just went to DavidsTea today and, well… Came home with 3 new teas.
I’ve taken a couple breaks from Steepster as well, sometimes you just don’t have that much time. But it’s always here when you wanna a come back, which is nice!

Mike

Haha, I’m the same way, I don’t think I’ll ever cut down on my tea stock. :P
Which new teas did you buy?
I get such great ideas for new teas from fellow Steepsters, I love coming back and catching up on the world of tea! :)

Mookit

I got Just Peachy, Quince Charming, and Magic Dragon. All are pretty good, will write reviews on them shortly!

Mike

Awesome! I look forward to reading the reviews! Magic Dragon sounds like one I would like!

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95
drank Gold Blend by Barry's Tea
266 tasting notes

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

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 12 OZ / 354 ML

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drank Gold Blend Tea Bags by Barry's Tea
2279 tasting notes

Yum! Super strong black tea to have with milk. So good.

But now I’m out of milk, so I really do need to go to the store and stop cleaning and baking.

(Yes, baking. I made a cake with a coffee swirl and crumble top. YUM.)

Edit: Also mega thanks to MissB and Kittenna. :)

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100

Easily my favorite tea. Lovely rich flavor, works beautifully with a little milk. A must.

Flavors: Honey, Oak, Paper

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 45 sec 3 tsp 3 OZ / 100 ML

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75

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.

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75

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.

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75

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!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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