"I'll put the kettle on!" Tea drinking is so much part of Irish culture once the kettle's on you're in for a proper sit down and a chat... so you better know how to make a proper cupan tae (cup of tea).
The Irish are famed for their Céad míle fáilte (hundred thousand welcomes) and part of that is the nation's eagerness to welcome people in to have a sit-down, a chat AND a cup of tea.
The Irish love tea so much that on average they drink between six and seven cups a day, beaten only in the global ranks by the Turkish. So, on average the Irish drink about 7lbs of dry tea leaves per year. In fact, if you announce to most Irish people that you don't drink tea you'll most likely get some funny looks.
Of course, there's the age-old debate of which teabag brand is best, Barry's or Lyon's but that's a fight for another day.
Here are some top tips to avoid when brewing a cup of your favorite Irish tea
Using a wet, sugar-doused spoon
Not pre-heating the mug
Squeezing the crap out of it
Tea in a black mug
Half-filling a mug
Putting the milk and sugar in first (It's just so wrong!)
Re-using a teabag
Too much milk
Dipping a tea bag in or weak tea in general...
How to make the perfect cup of tea?
How to make a perfect cup of tea
We looked to the experts and took our lead from the Master Tea Blenders at Bewley’s Tea.
Here's how to do it!
Boil some fresh water then use a little to warm the teapot and also your cup. After a minute or so, strain the water off into the sink.
Pop your teabags into the teapot – how many is up to you but one per cup is recommended. (We'd say 3 bags to my 4-6 cup pot)
Add freshly boiled water immediately, then let the leaves infuse for 3-5 minutes.
Remove the teabag, give the tea a quick stir, and offer the first draw to whoever takes their tea light. Add some milk, sit back, sip and enjoy!
*Originally published in January 2022. Updated in March 2023.