Last week I returned to Ireland for my second visit in the past two years. This time I was determined to enjoy some wonderful tea during my trip and write about my experiences.
My first opportunity for a hot cup of tea was actually during my second evening at the Cottesmore bed and breakfast in the town of Bushmills, County Antrim in Northern Ireland ( the town where the delicious Bushmills Whisky distillery ). Our wonderful B&B host offered us two rounds of her wonderful tea along with delicious cookies. Our host told us the secret to delicious Irish tea was the quality of their tap water.
My next tea experience was at Connor’s Pub at Castle Leslie Estate in County Monaghan. The pub inside the historical Castle Leslie Estate offered a variety of blacks, greens, herbals, and more. The tea itself was brewed loosely in the pot and I was given an over the cup strainer to pour my tea through. I thoroughly enjoyed my Earl Grey and this method… and not to mention the two delicious scones that accompanied my delicious tea.
PHOTO: Tea at Castle Leslie Estate
One thing I really took notice of and enjoyed during my time in Ireland was the consistency of tea being a party of everyone’s everyday life. Each morning I was asked if I would prefer tea or coffee with my breakfast. As to be expected, black tea with the tea of choice and often the only tea available at most places. Consistently, black tea was often referred to as “regular tea” or “ordinary tea.”
Below is an example of a tea tray offered to me during a B&B stay. Each B&B I visited, the owners always had a wonderful collection of tea pots, kettles, spoons, and other serving accessories.
While walking through downtown Dublin we noticed several retail tea stores as well as cafe’s focused around tea. Below is a yummy chocolate torte that was thoroughly enjoyed along with a wonderful blended white tea. This particular cafe had large jars of tea available for customers to weigh and purchase. For those wanting to sit down and enjoy a cup, the employees simply scooped some loose leaf tea into a tea bag for brewing and enjoyment.
And finally, a simple photo from my last pot of tea before leaving Ireland. Looking forward to returning again one day and enjoying more Irish tea experiences!