Spot the Difference:

Irish vs. English Breakfast Tea

Irish vs English Breakfast Tea

If you are like most tea drinkers, then you have probably heard of English breakfast tea.


And, if you have come across Irish breakfast tea, you may have wondered what the difference is.


All your questions about Irish vs. English breakfast tea will be answered here. 

What is Breakfast Tea?


First, let’s get to the bottom of what a breakfast tea is.


At its very core, this is a blend of black teas. Breakfast teas are typically quite bold and robust.


This has to do with the fact that it is meant to act as a pick-me-up in the morning.


Since breakfast blends are quite bold, you often have to add milk to them.

breakfast tea

Difference Between English And Irish Breakfast Tea


It is now time to take a look at how English and Irish breakfast tea are different from one another.

English Breakfast Tea Ingredients

In the beginning, English breakfast tea would have consisted almost entirely of Chinese tea. However, as the industry changed, so did the recipe for this blend.


These days, English breakfast tea may consist of teas from Sri Lanka, China, India, and Kenya.

These days, there tends to be an especially high amount of Ceylon tea in this blend.


Most of the teas in this blend are low-grown. This is what lends to the strong taste of the breakfast tea. 

Irish Breakfast Tea Ingredients

So, how does Irish black tea differ from its English counterpart?


Well, Irish breakfast tea has a heavier dose of Assam tea. As a result, you get a robust and malty tea.


The resulting brew also has a reddish color.

Irish Tea

English Breakfast Tea and Irish Breakfast Tea Benefits


Interestingly enough, there are several health benefits related to each of these teas.


While they both have the same advantages as black teas, they each have some additional benefits as well.


The location and manner in which each of these teas is grown allow them to have a better nutritional profile.

Health Benefits of English Breakfast Tea

As mentioned, English breakfast contains a higher amount of Ceylon tea.


Now, Ceylon tea has the following benefits:


It has a greater number of antioxidants which can improve your health overall. This means that it could protect you from chronic health problems such as heart disease and diabetes.


Ceylon tea may also be able to stabilize your blood sugar and improve your heart health in general.


There is also some evidence to show that it could aid with weight loss. 

Health Benefits of Irish Breakfast Tea

Assam tea, which is a major component of the Irish breakfast blend, has its own health advantages:


In particular, you will be able to enjoy a mental boost and feel more alert throughout the day.


It may be possible that Assam tea could help to prevent cancer, but more research needs to be done on this. 

A Note About Side Effects

You should be aware that all black teas contain a significant amount of caffeine. Thus, it is important to limit your consumption of this beverage.


Otherwise, you could experience restlessness, nervousness, increased heart rate, and changes to your sleeping patterns. 

In Summary: Irish Breakfast Tea vs. English Breakfast Tea


In short, English and Irish breakfast differ in the type of black teas used to create their blends.


English breakfast tea has more Ceylon tea which makes it quite strong-tasting and creates a darker brew.


Irish breakfast tea contains more Assam tea, which leads to a malty taste and a reddish brew.


Both teas taste should be consumed with lots of milk. 

ceylon tea plantation

Don’t Forget About Scottish Breakfast Tea


Oh, and before you go, know that there is Scottish breakfast tea as well.


Now, Scottish breakfast tea may include teas from China, Ceylon, Assam, Africa, or even Indonesia.
Traditionally, this blend has been a bit stronger than others. 

Dheena Sadik

Dr. Dheena Sadik

Consultant Nutritionist and Dietician

Author Bio

Dr. Dheena Sadik is a consultant Nutritionist and Dietician. She has over a decade of experience in the health and fitness industry. However, her love for tea began long before she understood the health benefits of tea. Growing up in Sri Lanka, Dheena had the privilege of being surrounded by the world-famous Ceylon tea. This is what got her started on her exploration of the various types of tea. She has now extensively tasted and examined teas from all over the world.

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An Important Disclaimer

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.