Mudcat Café message #3387809 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #102907   Message #3387809
Posted By: Joe Offer
08-Aug-12 - 08:03 PM
Thread Name: BS: Tea Bags or Loose Tea?
Subject: RE: BS: Tea Bags or Loose Tea?
OK, so here's a question I've wondered about for a long time: How do the Irish make tea?

In May, I went on a Sisters of Mercy tour of Ireland (I'm a Mercy Associate). We were served tea (and sandwiches and cookies and a veritable feast) at every convent we visited, because a cup of tea is the symbol of the hospitality of the Sisters of Mercy. On her deathbed, Mercy Sisters foundress Catherine McAuley asked that the visiting sisters be given a comfortable cup of tea after she died.

So, we had all this tea, and it was terrific - and although I'm sure they used loose tea, I never found a leaf bit in my cup of tea. So, how do they make it, and how do they keep the leaves out of the cup? And what kinds of tea are most popular in Ireland.

And then there's the milk. I didn't dare taking mild with my tea in Ireland, although I gather that is what one is expected to do. I worked at an anniversary celebration for my Cork-born pastor a couple weeks ago, and he sent me out for mild for tea for the Irish priests who were in attendance. I bought full-fat homogenized, not half-and-half or two-percent or any of that exotic stuff. Did I buy the right milk. How much milk do Irish priests put in their tea? Do they stir it in, drizzle it in, or what?

An ancillary question: do the Irish drink Irish coffee, or is that an Irish-American confection?