When one thinks of Ireland, the first drink that comes to mind probably isn’t tea… but it should be.
The Irish drink more tea per capita than the Chinese, more than the Russians, and even more than the famed tea-loving English. In fact, the average Irish person drinks more tea in a year than the average Canadian, American and Mexican (virtually all of North America!) combined.
So why are the Irish so fanatical about tea? Let’s look into a bit of Irish history.
During WWII, Ireland declared itself a neutral country, so refused to let England set up naval bases on their coasts. This made the English government quite angry, so in retaliation they restricted the amount of tea and coal allowed into Ireland (tea was then exclusively brokered in England, as well was coal). The Irish government, maddened by this, set up their own brokerage as soon as the war had ended, known as Tea Importers Ltd., buying their tea directly from source and vowing to never buy from England again.
Since then, drinking tea was done as sign of Irish independence. A culture was built around it, it was celebrated.
So this Saint Paddy’s Day, have a drink that’s authentically Irish: steep a cup of tea!