Per capita, Irish consumption of tea is amongst the highest in the world. The Irish prefer a full-bodied cup of tea that, if brewed long enough, one could almost stand their spoon upright! The strength is achieved by buying the best teas available from seasonal production periods in Assam, India, and Kenya. This means that the Assam teas are from the second flush period during June, and the Kenyans are from February and August growth. Second flush Assams give a deep, malty astringency, and the best are so biting, they make your mouth feel dry. This astringency leads to a malty character that is almost so thick you feel like you could chew it. The seasonal Kenyans have a golden, coppery color with an almost-floral note that give a complex depth to the tea. Furthermore, you will see that the grade is CTC - cut, torn, and curled. The green leaf, whilst it is being processed, passes through a machine the cuts, tears and then curls the leaves into tiny balls. This ‘mash' ferments very quickly, after which firing takes place to ‘lock-in' the flavor. These tiny tea balls, when infused, release their full flavor more so than whole leaf tea. The reason is that there is more surface area on the tiny balls which can infuse as compared to the whole leaf tea. This is how the Irish like their tea!