Like me, my friends in Ireland like their TEA. The two most popular Irish brands are Lyons and Barry’s – and loyalties are hotly divided over the two brands. Certainly, everyone in Ireland I’ve spoken to about tea knows which they prefer. I am a person of strong opinion where tea is concerned, so Eimear recently sent me both brands so that I could make up my mind . . .
So, on the left, we have a pyramid-shaped Lyons teabag, and on the right, a more traditional rectangular Barry’s teabag . . .
The packaging of both brands is actually weirdly similar . . .
I took a good slurp of both and decided that the winner is most definitely . . .
I found the taste of the Lyons strangely familiar – the shape of the tea-bag, and the fact that it is distributed by UniLever leads me to wonder whether it is, in fact, essentially the same tea as PG Tips?
I do not know whether Barry’s has a UK brand equivalent – it did not taste familiar, and I have tasted many, many teas. To me it seemed a good afternoon tea – “brisk”, as it says on the packaging – and I’m definitely looking forward to drinking my way through the rest of the box. Mmmmm. . . tea . . .
You will note that was nothing objective at all about this experiment: a blind tasting is pretty much impossible to conduct solo; there was no control; I had my suspicions that the pyramid-shaped bag contained PG Tips before I tasted it; and perhaps, too, I am drawn to Barry’s because I find the name vaguely amusing (Barry (as in Barry-The-Tramp) is the shorthand in this house for a stubbly face that needs a shave). Anyway, I hope I’ve not offended any Irish readers in the Lyons camp!
And while we are on the subject of experiments, I want to say a big CONGRATULATIONS to Tom, aka Barry, whose important new work on B-cells and MS is currently climbing up the immunology charts as the “most read” paper in the Journal of Experimental Medicine. WHOOT!