28 November 2021, Sunday
By Elaine Murphy
Did you know that Ireland is the second-biggest per capita consumer of tea in the world? In case you are wondering; Turkey is 1st, while the UK is 3rd. Every Irish person enjoys 2.19 kg (4.83 pounds) of the black stuff per year. Although broadly similar to tea culture in the UK, Irish tea culture’s main distinguishing feature is the slightly spicier and stronger flavours than traditional English Blends. Popular brands of tea sold in Ireland are Cork’s Barry’s Tea, and Dublin’s Lyon’s Tea.
Unlike Lyons – which is now owned by the giant Unilever Group – Barry’s Tea is still owned by members of the Cork-based Barry family. According to the ‘About us’ page of the BarrysTea.ie website “Barry’s Tea was founded in 1901 by James J. Barry, grandfather of our [current] Chairman, Peter Barry.” Irish Companies Registration Office filings for Barry’s Tea Unlimited Company of Kinsale Road, Cork confirm that the directors – bar one – share the surname of Barry as of the time of writing. However, the 100% shareholder appears to be an entity called “Barry’s Investment Company” with appears to have an address at PO Box 438, Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands. Like many large operations, there are a web of companies. Tea certainly is an international industry, after all, the valuable plant doesn’t actually grow in Ireland!, the business requires sunnier climates than rainy Cork.
Tea drinkers who enjoy Barry’s will know all too well that when they travel abroad the closest thing they can find in taste is ‘English Breakfast Tea’, which just doesn’t hit the mark! So, members of the Irish diaspora will be delighted to see that BarrysTea.ie have a Black Friday sales offering 20% off until midnight tomorrow. Why not try the Gold Blend (Red box), Master Blend, Original Blend, or interesting Loose leaf teas? Visit https://www.barrysteashop.ie/
Barry’s Tea markets itself on being a product associated with Ireland, and it is cetainly enjoyed by many Irish people living outside of the Emerald Isle.
Barry’s Tea Cork premises is on the Kinsale Road, behind Harvey Norman.