Looking at my blog hits from the last day or so, I notice that someone with an IP address from Harney & Sons tea company visited my blog, presumably after Googling "Harney's Irish Breakfast" from two posts ago. I wonder--was that visitor looking for online public opinion about the tea? If so, fair play to you!
If so, and if you, my unnamed Harney's employee, happen to visit again, this post is a promise to try the tea later in the day, when I am awake enough to think about it beyond "I can't taste this!" There are several reasons I prefer Irish tea for breakfast: first, it's more bracing than other blends, and I stew it so that I get that extra hit of tannin to help wake me up (I think this is one reason I often buy Lyons instead of Barry's, because Lyons is a little sharper than Barry's Red Label). Second, I often wake up slightly congested, so that the characteristics of finer teas can be lost on me that time of day. Finally, the volume of tea in a bag of Barry's or Lyons is probably about 2 or 2.5 times that in a Twinings bag or in a Harney's bag, and I think that makes a huge difference. So, for flavor, I intend to try fecking in *two* tea bags of the Harney's for a fair comparison. That's not cost-effective for me in the long run, since I paid about $5 for 20 tea bags at Citarella, and I can get--hmmm, 40 Barry's or Lyons bags for $8 at the bodega.
I appreciate that Harney's is a (fairly) local company (they're in Millerton, NY), and if they could replicate a real Irish teabag, I'd happily switch over. But I suspect that my preferences put me in the minority of American tea-drinkers, so that's not likely to happen.