Showing posts with label Barry's Tea. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Barry's Tea. Show all posts

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Barry’s Tea. Favourites for more than a century.


Barry’s Tea. Favourites for more than a century.
Wall of Tea

As the 19th century turned into the 20th, a blacksmith’s son from Ballyhooly came to Cork city to work in a shop. Soon, in 1901, he became a “counter-jumper” and set up his own shop dealing in Tea, Wine and Spirits. That entrepreneurial country boy, James J. Barry, was the great grandfather of Tony Barry, our host on a tour of the Barry's Tea factory in Cork earlier in the week.

The first Barry's Tea Shop was in Bridge Street and, by the 60’s, Tony told us that they were well known for tea. His father was then running the business - the shop now in Princes Street -  and had a lucky break. Marketing was barely known as a science in those days but a young man asked to do a study on the firm and discovered a gap, a gap that Barry's turned into an opening. The young man found that Barry's Tea was very well liked but that many customers had trouble getting to the shop to buy. The solution was to distribute to other shops around the city and Madden’s, Bradley's and Smith’s were among the first.

Marketing, by the way, wasn't exactly new to the Barry’s. Back in 1939, they recruited three elephants from a  visiting circus and marched them down the traffic-free city streets "with tea chests strapped on!”  Read more of the Barry's Story here.
We were there, at their current Kinsale Road facility, as part of a group of Munster Wine and Dine members. MWD member Stuart Musgrave knows Barry’s well and was indeed once one of their rivals. But he reckons, always did, they make the best blended tea in the world.

And Barry's, who nowadays employ 65 people, certainly know their stuff. Tony explained a bit. “Rwandan teas give a good colour but are very light. So you need something for strength and India provides that. Still, you don't want something too strong either so add a contribution from Kenya and you’ll have a good all round bend.”


The tea plant, a bush, grows in equatorial areas. The bushes grow like a hedge, making it easy to pluck the leaves. Hand-plucking is still very common. It is a natural product. After plucking, nothing is added. Green tea and black tea comes from the same type of plant. “The green is steamed and rolled and is fresher while the black is withered and fermented.”
Tony Barry, standing left, invites us to taste
He told us that there are similarities between wine and tea, that terroir matters in both. “So how do you know where to get the best?” someone asked. “Well, “ he smiled. “We’ve been around for over 100 years. We know where to get the best teas, where the best tea gardens are. We have lots of contacts now and they know what we want.”

“Tea is not a complicated business, “he said. “But you do need to get each part right, from sourcing to blending to distribution and sales. It is not traded as a commodity so we don’t have to buy futures.” Still, when there is a high quality crop, they aren't slow in building up their stocks.


We had a few samples of traditional teas and not so traditional (including apple/pear flavoured and Berry Berry) before we began our walkabout. First stop was the the real Tasting Room with veteran tastier Denis Daly doing the honours. The window is north facing window here - they want natural colours, not a tea turned a flattering gold by the morning sun!
Berry Berry

The samples enabled us tell the difference, at least for that moment, between the various teas from Asia and Africa and then we were off on our factory walk. First we saw the high stores of palleted tea, some in vacuum packs, stamped with exotic names such as those from the gardens of Gatunguru in Kenya. “Some of these gardens are in the most beautiful areas of the world.” That vacuum packed tea could last for a few years but Barry's like to rotate within the year.

Then we saw the blending area followed by the packing and the boxing. Amazing to see the tea-bag machine in action, making no less than 2,000 bags per minute! Next came the boxes being packed, by robots, into large packs for transport via container.

Indeed, there was a container load lined up for export to the USA - they export about 11% of the total. The working day was drawing to a close and so was our eye-opening informative tour. Reckon I'll never look at the humble cup of tea in the same complacent way again!
Selection
Check out the Barry's website, including online shop, here.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Seaweed Featured in Multi-course Taste of West Cork

Seaweed Featured in Multi-course Taste of West Cork
Inchydoney Chef and team in top form


 Meet Jim and Maria Kennedy from the Intertidal Zone. “We spend most of our time there,” said Jim as they introduced us to the Magic of Seaweed at the start of the third annual A Taste of West Cork meal in the Inchydoney Island last Friday.


Jim and Maria had quite a few samples of the various seaweeds available (to taste, to touch) and spoke in detail of their different properties. “Seaweed is a super food….from a garden that doesn’t need to be weeded… dulse and carrigeen have traditionally been used in the Irish kitchen...Seaweed is also an amazing detox ingredient….makes a nourishing top dressing for your garden plants.”  And so much more.



West Cork garlic, organic Rosscarbery leeks, Clonakilty potato, and hand foraged Sea Vegetable Soup,
with a seaweed scone, tomato jam and roasted garlic cream cheese.
Jim advised to “look at the Spring tides when the better seaweeds are exposed”. “But,” he added, “If doing it yourself, be careful.” Read more about seaweed here.

Jim and Maria, who run Atlantic Sea Kayaking, are from Skibbereen but you could come across them almost anywhere, from the Liffey to Mexico, from Spain to Japan.

Rabbit and Harrington's black pudding, Shannonvale Chicken lollipop.
Friday evening though was firmly rooted in West Cork and Inchydoney Head Chef Adam Metcalf had the major task of blending all the marvelous products of the area, from its bountiful and beautiful land and sea, into a multi course meal as the week long festival, also named A Taste of West Cork, got underway. Surprisingly, there were no local beers, ciders or spirits included. Maybe next year?

Adrian, the local representative of Findlaters, took us through the various wines that had been picked to accompany the meal. We were greeted with a glass of Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Heredad Cava and that went very well indeed with the Seaweed Sushi (including an amazing toasted Nori) that came with Ummera Smoked Salmon and also the Smoked Shannonvale chicken with Pickled Ginger and Sea Kale.

Castletownbere Monkfish, wrapped in Gubbeen cured ham
with Carrageen Moss and caramelised Shallot Potato Puree.
Some gorgeous breads on the table as we sat down including a Dulse Seaweed, Marsh Samphire and Atlantic Sea Salt Loaf. And Sea Lettuce featured in the Bantry Bay Lobster Course as did a spiced Bluefin Tuna.

Next up was a hand foraged Sea Vegetable soup with a seaweed scone! Rabbit was stuffed with local black pudding and also accompanied by a Shannonvale Chicken Lollipop.

Elderflower Parfait
All the while, the wines were being poured and the next course, the Castletownbere Monkfish (caught by the Fair Maiden), was accompanied by an intense Albarino. The fish was wrapped in that terrific Gubbeen Cured Ham and there was some discussion as to whether the salt of the ham did the fish any favours. Someone suggested that a pancetta wrap would have been better. Someone else said the fish didn’t need a wrap at all!

Then on to the sweet things, an Elderflower Parfait (foraged elderflower, Valley View egg and Clona Dairy Parfait) with a hand picked Wild Damson Compote and a Bushy Strawberry Sauce. Delightful.

The finale.
To finish, there was a choice of Barry’s Tea or Java Coffee with Inchydoney Recipe Chocolate flavoured with seaweed, some oak smoked Gubbeen cheese along with the hotel’s own Plum and Sultana Chutney on an impressive Patisserie Royale Cracker, handmade in nearby Lisavaird by Richard Graham Leigh.

That last course was accompanied by a glass of Graham’s Late Bottled Vintage Port. The earlier wines were Vicar’s Choice Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc (quite a favourite at our table), Pionero Mundi Albarino, and Penfolds Koonunga Hill Shiraz (70%) Cabernet.


Findlater's Albarino

So well done to the many West Cork producers chosen this year and a big congrats too to Chef Adam and his crew who did the hotel proud.  I spoke to one guest who has been at all three events. He reckoned the first was a bit over the top (quite large portions all the way through), the second was underwhelming (probably in reaction to year one), but “this time they got it right”!  And so say all of us.
See account of the full day in West Cork, including Distillery visit, here.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Heather. Eat in Style at Gap of Dunloe.

Heather. A Taste of The Gap.


Quiche, Heather Style. Very Highly Recommended!
The new Heather Restaurant at the Gap of Dunloe is at once a celebration of the past and a confident step into the future. It is also backing local producers and the food, including provenance, cooking and presentation, is really excellent, and that can only be good for tourists and locals alike.

Fifty years ago, the enterprising Moriartys opened a small gift shop close to the entrance of the renowned Gap, a spectacular valley, with cliffs and lakes and a huge echo, created in the dim and distant past by ice on the move.

Their warm welcome and quality goods proved a successful combination and bit by bit they expanded the shop, so much so that the family had to leave and find a new house! Husband and wife Michael and Margaret Moriarty started that wee store in 1964 and it predominantly operates in the coach tour market, welcoming visitors as they enjoy The Ring of Kerry tour.
Smoked Mackerel Salad.
The shop, offering high quality Irish goods, including a great selection of clothing and gifts, is still going strong. A new generation, Denis Pio Moriarty and his wife Ailish (who showed me around in midweek), has taken up the reins and the couple are guiding the new venture, playing a pivotal role in the interior and exterior designs.

It is not just a restaurant. Five acres of multi-level gardens, with great views of the McGillacuddy Reeks, have been set out and will be spectacular when in full flower. Not all the ground is given over to the ornamental planting. They will be growing their own salads and vegetables, mostly under cover, and Ailish hopes to have some on the menu in Heather in the coming summer months.

The bright and spacious restaurant, set alongside the River Loe, is a great spot to start or finish your tour of the Gap or before or after any of the many walks in the area. Here you will be well fed with the best that the artisan producers of Kerry and Cork provide.
Gorgeous Hake dish.
And if you want a genuine local drink, then that is what you’ll get. You can sample the craft beers by Mountain Man Brewing, the lovely ciders of Stonewell and some smashing apple juice drinks from the orchards of Ballyhoura Apples. It is open from 11.00am until 6.00pm daily, telephone 064 6644144.

Other suppliers include: Toonsbridge Buffalo Mozzerella, Kenmare Gouda, Ballinskellings Chicken, Glenbeigh Cockles and Mussels and Ring of Kerry Lamb. The menu is a name dropping of who’s who in local artisan food producers as well as being something of a geography lesson!

The menu for Heather comes on a brown paper, reminiscent of the old brown paper bags, and it takes quite a few sheets. Watch out too for the daily specials. And they also do a Kids Menu that includes half portions of the adult dishes. 

Lots of non alcoholic drinks too. Teas from Barry’s and Solaris (Galway) and Skelligs Chocolate Hot Chocolate and coffees specially roasted for Heather. The wine list may be short but again the quality comes through. And not just the regular varieties. You can of course have your Sauvignon Blanc and Rioja but maybe you'd like to try the Gruner Veltliner (Austria) and Zinfandel (California).

Deserved dessert!
We “worked” our way through the menu on Tuesday and it was a pleasure from start to finish. I enjoyed my Beetroot and Goats Cheese Salad, with orange, fennel and fresh as could be garden leaves (€8.00) while CL was more than pleased with her Smoked Mackerel Salad that came with Candied Beetroot, Rhubarb Chutney and Rye Croutons (€7.50).

We were tempted by the Spring Lamb Stew (€15.00). In the event, CL choose the Wild Atlantic Hake, with red peppers, fennel and Salsa Verde. The Hake was fresh, just out of the Atlantic, and the whole combination was light and appetising. Really superb.

She was very happy but I must say I was thrilled with my quiche. This was a rather special, almost melt in the mouth, quiche, described as Wild Nettle and Feta Quiche, with Parmesan, Mixed Garden Leaves and, yes, an outstanding homemade Tomato Chutney. I could go on about this but will simply recommended that you do try it if you get the chance. My mains cost €12.50 while the other was fifty cent less.

We had walked for over an hour in the Gap earlier and so felt we deserved dessert, one each this time! We got a generous slice of an Orange and Cranberry cake and another of Rhubarb Tart and two cups of Maher’s coffee to bring the curtain down on an excellent lunch in lovely surroundings.

Comfortable too and spacious and some nice touches, such as the elevated glass fronted fire (not in use on Wednesday!), the exposed stone on one section of wall and the sally saplings craftwork backlit feature that rises up the full height of its wall. This was crafted, the saplings still young enough to be pliable, by a local man and Ailish says it has already become quite a talking point.

Indeed, the Heather Restaurant, in a stunning location and with high quality cooking and presentation of the best of local produce, looks all set to become a talking point itself.


Other posts from this trip to Killarney:

See my full Kerry portfolio here


Sunday, December 4, 2011

BARRY'S TEA COMPETITION


BARRY’S TEA FOR YOU – THIS CHRISTMAS


There was a lot of interest in our recent post on the special Santa pack from Barry’s Tea. Briefly, Barry’s Tea created the limited edition Santa’s Tea box which is for sale exclusively on barrysteashop.ie for tea fans at home and abroad. The box is only €3.25 which is a winner for stocking fillers and sending to family and friends across the world via The Online Tea Shop

Now the good news is that they are giving us ten packs for a free contest, a contest that you may enter from home and abroad. But you need to get cracking. Tuesday next (Dec 6th) is the final date for posting abroad. So move on over to our Facebook and just press like or comment and all entries will go into the hat next Monday at noon Irish time and the ten winners will be chosen.

Monday, November 28, 2011

HOME and AWAY with BARRY's TEA

Miss Ireland, Holly Carpenter



Barry’s Tea has created a limited edition Santa’s Tea box which is for sale exclusively on barrysteashop.ie for tea fans at home and abroad. The box is still only €3.25 which is a winner for stocking fillers and sending to family and friends across the world.

The Online Tea Shop, which hosts a range of Barry’s Tea blends, from the flagship Gold Blend and the varied Speciality range, to bespoke Barry’s Tea merchandise has been a huge hit with Irish abroad. For Christmas 2011, Barry’s Tea is introducing a special edition Santa’s Tea box for Barry’s fans at home and abroad.

The store was designed to meet the needs of Barry’s Tea fans abroad who otherwise have no access to their favourite tea brand. Barry’s Tea fans in the UK are the biggest users of Barry’s Tea online store followed closely by USA, Australia and, in fourth place, Germany.

Camille O’Flanagan from Barry’s Tea said “So many Irish abroad are delighted that Barry’s Tea have created an Online Tea Shop where they can purchase their favourite blend. It’s a fantastic feeling to be able to send our blends direct from our home in Cork to anywhere in the world.”

Note: An Post recommend posting all parcels and packages before December 6th for deliveries to arrive in time for Christmas in all countries outside of Europe.

Monday, June 28, 2010

BARRY'S TEA WANT YOUR MUG (SHOT) - LAST CHANCE

Just got this late message from Barry's Tea. If you want your face on their new packs, act now. Read on....

Just thought I’d let you know, since you’re a Barry’s Tea fan and everything, that dreams are about to come true!! As a big thank you to everyone who voted for Barry’s Tea in the SuperValu People’s Choice Awards Barry’s are offering all fans a chance to send in their pics to be immortalised in a collage on packs of Barry’s Tea 80’s. The boxes will be on sale in SuperValu’s nationwide in the coming months.

If you think your readers would be interested in sending any pics of themselves, friends, pets etc to be potentially included we’ve got one day left for this offer and all they need to do is send in (high res) pictures to barrystea@thinkhousepr.com. There’s some more info onwww.facebook.com/barrystea and keep up with Barry’s on twitter check it out on @BarrysTeaTweets.

Thanks so much and don’t forget to send YOUR pic in too!!


Laura

Friday, May 7, 2010

NEW TEA TASTES

NEW TEA TEST
My tea drinking experience has been more or less confined to the traditional way, always with milk.
Threw off the old habit when two samples of Barry’s new products, Pu-erh and Rooibos, arrived. Enjoyed them both, without the milk.
Started with the Rooibos from South Africa. Naturally rich in antioxidants, caffeine free and low in tannin, said the blurb. This can be drunk with or without milk. I tried it without and thought I mightn’t like it after the first mouthful but I persevered and was glad I did. Really liked it and also like the fact that “antioxidant rich foods contribute to general health and well-being.”
The well-being theme continued to the Pu-erh tea from China, Not quite a sharp a taste as the Rooibos, more rounded and, for me, easier to drink from the first mouthful, without the milk of course. This is also rich in anti-oxidants and is “reported to aid digestion and reduce blood cholesterol”.
Watch out for these, sample them if you can. I know all of us don't have the same tastes but I’ll certainly be included these on my tea lists from now on. 

Saturday, May 1, 2010

BARRY'S TEA QUIZ

BARRY’S TEA COMPETITION
I’m afraid our Barry’s Team quiz turned out to be something of a trick question which was not at all the intention. Many of your parents will have known and been familiar with the company’s shop in Princes Street and that figured in the vast majority of the answers. But the correct answer and you may see it on their website http://www.barrystea.ie/ was Bridge Street.
The Bridge Street shop opened in 1901 and closed in the 1920s with the Prince’s Street shop opening in 1911. Despite the many “wrong” answers, there was a tie and the name drawn from the hat was: Derek Schaper.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Barry's Tea Ltd in Cork



BARRY’S TEA
(see competition in older post below)

Barry’s Tea, founded over one hundred years ago, is one of Cork’s iconic firms, well known nationally. It is served in many top class restaurants, currently advertised by Fenn’s Quay as part of the Dine in Cork week.

Their Original, Classic and Gold Blends are, well, classics of the Irish Tea scene. But the folks at Kinsale don't stand still. New packs, especially the Green Tea range and also the Decaf, are doing well as I can see around this house.

And now there are even newer products on the shelves of your local supermarket. One of these is known as Pu-erh. This is from China and is rich in anti-oxidants. And you also have, from South Africa, an herbal tea called Rooibos. It is naturally caffeine free and, like black tea, can be used with milk. So there you are, two new possibilities from our old friends in the Kinsale Road.

Check out my review of Barry's Tea Ltd - I am cork - on Qype

Monday, April 19, 2010

BARRY'S TEA

BARRY'S TEA COMPETITION


Barry’s Tea was founded over a hundred years ago. Now, in 2010, they crank up the health credentials with two new additions to its tea family, Pu-erh and South African Rooibos.  With Pu-erh rich in anitoxidants and South African Rooibos naturally caffeine-free these high quality teas are an exotic, healthy alternative to traditional blends.
To celebrate these new additions to the traditional family, we have a really nice Barry’s Tea Speciality gift box as a prize for our email quiz.

Pu-erh Tea
Made using the finest ingredients, Barry’s Pu-erh Tea, which has a very pronounced earthy aroma and taste, is blended from a variety of the tea plant Camellia Sinensis and takes its name from Pu'er county near Simao, Yunnan, China.  Rich in antioxidants, there has been a growing demand for Pu-erh in the Irish Market as it is widely recognised for its varied health benefits and is claimed to aid digestion and reduce blood cholesterolAnswering Ireland’s call with this new blend, Barry’s Tea has crafted it’s Pu-erh Tea to appeal specifically to Irish pallets.

South African Rooibos
Made from 100% Rooibos, a herb sourced in the Cederberg mountain region of South Africa,Rooibos literally translates to Red Bush, which it is also known as.  Being a herb Rooibos is naturally caffeine free howeverunlike most herbal teas Rooibos can be enjoyed with milk, similar to traditional black tea.  Naturally low in tannin, Barry’s Rooibos is a deliciously aromatic tea, the ideal alternative to Black Tea. 

Barry’s complete tea range includes:
Main Range: Gold Blend; Classic Blend; Original Blend and Decaf.
Fruit Infusions: Very Berry; Cranberry and Orange and Lemon Ginger
Herbal Infusions: Organic Peppermint; Organic Camomile;
Green Tea: Organic Green Tea; Lemongrass infused Green Tea and Jasmine infused Green Tea.

To find out more about Barry's Tea check out www.barrystea.ie or become a fan on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/barrystea

The Quiz

Barry’s Tea was founded in 1901.
Where was their first retail shop? (A) Patrick Street (B) Prince's Street (C) Bridge Street?

In the event of a tie, all correct entries will go into the hat and the winner will be drawn. Email your answer please to cork.billy@gmail.com before May 1st.