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Competition: 3 Copies of ‘Put The Kettle On: The Irish Love Affair With Tea’ to be Won

Put the Kettle On: The Irish Love Affair with Tea‘ is a brand new book by Juanita Browne, which tracks the Irish obsession with a hot drop.  We Irish are only bleedin mad for tea, and are the highest consumers of it per head of population in the world.  It’s used for everything from a relaxation aid to a pick-me-up, from a treat to a consolation.  To put together the book, Browne spoke to tea experts and amateur tea enthusiasts from all over the country and the world, and gathered stories from anecdote, history and culture.

Contributers include Tom Dunne, Mary McEvoy, Podge and Rodge and our very own fantastic Julie Melia of this here blog.  It’s a great book and I’ll be buying a copy for my tea-addicted mammy this Christmas.

We are delighted to have three copies of this fine tome to give away.  You could soon be enjoying it with a hot beverage of some kind!

Details on how to enter after the jump…

How to Enter

To enter, write a comment below telling us your thoughts about tea. Tell us about the best or worst cup you ever had, tell us a joke about tea, tell us your favourite saying about tea, share an anecdote or simply tell us how you like to have your tea.   We’ll pick three to win the books.

Terms and Conditions

  • The competition will close on Wednesday 24th October at 5pm, and the winners will be announced later that week.
  • This competition is only open to residents of the Republic of Ireland. Do not enter this competition if you do not have an address in the Republic.
  • There is no cash alternative for this prize.

Buy the Book

‘Put the Kettle On’ is published by Collins Press and can be bought in good bookshops and online from:


  1. Tea is always welcoming, refreshing, revitalizing, and relaxing.

  2. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love tea,as I’m typing I have a cup beside me! It has now become a running joke between my friends and family,I have been known to order a pot of tea in the pub when everyone else is drinking alcohol!
    I cannot start my day without out a cup of tea,don’t feel normal otherwise. 2 sugars,milk and about a medium strength is the way I take mine.I prefer my own cup of tea to anyone else’s.
    My fiancé doesn’t drink tea,which I find weird!And it’s also a pain because there’s never anyone to ask if I’d like a cuppa. 🙁

    I didn’t lick it off a stone though,as my parents are both addicted to tea,and have copious amounts a day! 🙂

  3. I love nothing more than having a few cups of tea in the evening with my boyfriend especially as the winter weather creeps in! Tea is so relaxing after a stressful day, even better with a nice biscuit dipped in it 🙂

  4. Once served someone who asked for coffee; a cup of tea leaves actually mistaking them for coffee. Tea on the brain!

  5. I recently discovered, after 4 years, that my boyfriend is not the fan of tea I was led to believe. His brother let slip that he only started drinking copious amounts of tea when we started going out. He obviously understood that tea was the way to my heart!

  6. At a wine and cheese reception, I asked an elderly lady who did not have a glass in her hand if she would prefer a cup of tea. “Oh yes please!” she said. When I gave it to her, she said “The man who invented tea should be canonised”. Then she drank some and said “Except it was probably a woman”!

  7. After having my baby daughter in the hospital, the only thing I wanted was a cup of tea. I don’t know what magical potion it contains but it really revives. This was the best cup of tea I ever drank in my life

  8. Marbh ag tae agus marbh gan é

  9. my best ”comfort” tea is cream tea with 2 cardamom pods in it (just crack open the pods and let them infuse into the tea)and abit of brown sugar.
    it taste simply delicious

  10. My aunt says that the way tea is made today is symptomatic of the problems of the world – we don’t give it enough time to draw.

  11. love my cup of tea, its like an addiction…my day doesn’t start until i have my cuppa!

  12. Was travelling abroad and requested a cup of tea with milk. Was served tea with a lump of sour milk!! Got converted to black tea immediately but couldn’t live without it now.

  13. I’m staunchly Barry’s but I move in mixed circles and have made good friends with someone brought up in a Lyon’s house. It doesn’t usually come between us because I know never to discuss religion/politics/tea brands at a dinner party. After a few too many cups one night though we fell into the usual debate: which is better? A non-tea drinker friend (don’t know where we picked her up) suggested we….wait for it….make a “mixed pot”!! There was a stunned silence in the room. How had we never thought of it? Had anyone ever heard of it? Was it a sin?? We agreed to try it out. It tasted 50% ok.

  14. Tea-riffic. Bloody hell, Dougal.

  15. Tea – first thing in the morning to wake you up

  16. I’m normally a coffee drinker, but I remember my best cup of tea ever as if it was yesterday. I was released from hospital after having my wisdom teeth removed and went home to stay with my mum & dad. I was terrified to eat or drink anything but mum made me a cup of warm sweet tea and after fasting for nearly 24 hours, it was quite simply the best thing I have ever tasted!! Lovely memory following a rather harrowing experience!

  17. As I grew up I watched my dad drink cup after cup of this elusive drink. If I was good when he got to the end of his cup, I was allowed dunk a rich tea biscuit into the dregs of his cup.

    The older I got the more tea was left for me and I was even allowed a half a cup of my own tea every now and again. The day I was given my very own tea mug was a moment to cherish (it was a snow white cup – when you put tea inside the black mirror revealed Snow White’s picture) As someone who was always in a hurry to grow up, this was a momentous occasion.

    The older I got the stronger my tea became and before I knew it I was allowed to make my own – and even more importantly I was trusted to make my dad a cup too!

    Myself and my dad would sit in silence in the mornings allowing our first cup to wake us up – we pondered the wonders of the universe and the meaning of life (42 of course) over a strong cup or two if it was a tough question – I broke the news that I was leaving home with a cup of tea – I bought my dad his own special cup so he could have tea in my house when he visits (tea really does taste better in certain shaped cups) – Whenever I visit home alongside my hug is my cup of tea.

    To me tea is a magical comforting drink that wraps me in love and brings some of the most wonderful memories of my life to the forefront of my mind. When I’m sad, lonely or feeling blue I make myself a cup and sit in the comfort of the loving warm glow that radiates from my heart.

  18. I love tea, my favourite cup is my first one in the morning, the worst tea I ever had was in Rome where they make it with warm milk , no thanks.

  19. I’ve never been fan of a traditional cup of tea… Think it’s because my granny used to force me to drink it as a child!! I do love peppermint tea though!

  20. Best cup of tea was the one I got after the birth of my first baby, along with a piece of hot buttered toast. I still remember every mouthful. As for the baby – he’s 40+ years old now!

  21. I remember having my first cup with my mam aged about 14, i wanted to see what all the fuss was about as up until then i wouldnt touch a hot beverage…havent looked back 😀 on an aside one of my favourite memories from being a “small girl” was being allowed to clip the car draw tokens from the box of lyons tea!

  22. I am foreigner leaving in Ireland for the last 7 years.
    I like tea, especially a cup of Whittard afternoon blend on Saturday morning (!) but my feelings for tea are far, far away from Irish love/passion/madness for tea. I like Irish sense of humour and a laid back approach to life but what really amuses me (even after these 7 years) is Irish solution to every problem: “I’ll put the kettle on!” works magic!

  23. Tea by morning noon and night, and one more with friends. Makes me think of my granny, she lived through the tea rationing!

  24. This email arrived the instant I got up to put the kettle on for a cuppa. If that’s not a sign, I don’t know what is.

    I work from home quite a bit these days and there’s no greater aid to productivity than a cup of tea on the half hour, every half hour, right?

  25. While I’m not a fan of caffeinated tea, hubby and I “pop the kettle on”, sit down every evening evening and drink a cup of herbal tea. It is a time to catch up on the days events and share a treat, chocolate anyone?!?

  26. A man kept going to the ophthalmic doctor because his eye hurt and the doctor finally discovered his problem. The Doc told him, ‘Your eye hurts when you drink tea, so you can’t drink tea.’

    The man stuttered, ‘But I love tea.’

    The doctor replied, ‘Okay, as long as you take the spoon out.’

  27. I have sadly turned into my mother, and every other auld one I mocked as a child.

    I find myself saying things like “what, and they didn’t even offer you a cup of tea?!”, “put the kettle on, I’m gasping”, “I’d love a up of tea right now”, “Holidays are great but I do miss a cup of tea” and of course the big-deal breaker of every social occasion “will there be tea?”

    I’m sitting here on my sixth cup of the day and I haven’t even had my lunch. I’m like some old crone in the corner, mocking all the Latte Cappuccino Frappacino swigging hipsters in my work from my high moral horse. Meanwhile I am possibly more tanked up on caffeine then all of them combined.

    All of which has me parched for a cup of tae, off to make one now.

  28. A cup of tea solves all the problems of the world nothing like a cuppa 🙂

  29. Tea has to be made in a proper teapot

  30. Tea is my comfort and friend. First thing I think of when I’m tired, stressed and overwhelmed with day to day life. You can’t beat a proper cup of tea!

  31. Nothing like a cup of tea after the dinner, while watching the news and before facing into the washup!

  32. Every morning my partner brings me a cup of tea in bed, which is my signal that it is time to get up. Tea has become my alarm clock!

  33. Tea rules, and that’s about it!

  34. Thought i’d compose a silly ditty in honour of my all time favourite drink….don’t laugh please!!

    An ode to Tea

    Tea tea tea oh what a drink
    I’m such an addict i do think

    I drink it first thing when I wake
    And several more for comfort’s sake

    A warm delight that tastes divine
    It brightens up my day each time

    It gives me the kick that i need
    Tea is my best friend indeed

    There’s just no nicer treat for me
    Than a big pot of home brewed tea!

  35. I love my tea consisting of a medium strength, no sugar and enough milk to give it that tanned complexion especially with a purple snack for the utmost treat. Still continuing that wonderful childhood tea-time tradition. 🙂

  36. I have to get this book for my mother, she is the ultimate Irish mammy for tea drinking. She has always been a busy lady raising five girls and carer for her husband so we’ve had to excuse her on a number of occasions when she has gotten confused about where she has left her cup of tea. To our amusement though one day she came into the sitting room after the Sunday dinner and sat down while we were watching some GAA on the television.

    After about five minutes, you could tell something was perplexing her and she said “oh where did I leave my tea this time” to be followed by…..”oh wait sure I didn’t make myself a cup at all.”

    Best mum ever and she drinks her tea strong with very little milk!

  37. Tea cannot be beaten, I myself survive without but the Daddy come holidays won’t leave unless he knows the Barry’s in packed, tea leaves too, none of that tea bag dust!

  38. Where would the Irish be without our cup of tea, our cure for everything, our giving of comfort with the simple offer of a cup of tea. Ah sure you’ll have a cup of tea, go on go on go on

  39. Hi..

    I created this poem just for the competition thanks to tea and some free time….enjoy with tea…. 🙂

    Tea O tea
    how would life be?

    with out you I cannot even think
    you are my best ever drink

    you are my sun shine when it rains
    you are my freedom with out any pains

    I love the warmth that you can bring
    with you in my hand I will always sing

  40. This was written on the last box of twinnings tea I bought, I cut it out and keep it in the tea caddy !

    “If you are cold, tea will warm you;
    if you are too heated, it will cool you;
    If you are depressed, it will cheer you;
    If you are excited, it will calm you.”

    ― William Ewart Gladstone

  41. The best accompaniment for a mince pie. Yep. I did it. I brought up Christmas.

  42. I heard Juanita on Today FM, great idea for a book. There is nothing that a good cup of tea can’t help. From time to time you get the perfect cup of tea and wish it never ends (unfortunately it’s always the cup which my biscuits fall into)

  43. Tea is what gets me through the day some days…it’s an absolute lifesaver!!!

  44. Tea is an essential! im not awake properly until the 1st cup is finished then i can put my make up on.