Lyons Tea: A Brief History and Pop Culture References

Lyons Tea, owned by ekaterra, is a well-known brand of tea sold in Ireland and is one of the dominant tea brands in the Republic of Ireland, along with Barry’s Tea. The tea was first produced by J. Lyons and Co. in 1904, a catering empire created by the Salmons and Glucksteins, a German-Jewish immigrant family based in London. Lyons Tea soon became popular and was sold through retailers in the UK, Ireland, and worldwide. In 1962, J. Lyons and Company (Ireland) became Lyons Irish Holdings, which later became part of Allied Lyons (later Allied Domecq) after merging with Allied Breweries in 1978. Today, Lyons Tea is produced in England and was a major advertiser in the early decades of RTÉ Television.

The story of J. Lyons and Co. is documented in the book ‘Legacy: One Family, a Cup of Tea and the Company that Took On the World’ by Thomas Harding. In pop culture, Lyons Tea has made appearances in various movies and TV shows. In the iconic film The Quiet Man (1952), a Lyons Tea sign is shown in the background in a scene in Castletown. In Ford’s How Green Was My Valley (1941), an advertisement for Lyons Tea is seen in an early scene under the shop window near the church. In the BBC/RTÉ Mrs Brown’s Boys TV series, a box of Lyons Tea can be seen on top of the bread bin in Mrs Brown’s kitchen, and in Chariots of Fire, a Lyons sign is shown at Dover train station.

Leave a Reply