Tea is very much one of those products where you stay loyal to a brand until the day you die. As Brits, we drink a lot of the stuff, and so – it has to be a good, strong teabag.
Some people swear by Tetley tea, others opting for Typhoo, some choose theirs based on which advert they like best, and there have been some corkers that stick in our minds from decades of TV.
But there’s nothing worse than popping round your mates for a cuppa only to find they don’t keep your favorite brand of tea in. One might be tempted to carry an emergency brew kit in their bag for times when your loyal brand simply isn’t on the menu. We certainly wouldn’t judge.
READ MORE: I tried a Breville HotCup and now I’ve completely ditched my kettle
Prolific tea drinkers will argue until they’re blue in the face that the brand that they drink is the best, and that’s exactly what some of our writers have been doing this week. Here are our arguments for which tea brand is the best:
PG Tips Extra Strong
“PG Tips Extra Strong teabags make the perfect cup of tea,” says Narin Flanders. “There I said it, and I stand by it.”
“Fruit teas are all well and good – and I do drink those too because otherwise I’d go through life looking like an over-caffeinated meerkat – but for a day-to-day cuppa that gives a burst of energy, a bit of warmth and a welcome break from my desk there is nothing better than PG Tips Extra Strong.It’s basically the hot beverage equivalent of a bear hug in a mug.
“I’m old enough that I remember when PG Tips released their pyramid bags for the first time, not least because it caused quite a ruction in our house where my mum was a devotee of the Tetley round bags – she even had a china biscuit jar in the shape of the flat-cap wearing Gaffer from the adverts.”
Back then, the launch of the pyramid bags caused quite a stir, not pun intended. Narin added: “I’m not sure if the science behind it is legit, although it does seem to make sense that the tea leaves can circulate more freely to steep your brew if there’s a larger area for them to move in. But wherever you stand on the shape of your teabags, for me the big change and the point where my PG Tips love was secured forever was when they launched their Extra Strong range.
“I had always sworn that the best tea was made in a pot with a minimum of a couple of bags depending on how many people I was making for and given time to brew. But the Extra Strong bags, when left to sit in a mug for a few minutes and then given a generous-but-not-too-generous dash of semi-skimmed, taste like teapot tea without the faff and additional fiddly washing up.”
READMORE: The free kettle trick I use to cut £25 a month off my energy bills
READMORE: I pitted five chocolate digestives from Aldi, Asda, Morrison’s, Sainsbuy’s and M&S against McVitie’s
Narin even takes PG Tips on holiday with her, stockpiling it when it’s reduced on offer in the supermarket. She added L “I won’t drink tea when I go out to cafes or restaurants because I know it’s not going to be as good as the brew I can make myself at home and it’s much easier to drink bad coffee than it is bad tea.
“It’s even the perfect flavor and strength to dunk a digestive in. What more could you possibly want? It’s perfection in a mug.”
Yorkshire Tea Red Label
Bethan Shufflebotham from the Manchester Evening News said: “I feel like a cup of tea is sacred to us Brits. It’s not just a hot beverage to caffeine-fuel us through the working day, but a comfort, too. Feeling sad? Put the kettle on. Catching up with friends? Put the kettle on. Just had a big tea and need to let it settle? Put the kettle on.
“It’s a somewhat mundane routine, but it’s something we all relate to. And much like how Fever-Tree think that, if most of your gin and tonic is the mixer, make it a blooming good one, if you’re going to drink eight-plus cups of tea a day – then it’s got to be Yorkshire Tea.”
Bethan always follows the brands strict instructions on how to make a ‘proper brew’. Yorkshire Tea suggest running the tap a little to aerate the water, and only boil it once. Pour the boiling water over the mug and stir briefly-clockwise.
The 24-year-old added: “You have to let a cuppa brew for four to five minutes, so I potter about the kitchen and make that all important decision – chocolate digestive or custard cream? (The answer is one of each.)
“Controversially, squeeze the teabag against the side of the mug – but only a bit. I take mine with a splash of milk and a teaspoon of honey. I ditched two sugars a few years ago, and I’m trying to cut down gradually on the sweetness of my tea.
“There’s nothing better than sitting down with a big mug of Yorkshire Tea and taking that first sip. It’s absolute bliss and just really feels like home. The brand have hit the nail on the head in terms of flavor – not too strong or too tannic -y, so it doesn’t give you that weird dry-mouth feeling if you do over stew it.
“Yorkshire Tea is 100% the best cuppa you can buy, and I won’t hear a jot of it from anyone else. I’d even go as far to say I’d refuse a brew at a mates house if it wasn’t” t the green box with the red label.”
Twinings Vanilla Tea
Jada Jones doesn’t quite agree with Bethan and Narin about the ‘perfect’ cup of tea, instead preferring Twinings Vanilla Tea. Here’s what she had to say.
“To say I feel strongly about tea would be a slight understatement, when I was a teenager I spent hours researching the different types of leaves and how it would impact taste and if it was worth the health benefits.
“At that point I’d decided that white tea was the only one worth drinking, but that was before a trip to Paris where I discovered Twinings Thé Vanille. It sat on the shelves like it was ordinary rather than about to change my entire life .
“Unfortunately, the French Thé Vanille isn’t one you can usually find in Tesco but the Vanilla Tea (International Blend) is the same thing. Which is why once a year I bulk buy potentially too much of the stuff as it’s the only black tea I’ll drink by choice.
“The touch of vanilla is subtle but notably there, adding a sweetness completely unlike sugar. It doesn’t taste like you’ve dunked ice cream in your cuppa, instead it has an elegant and indulgent hit that you can have anytime of day.
“I think it pairs perfectly with some biscuits and controversially take it without milk, quite frankly I think pouring in milk ruins the delicate taste.
“I brew it for four minutes, timing it every time and if I’m feeling like an extra treat I add in some honey (only orange blossom honey, otherwise known as the only honey worth having).”
What’s your favorite tea brand? Let us know in the comments