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Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Is tea really worth scrimping on?

I am the biggest tea drinker imaginable! I have found out recently, my budget is changing... Again! so i started to buy value brands of tea rather than cut down and i have been wondering since making that change, if it is really worth scrimping on. I decided to do a comparison after talking to a few people about shopping habits and both Tetley and Yorkshire tea very kindly offered to send me some samples. As i've noticed on a few money saving type forums that tea and coffee are one of the top things people will not scrimp on i decided to post about my experiment.

I must warn my readers this will be a long post. Do grab a cuppa and a slice of cake before reading :) 

Black/Original tea

Yorkshire Tea - Original 

This tea is full of flavour but quite strong. I suspect Taylor and Harrogate planned for this to happen, not that i over squeezed the tea bag :D It holds its colour well and even once it has started to go cold it holds its flavour. Perfect for everyday use. 

Yorkshire Gold:

This is a luxury tea without the price tag. Made from 3 different tea leaf, this is Taylor and Harrogate's take on a luxury tea. It has a very unique taste which i particularly enjoyed. It is strong and hits the spot. Price wise wise is not much difference compared to Yorkshire original either so it makes a perfect alternative.

Tetley Extra strong:

I really didn't need to let it sit for as long as i do other tea bags. It turned a nice healthy colour almost automatically. I i squeezed it more the tea would likely have come out like mud. It is exactly what it says on the packet - Strong! Perfect for first thing in the morning.

Tetley Decaf:

Caffeine free tea without any loss of flavour. I didn't find this to be as strong as the other teas but i enjoyed it as it made the perfect strength for my liking. I did not notice the lack of caffeine, it tasted exactly the same as their original tea (the blue packets) As it is healthier in the long run for me i could see me switching and buying this. 

Own brand value tea bags

I am sure everyone has seen these on the shelf when they are shopping. I actually forgot to take a photo of them before i tore into the packet so i borrowed one off google. At between 20p-27p, these are the cheapest you can buy. I am usually a big fan of own brand items and will happily choose them over anything branded. Whilst these taste ok they are bland and need longer in the cup to make anything other than flavoured water. I found i needed more than 1 tea bag to make even close to a cup of tea. Still at £1.20-£1.60 for a weeks worth of tea bags they are not bad value.

Mid range Tea bags

Another one, where i tore into the box before taking a picture!
Priced at just 70p- £1 a box these are a step up from the value range. I personally found these to be quite nice. They did not need to be stewed to the brink of nothing and one tea bag was plenty to give a nice colour and flavour. They are not as bland as the value ranges but do not have the unique taste that more expensive brands offer.

Speciality Tea

Tetley Earl grey:

I have to admit this is a flavour i really do not like. I knew i would not like it so i did not try it. The other half did say he thought it was nice. He said it has a nice floral smell to it and a very nice strong flavour. 

If you fancy an added flavour Tetley also offer a brand new Earl Grey with Vanilla.

Green tea 

I am a big fan of green tea. It is healthy and a natural source of fluoride (for teeth materialization) and great for aiding weight loss. I do find it quite strong though and find i do not drink enough of it. Tetley's pure green tea is completely natural, it is picked, dried and packed. I did find that this was still quite strong, but for the odd few cups i have a day it was perfectly manageable.

If you like abit more flavour to your green tea, the green tea with mint or green tea with lemon are perfect. I found both to be very refreshing. It was perfect for in the morning when you need something to wake you up.

Best of both

As a compromise to my long suffering husband, who will refuse green tea, i was excited that included in my samples was some blend of both tea bags. It is a mix of original black tea and green tea and honestly does not lack any flavour at all. I was concerned that one side would out flavour the other but it is perfectly balanced. A great way to sneak some green tea into his day. It can be served with or without milk so very versatile and perfect for all tastes.

Redbush tea

This is a unique blend of flavours. As it is  naturally caffeine free I think it's great for those who have issues with caffeine but do not want to lose go without the flavour of a strong cuppa. It has a rather nice earthy taste to it and a nice reddy colour when made. It is also fantastic served hot or cold, with or without milk so is very versatile. 

Herbal/flavoured tea 

Both companies offer quite a range of herbal/flavoured teas. I was quite surprised by the amount and some of the flavours. Gone are the days of only seeing peppermint on the shelves! I found Tetley to stock a more exotic flavouring of tea compared to Taylor and Harrogate who appear to prefer a good popular flavour with their own added twist. Both companies were equal in flavour. Price wise the tea is not to bad. I would prefer the option to buy in much larger packets but for a treat, not an everyday drink these are fantastic value. All supermarkets stock a cheaper version of herbal/flavoured teas. I have no personally tried these yet though. 


I enjoyed sampling abit of everything. I was given the opportunity to find new flavours I had no idea existed and would be more than happy to keep select boxes in my cupboard.  After ripping open a tea bag, smelling and tasting with and without milk, I have decided that tea is not worth scrimping on. Whilst I enjoyed drinking the cheaper brands, I did not get that"there's a good cuppa" moment that I did with Tetley and Yorkshire tea. Whilst I enjoyed drinking the cheaper brands, I found that I needed more than one tea bag to get the strength of tea I required, I would go through double the amount of tea bags and for me it's not saving no money. During bill week when I know I will inevitable not have 2 pennies to rub together, the cheaper brads are perfect so I do not need to go without but overall I could taste the difference. My overall favourite has to be Tetley. Whilst Yorkshire had plenty of flavour I prefer a weaker tea. I found Yorkshire quite strong for my taste. Yorkshire tea however I felt kept it's flavour better. I did not need to leave the tea bag in for so and produced a more prominent colour. My husband however has made it perfectly clear that only Yorkshire gold will reside in our cupboards, i do have to agree and have compromised with him... i will buy both tetley original and Yorkshire gold when on offer and save the value brands for the weeks we are truly poor... or the mother in law comes round :) 

How do you feel? Would you switch to a cheaper or a more expensive brand ? 

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