Tea bag taste test: Which cup of tea really tastes best?

Britain is known worldwide for a plethora of things: fish and chips, Brexit, the Beatles, James Corden (with regret), Harry Potter and, most of all, tea.

Although tea contains caffeine, unlike coffee, we Brits drink a drink at any time of the day and, more importantly, under any circumstances.

Sad? Brewing, happy? Brewing, angry? Brewing, tired? Two beers.

Some studies suggest that it’s the actual tea-making ritual, whether for yourself or for someone else (ha, hardly), that is relaxing.

The Northern Echo: Here was the selection on offerThere was a selection on offer here (Image: Newsquest)

Not too dissimilar to the whole “what do you call a bap/barm/roll?” debate, the argument over the best cup of tea could spark a civil war on our shores.

Accordingly StatistaThese are the most popular tea brands in the UK:

  1. PG Tips
  2. Yorkshire tea
  3. Tetley
  4. Partnerships
  5. typhoon

I firmly believe that Yorkshire Tea is without a doubt the best tea bag brand money can buy. I can definitely, definitely, definitely distinguish it from other tea bags, even in a blind test. Definitely.

Then let’s put this to the test, shall we?

In fairness, I went to tea rehab for 24 hours and detoxed in preparation for the 7 cups the next day.

To see what others thought, I invited my dad and grandma to do a blind test with me, while my mom was assigned the role of tea maker. Some things never change.

Scientists at Northumbria School of Life Science have discovered that the key to the best-tasting brew is letting it sit for six minutes before drinking. However, my mother plays by her own rules.

I don’t care what you say, milky tea is pointless, a shot is enough, as is a sugar.

Here’s what we found:

Tea number 1

Dad: “Tasteless, looks good, but tastes cheap.”

Nan: “Not a fan. Tastes bad and slightly watery.”

Me: “Not nice at all, tasteless. Cheap construction tea.”

What was the tea? Tetleys

We weren’t too surprised by this. Neither of us have ever been a huge fan of it and to be honest we probably haven’t had a cup in a while. I won’t rush to have another one.

Tea number 2

Dad: “More flavor than the last one, but still a bit mediocre for me.”

Nan: “Can definitely tell the difference from the last one, not bad, tastes pretty good.”

Me: “It definitely tastes different than the last one. However, it’s still pretty boring and doesn’t have that ‘teaness’ character yet. No real brew here either.”

What was the tea? Aldi

My dad and grandma were happy to hear this as we are all strong Aldi supporters when it comes to Aldi. However, I was rather disappointed.

Tea number 3

Dad: “Very similar to number 2, but with more flavor. I like this one” – his favorite overall

Nan: “Once again, not bad. It’s not nearly the best, but I won’t indulge in a cup of it.”

Me: “That’s a nice brew. The best one yet, but for some reason I couldn’t taste a grain of sugar in it.”

What was the tea? PG Tips

Again, none of us were all that surprised to hear this. We’re not complete tee-ponces and won’t look down on PG tips every now and then, so we’re quite happy with that.

Tea number 4

Dad: “No, not for me. Not as bad as #1, but still slightly watery.”

Nan: “Yes, I’m a fan of it. Good taste.” – her favorite overall

Me: “The first sip was really good, but strangely the second one was terrible?”

What was the tea? Tesco

This was the last tea bag from the supermarket and overall we thought both had held up reasonably well.

Tea number 5

Dad: “Watery, no taste, not a fan of it.”

Nan: “That’s okay. Quite watery and no flavor comes through. If I’m honest, I’m getting a little tired of tasting tea now.”

Me: “Shit. Damn watery, this is definitely Tetley or something similar. I didn’t finish.”

What was the tea? (Here head in hands) – …..Yorkshire

So. What a complete fraud I am. I actually couldn’t believe it, neither could my father and my grandma. This took us completely by surprise and we immediately pointed the finger at my mother for being a bad team player instead of admitting our own mistakes.

I’m sorry Yorkshire, I’m sorry.

Tea number 6

Dad: “It tastes cheap and one of the worst. Definitely not a fan.”

Nan: “It has nothing to offer. The last? Seems strange to me.”

Me: “Also watery. I would say cheap nonsense. Not a fan and again I didn’t finish.”

What was the tea? Partnerships

The most expensive brand may have tasted the cheapest, imagine my shock. Neither of us are really fans of twinning or hotel breakfast tea, so we weren’t that surprised.

The Northern Echo: The Absolute State of Me.The absolute state of me. (Image: Newsquest)

Tea number 7

Dad: “To me it tastes very light, but some flavor comes through.”

Nan: “Watery and no taste. I’m starting to see things, can we stop now?”

Me: “YORKSHIRE!!! 1000%, I bet my student loans on it.”

What was the tea? typhoon

Typhoon?!?! B****y Typhoo is my favorite tea?! Aside from significantly increasing my debt, I also felt a bit ashamed.

My father and my now unconscious grandmother were both equally astonished. Placebo is real, people.

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