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Pukka Lemon & Mandarin – Not As Bad As We Expected

Pukka Lemon & Mandarin - Reviewed on If Teacups Could Talk...Brand: Pukka Teas

Flavour: Lemon & Madarin

Description: ‘An organic citrus sensation to cheer your senses.’

Ingredients: Licorice root, sweet fennel seed, orange peel, rosehip, hibiscus flower, lemon balm leaf, lemongrass, lemon verbena leaf, lemon myrtle leaf, lemon whole (4%), mandarin essential oil flavour, lemon essential oil flavour (4%)

Caffeine Factor: None

Organic Ingredients: 100%

Price Range: £2-3

Bags Per Box: 20

Our Review: Just look at that ingredients list: it’s every artificial-tasting lemon-like plant thrown into one drink.  Does the thought fill you with as much horror as it did us?

This blend smells just as worrying as the ingredients list looks; like factory-produced lemon sherbet.  Surprisingly, it doesn’t taste as bad as we expected.  It’s sort of warm and pleasant, though it carries a sweet, synthetic-tasting aftertaste.  There might be some people who would enjoy this as a snack tea.

That said, it’s been over three years since we first bought a box of this stuff, and Three Tulsi STILL hasn’t managed to get through it.  She keeps seeing it in the tea cupboard at home and thinking, ‘No, no, not that one,’ and pushing it aside.  It probably ought to be binned, now.  It won’t be purchased again.

Best time of year to drink this: All year round, if you like this sort of thing

Best time of day to drink this: Again, if those lemony plants are to your taste, this is a good all-day tea


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T2 Bright Night – You’ll Be Brushing Your Teeth to Remove the Taste

T2-LogoBrand: T2

Flavour: Bright Night

Ingredients: Peppermint, spearmint, lavender, rose petals

Caffeine Factor: Caffeine-free

Organic Ingredients: 100%

Price Range: £7.50

Cups Per Box: 40 (approx.)

Review: As the name suggests, this is a night-time tea, designed to soothe the stomach and relax you before bed.  It smells strongly of lemon myrtle, and it even tastes like it – but there’s no lemon flavour in the ingredients list!  Perhaps it’s the way the mints combine with lavender?

Whatever the cause, there’s no denying that artificial lemon taste, which keeps us from liking it.  The spearmint definitely refreshes the mouth, but overall this one isn’t worth the price.  You won’t be eagerly re-brewing it, so you won’t want a whole box of it.  We even think that after you drink it, you’ll be rushing to brush your teeth just to get the taste out of your mouth before you go to bed.

Best time of year to drink this: Spring / summer

Best time of day to drink this: Night


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Heath & Heather Liquorice & Oriental Spices – A Liquorice Tea We Love

heath_heather_liquorice_oriental_spices_tea_20_bagsBrand: Heath & Heather

Flavour: Liquorice & Oriental Spices

Description: To Warm and Uplift Naturally

Ingredients: Liquorice Root (37%), Cinnamon (25%), Ginger (17%), Blackberry Leaves (7.5%), Apple Pomace (5.5%), Aniseed (2%), Nutmeg (1.5%), Clove Buds (1.5%), Pepper (1%), Orange Peel (1%), Cardamom (1%)

Caffeine Factor: Caffeine-free

Organic Ingredients: 100%

Price Range: £1-2

Bags Per Box: 20

Review: As you may have noticed, we’re not huge liquorice fans.  It’s nice in small doses, but too much makes a drink sickly sweet.  So, we approached this blend with caution.

The smell is spicy, due to the nutmeg and cinnamon, and makes you think of winter or Christmas.  Happily, the liquorice is actually quite mild, balanced perfectly against the spices to create an ideal combination of flavours.

Drinking it makes you want to curl up by the fireplace, bundled in blankets, and just relax.  It’s so warming.  Better still, the ingredients are traditionally used for everything from healing wounds and soothing the stomach, to taking the edge off mouth pain and easing menstrual pain.  And kids like this one, too – it’s Three Tulsi’s son’s all-time favourite.

For all these reasons, we have marked this a must-have tea we keep in the cupboard at all times.

Best time of year to drink this: Winter

Best time of day to drink this: Afternoon, evening, night


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T2 Red Chocolate Mint – The More You Have, the More You Love It

T2-LogoBrand: T2

Flavour: Red Chocolate Mint

Ingredients: Rooibos, cocoa shells, flavour

Caffeine Factor: Caffeine-free

Organic Ingredients: 100%

Price Range: £7.50

Cups Per Box: 40 (approx.)

Review: Seeing ‘flavour’ tacked at the end of that brief ingredients list is never good…except when it comes to this tea – one of our favourite blends so far.  As far as we can tell, the ‘flavour’ can only be peppermint essence, because it’s the only thing you can smell or taste above the rooibos and cocoa shells.

Perhaps you remember our review of the English Tea Shop’s Rooibos Candy Cane blend.  T2’s offering is similar in concept, but with far fewer ingredients – and as much as we surprised ourselves by liking the ETS blend, T2 pull off something way better.

The balance of flavours is just right.  You can’t taste the cocoa shells much; instead, they seem to temper the rooibos (no rooibos aftertaste) without becoming their own flavour – wonderful if you (like us) aren’t a huge fan of rooibos.  It’s a bit smoky, with an earthy taste, but then the peppermint essence refreshes and wakes it up.  It’s a little like having an After-8 mint…but so much nicer.

The smoky flavour makes this a great one to have first thing in the morning, in place of black tea.  The peppermint makes it good for after meals.  And in the evening, this is a wonderfully relaxing drink that eases you right into the night – especially in the cold winter.

We offered this around to several friends; everyone liked it a lot.  In fact, we all agreed that the more you drink it, the more you like it.  That’s great because, being T2, it comes at £7.50 a box.  But remember you can re-brew it and make that box last a long time.  Three Tulsi loves this tea so much that she’s on her third box!

Mmm, just writing this review is making us want more.  Better put the kettle on!

 

 

Best time of year to drink this: All year round

Best time of day to drink this: You can find an excuse to drink this any time of day


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T2 Deliciously Dreamy – Like Drinking Soap

T2-LogoBrand: T2

Flavour: Deliciously Dreamy

Ingredients: Silver lime flower, apple, chamomile, chicory root, rose petals, lavender, blue mallow, rosemary, pink cornflower, red cornflower, flavour

Caffeine Factor: Caffeine-free

Organic Ingredients: 100%

Price Range: £7.50

Cups Per Box: 40 (approx.)

Review: This is a pleasant-smelling tea, a bit lemony with a gently floral aroma.  It’s like being at a spa, which is instantly appealing.  However, the lavender is quite strong, which Three Tulsi felt made it taste like eating a bar of soap.  Funnily, Ginger Tea thought it had hardly any flavour at all.  Either way, this was not our favourite, by a long shot.  It’s not bad.  It’s more like the less attractive second-cousin of T2’s Gone Surfing.  If you’re going to spend £7.50 a box, we recommend that flavour instead.

Best time of year to drink this: Any time of year.

Best time of day to drink this: Before bed.


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T2 Gone Surfing – The Perfect Wind-Down Tea

T2-LogoBrand: T2

Flavour: Gone Surfing

Ingredients: Chamomile, lavender, spearmint, passionflower, rose petals, linden and lemonbalm

Caffeine Factor: Caffeine-free

Organic Ingredients: 100%

Price Range: £7.50

Cups Per Box: 40 (approx.)

Review: This tea has a soft lemony scent when you first brew it, though the taste is more floral.  The chamomile really comes through, just enough to cut the soapiness of the lavender – but it also doesn’t overpower the flavour, which is good if you (like us) don’t usually like pure chamomile tea.  These flavours make it soothing and comforting, particularly if you’re not feeling great.  The inclusion of spearmint also makes it refreshing on the palate.

This tea is also good for you, packed with ingredients (like spearmint and linden) selected to sooth nerves and digestion, making it a great one to have either after a meal or before bed.  We’d also recommend it if you have a cold.

As ever with T2, remember that although it costs £7.50 a box, each box makes approximately 40 cups of tea; and you can get away with topping it up with boiling water to make a second (albeit slightly weaker) cup, meaning you can stretch the box to make around 80 cups.  We like this tea enough to take the plunge and buy a box.  Three Tulsi also bought a box as a Christmas present for her mother-in-law 🙂

Best time of year to drink this: Any time of year.

Best time of day to drink this: After meals or before bed.


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Pukka Wild Apple & Cinnamon with Ginger – Like a Warm Winter Pie

Pukka Wild Apple & Cinnamon w/Ginger - Like a Warm Winter PieBrand: Pukka Teas

Flavour: Wild Apple & Cinnamon with Ginger

Description: ‘A sunlit orchard of organic warmth and sweet spice – good news for dancing your cares away.’

Ingredients: Cinnamon bark (28%), licorice root, ginger root (14%), orange peel, chamomile flower, wild apple (6%), cardamom pod, orange essential oil flavour (contains non-organic lecithin), clove bud

Caffeine Factor: Caffeine-free

Organic Ingredients: 99%

Price Range: £2-3

Bags Per Box: 20

Our Review: Just based on its smell, this tea could be mistaken for Pukka Three Cinnamon.  However, on tasting it, there is a subtle apple flavour that provides a pleasant sweetness.  You also get a good fiery kick at the back of the throat, from the ginger – though, like the sweetness, the kick isn’t too strong.  It’s a bit like drinking apple and mincemeat pie, but without the alcohol.  This is a great one if you like the individual flavours but aren’t looking for anything too overpowering.  (If you want a stronger apple flavour, we suggest Heath & Heather’s option.)  The blend is just right, making this one of our top Pukka teas.

Best time of year to drink this: We think this is a great winter warmer.

Best time of day to drink this: Cold evenings, curled up on the sofa.


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