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Pukka Lemongrass & Ginger – Fairly Pointless

Pukka Lemongrass & Ginger - Reviewed on If Teacups Could Talk...Brand: Pukka Teas

Flavour: Lemongrass & Ginger

Description: ‘An uplifting organic lemony zing with a flying finish.’

Ingredients: Lemongrass (48%), ginger root (28%), licorice root, lemon verbena leaf, lemongrass essential oil flavour (4%)

Caffeine Factor: Caffeine-free

Organic Ingredients: 100%

Price Range: £2-3

Bags Per Box: 20

Our Review: The smell of this one is gingery – a little fiery, but with an earthy undercut, which is pleasant and warming.

Unfortunately, even after five minutes’ brewing time, this is quite a watery drink lacking in flavour.  There’s no kick like you’d expect from ginger; and as it cools down, the sweetness of the licorice becomes sickly.

It’s not the worst drink we’ve ever had, but it’s definitely not worth the money.

Best time of year to drink this: Autumn / winter, if you’re a bit run down

Best time of day to drink this: Mornings


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Twinings Moroccan Mint – Green Tea Without the Bitter Edge

Twinings Moroccan MintBrand: Twinings

Flavour: Moroccan Mint

Ingredients: Green tea, spearmint (30%), natural cardamom flavouring, other natural flavourings

Caffeine Factor: Caffeine-free

Organic Ingredients: Uncertain

Price Range: £1.50

Bags Per Box: 20

Review: The aroma of this blend is very earthy.  You can really smell the young tea leaves, as well as the strong wakeful scent of spearmint.  It’s a bit like an Extra chewing gum, but with a hint of green.

The taste is similar.  We think it’s an excellent alternative if you want to get into green tea for detox reasons, but find it too bitter.  It’s great for waking up in the morning, not just because of the caffeine hit, but also because of that refreshing feeling in your mouth after you drink it.  For that reason, we also recommend it after lunch, to cleanse the palate and revive you for the afternoon.

Best time of year to drink this: A great all-year-rounder.

Best time of day to drink this: Mornings (to wake you up) and after lunch (to refresh your mouth).


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Pukka Cool Mint Green – A Good Wake-Up Tea

cool-mint-green_rgb-bigBrand: Pukka Teas

Flavour: Cool Mint Green

Description: ‘An organic spearmint splash into green’s goodness.’

Ingredients: Sencha green tea (70%), spearmint leaf (30%)

Caffeine Factor: Caffeinated

Organic Ingredients: 100%

Price Range: £2-3

Bags Per Box: 20

Our Review: This, as you can see, is mostly green tea, with a ‘splash’ of spearmint.  It’s an interesting idea, because often you get peppermint in teas, but not spearmint.  The effect is cooling (just as the name promises) – in taste and in the mouth.  It cuts the edge off the natural bitterness of green tea, and makes for a pleasant drink.

It’s also quite nice to smell – gentle, soft, and far more natural than English Tea Shop Silent Night (which, despite the name, also had a green tea base).

We think this would make a good, fresh, morning drink – although we still prefer Pukka Serene Jasmine Green.  We suppose the two do different jobs, but we can see the jasmine blend being a good one to have most times of day (apart from evening / night), whereas this is strictly one for starting your day.

Best time of year to drink this: All year round

Best time of day to drink this: Mornings


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Dr Stuart’s Liver Detox – Positively Undrinkable

liver-detoxBrand: Dr Stuart’s

Flavour: Liver Detox

Ingredients: Peppermint, Dandelion Root, Liquorice Root, Chamomile, Centaury Herb, Boldo Leaves, Couchgrass Root, Restharrow Root, Milk Thistle

Caffeine Factor: Caffeine-free

Organic Ingredients: 100%

Price Range: £2-3

Bags Per Box: 15

Our Review: It should be noted that the Dr Stuart’s Range is really aimed at providing health benefits, rather than flavour.

With that disclaimer out of the way, this is the most shocking tea we’ve ever tried, bar none.  We believe it’s the centuary herb that does it.  Apparently, this ‘fibrous and woody’ plant is a bitter herb traditionally used to treat flatulence and anorexia (as it stimulates appetite).  The smell is inoffensive enough, which lulls you into a false sense of confidence as you take your first sip.

Initially, the taste is minty.  ‘Why does everyone tell me this is awful?’  you wonder.

Then it hits you, right at the back of your throat – the bitterest thing you have ever tasted.  And it doesn’t go away!  Oh, no.  It’s the gift that keeps giving.  Even if you hold your nose, you can’t get rid of that flavour.

We managed to photograph Ginger Tea’s first experience with this tea.

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‘This is what I imagine acid tastes like,’ she said.

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‘Why is [the bitterness] still there?  When does it go away?’  A little later: ‘I’m crying.’

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Three Tulsi picked this up for health reasons and somehow got through the whole box (albeit she gave away a few bags to the more adventurous, unsuspecting tea drinkers in her life).  By her sixth cup, it became more bearable – but it’s definitely not being bought again!

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It’s more tolerable cooled down.  The bitterness becomes more mild and the peppermint comes out more (relatively speaking).  That said, it also highlights the liquorice, which isn’t necessarily a good thing.  It definitely does something to your insides, though, because it leaves your stomach feeling like it’s shifting and swishing around, after a few minutes; so maybe there’s something to be said for its health benefits, after all.

Best time of year to drink this: Never!

Best time of day to drink this: Never!


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Yogi Detox – Punchy and Flavoursome, without that Aniseed After-Taste

Yogi DetoxBrand: Yogi Tea

Flavour: Detox

Ingredients: Liquorice (26%), Cinnamon (17%), Burdock Root, Ginger, Dandelion (7%), Fennel, Anise (3%), Juniper Berries, Coriander, Cardamom, Black Pepper, Parsley, Sage, Clove, Turmeric Root

Caffeine Factor: Caffeine-free

Organic Ingredients: 100%

Price Range: £2-3

Bags Per Box: 17

Review: When first brewed, this tea has a lovely caramel colour in the cup.  It has quite a sweet, almost vanilla scent, though when you taste it, the sweetness is subtle, because it’s cut with bitter dandelion.  It tastes strongly of cinnamon and liquorice, which makes it warming and wintery.  The black pepper and ginger also leave a peppery taste in the back of the throat, which lends a bit of heat.  This makes it a bit fiery.  When compared with, say, Pukka’s Detox tea, this one is less sweet, punchier and more flavoursome, with less of that aniseed taste (which isn’t everyone’s cup of tea!).  There is a filling, round, full-bodied quality to this – but the inclusion of cloves means your taste buds grow a bit numb, after a while, so definitely drink this after meals.  The cloves also make this a great one to drink if you have a sore throat or mouth ulcers.

Best time of year to drink this: Autumn / winter.

Best time of day to drink this: After meals, and in the evening.


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Twinings Settling Ginger – Full-Bodied Flavour for Little Cost

TwiningsSettlingGingerBrand: Twinings

Flavour: Settling Ginger

Ingredients: Ginger Root (70%), Liquorice Root (15%), Cinnamon (10%), Cloves (5%)

Caffeine Factor: Caffeine-free

Organic Ingredients: 100%

Price Range: £1.50

Bags Per Box: 20

Review: This is an excellent caffeine-free wake-up tea.  It’s so gingery that just sniffing the box / tea bag can land you with a burning nose!  It’s also one of the most flavourful teas in the standard Twinings range, making it great value for money.  Compared to Pukka Three Ginger, it’s darker and marginally sweeter, due to the inclusion of the cinnamon; it’s also much more flavoursome.  If you leave it to cool down a little, it brings out the warmth of the spices (which are a bit Christmasy) and grows increasingly fiery.

We recommend this one to settle stomach upsets and for general detoxification.  It’s also a great one to have in the evenings, curled up on the sofa under a warm blanket during those winter months.

Best time of year to drink this: Autumn / winter.

Best time of day to drink this: Mornings (to wake you up), afternoons (to aid digestion) and evenings (to soothe).


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Pukka Three Tulsi – Distinctively Different & Delicious

three-tulsi-tisana-pukka_48398Brand: Pukka Teas

Flavour: Three Tulsi

Description: Organic Green Tulsi, Purple Tulsi and Lemon Tulsi Tea to Uplift and Restore

Ingredients: Rama Green Tulsi Leaf, Krishna Purple Tulsi Leaf, Vana Lemon Tulsi Leaf

Caffeine Factor: Caffeine-free

Organic Ingredients: 100%

Price Range: £2-3

Bags Per Box: 20

Pukka Says: Good news for a beam of clarity and a joyful lift of spirits.

Our Review: This is perhaps the most distinctive of the Pukka range.  The aroma is fresh and earthy – and this is a tea that actually tastes like it smells.  It’s a simple tea with no added ingredients spoiling the taste, which is natural, healthy and cleansing.  It’s also quite fragrant and herby.  Tulsi, also sometimes referred to as ‘holy basil’ (some varieties resemble that plant), is indigenous to India and – if you believe what all the ayurvedic medicine websites claim – it can be used to cure just about anything – even death!  From a more sceptical viewpoint, it is reputed to help with allergies, colds and flu; it is a preventative against malaria; and it’s used as a mouth freshener and oral disinfectant, particularly in the treatment of mouth ulcers.

Fun Fact: In Indian legend, Tulsi was a queen who transformed herself into the plant after being betrayed by Vishnu.  In another story, Queen Vrinda – also betrayed by Vishnu – immolated herself and tulsi grew from the ashes.  The plants multiplied into forests.  The region was named Vrindavana – ‘forest of Vrinda’.  Often, people confuse the two stories and will say Tulsi was the plant Vrinda turned into.  In any case, today most of the trees have been cut down 😦

Best time of year to drink this: All year-round, but particularly if you’re feeling a bit run down or wanting something refreshing.

Best time of day to drink this: Evening or after dinner.  Definitely not a morning tea – more something you drink to relax.


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