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Charbrew Strawberry & Kiwi – A Great Summer Treat

Charbrew Strawberry & Kiwi - Reviewed at If Teacups Could Talk...Brand: Charbrew

Flavour: Strawberry & Kiwi

Ingredients: Apple, rosehip shells, hibiscus, strawberry flavouring (2%), kiwi flavouring (1.5%), strawberry pieces (1%), kiwi pieces (1%) (all in varying quantities)

Caffeine Factor: Caffeine-free

Organic Ingredients: 100%

Price Range: £3.49

Cups Per Box: 15  (can be rebrewed)

Review: The smell, as you might expect, is like sweeties – Haribo or Jolly Ranchers.  The taste, however, is not.  It’s tart (from the hibiscus), but subtle, not overpowering like some fruit tisanes.  If you leave it to brew longer, the flavour of the kiwi starts to come out; and despite the ‘flavouring’, it doesn’t taste artificial, maybe because there are real fruit pieces mixed in there.

We think this is a great ‘pudding’ tea to have after meals instead of calorific treats.  We also expect this would be a good one to let go cold in the summer.  All in all, a fabulous blend we will be buying more of in future.

Best time of year to drink this: Summer

Best time of day to drink this: Afternoons


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Yogi Sweet Chai – For People Who Don’t Do Chai

Yogi Sweet Chai - Reviewed by If Teacups Could Talk...Brand: Yogi Tea

Flavour: Sweet Chai

Ingredients: Anise, fennel, liquorice, cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon, ginger, cloves

Caffeine Factor: Caffeine-free

Organic Ingredients: 100%

Price Range: £2-3

Bags Per Box: 17

Review: In taste, this is very similar to Pukka Vanilla Chai, but much sweeter.  We think this infusion fills the market gap of fennel / liquorice / aniseed teas for people who aren’t huge fans of fennel, liquorice or aniseed – because the ingredients list suggests you will be bombarded with those flavours, yet the added spices temper what would otherwise be overwhelming sweetness.

On the other hand, this could be a good one for people who want chai, but don’t like it too strong and might be tempted to add sugar.  Indeed, the aroma of this blend is strongly earthy, rather than spicy; it’s quite gentle from all angles.

In summary, it’s not necessarily our favourite, but we can see others enjoying it.

Best time of year to drink this:  Autumn / winter

Best time of day to drink this: Morning, or after meals as a digestive aid


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Pukka Peppermint & Licorice – Like Drinking Sugar

Pukka Peppermint & Licorice - Reviewed on If Teacups Could Talk...Brand: Pukka Teas

Flavour: Peppermint & Licorice

Description: ‘A sweet & deliciously refreshing organic thrill.’

Ingredients: Peppermint leaf (60%), licorice root (40%)

Caffeine Factor: Caffeine-free

Organic Ingredients: 100%

Price Range: £2

Bags Per Box: 20

Our Review: This is one of the sweetest teas we’ve ever tried.  You can’t even actually taste the licorice flavourjust the sweetness.  It’s like drinking sugar.  In fact, the sweetness is so strong that you can hardly taste the peppermint, despite that being the majority ingredient.

Perhaps someone will like this, if they drink their peppermint tea with multiple teaspoons of sugar.  Otherwise, this is quite sickly.  We couldn’t finish a cup between us.

Unfortunately, we had a whole box of the stuff to get through!  Our solution was to give it away, one sachet per person, and run away before they realised they’d been tricked into thinking we had been generous!

Best time of year to drink this: No idea.  It’s DISGUSTING.  Good for digestion…but DISGUSTING.

Best time of day to drink this: We’ll say it again: DIS-GUST-ING.


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T2 Vanilla Mint – This Smells AMAZING!

T2-LogoBrand: T2

Flavour: Vanilla Mint

Ingredients: Spearmint, vanilla bean

Caffeine Factor: Caffeine-free

Organic Ingredients: 100%

Price Range: £7.50

Cups Per Box: 40 (approx.)

Review: This – smells – AMAZING.  Strongly spearminty, immediately waking up your senses – and you can see real vanilla bean flecks in the tea!

The taste is just as lovely – soothing, cooling and just delicious.  It has all the freshness and mild sweetness of spearmint, but with a full vanilla kick – and when we say vanilla, we mean proper vanilla, like cracking open a fresh stick and grinding it straight into your drink.

We can’t help but compare it with Twinings Intensely Buttermint.  They are similar in concept, yet very different drinks.  Twinings use peppermint and flavouring to create gentle butterscotch in a cup.  T2 have used just two – very real – ingredients, and opted for a brighter strain of mint, which creates a unique drinking experience.  It’s also not as sweet as the Twinings blend.

That said, you would probably drink this for the same reasons: you want to have it after meals, to cleanse the palate (and even your teeth!); it opens the senses and wakes you up from the inside out; and it’s mellow and deeply relaxing.

For all these reasons, we’re marking this a must-have tea – although it must be noted that you shouldn’t let it cool down too much, because while the spearmint and vanilla blend beautifully when hot, at cooler temperatures they separate and don’t taste as nice.

As ever with T2, remember that although it costs £7.50 a box, each box makes approximately 40 cups of tea; and you can re-brew, stretching it out to more like 80-120 cups.  We love this one so much that we’d be happy to drink 120 cups of it!

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

Best time of day to drink this: Mornings (to wake you up), after and between meals (as a snack-substitute and a digestive aid), and evenings (to relax)


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Twinings Intensely Buttermint – Don’t Take It Off the Market, Again!

Twinings Intensely ButtermintBrand: Twinings

Flavour: Intensely Buttermint

Ingredients: Peppermint, natural mint flavouring (7.5%), natural vanilla and other flavourings (5%)

Caffeine Factor: Caffeine-free

Organic Ingredients: 100%

Price Range: £1.69

Bags Per Box: 20

Review: As soon as you brew this one, you are hit with an aroma not unlike Murray Mints or a kind of minty butterscotch.  The strong peppermint oil scent immediately wakes up your senses, opens your sinuses just as well as any menthol treatment, and refreshes you.

Drinking it is just as refreshing an experience.  The main ingredient being peppermint, this is a great one to have after a meal, as a natural digestive aid, and to cleanse the palate.

That said, good peppermint can be quite strong, and that’s where the ‘butter’ comes in.  There is a creamy, ever-so-slightly sweet taste of vanilla buried in there, softening the mint without becoming too sugary, somehow creating a light butterscotch flavour.  It’s sort of like having a pudding, but without the heaviness.  It is also quite a substantial tea, filling your mouth and stomach and stopping you from reaching for unhealthy snacks.

For anyone who is fond of peppermint tea with sugar, this is a much healthier option.  It’s also simply delicious.  For all these reasons, we have marked it a must-have tea.  Twinings briefly removed it from the market, but brought it back due to popular demand.  Let’s hope they don’t get silly again, in future!

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

Best time of day to drink this: Mornings (to wake you up), after meals (to aid digestion) and late afternoon when you’re tempted to start snacking


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T2 Shimmer Punch – A Truly Confusing Tea

T2-LogoBrand: T2

Flavour: Shimmer Punch

Ingredients: Apple, liquorice root, blueberry, chicory, coconut, sweet blackberry leaves, flavour, cornflower petals

Caffeine Factor: Caffeine-free

Organic Ingredients: 100%

Price Range: £7.50

Cups Per Box: 40 (approx.)

Review: This is an odd one that smells like toffee (chicory) and tastes tart enough to take you by surprise – perhaps from the apple or blackberry leaves?  There is a sharpness on the top palate, which leaves your mouth feeling stripped, a little numb and a bit tacky.

Interestingly, we think the aftertaste is better than the actual drink.  That’s when the chicory and coconut come through – two flavours you wouldn’t expect to find together in a tisane.  The result is almost creamy, and gently sweet.

The first few sips are truly confusing, but it gets better the more you drink it.  One friend suggested it smelt like caramelised strawberries, and rated it ‘nice’ and ‘drinkable’.  Another friend said she liked it enough, but would have enjoyed it more without that sharpness and the numb feeling she associates with cranberry juice.

Maybe we’ll let you decide on this one.  But we strongly suggest taste-testing it in-store before you take the plunge and commit to spending that money.  That box will be with you a long time.

Best time of year to drink this: Summer, maybe – or autumn

Best time of day to drink this: Afternoons, when you get a sweet tooth


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T2 Oolong Toasty Warm – Unsuitable for Vegans

T2-LogoBrand: T2

Flavour: Toasty Warm

Ingredients: Semi-Fermented Tea, Nougat Bits (Sugar, Glycose Syrup, Almonds, Honey, Egg White, Natural Vanilla) and Flavour

Caffeine Factor: Caffeinated

Organic Ingredients: 100%

Price Range: £7.50

Cups Per Box: 40 (approx.)

Review: An interesting one that both smells and tastes of caramel.  It’s creamy (because of the nougat) with an almost artificial aftertaste (the flavour).

Ginger Tea liked it, but Three Tulsi didn’t (she hates caramel), so it probably depends on your taste.  It’s also worth noting that it’s not suitable for vegans, as there are egg whites in the nougat.

Just remember that one box gives you up to 120 cups, if you’re regularly re-brewing.  So, you really have to love this one to spend the money.  But if caramel’s your thing, to the point where you don’t mind having it early in the day (because of the caffeine in the oolong tea base), you might want to try this in the winter time.

Best time of year to drink this: Winter

Best time of day to drink this: Morning or afternoon (maybe as a post-lunch treat)


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