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Pukka Lemon, Ginger & Manuka Honey – Good for a Cold

Pukka Lemon, Ginger & Manuka HoneyBrand: Pukka Teas

Flavour: Lemon, Ginger & Manuka Honey

Description: A welcoming cup of spicy sweet organic bliss

Ingredients: Ginger root (32%), licorice root, elderflower, fennel seed, lemon verbena leaf, turmeric root, lemon essential oil, lemon myrtle leaf, whole lemon (4%), manuka honey flavour (2%)

Caffeine Factor: Caffeine-free

Organic Ingredients: 100%

Price Range: £2-3

Bags Per Box: 20

Review: When you first brew this infusion, it smells just like Pukka Three Ginger.  The taste, however, is different.  It’s like Three Ginger, but with a lingering artificial aftertaste, a bit like soursop (probably because of the manuka honey flavouring).  It doesn’t help that it’s chock full of all those lemony plants that are 100% real, yet taste like they were cooked up in a laboratory.

That said, this is probably a good one if you have a cold, to act as an antiseptic and a throat soother; so this blend has its place, even if we don’t fancy it as a casual treat.

Best time of year to drink this: Colder months, when you feel a bit poorly

Best time of day to drink this: Anytime, really – it works as a morning wake-up drink (because of the lemon), but it’s also soothing in the evening


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Pukka Love – Love This Tea, Yes We Do

Pukka LoveBrand: Pukka Teas

Flavour: Love

Description: Organic rose, chamomile & lavender flower tea to warm your heart

Ingredients: Chamomile flower (25%), limeflower, elderflower, marigold petals, liquorice root, rose flower (5%), lavender flower (5%)

Caffeine Factor: Caffeine-free

Organic Ingredients: 100%

Price Range: £2-3

Bags Per Box: 20

Our Review: This one is truly beautiful.  The aroma is subtle but pleasantly floral; the scent of chamomile and lavender steaming out of the cup is instantly relaxing.

Drinking it is just as soothing.  The combination of flavours is ever-so-slightly sweet, which cuts the chamomile taste.  The overall effect is a soft, gentle drink that (as the box promises) warms you from the inside out.

This is a great night-time tea, if you’re not fond of the traditional chamomile and valerian root blends.  We managed to drink several boxes; we couldn’t get enough.  For that reason, we’re rating this a must-have tea for your kitchen cupboard.  Just be sure to have it hot, so the taste of the liquorice doesn’t overpower the rest of the drink.

Best time of year to drink this: All year round.

Best time of day to drink this: Evenings and night-time, to soothe and relax you before bed.


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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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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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Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Double Mint – A Cupboard Staple

SainsDoubleMintBrand: Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference

Flavour: Double Mint

Ingredients: Peppermint (70%), Spearmint (30%)

Caffeine Factor: Caffeine-free

Organic Ingredients: 100%

Price Range: £2.50

Bags Per Box: 15

Review: This blend has a really bright scent – like menthol, but less overpowering, because of the inclusion of cooling spearmint, which immediately opens your senses.  This would be a good one to hover over and inhale when you’re a bit congested.  And it reminds you so much of fresh mint leaf tea, despite it being dried, which is lovely.

The taste is equally cool and fresh; the spearmint really comes through.  It makes a nice alternative to other mint teas on the market, which tend to focus on peppermint and can be a bit heavier.  We love this one, and recommend keeping it in the cupboard next to Tesco’s Finest Peppermint Leaves, as they complement each other well.  While the Tesco offering is great to have after meals, this one would be good to have in the morning, to wake you up.

Best time of year to drink this: Anytime, but especially in autumn / winter when you feel a bit run down

Best time of day to drink this: Mornings


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Twinings Intensely Beetroot Burst – You’ll Love It or Hate It

1-7017715605Brand: Twinings

Flavour: Intensely Beetroot Burst

Ingredients: Beetroot (75%), blackcurrant leaves (24%), natural blackcurrant flavouring with other natural flavourings (1%)

Caffeine Factor: Caffeine-free

Organic Ingredients: 100%

Price Range: £2.49

Bags Per Box: 20

Review: We don’t understand the use of an adverb (‘intensely’) to describe a noun phrase (‘beetroot burst’); and strangely, this blend apparently contains 2 calories per cup.

That said, this is an interesting one.  It smells very much of beetroot, with a sweet blackcurrant under…current (no pun intended), and the taste is similar.  It’s quite earthy, much like the root vegetable, though a bit milder because of the inclusion of berries.

This is one of those ‘Marmite’ blends: you either love it or you hate it.  Three Tulsi doesn’t really like either beetroot or blackcurrant (albeit the blackcurrant isn’t very strong), so she doesn’t like this tea.  Ginger Tea, on the other hand, says this is one of her favourites.

And if you do like beetroot, you’ll get some great health benefits from this brew, as beetroot is a good source of folate and iron (both of which are essential in pregnancy), as well as nitrates, betaine, magnesium and many antioxidants.  For all these reasons, we’re marking this a ‘must-have tea’, with the proviso that it won’t suit all tastes.

Best time of year to drink this: This a good all-year-rounder

Best time of day to drink this: Afternoons – Ginger Tea likes to have this one with lunch


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