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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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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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Charbrew Chocolate Orange – Definitely Not as Good as Terry’s!

Charbrew Chocolate Orange - Reviewed on If Teacups Could Talk...Brand: Charbrew

Flavour: Chocolate Orange

Ingredients: Rooibos, organic cocoa husk, orange peel, flavouring (orange), flavouring (chocolate)

Caffeine Factor: Caffeine-free

Organic Ingredients: 100%

Price Range: £3.49

Cups Per Box: 15 (can be rebrewed)

Review: Perhaps predictably, considering one of the ingredients is ‘flavouring’, this blend has a strongly artificial smell, once brewed – like fake vanilla.

The taste is similarly unpleasant.  The chocolate is very weak, while the artificial chemical flavour lingers in your mouth long after you’ve drunk this.  Then the rooibos comes through, which you’ll either love or you’ll hate.

This is definitely not a good substitute for afternoon chocolate cravings.  If anything, it makes you want to eat more, to get the taste out of your mouth.  We’re marking this one AVOID.

Best time of year to drink this: Never

Best time of day to drink this: Never


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Tea Forté Blueberry Merlot – Overpriced Tomato Sauce

Tea Forte Blueberry Merlot - Reviewed on If Teacups Could Talk...Brand: Tea Forté

Flavour: Blueberry Merlot

Ingredients: Blueberry, cornflower petals, organic hisbiscus, rosehips, sage

Caffeine Factor: Caffeine-free

Organic Ingredients: 100%

Price Range: £48

Cups Per Box: 48 tea pyramids (can be rebrewed)

Review: This is one of the most expensive herbal teas we’ve ever seen!  Yes, it’s Fair Trade certified, but come on!  We only had this because we were given a free sample.  And thank goodness, because it is NOT worth the money.  We could hardly taste the blueberry; it was all hibiscus…but with a strange pasta-like aftertaste (presumably from the inclusion of sage).  It’s like drinking very tart tomato sauce.

Essentially, this is your standard fruit tea, with sage stupidly thrown in, packaged in a poncy upright bag (that won’t sink into the cup no matter how much water you pour on it, so you have to keep pushing it down with a spoon to get it to infuse), with a paper leaf tacked onto the top.  What on earth is the point?  You’re much better off buying Sainsbury’s Blackberry & Blueberry.  You can actually taste the fruit in that one, and a whole box costs about as much as one tea pyramid from Tea Forté.

Based on the ridiculous price alone, we are marking this AVOID.

Best time of year to drink this: Never

Best time of day to drink this: Never


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T2 Cool as a Cucumber – 3 Blends in 1, and None of Them Good

T2-LogoBrand: T2

Flavour: Cool as a Cucumber

Ingredients: White hibiscus, roasted chicory root, cucumber, lemongrass, woodruff, apple, eucalyptus leaves, sweet blackberry leaves, lemon myrtle, lime, melon pieces (melon, sugar, acidifier, citric acid, flavour), flavouring, raspberries, sunflower petals

Caffeine Factor: Caffeine-free

Organic Ingredients: 100%

Price Range: £7.50

Cups Per Box: 40 (approx.)

Review: This one has a pleasant aroma.  It’s fragrant and fresh, like lemons and limes.  Already, we anticipated putting this one on ice and drinking it on a hot summer’s day.

Then the flavour…is just STRANGE.  The first sip is so punchy – REALLY bitter (probably from the chicory), with an aftertaste that WON’T. GO. AWAY.  You can’t really discern any of the individual ingredients.  We didn’t feel cooled; we felt annoyed and confused.

This is one of the weirdest drinks we have ever tried.  It’s like they tried to shove three different infusions into one, just to see what happens – and it doesn’t work at all.  There’s far too much going on in one cup.  We’re marking this one AVOID.

Best time of year to drink this: It smells like a summer tea, but it tastes like something you would never drink any day of the year

Best time of day to drink this: Never


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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 Revitalise – Great After Meals

Pukka Revitalise - Reviewed by If Teacups Could Talk...Brand: Pukka Teas

Flavour: Revitalise

Description: ‘A burst of warming organic cinnamon, cardamom and ginger.’

Ingredients: Cinnamon bark (26%), orange peel, elderflower, cardamom pod (10%), licorice root, ginger root (7%), sencha green tea, spearmint leaf, clove bud, black peppercorn

Caffeine Factor: Caffeinated

Organic Ingredients: 100%

Price Range: £2-3

Bags Per Box: 20

Our Review: This is an intensely sweet-smelling blend with a citrus undercurrent.  Thankfully, the taste is milder.  There’s a hint of green tea, but not enough to overpower the other ingredients.  The inclusion of orange peel and spearmint make it refreshing and cooling in the mouth – and there’s a nice, fresh after-kick, too; the ginger really comes out of this one.

If you ever find yourself in any mouth pain, give this one a try, because the cloves will instantly soothe the hurt; the mint is a great digestive aid; and the green tea base makes this a good one to wake up with, in the morning.

Overall, this is a pleasant post-meal drink (not too sweet, not too bitter) that we will definitely be buying again.

Best time of year to drink this: All year round

Best time of day to drink this: After meals, throughout the day (but not too late at night, or the green tea will keep you up!)


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