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ETS Spiced Red Fruits – Liquefied Cherry Cough Drops

ETS Spiced Red Fruits - Reviewed on If Teacups Could Talk...Brand: English Tea Shop

Flavour: Spiced Red Fruits

Ingredients: Hibiscus, Rosehip, Apple Pieces, Cinnamon & Organic Peppermint with Natural Strawberry, Cherry & Raspberry Flavourings

Caffeine Factor: Caffeine-free

Organic Ingredients: Uncertain

Price Range: £1.59

Bags Per Box: 20

Review: First off, it’s worth pointing out that this blend is one ingredient off being ETS Sour Peach. That wasn’t a good drink, and this isn’t either. Why are they making almost the exact same blend and repackaging it under another name?

Getting down to specifics, this drink has a pleasant smell, albeit it’s generic.  In a nutshell, this is your classic fruit tea, but the ‘natural flavouring’ makes it taste like cherry cough drops.  They can call it ‘natural’ all they want, but it tastes intensely synthetic, just like all the other ETS infusions we’ve tried.

In short, this isn’t the worst tea we’ve ever had.  It just isn’t good.

Best time of year to drink this: We suppose in the summer, simply because of the ingredients.

Best time of day to drink this: Afternoons – maybe after lunch, as a pudding…if you’re the sort of person who enjoys the taste of Halls lozenges.


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ETS Spicy Anise – How to RUIN Black Tea

ETSBrand: English Tea Shop

Flavour: Spicy Anise

Ingredients: Black tea, ginger pieces, cloves, star anise, with ginger, mint and anise flavours

Caffeine Factor: Caffeinated

Organic Ingredients: None

Price Range: £4

Bags Per Box: 50

Review: As we have grown to expect from the English Tea Shop, this smells simply AWFUL.  It is one of the most artificial blends we have ever come across – even in taste.  It’s like having black tea, but with heaps of chemically produced flavours thrown into the mix.

We can’t even figure out why; you can’t taste any other ingredients aside from faint fake mint flavouring.  You are far, far better off just drinking normal black tea.  It has to be better for your health, too.  We don’t know what they were attempting, with this one: chai, maybe?  Whatever it was, they failed.

You have to wonder what goes on in that factory.  They must hire people to taste-test these things.  Do they honestly say, ‘Yeah, this is great!’?  And how do they stay in business?  WHO IS BUYING THIS STUFF?

 

Best time of year to drink this: NEVER

Best time of day to drink this: Never


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ETS Rooibos Gingerbread Man – Like Drinking Curry and Tobacco

 

ETS Rooibos Gingerbread ManBrand: English Tea Shop

Flavour: Rooibos Gingerbread Man

Ingredients: Rooibos, roasted barley, cinnamon pieces, apple pieces with ginger, cinnamon and key lime flavours

Caffeine Factor: Caffeine-free

Organic Ingredients: Unspecified

Price Range: £8

Bags Per Box: 40

Review: As usual, the English Tea Shop have delivered one of the oddest ingredients lists we’ve seen.  Why ‘key lime flavours’ are in there, alongside cinnamon and rooibos, we have no idea.

This is a strange tea that smells an awful lot like incense – like curry seasoning creeping up your nostrils upon entering an Indian restaurant.  That’s great when you actually want a curry, but not so great when you’re expecting gingerbread rooibos.  We could only hope this was another one of those ETS blends that tasted nothing like it smelled.

Sadly, this was not so.  The flavour is strong rooibos (thankfully they got that much right!)…but blended with a festival of savoury spices.  Altogether, it’s like rooibos curry, if you can imagine such a thing.  (Before drinking this, we couldn’t have imagined it either.)

We passed it around to unsuspecting friends.  Other descriptions of the taste ranged from ‘rolling tobacco’ to ‘the lamentations of defeated warriors’.  Put simpler, this is one of the weirdest teas we have ever tried, and not at all worth the price.

Best time of year to drink this: English Tea Shop suggests drinking this at Christmastime.

Best time of day to drink this: If you must, then try it in the evening.


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ETS Apple Rosehip Raspberry Ripple – Don’t Expect an Ice Cream Sundae

ETS Rosehip Raspberry Ripple

Brand: English Tea Shop

Flavour: Apple Rosehip Raspberry Ripple

Ingredients: Hibiscus, rosehip, apple pieces, licorice, roasted chicory, pomegranate concentrate, raspberry concentrate, blackcurrant concentrate, natural raspberry, blackcurrent and pomegranate flavours

Caffeine Factor: Caffeine-free

Organic Ingredients: Unspecified

Price Range: £2.50

Bags Per Box: 20

Review: What a silly name.  It sounds like an ice cream sundae – but it is nowhere near as exciting.

This is a predictably thick-looking deep red infusion that smells strongly of rosehip and hibiscus, when first brewed.  It’s quite a pleasant aroma.  Surprisingly for the English Tea Shop, it doesn’t smell artificial, despite ‘natural…flavours’ listed in the ingredients.  And they even claim this drink is organic, although they don’t specify whether this refers to some or all the ingredients.

When you take your first sip, you expect your classic ‘fruity’ tea, clearly designed for women (hibiscus and rosehip).  Then you discover that it tastes of…wait…hang on…NOTHING.  We tried leaving the bag in for 15 whole minutes, thinking surely it had to infuse in that time.  But even then, there was virtually no flavour.  Just a strange, fake soapy taste, mixed with mild tartness (likely from the hibiscus…although we couldn’t actually taste the flower).  Eventually, a hint of apple came through.

Overall, this is a blend of barely-there hibiscus and apple, plus soap.  Even at just £2.50 a box, this is a huge rip-off – it is far cheaper to add a drop of washing-up liquid to a cup of boiling water yourself, than to pay for the English Tea Shop to do it for you.

Amazon say that after viewing that tea, other customers…bought something else.  We think that says it all.  Bizarrely, Amazon also allow you to set up a subscription for this tea, so you will never run out.  We can’t imagine who might take them up on this offer.

Best time of year to drink this: Autumn / Winter

Best time of day to drink this: Mid-morning


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ETS Silent Night – The Confusingly Named Christmas Tea

ETS-40026_Tee-Kollektion-WeihnachtenBrand: English Tea Shop

Flavour: Silent Night

Ingredients: Green tea, cinnamon pieces, ginger pieces, rose petals, peppermint leaves, natural peppermint flavour

Caffeine Factor: Caffeinated

Organic Ingredients: None

Price Range: £10-11 (for the complete gift box)

Bags Per Box: 96 sachets (12 flavours – cannot be purchased separately)

Review: As expected from The English Tea Shop, this tea smells like fake peppermint candy.  The taste is similar, like green tea with a very strong candy cane flavour.  It’s intended to be Christmasy, you see. We can’t taste any other ingredients, though, so why bother including them?

This isn’t the worst tea we’ve ever had.  We managed to finish it (which is impressive for an ETS tea!), but we wouldn’t rush out and buy more.  It also has a ridiculous name for a drink that’s caffeinated.

Best time of year to drink this: English Tea Shop suggests drinking this at Christmastime.

Best time of day to drink this: Morning.


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ETS Mango, Honey & Soursop – No Flavour…Yet an After-Taste

ETS-40026_Tee-Kollektion-WeihnachtenBrand: English Tea Shop

Flavour: Mango, Honey & Soursop

Ingredients: Green tea, lemongrass, orange peels and rosehip with natural soursop, natural mango and natural honey flavours

Caffeine Factor: Caffeine-free

Organic Ingredients: None

Price Range: £10-11 (for the complete gift box)

Bags Per Box: 96 sachets (12 flavours – cannot be purchased separately)

Review: The smell is AWFUL, like artificial sort-of mango candy.  As soon as we’d brewed it, we didn’t want to drink it.  We don’t know how this ever got made, much less included in a Christmas gift box.  If someone gave us this gift box, we’d de-friend them.  (In fact, it was given to someone we know as a Secret Santa gift.  The recipient wasn’t impressed and tried to give it away…but no one else would have it!)

After such a disgusting smell, we were expecting the worst from the tea.  In fact…it tastes like nothing…and then there’s an artificial after-taste.  How can something with no flavour have an after-taste?  The English Tea Shop really do work wonders.

And that after-taste is…soury yuckiness!  It’s candy-like and horrible.  We’re guessing it’s the soursop.  Our best recommendation is to avoid this tea like the plague.

Best time of year to drink this: Please don’t drink this, ever.

Best time of day to drink this: Again, just don’t drink this.


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ETS Rooibos Candy Cane – We Like This…Though Everything Tells Us We Shouldn’t

ETSCandyCaneBrand: English Tea Shop

Flavour: Rooibos Candy Cane

Ingredients: Rooibos, Peppermint Leaves, Orange Peels, Cinnamon Pieces, Chicory, Vanilla Pods, Natural Mint, Vanilla and Irish Cream Flavours

Caffeine Factor: Caffeine-free

Organic Ingredients: None

Price Range: £4

Bags Per Box: 50

Review: It smells vile, sickly and sweet.  It’s overpowering, too – you can smell it right across the room.  But, unlike most English Tea Shop flavours, it actually tastes like its name!  This really is like drinking candy canes – but less sweet.  You can’t taste the rooibos; we suspect it simply warms up the blend.  There’s no terrible after-taste.  The peppermint wakes up the mouth in a pleasant way.  It’s even…dare we say it…sort of good!

We’re a little disappointed we don’t hate this.  With each sip, it becomes yet more enjoyable…even though everything tells us we shouldn’t like it.  It’s a lovely little Christmas blend – but we’d really like to know how you can have ‘natural’ Irish cream ‘flavouring’!

Best time of year to drink this: Christmas.

Best time of day to drink this: Afternoons / evenings.


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