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Charbrew Pineapple & Vanilla – Did the ETS make this!? Yuck!

Charbrew Pineapple & VanillaBrand: Charbrew

Ingredients: Apple, rosehip shells, pineapple cubes, orange peel, vanilla flavouring, vanilla pieces

Caffeine Factor: Unknown

Organic Ingredients: 100%

Price Range: £1-2

Bags Per Box: 15

Our Review: You don’t really expect this one to be good, do you? Look at the name! To start, it smells like vanilla flavouring – sickly sweet and fake, not something you want to drink at all.

And it tastes like something the English Tea Shop would produce! Very sweet, like cheap ice cream or frozen mousse – raspberry ripple – or creamy orange ice cream, the really fake kind you get from an ice cream van. Nothing about it tastes like pineapple (or ‘pinapple’ as it said on the official website, when we looked it up).

They dress it up in fancy pyramid bags to make it look more up-market than it is, and then sell it in Holland & Barrett like it’s a luxury. Don’t be fooled. This is definitely one to AVOID.

 

Best time of year to drink this: NEVER

Best time of day to drink this: NEVER


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Pukka Harmonise – Like Pukka Love, but More Perfumed

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

Flavour: Harmonise

Ingredients: Chamomile flower (25%), shatavari root (Indian asparagus), hibiscus flower, rose flower (10%), licorice root, vanilla pod (5%)

Caffeine Factor: Caffeine-free

Organic Ingredients: 100%

Price Range: £2-3

Bags Per Box: 20

Pukka Say: Balancing for women

Our Review: As expected with any ‘women’s tea’, the smell of this one is like the perfume section of a department store – but with chamomile thrown into the mix.

The taste, however, is more chamomile with a floral edge.  It’s a bit like Pukka Love, but more perfumed.  We’re not sure you can taste the other ingredients, like shatavari root – and if you, like us, don’t really know anything about shatavari root, it’s a traditional Indian remedy used to address hormonal imbalance in women.

Indian asparagus aside, this one is so similar to Love that we think you’ll either drink one or the other, but definitely won’t buy both at the same time.  To help you decide, Love has a more diverse flavour, while Harmonise is sweeter, with a rosy aftertaste.  It probably comes down to your personal taste.  For us, it’s Love all the way, but you might disagree.

Best time of year to drink this: Any time you feel a bit ‘imbalanced’

Best time of day to drink this: Following meals (it’s sweet enough to replace dessert)


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Pukka Detox – Delicate & Delicious

Pukka Detox - Reviewed on If Teacups Could Talk...Brand: Pukka Teas

Flavour: Detox

Ingredients: Aniseed (40%), fennel seed (20%), cardamom pod (15%), licorice root, coriander seed, celery seed

Caffeine Factor: Caffeine-free

Organic Ingredients: 100%

Price Range: £2-3

Bags Per Box: 20

Our Review: When first brewed, you can really smell the fennel – but it’s light and gentle.  There’s also a soft, subtle aniseed aroma that is lovely, even if you’re not usually an aniseed fan.

The taste is equally subtle and gentle.  It’s a settling, cleansing drink that’s great after meals.  It’s also faintly sweet (great for avoiding post-meal snacks), but not overpoweringly so.  It’s delicately pleasant and instantly soothing to the stomach.

There are many other similar blends (some even from Pukka), but this one has just the right balance of ingredients, making it warming and refreshing at once.  Three Tulsi doesn’t like fennel or aniseed, but even she agrees this is a must-have tea that you’ll want to buy over and over again.

Best time of year to drink this: Anytime.

Best time of day to drink this: Following any meals or heavy snacks.


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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 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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Pukka Lemon & Mandarin – Not As Bad As We Expected

Pukka Lemon & Mandarin - Reviewed on If Teacups Could Talk...Brand: Pukka Teas

Flavour: Lemon & Madarin

Description: ‘An organic citrus sensation to cheer your senses.’

Ingredients: Licorice root, sweet fennel seed, orange peel, rosehip, hibiscus flower, lemon balm leaf, lemongrass, lemon verbena leaf, lemon myrtle leaf, lemon whole (4%), mandarin essential oil flavour, lemon essential oil flavour (4%)

Caffeine Factor: None

Organic Ingredients: 100%

Price Range: £2-3

Bags Per Box: 20

Our Review: Just look at that ingredients list: it’s every artificial-tasting lemon-like plant thrown into one drink.  Does the thought fill you with as much horror as it did us?

This blend smells just as worrying as the ingredients list looks; like factory-produced lemon sherbet.  Surprisingly, it doesn’t taste as bad as we expected.  It’s sort of warm and pleasant, though it carries a sweet, synthetic-tasting aftertaste.  There might be some people who would enjoy this as a snack tea.

That said, it’s been over three years since we first bought a box of this stuff, and Three Tulsi STILL hasn’t managed to get through it.  She keeps seeing it in the tea cupboard at home and thinking, ‘No, no, not that one,’ and pushing it aside.  It probably ought to be binned, now.  It won’t be purchased again.

Best time of year to drink this: All year round, if you like this sort of thing

Best time of day to drink this: Again, if those lemony plants are to your taste, this is a good all-day tea


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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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