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Twinings Lemon Drizzle Green Tea – WHAT were they thinking!?

Twinings Lemon Drizzle Green Tea - Reviewed by If Teacups Could Talk...Brand: Twinings

Flavour: Lemon Drizzle Green Tea

Ingredients: Green tea, lemon and cake flavouring (4%), natural flavourings, lemon peel (1%)

Caffeine Factor: Caffeine-free

Organic Ingredients: Unknown

Price Range: £2.69

Bags Per Box: 20

Review: Weird, weird, WEIRD. You know that seriously fake-tasting children’s birthday cake that can only come from a box of cheap cake mix? You know what we mean. If you made a cake from scratch, you would NEVER manage to recreate that unique flavour that you loved so much as a child, but now it probably tastes faintly disgusting. We have no idea what goes into those mixes to give them that taste – but it’s somehow in this tea.

It starts in the smell: lemon cake…the cheap ‘yuck’ kind. Like Lemon Puffs: cheap biscuits filled with artificial lemon-flavoured cream. The taste is equally unpleasant: initially fresh, like lemon peel and green tea – then a shocking aftertaste that is just like that children’s birthday cake mix, mingled with a horrible bitterness from the green tea.

This is quite simply one of the most disgusting things we have ever tasted. Why did ANYONE think this was a good idea? When has anyone ever had cheap cake and thought, ‘I know what would make this better: soaking it in green tea!’ Was it someone’s misguided idea to try to get kids to drink tea, not considering that it might keep them up all night? WHO voluntarily buys a whole box of this stuff and happily drinks it?

If you’re reading this, Twinings, there is no excuse for this blend. NO EXCUSE.  We’re marking this one as an AVOID.

Best time of year to drink this: NEVER.

Best time of day to drink this: NEVER.


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M&S Cranberry & Pomegranate – Even M&S Don’t Want It

M&S Cranberry & Pomegranate - Reviewed at If Teacups Could Talk...Brand: Marks & Spencer

Flavour: Cranberry and Pomegranate

Ingredients: Hibiscus, dried apples, rosehips, liquorice root, lemon peel, cranberry flavouring, dried cranberries (2%), pomegranate flavouring, dried pomegranate seeds (1%)

Caffeine Factor: Caffeine-free

Organic Ingredients: 100%

Price Range: £4

Bags Per Box: 15

Our Review: Three Tulsi’s mother gave this to us, on the grounds that she doesn’t care for most fruit tisanes, but she figured we’d be interested for this blog.  Lesson learned: DON’T ACCEPT PEOPLE’S TEA DISCARDS.

It sat around for a while.  Then one day, Three Tulsi offered to make her husband a cup of tea.  She decided to surprise him with a flavour chosen from the cupboard at random.  She made this infusion.  Her husband took one sip, made a face like he’d just tasted something rancid, and pushed aside his cup, not to be touched again.  Three Tulsi tried hers and did the same.

Finally, we decided to review it for this blog.  We’re not really sure what this smells of, other than disgusting.  As for the taste, there’s an initial yuck, and then it’s very tart.  Then there’s nothing except a slight acidic lingering.  Oh, and a strange taste of sawdust.

It’s worth mentioning that by the time we reviewed this one, the box had gone missing in the process of Three Tulsi trying to get rid of the tea by passing it on to other unsuspecting victims.  All we had was a single labelled tea pyramid.  This led to an extensive internet search for the list of ingredients, but with no results – not just for the ingredients, but for the tea itself.  Marks & Spencer seem to have  erased all traces of this blend from internet history.  That says it all, doesn’t it?  But it’s good news for you: you won’t make the mistake of buying it, because it’s been pulled off the market!

On a more positive note, when we emailed Marks & Spencer to request the ingredients list, a lovely young customer services gentleman came back to us with the answer within two hours.  This response was followed with a request to review his service.  We’ll be giving him top marks.  We will NOT be giving top marks to this tea.

Best time of year to drink this: NEVER

Best time of day to drink this: NEVER


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Teapigs Sweet Ginger – More Like Sweet Yuck!

Teapigs Sweet Ginger - Reviewed at If Teacups Could Talk...Brand: Teapigs

Flavour: Sweet Ginger

Ingredients: Ginger (50%), liquorice root, cinnamon (25%)

Caffeine Factor: Caffeine-free

Organic Ingredients: Unkown

Price Range: £4-5

Bags Per Box: 15

Our Review: Okay, come on, Teapigs.  Anyone can do the maths.  Surely, if there’s 50% ginger and 25% cinnamon, there must be 25% liquorice root…so why no percentage listed?  Is there some hidden ingredient you’re not sharing with us?  Is that why this blend is so disgusting?

It looks far darker than you’d expect from a ginger drink.  That should have been our first clue that this would taste nothing like ginger.  In fact, it sort of tastes like nothing at all…followed by sickly sweetness (liquorice), the barest hint of cinnamon, a very faint hint of warmth (ginger, we suppose)…followed by a lot of, ‘Ugh, I can’t get this taste out of my mouth – blech!’

It truly is vile.  If you want ginger, you don’t want all that sweetness; you want fire.  We can’t understand the inclusion of liquorice, at all.  Surely ginger and cinnamon would be enough.  This one was a fail.  That’s why we’re marking it AVOID.

Best time of year to drink this: NEVER

Best time of day to drink this: NEVER


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Teapigs Apple & Cinnamon – Where’s the Apple?

Teapigs Apple & Cinnamon - Reviewed at If Teacups Could Talk...Brand: Teapigs

Flavour: Apple & Cinnamon

Ingredients: Apple, cinnamon, apple pomice, roasted chicory root, citric acid, sweet blackberry leaves, natural flavouring

Caffeine Factor: Caffeine-free

Organic Ingredients: Unknown

Price Range: £4-5

Bags Per Box: 15

Our Review: The smell is delightful, like apple crumble warming in the oven.  Sadly, the taste is really artificial (that’ll be the ‘flavouring’) and far too sweet.  It’s like drinking liquid cinnamon sweets, but with a hit of bitter chicory and…no apple.  It’s simply horrible in a way that immediately brought to mind Taylor’s Sweet Rhubarb, which was also not sweet at all but bitter and disgusting.

If you’re looking for a good apple-cinnamon blend, turn to Pukka instead.  Their Wild Apple & Cinnamon with Ginger infusion is delicious, and much cheaper.  Another good alternative is from Heath & Heather – or, if you’re willing to pay a bit more, T2 do a great Apple Crumble blend that we love.  In other words, get anything but this Teapigs blend!

AVOID.

Best time of year to drink this: NEVER

Best time of day to drink this: NEVER


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Teapigs Chocolate & Mint – Like Swimming Pool Changing Rooms

Teapigs Chocolate & Mint - Reviewed at If Teacups Could Talk...Brand: Teapigs

Flavour: Chocolate & Mint

Ingredients: Cocoa husk, peppermint (34%), chocolate chips (sugar, cocoa, soya lecithin), natural cocoa flavouring, natural peppermint flavouring

Caffeine Factor: Caffeine-free

Organic Ingredients: Unknown

Price Range: £4-5

Bags Per Box: 15

Our Review: There are a growing number of chocolate-mint blends on the market, these days, and this isn’t our favourite.  As expected, it has the After-8 mint smells, but with a hint of earthiness and a touch of what Three Tulsi’s mother-in-law described as ‘the scent of changing rooms at a swimming pool’.  Odd, yes, but we know what she means.

The taste is mostly peppermint tea, but a little smoky and very bitter.  There is also a highly unpleasant aftertaste that we can’t define (‘changing rooms at a swimming pool’, Three Tulsi’s mother-in-law chimed in again).  What’s missing?  The chocolate!  Somehow, despite throwing in ‘flavouring’, they failed to make the flavour they were aiming for – an artificial failure.

We offered it to Three Tulsi’s husband, who said, ‘It tastes like car sweets…oh wait…oh, is it meant to taste like After-8s?  No, I’m not keen.’

This is ridiculously overpriced for what it is – it’s not even natural.  If you’re looking for a good chocolate-mint infusion, go for Yogi Choco Mint – or, if you’re willing to pay a bit more, Hotel Chocolat’s offering is definitely worth the money – but Teapigs is NOT.  AVOID.

 

Best time of year to drink this: NEVER

Best time of day to drink this: NEVER


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Île Maurice Thé Arôme Vanille – WHY is this made!?

Île Maurice Thé Arôme Vanille - Reviewed at If Teacups Could Talk...Brand: Île Maurice

Flavour: Thé Arôme Vanille

Ingredients: Black tea, vanilla

Caffeine Factor: Caffeinated

Organic Ingredients: 100%

Price Range: £11.75 for a box of 14 (although the picture shows a 25-bag box, which costs considerably more!)

Our Review: WHY does this cost so much!?  It’s not some fancy Chinese import tea.  It’s just a normal box of black tea imported from France.  You may as well buy PG Tips or Yorkshire Tea – it would certainly taste and smell better.

Shockingly, this one contains real vanilla.  We say ‘shockingly’ because this is one of the most artificial-smelling blends we’ve tried – and the taste is essentially black tea with a very faint hint of artificial vanilla flavouring.

There is no point to this blend.  Who in their right mind buys and keeps it on the market?  A quick online search will show that other tea-lovers agree.  We would never have tried it ourselves if it hadn’t mysteriously found its way into the cupboard at our office and therefore been free to taste.  No doubt some unsuspecting  tea-drinker bought a box and thought to pawn it off on colleagues because they couldn’t bear another sip themselves.

AVOID.

Best time of year to drink this: Never, no point

Best time of day to drink this: Never, no point


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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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