We are fast approaching December the 15th, which to the uninitiated is International Tea Day. Although it sounds fun and games, the special day was first established and celebrated in 2005, with the expressed desire of various Indian trade bodies to bring the world’s governments and people’s attention to the impact that the global tea trade has on the workers and growers involved. For many people we guess though, it is just another excuse to enjoy some more tea. Not that we really need an excuse in the UK.
Interestingly, some time last year, the Health Council of the Netherlands posted new guidelines to Dutch people that recommended they should be aiming to drink around 3 to 5 cups of tea a day, to stay healthy. So maybe it is a lot more beneficial and is more than just an enjoyable beverage.
With the above in mind, we thought it might be a nice excuse to look at the 10 teas that we as a nation seem to love more than any others. We have decided to rank them from worst to best, but we are sure you will agree when it comes to tea, what is good and bad is very subjective.
Lipton is worst on our list and not really because it is the worst tea ever. It is actually quite nice and a lot of people enjoy it because it can be served hot or iced, as it is the brand most traditionally associated with that American trend of Iced Tea. It is more popular now than it has been in the past though, mainly because a lot of people claim not to like it even when they have not even tried it. This is possibly because it’s the concept rather than the taste they don’t like.
This originates from Cork in the Republic of Ireland and over time has become the nationally preferred tea. it is known especially for its particularly gold colouring and fresh flavour. We have not drunk this as much as others, but appreciate its popularity in the Republic of Ireland.
One of the bigger, main rivals to Tetley, Typhoo has always pushed itself forward as being a truly British tea and never shied away from its heritage. From the fact that the commercials always have some kind of tag line about Britain to the fact the packaging still includes the imperial measurements, it has always tried to stay unique. It has a very smooth and easy to drink flavour that many people love.
Cafedirect are most famous for being a very contentious and socially aware brand who invest money back into their growers and pride themselves on not relying on a big plantation to make their tea. All their tea ingredients are hand-picked to make a bright and refreshing brew. People generally like them because they want something more eco-friendly and something that has been made with more care for the growers and people involved in the process. It also tastes rather nice too.
We all remember the first time we saw one of those Tetley tea adverts with the little animated fellas, don’t we? Tetley is one of the most popular brands and has been for a long time. We personally enjoy their everyday traditional line. It’s perfect with a couple of biscuits or some toast and a little sugar to sweeten it up.
Despite it’s very odd name, Tea Pigs tea has proven to be very popular. Not only do people like the taste, they appreciate that the bags or “tea temples” as they refer to them, are completely biodegradable. A great choice for anyone wanting to reduce their carbon footprint and do their bit for the environment.
Another brand that are as famous for their highly entertaining (though in the case of PG Tips, controversial too) as much as the actual taste of their delicious tea. PG Tips for most people will forever be known as the monkey advert tea company, thanks to their funny adverts featuring monkeys acting out every day British human things and drinking tea, with British accents voiced over them. When it was deemed the animals were not treated as well as they should have been, they changed the adverts and direction, instead opting for comedian Johnny Vegas and a puppet monkey. They are also the first brand to sell the strange triangle shaped tea bags.
Another highly respected brand, Twinnings are known for having a rather large selection of most varieties of tea that you can think of, especially flavoured and fruity kinds. It also has a long history with the Earl Grey flavour of tea, though there is no evidence to suggest they were the originators of that flavour.
Clipper tea shot to prominence in the wake of the Fair Trade movement. They are known for their attitude to fair, natural and delicious practices when it comes to making tea as much as they are for their award winning flavours. They are very popular with people who want to back a company that looks out for the welfare of the people involved in the production and growing of its products.
Many people, primarily from Yorkshire we would like to add, would say that Yorkshire Tea is the best tea. That being said, we think it is a truly delicious tea and the people of Yorkshire should be proud. It has a smooth and big flavour and works well with biscuits, jammy toast and a good old fashioned British fish and chips dinner.
There you have it, our guide to the most popular teas in the UK, from worst to best. How did your favourite brand figure on the list? Were they even in the top 10? Perhaps you disagree with our order? If you do, please get in touch with us or leave a comment and let us know what you would choose as your favourite tea brands. We are always curious to hear from our readers and it will give us better insight into what you all think.