Ireland and England’s ‘best’ teas, reviewed by an American


Agreed. I wouldn’t actively seek out low-quality tea, nor chose something just because it’s cheap; I mentioned my usual choices as good, robust, everyday teas.
I’m just saying I wouldn’t bother with something spectacular, because I never sit and contemplate every sip - I gulp it down and make another in the still-warm cup.

For what it’s worth, I’ve had good tea at branches of Peets in San Francisco.


The problem with buying PG Tips in the US is that it is old. Like most food items, tea and coffee are best when they haven’t been sitting in a cabinet for weeks. It isn’t the bee’s knees of teas, but it is perfectly drinkable when fresh. When I lived over there I tended to drink Yorkshire Gold, not because it is that much better than PG Tips but because Taylor’s had a nice shop down the road in York.

These days we tend to buy Bewley’s (an Irish tea) from merchants in the UK; it arrives fairly fresh, and with the pound in the gutter it is fairly inexpensive.


and @Ministry
no need to attribute ignorance, here. Keeping a whole urn of hot tea freshly-brewed during all service hours for the five people (or less) per week who order it is a tremendous pain in the ass and a waste of man-hours. tea bags are inconsequentially small and keep more-or-less indefinitely. An urn of tea takes up a lot of space and lasts a shift at best.

in my part of the USA, our (cramped, limited) drink station space has two tea urns at all times and a coffee urn in the mornings (mostly for the employees.) the tea urns are full of the tea people order regularly: sweet and unsweet, both cold. you want hot? no problem! here’s your bag.

I like tea. I get the organic black teas from the health co-op so I can actually taste it when I make it. At home. At my restaurant, and all US restaurants, you’d have to be insane to waste your staff’s man-hours and counter space making decent hot tea–it’ll sit there unsold until the end of the shift and then thrown out every time. Sucks to be a “real” tea drinker over here, but there’s no way around it, I’m afraid.




Those reading this thread and wondering ‘well, dammit where can I get this good and affordable whole leaf everyday Camelia chronic that all the tea nerds here say exists’:

Chinese: Yunnan Sourcing
Indian: Lochan Tea

No prospective apologies for ruining your current favorite brand of dust and fannings, should you decide to take this plunge into the world of decent tea.


Apparent, thou art missing out.


No. Absolutely no.

Milk, or nothing.

And no sugar either.


I recommend this tea.

Equally good loose or in bags.



their logo is shaped like a “T”


Yes because my complaints about how tea is marketed here, and how others respond to my drinking tea. Is an indication that I support and believe in those backwards ass opinions on the subject. Instead of a criticism of the entirely jack ass way many Americans respond to simple things.


Came here for this, not disappointed.


The only tea-in-a-bag that I really like is Tetley’s. Red Rose is gross.


Well, I’m not reading all that.

“Best” is not best…it’s the most popular. The best selling.
Like McDonalds would be the “Best Hamburger” if you’re going by sales and profits.

I like Twinning earl gray in the box loose leaf for serious tea.
Lipton in the bags for ice tea and daily driver tea.


Fruity herbal teas are marketed towards and generally preferred by women, the same way white zinfandel is perceived as a “woman’s drink.” I can’t speak to the alternative medicine aspect, but there a lot of herbal teas in the aisle at Whole Foods that claim medicinal benefits; I think those are, for the most part, a different category than Celestial Seasonings Watermelon Lime Zinger or what have you. Nobody is ever going to consider Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride masculine. (FWIW I like a cup of Sleepytime before bed, but I’ve been drinking that for close to my entire life. And I drink medicinal tea when I have a cold or sore throat.)

I always wanted to be in that cozy room with the bear…


#I pity the fool who doesn’t like Tea.


I’ve read that Irish Teas are blended to work best with Irish tap water, which is very soft, while English blends would be blended for English water that is very hard.

Assuming that Jason did the test in Muir Beach, I discovered that they have hard water there

but maybe he has a water softening unit?

Also I agree that there are not the best teas just the most popular. This is like saying the Lipton is the best tea in the USA.


I’m surprised it took this long for someone to recommend Yorkshire Tea. Personally I prefer PG, but if you like a stronger brew (or, like my flatmate you like to leave it to stew for five minutes until all that’s left is tannins), then Yorkshire is a good choice.
At work we have their hard-water blend, but I can’t really tell the difference myself, which I guess is the difference between UK and US tea drinking. Over here we’re not looking for complex and subtle flavours (most of the time), we’re just looking for a drink that won’t give you caffeine jitters.


In our English kitchen we tend to stick with Yorkshire Tea (Yorkshire Gold if we’re feeling opulent). It comes in regular and ‘hard water’ varieties, at least in our area (bang in the middle). I did shudder (in my best snobby fashion) when I saw the post title and then a box of PG Tips, but you can only take being a teabag connoisseur so far; ultimately, we’re all slumming it.

PG Tips are probably best remembered in the UK for their chimp-based advertising campaigns that somehow ran from the 50s into the following millennium, with a brief hiatus in the 70s when we flirted with having a national conscience and then decided it wasn’t worth it.