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


I tell Brits that PG Tips is shit every time I get a chance and they never seem to believe me. Must be something genetic. Maybe the same thing that has convinced them that Weetabix are edible?


In the US, iced tea with or without sugar is an origin revealer. You take your tea without sugar? You’re from the North. Your iced tea is supporting the economies of several sugar exporting nations? You’re from the South. Try walking into a Popeye’s chicken in the deep South and asked for a non-sweetened tea. Not only do they not carry it, they probably don’t even know what that is. So how, in a coffee country, did we end up drinking so much iced tea? It’s cheap and easy to make. You throw a Lipton’s big bag in a 2 liter glass of water with a few lemon slices and put it in the sun. A few hours later you scoop out the bag and pop it in the fridge. Enough ice cubes and sugar and you have the world’s first energy drink.


Beer and mead are outside and they say they want a word.
I… I think they’ve been drinking too. :worried:


You’re missing the point. Of course one wouldn’t keep an urn of tea - making individual cups is the only practical way to do it. The issue is that tea must be made by pouring boiling - still bubbling from the kettle - over tea (loose or bags). Presenting the customer with a cup of hot (not boiling) water and a dry teabag certainly seems like ignorance to me.

It’s not difficult. Customer requests tea; barrista boils kettle, drops teabag in cup, pours over boiling water, presents cup to customer.


Those two again? Haven’t we talked about loitering? Look, here’s a 1 liter sweetened iced tea. Finish that and then we’ll talk. Of course, if the sun is past the yardarm, then we can just skip to over to Mint Julips - the other Southern way of getting your daily dose of sucrose.


I mentioned it upthread, but while I like Yorkshire Gold(*) it isn’t really higher quality than PG Tips. The latter has now become widely available in the US, which has (perversely) made it worse here, as it has likely been sitting in a local warehouse or supermarket for too long. When we order Yorkshire or Bewley’s from the UK it arrives far fresher than the PG Tips I can buy at the local supermarkets.

(*) Fond memories; I used to get to York weekly, and Harrogate every month or so, and in both cities I liked to visit Betty’s for the tea.



Cream (half and half) for coffee, milk for tea.


The secret with PG Tips? Two bags, one cup.


As everyone knows Builder’s Blend is normal tea blended with 6 spoonfuls of sugar and 50% milk.


It’s mentioned in the sixth comment :wink:


So you were Assam Orthodox and lapsed ang souchon?

Once in hospital, my Dad was asked what religion he was and the nurse actually wrote down his answer, “Welsh Tobacconist”. :wink:

@LoftySpires, “Two bags go in. One drink comes out.”

My tea making regieme is, “Pop a tea bag in a mug with a sweetener. Pour on boiling water. Either give the tea bag a stir and squeeze and move on to adding a splash of pleasure-free (skimmed) milk; or, wander off and forget the brew for five minutes before returning and gingerly fishing out the tea-bag before adding milk. Then I take a quick slurp of the brew before putting it down and forgetting it for 10 - 30 minutes.” A mug of cold tea is lovely, as is a mug of cold, instant coffee.


Add ice and milk, and you’re in Thailand.


Agreed. Also, a tea timer is started the moment the water touches the tea. Not at the table. And the steeping time is different depending on the tea, FFS.


Yes, by God. Drink tea or drink milk, but not both at the same time.

And anyway, tea is just something to drink between pots of coffee.


This is a cream tea


Weetabix are lovely if you eat them very quickly once the milk’s been poured.

Another thirty seconds and you’ve got soggy sludge.


Barry’s is fine, PG is ok, but to me not even a step above Lipton. My grandfather owned a tea business on Staten Island (Samovar Tea) during the 50’s and 60’s so I grew up drinking tea when other kids drank milk or Kool Aid. In small town Midwest America, it did not help my social status any, but I learned to appreciate a good hot beverage.

For my money the best is Campbell’s - malty, aromatic and strong enough to wake the dead. It’s a little pricey and you have to make it as a proper tea (meaning it comes as a loose leaf, not in a … ugh … bag) but well worth the effort.


That’s a contradiction in terms - one should never pay for really good tea.
As Proudhon said:

[wait for it]

“Proper tea is theft”.



High tea time someone poured posted it.

Devonshire clotted cream is hard to get here. I substituted with mascarpone sometimes.
I use a proper tea, not the fannings and CTC curls. Orthodox. SFTGFOP second flush Assam.

Tea is, after all, a Genussmittel. (German language nails it, there and then.)


Betty’s tea room is the greatest place on earth. There, I’ve said it.