PG Tips compared to supermarket’s own red label tea in a taste test

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According to Statista, PG Tips is the nation’s favourite brand of tea and us Brits consume approximately 100 million cups a day. A standard 80-bag box of PG Tips will cost a shopper anywhere from £2.60 to £3 depending on the supermarket. With purse strings being tightened, want to find out whether any of the supermarket’s own red label teas were just as good as PG Tips. In a recent taste test, red label tea from six supermarkets was ranked and compared, here are the results. 

The brewing instructions varied for each brand; supermarkets suggested customers brew the teabag for two to five minutes before removing and adding milk and sugar if desired. 

PG Tips, on the other hand, suggested a brewing time of only one to two minutes, but to make the taste test fair, all teabags were brewed for three minutes before being removed, and 50ml of semi-skimmed milk was then added. 

PG Tips – £2.60 to £3 for 80 teabags 

Recommended brewing time: one to two minutes 

The leading brand’s teabags were triangular, whereas all of the red label teabags were circular. PG Tips’ teabags come loose in the box and are also biodegradable. 

While PG Tips made a good cup of tea, it lacked any depth in flavour – 7/10. 

Aldi – 160 teabags for £1.39 

Recommended brewing time: three to five minutes 

Similarly to PG Tips, Aldi’s red label teabags are loose in a cardboard box and are also biodegradable. 

Unfortunately, after three minutes of brewing, Aldi’s teabags didn’t offer a strong cup of tea. There were also remnants of sediment and brown stains left behind on the cup – 5/10. 

Sainsbury’s – 80 teabags for £1 

Recommended brewing time: three to five minutes 

Sainsbury’s red label tea comes loose in a box, and is biodegradable with the supermarket suggesing customers should place used teabags in their food compost bins. 

After three minutes of brewing and a dash of milk, the tea had a strong, full-bodied smell, and was indeed smooth and refreshing as the packaging suggested. A lovely cup of tea – 8/10. 

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Lidl – 160 teabags for £1.19 

Recommended brewing time: two to three minutes 

Lidl was one of four supermarkets wrapping its teabags in plastic foil to ensure freshness in the box. 

Once the bag had been brewed and milk was added, there was no smell to the cup of tea. It also tasted weak and watery, and similarly to Aldi, there was sediment and brown stains left behind on the cup – 5/10. 

Asda – 80 teabags for £1 

Recommended brewing time: three to five minutes 

Asda’s teabags also came in foil, and are also said to be biodegradable. 

The red label tea made a nice brew, but it did leave your mouth dry, so it wasn’t the refreshing cuppa you’d hope for – 7/10. 

M&S – 80 teabags for £1.10 

Recommended brewing time: three to five minutes 

M&S’ Fairtrade red label teabags came wrapped in foil and made a solid cup of tea. 

While the brew was dark in colour, the flavour was light and refreshing. On par with Sainsbury’s when it comes to taste, but offers a different strength – 8/10. 

Waitrose – 80 teabags for £1.10 

Recommended brewing time: no instructions on the packaging 

The final red label teabag to be tasted was Waitrose Essential, which has recently been lowered in price from £1.20 to £1.10. While they were wrapped in foil, the packaging didn’t say whether or not the teabags were biodegradable. 

Upon closer look at the box, it also said the tea was not made up of one blend of tea. 

Nevertheless, Waitrose’s own red label teabags were the best; smooth, rich in flavour, with a good smell – 9/10. 

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