Finance

I tried own brand teabags and a supermarket version made a better cuppa than PG Tips and Tetley


GROCERY bills are going up – and your breakfast brew is one of many everyday items getting more expensive.

A box of 80 PG Tips went up from £2.16 in February 2021, to £2.36 this year – a rise of 9.3%.

Tea bags can be expensive so it's worth shopping own brand

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Tea bags can be expensive so it’s worth shopping own brand

Most of us won’t want to go without our morning cuppa, but swapping brands could save you cash.

Mum-of-three Lynsey Hope agreed to try some supermarket choices to see if a cheaper tea can be as satisfying as the big brands.

“Like lots of people, I can be fussy about tea so this was going to be interesting,” she says.

“I’ve always bought and enjoyed Yorkshire Tea but as prices rise, I’m not sure I can justify the price any more and need to find an alternative.”

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Here Lynsey, 40, from West Malling, Kent, compares supermarket teas to the big brands.

M&S teabags came in top spot in our taste test

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M&S teabags came in top spot in our taste testCredit: Darren Fletcher

The Winner – M&S Everyday tea bags

  • £1.20 for 80 (1.5p each)

Lynsey says: “I was impressed with the taste and cost of these bog standard M&S teabags.

“They are perhaps not quite as strong as as my regular Yorkshire Tea but these are a great alternative and a fraction of the cost.

“I’ll be buying more. Great value, great tasting tea.”

Taste: 10/10 Value for money: 10/10 Overall: 10/10

Total score: 30/30

Not the cheapest, but a favourite with our tester

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Not the cheapest, but a favourite with our testerCredit: Darren Fletcher

Yorkshire tea

Lynsey says: “Sweet, biscuity aroma, well balanced and rich tasting without being too overpowering.

“This is the tea I’ve been buying at home but having looked at the cost, I’ve now got to consider other options.

“It will be hard though as I love the flavour of this strong brew. It has a real depth to the flavour.

“It is strong, possibly strong enough to make two cups with each bag and save money that way!”

Taste: 10/10 Value for money: 7/10 Overall: 9/10 Total score: 26/30

Sun Features – Lyndsey hope taste tests Tea bags – sainsbury

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Sun Features – Lyndsey hope taste tests Tea bags – sainsburyCredit: Darren Fletcher

Sainsbury’s Fairly Traded Red Label tea

Lynsey says: “This had a rich, deep colour. In a way the dark appearance was misleading as I was expecting it to be stronger.

“I enjoyed the mild taste though. It was a good, fresh tasting tea with slight floral notes. Another plus is that it is Fair-trade.

“There is no need to buy Sainsbury’s ‘Taste the Difference’. For me this is the same without the label and higher price tag.”

Taste: 8/10 Value for money: 9/10 Overall: 8/10

Total score: 25/30

There are cheaper options at Aldi but this box was still great value

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There are cheaper options at Aldi but this box was still great valueCredit: Darren Fletcher

Aldi Specially Selected English Breakfast fine tea

Lynsey says: “Not Aldi‘s cheapest tea but this was impressive.

“I loved the flavour which is a classic blend of Indian and Kenyan teas with a full-bodied flavour.

“Whilst there are cheaper options available, if you are fussy, drink a lot of tea and want to find something you actually like, this could be a good choice.

“It still represents great value when compared to market leaders.”

Taste: 9/10 Value for money: 7/10 Overall: 8/10

Total score: 24/30

Lidl's teabags produced a strong brew in a speedy fashion

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Lidl’s teabags produced a strong brew in a speedy fashionCredit: Darren Fletcher

Lidl’s Knightsbridge Red Label tea bags

  • £1.09 for 160 (0.68p each)

Lynsey says: “A great big box and one of the cheapest breakfast teas you can buy.

Lidl‘s tea was easy to drink and produced a strong brew quite quickly. It was rich and smooth and the balance of flavours was good.

“It wasn’t my favourite, but it’s a solid cuppa at a great price.”

Taste: 7/10 Value for money: 8/10 Overall: 7/10

Total score: 22/30

The flavour was distinctive but might not be for everyone

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The flavour was distinctive but might not be for everyoneCredit: Darren Fletcher

Waitrose English Breakfast tea bags

  • £2.50 for 100 (2.5p each)

Lynsey says: “Waitrose‘s bags are made using a blend of Kenyan tea and Assam tea, from India.

“The Assam flavour is quite distinctive. I liked it but if you don’t, this might not be the tea for you.

“It’s not bitter at all and left a lovely after taste.

“It’s not the cheapest but represents better value than some of the big brands. I’d have these again.”

Taste: 8/10 Value for money: 6/10 Overall: 7/10

Total score: 21/30

Tetley is the leading brand of teabags in the UK according to Statista

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Tetley is the leading brand of teabags in the UK according to StatistaCredit: Darren Fletcher

Tetley Original

Lynsey says: “According to Statistica, Tetley was the leading brand bought in UK convenience and grocery stores in 2021.

“I found it to have a pleasant, earthy flavour. It is quite mild in taste but refreshing and very drinkable. No complaints.”

Taste: 7/10 Value for money: 5/10 Overall: 6/10

Total score: 18/30

Lacking a depth of flavour but strong tasting

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Lacking a depth of flavour but strong tastingCredit: Darren Fletcher

Tesco Finest English Breakfast tea

Lynsey says: “The premium for Tesco was strong tasting and rich but I felt it was lacking depth of flavour.

“These were quite pricey compared to other own brands too and I’m not sure they are worth it.”

Taste: 6/10 Value for money: 3/10 Overall: 5/10

Total score: 14/30

Morrisons' teabags were the cheapest of the bunch

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Morrisons’ teabags were the cheapest of the bunchCredit: Darren Fletcher

Morrisons Everyday tea

Lynsey says: “I’ve got to applaud Morrisons for the price.

“These are the cheapest tea bags we tried so they represent excellent value and the box is red and as appealing as any other.

“They didn’t quite hold up in the taste test. I felt the flavour was weak and watery and sorry Morrisons, but not sure I’d choose to drink them again.

“They are a great price though so if it’s a tight month and your skint, give them a go, just let the bag brew for quite a while.”

Taste: 4/10 Value for money: 6/10 Overall: 4/10

Total score: 14/30

The big brand famous for its pyramid bags was disappointing

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The big brand famous for its pyramid bags was disappointingCredit: Darren Fletcher

PG tips the Original

  • £2.30 for 80 (2.8p each)

Lynsey says: “Famous for it’s pyramid bags, PG Tips is one of the UK’s leading brands.

“I don’t buy it usually (we have Yorkshire) but I had high hopes for these.

“I was surprised to find I didn’t like it too much. It had quite a thin, watery taste and less flavour than some of the own brands. Disappointing.”

Taste: 4/10 Value for money: 4/10 Overall: 4/10

Total score: 12/30

Asda's teabags left a bit of a bitter aftertaste

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Asda’s teabags left a bit of a bitter aftertasteCredit: Darren Fletcher

Asda Everyday tea bags

  • £1.10 for 80 (1.3p each)

Lynsey says: “Very mild and I found Asda’s teabags a little bitter with an aftertaste.

“If you don’t like tea too strong then give them a go as they are a great price.

“A few broke when I tried to tear them apart so they were wasted. Obviously this didn’t make for great value.”

Taste: 3/10 Value for money: 4/10 Overall: 4/10

Total score: 11/30

Overall verdict

“Many of us are fussy with tea and like me, only Yorkshire Tea will do.

“I’ve never contemplated trying others before but actually, I’ve found a few gems here.

“The M&S tea was delicious and far cheaper than I would have thought before doing this test.

“It’s great value. Lidl was the best value tea. My least favourites were Asda and Morrisons but if you’re not fussy, there’s no harm in giving them a go when you consider the price.

“If you buy one box a week, swapping your Yorkshire Tea for Morrisons could save you £2.50 every week and a whopping £130 a year, which is an impressive saving.

“Go for my winner, the M&S bags, and you’d save yourself £93.60 a year. Small savings add up.

“It’s definitely time to think about a switch.”

And tea bags aren’t the only thing The Sun has compared, check out this taste test on hot chocolate powders.

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