Good morning! I am starting the day with a cup of PG Tips to find out whether this is a good tea or not. I usually prefer a nice loose leaf tea in the morning from a high quality single origin, but there are also those days when I just need a quick and reliable “everyday” cuppa that I can brew from a teabag. Do you know what I mean?
Alongside Twinings, Yorkshire Tea, and Tetley, PG Tips are available in pretty much every single supermarket in the UK. Their standard tea is the traditional kind – just plop one in a mug and drink with a splash of milk. As this is how PG Tips is designed to be consumed, I am reviewing the tea with milk rather than black as I usually do.
Let’s dig in.
PG Tips Tea at a Glance
Full Review – PG Tips Original
- Type: Tagged paper teabag
- Tea: Black tea
- Origin: Kenya
- Flavour Notes: Tannins, mild, smooth
- Aroma: Tannins
- Milk or Lemon: Plenty of milk and sugar
- Where to Buy: Amazon or UK supermarkets
I am reviewing some individually wrapped teabags for this review – in theory this should help them stay fresh and vibrant. You can also buy jumbo boxes of this tea but the bags probably won’t be individually wrapped. Anyway, the initial aroma from the tea is… not really there. I can get a hint of tannins but nothing else.
Let’s see if some hot water can wake it up.
Nope. Adding water creates a dark, cloudy black-brown tea that turns into a standard tea colour once you add milk to taste. The aroma from my teacup is slightly warm with a hint of tannins, but overall it is a very dull cuppa.
The flavour follows suit. Again, there’s a hint of tannins but not much else going on. It is smooth tasting, but this is thanks to the milk more than anything. I only added a splash of soy milk (arguably one of the mildest, least creamiest milks) and yet it has instantly become the dominant note.
Even more disappointing than the flavour is the sensation it provides. Even with a bad cup of tea, you still get that distinctive mouthfeel and sense of satisfaction – it hits the spot. But PG Tips misses the spot by miles.
Ultimately, PG Tips is the kind of cuppa that you are served when you ask the office apprentice to make you a cup of tea. No matter how you brew it, PG Tips is just a disappointment. Avoid!
How to Brew PG Tips
The complete lack of direction on the back of the teabag makes brewing PG Tips a little tricky. I had a handful of teabags to experiment with, so I started with a 3 minute brew. By the end, I was brewing for 5 minutes and still not getting much flavour.
As with all simple, everyday black teas from the supermarket, you can just use boiling water straight from the kettle. I usually recommend that you fill the kettle with fresh water every time you want some tea, because fresh water produces brighter flavours compared to water that has been sitting around or boiled multiple times. But with PG Tips, I don’t think it makes a difference.
Milk and sugar are essential for this tea.
Why PG Tips?
PG Tips are one of the most popular, widely available, and successful tea brands in the UK. They fill the shelves alongside competing brands (namely Tetley and Yorkshire Tea) in every supermarket up and down the country.
It hurts me to think that so many people are drinking this tea when there is so much more available. And you don’t have to be a tea connoisseur either – just pick up a box of Yorkshire Tea or push the boat out and try Twinings instead. Both of these alternative brands are available at the supermarket with a comparable price label, and they don’t require any special brewing.
Flavour aside, there are a couple things that PG Tips do well. First, their tea is grown in Kenya and although they don’t disclose this on their website you can still find out this info easily online. You can actually visit the tea gardens, if you are heading to that part of the world. Just be aware that the workers here have filed extremely serious complaints to the UN over ethnic violence.
I also like that PG Tips use biodegradable paper-based teabags, as mentioned in my Plastic-Free Teabag Guide. The only problem is that the outer box is often wrapped in a film of polypropylene, which is not only plastic, but not recyclable in the UK.
Although I found this tea to be a total disappointment, I have to acknowledge that PG Tips are hugely successful in the UK and this must be for some reason. Many people enjoy drinking PG Tips daily and you could be one of them. If you want to try this tea and find out for yourself, it can be purchased on Amazon as well as any supermarket or corner store (some petrol stations too).
If you enjoyed – or vehemently disagreed with – this article, the I recommend that you start writing your own tea reviews too. It is a great way to track which teas you like and which you don’t, so you never end up drinking an unsatisfactory cuppa again. Our shop at Immortal Wordsmith includes several tea review templates to get you started.