Today I am delving into one of Britain’s most consumed cups of tea for my review – Tetley Original. After the disaster that was PG Tips, my standards are pretty low… but I will sip it with an open mind, as always.
If you are new to my tea reviews at Immortal Wordsmith, here’s how it works. First, I will give you a quick summary in case you’re in a rush. Then, I will go through the flavour notes, aroma notes, and the best brewing method that you can use to get the most out of the tea. You’ll also find some info about the brand and links to purchase the tea online dotted throughout my review.
Are you a regular drinker of Tetley Original? I would love to hear your thoughts! Leave a comment below or find me on Instagram @izzysden.
Tetley Teabags at a Glance
- Blend: Black tea from various origins (see note below)
- Flavour: Smooth, rich, malt, and peat notes in a simple black tea
Tetley Original is a super smooth, flavoursome tea that it very easy to drink. I found it to be incredibly refreshing and although the quality is low, I wouldn’t say no to another cup!
Full Review – Tetley Original Blend
- Type: Tagged paper filter teabags
- Tea: Black tea
- Origin: A rotating list of origins
- Flavour Notes: Smooth, simple, rich, peat, warm, malty, refreshing
- Aroma: Bitter, herbal, malty, rich, cinnamon
- Milk or Lemon: Plenty of milk
- Where to Buy: Amazon or UK supermarkets
Opening the simple paper packet (I picked up these individually wrapped teabags in a hotel), the initial aroma is surprising. There’s a bitter tannin note but also an herbal undertone that was totally unexpected! At least it’s not boring.
Once brewed, the black tea is a gorgeous mahogany colour with a good hint of red. It’s beautiful! Of course, Tetley Original is best consumed with milk so I added my usual soy milk to the right strength for my tastes.
The flavour is simple, but brilliantly executed. The tea has a decent depth with some richness and layers of flavour. I can detect some malt and a slightly earthy note, like peat. Besides the flavour, the texture was also quite pleasant. It’s thick and silky at first, the drying in the aftertaste. As a result, it is incredibly refreshing.
I would recommend drinking Tetley Original when you need a brief but effective tea break. It refreshes the palate and really hits the spot. It’s not going to win any ‘tea of the year’ awards on my blog, but I certainly wouldn’t turn my nose up at this tea either.
How to Brew Tetley Original
Tetley recommend brewing for around 3 minutes, but after playing around with the timings I found that 4 minutes provided a superior flavour. If you have time to spare, waiting for this longer brew time is definitely worth it.
You should use boiling water from the kettle, but just remember to use fresh water. Don’t just reboil the same water in the kettle over and over! This is the key to fresh tasting tea.
I don’t recommend drinking Tetley without milk. Unlike fine single origin black teas, Tetley Original is specifically blended to be consumed this way. You could add a generous teaspoon of sugar, however. This tea doesn’t have much natural sweetness.
Is Tetley Tea Good?
Short answer? Yes.
With the flavour and aroma aside, Tetley do an okay job on the ethical front. While it is absolutely disgusting that Tetley still include plastics in the actual material of their teabags, they do have the Rainforest Alliance seal on their tea. This guarantees a certain level of ethical approval on the tea farms where the tea is grown.
As for the origins of their tea, there’s no straightforward answer. The origins vary over time, as new suppliers emerge. I was impressed that you can download an up-to-date list of suppliers on the Tetley Website – it gives you both the country as well as the farm/co-operative name. Most of Tetley’s tea appears to come from Kenya, with locations in Asia (primarily China and India) as well as other African countries like Zimbabwe.
The quality of the tea is… meh. It looks like CTC black tea. Plain, low quality, and nothing to shout about. The only advantage of having tea of this quality is that it’s cheap and brews fast. For the average Brit, it will do the job!
Well, colour me surprised. I am actually recommending Tetley Original Tea! Although the quality and sustainability of the tea leave something to be desired, the flavour is very pleasant and it provides a nice drinking experience.
You can find this tea on Amazon (great for international buyers) as well as independent stores and pretty much every supermarket in the UK.
Trying a new tea is an excellent opportunity to also buy try some new teaware! For the simple flavours of Tetley Original Tea, I recommend our cute Cat Emoji Mugs. They are adorable, functional, and perfect for the office too.