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Apr 14, 2011 11:37 AM

Best Bagged Tea Brands?

Just wondering what all you tea aficionados feel are the best brands of bagged tea? Thanks!

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  1. I am a big fan of the Harney and Sons dragon pearl jasmine. Am eager to hear what brands others like, as I have yet to find one brand that is consistently good quality for many varieties.

    8 Replies
    1. re: colfaxBee

      Harney and Sons is my go to brand. I like the cinnamon tea a lot.

      1. re: jeanmarieok

        I like the Paris Earl Gray a lot too!

      2. re: colfaxBee

        +1, I just discovered the Harney and Sons Dragon Pearl Jasmine which is a really nice jasmine tea bag.

        1. re: colfaxBee

          For hot tea, it's always Constant Comment. However, Lemon Lift makes great iced tea and is a personal favorite.

          1. re: BananasFoster

            My all time favorite tea, Celestial Seasonings Constant Comet.

              1. re: BananasFoster

                IMHO, Constant Comment decaf is one of the few decaf teas that doesn't taste like cardboard.

            1. Depends on what you're looking for. For plain black tea (to be drunk with milk), I like Twinings Irish Breakfast and PG Tips, as well as English Tea Store's English breakfast tea in bags.

              4 Replies
              1. re: LauraGrace

                how would you compare the english breakfast tea from twinings to that of the english tea store?

                also, what makes english and irish breakfast teas different?

                1. re: alkapal

                  I would say anything from Twinings is weaker than tea from an english tea store. (I don't know that particular store, though.)

                  Irish breakfast is straight Assam, and English breakfast is a blend of Assam and Ceylon (and is a little milder).

                  1. re: sciencediet

                    Hi All: Found Murroughs Welsh Brew - "Paned Gymreig" in an NYC market before the holidays! Packed in round bags like Tetley's British Blend here in the states. Just opened it today, first impression very good, though not quite as strong as my 4 or 5 times a day Lyons. But still looking forward to the next 78 mugs!

                2. re: LauraGrace

                  We used to get some PG tips everytime someone went to/came back from England. Now, we get it from the Indian store. My aunt sends Tetley Extra Strong from England. These are my two fave brands.

                3. I'm not a tea drinker and know nothing about teas, but Indian friends swear by PG Tips. BTW, had a marvelous tour of the tea plantations in Munnar, India a few years ago. Never knew tea was such a pretty 'crop."

                  1. No way am I an aficionado BUT I really love Archer Farms Organic green tea in pryamid bags. I use them at work during week and on weekends brew up loose Japanese green tea but the Archer Farms green tea is very very nice. $3.99 for 15 bags.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Val

                      PG Tips, Tetley and Nambarrie are all good everyday teas. Lovely.

                      1. re: Val

                        Thanks for the heads-up on the Archer Farms tea. Been drinking a lot of green tea lately so I'll give this a try right away.

                        1. re: Leepa

                          Leepa...there is a Purdue study out there on the 'net reporting that lemon juice added to green tea increases the bioavailiablity of the catechins in the you may want to add some lemon to your green tea if it suits...I go through about 3 lemons a week for this reason.

                          1. re: Val

                            Thanks, I will do just that. I'm a lemon in tea drinker anyway.

                            Picked up some of the Archer Farms green tea this afternoon and am looking forward to trying it.

                      2. Thanks for all of your replies! I'm interested in buying some tea as a gift for a big tea fan, and I just wanted some ideas. I appreciate your feedback!

                        14 Replies
                        1. re: Jadore

                          Just a note of caution -- I am a tea drinker to the bone, but I really only enjoy black teas and prefer strong, Yunnan or Assam based teas drunk with milk. A former roommate of mine is also a tea afficionado, but prefers whole-leaf green or white teas and drinks them pretty exclusively. Just make sure you know what kind of tea your friend enjoys before buying! :)

                          There are a bunch of other tea-related threads on the Gen. Topics board -- see the links below this thread for some more good ideas.

                          1. re: LauraGrace

                            >>>>I really only enjoy black teas and prefer strong, Yunnan or Assam based teas

                            Any recommendations?

                            1. re: Jay F

                              Upton's Yunnan TGFOP is fantastic -- one of my all-time favorite teas, and very affordable.

                              1. re: LauraGrace

                                Yes! That's my favorite drink-it-all-day black tea, esp. good with milk. I'm having a fresh cup of it right now!

                                If I'm in a tea-bag environment (office, hotel, etc.), I like Twinings Irish Breakfast or Darjeeling, or PG Tips.

                                For cold-brewing ice tea, I usually use PG Tips.

                                  1. re: LauraGrace

                                    Me too! I drink loose Assam from Upton at home, but at the office I confess to loving Trader Joe's Irish Breakfast. It's a fine substitute for Barry's, which I can get here, if I want to pay $8 a box.

                                    1. re: sciencediet

                                      I love Trader Joe's Irish Breakfast tea also.

                            2. re: LauraGrace

                              Such sage advice, LG!!! Not everyone loves green tea...truth be told, I have come to like it but did not at first. Lots of folks find it too astringent!

                              1. re: Val

                                I may be interjecting unnecessarily, but have you tried brewing green tea with water at 180 degrees F? Many green teas will become bitter when brewed with water above 180. Boiling water can make an overwhelmingly astringent brew, all but eliminating the more delicate flavors.

                                1. re: amyzan

                                  Hi, amyzan: yes, I know about NOT using boiling water on green work, I don't have time to be testing the temp of the hot water but at home on weekends, it's fine and I do take the time to make sure my water isn't too hot. Thanks for the reminder though...and it's true that many boxes of green teas sold don't say anything about NOT using boiling water on green tea!

                                  1. re: Val

                                    Am replying to myself here...hee! sorry...well, Trader Joe's sells a VERY nice box of organic green tea bags...20 for $2.69 a box...have to say if you drink green tea every day, why not switch to organic? TJ's opened in my area (Naples, FL) about a year ago...GAWD...police detail needed for their opening week here on U.S. 41...LOL!

                                    1. re: Val

                                      Thanks, Val. I'll give it a try soon. Our TJ's opened in September and people are just now able to get a parking spot without cruising the parking lot for several minutes. Weekends are still a zoo, however.

                            3. re: Jadore

                              If you're friend is really a big tea fan, (s)he will be more likely to appreciate loose leaf teas, which when purchased from a reputable importer are almost always fresher and tastier than anyone's prepacked bags (plus you can control exactly how much is used for each cup). Check out the selection at a place like Upton Tea Imports:

                              They also have tea-related gift items.

                              EDIT: just finished the thread and realize I'm not the first to point this out. Oh, well - still good advice.

                              1. re: Jadore

                                Why not visit a tea store and get a small selection of loose teas and a box of make-your-own tea bags? Someone gave me that as a gift at Christmas, and it has been an epiphany! You can usually get 2 oz bags of tea for $5-$8. I am currently enjoying an Earl Grey Rose in the morning and a variety of caffeine-free herbals and fruit teas in the afternoon. I have not gone back to bagged tea. I get mine here, but there are any number of other sources: