I’m a sucker for attractive packaging, which was the proverbial straw that caused me to buy a pack of Tetley British Blend Premium Black Tea at my local grocery store. The blue and white Tetley logo, surrounded by a swirl of green tea leaves, works beautifully against a purple background.
I opened the package and took a whiff. The aroma of the tea bags, 80 in all, was sweet and mossy — similar to PG Tips, Typhoo, and Twining’s English Breakfast, which I assumed to be comparable teas. Tetley British Blend comes in large, round, string-less tea bags, containing the quantity of tea you’d expect from teas produced in the UK and Ireland.
After steeping, Tetley British Blend has a very mild earthy, mossy aroma. For a full-bodied tea that holds up well to milk, it’s devoid of flavor except for a bit of astringency.
It’s not noticeably sweet, nor is it bitter. It may be the most mellow ‘English Breakfast‘ tea I’ve ever experienced. Two tea bags per cup gives Tetley British Blend an extra tannic kick but not much else. The following is from Tetley’s US website:
Is the Tetley® tea I buy in the USA the same as the Tetley® Tea in Canada or the UK?
The tea in Canada and the UK is not the same as the tea offered in the USA. The Canadian consumer has a different tea palate than the US consumer, and our tea reflects the choice of the Americans. Our British Blend tea is the closest blend to what is enjoyed in Canada and the UK. It comes in a round, stringless tea bag with a special paper that allows for fuller infusion, but it is not an identical blend to the Canadian/UK blends.
Different tea palate? Really? PG Tips can be found in almost every grocery store in America, including Walmart. Several US-based tea merchants, including Upton Tea and Teavana, seem to be doing quite well. Instead of patronizing us, maybe Tetley should allow American consumers to decide for themselves.
If you want UK version of Tetley, it can easily be acquired through Amazon.com and other merchants on the Interwebs, which is what I intend to do some day. In the meantime, I’ve actually come to appreciate Tetley British Blend … a little bit. It’s not offensive, and it goes well with milk. No sweetener required.