Tetley British Blend Review

Tetley British Blend - Round Tea Bag

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.

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Author: Leo Kapusta

Of all the useless degrees he holds, Leo is most proud of his Bachelor of Science in Radio-Television-Film (Mass Communication Sequence) from the University of Texas at Austin.

4 thoughts on “Tetley British Blend Review”

  1. I though Tetley British Blend was pretty good–almost comparable to PG Tips. But what really impressed me was the Tetley British Blend Decaf. Decaf teas are mostly unpalatable, or you have to use two bags to get any flavor. TBB decaf, however, was almost as good as the non-decaf, which for was A-OK. A little cheaper than PG Tips. I am happy to see American teas at least trying harder. I’ve been disappointed for years. Even Twinnings English breakfast didn’t seem that great. Tetley BB is fantastic compared to the past. You have to understand–the only tea Americans do really well has been iced tea with a lot of lemon.

  2. I’m American, hence no tea authority, so take this with a grain or a bag of salt.

    It is true that Tetley’s can be a little finicky on how it’s prepped, possibly resulting in a weaker taste. Or maybe the company has box to box inconsistency. However, the one definite advantage it has over Tips, Yorkshire Gold and American brands which, for me, redeems the brand, is in cold brewing. Yes, I mean the regular British Blend. Leave it soak in cold water for awhile and the result will be a truly pleasant, slightly floral, not-boring cold tea that is immensely refreshing. No other brand I’ve tried this with – not even Lipton’s not-that-bad Cold Brew – is so robustly flavorful as Tetley’s when done up cold. I just wish I could detect the same flavors when it’s hot.

  3. I’m American also and would love to try REAL English tea. I need tea to be very strong. Unfortunately, I’ve had palpitations lately, so I need to find a good tasting decaf tea. Ours in the USA are undrinkable.
    Lucy recently posted..Barry’s Tea DecafMy Profile

  4. Not impressed anymore by tetley. None are sealed properly and nearly every time i make a tea i end up with a cup full of tea leafs. Same goes for typhoo. PG no longer brew properly since the supposedly superior pyramid design.
    The pyramid design was probably so they could cut back on the amount of tea in the bag.
    I’m fed up with these big companies and inferior products. I stick to yorkshire tea or even tesco tea bags are better nowadays and i hate tesco with a passion.

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