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back to article The ULTIMATE cuppa showdown: And the winner is...

Cue the traditional fanfare of trumpets and thunderous drumroll as we reveal today the winner of our ultimate cuppa showdown. Mug with our Vulture logo This cha-tastic adventure – the aim of which was "not to examine the hundreds of possible tea type/brewing permutations, but rather establish a set of basic rules which can …

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As long as you avoid the cheaper supermarket varieties I reckon how you make a cuppa has more bearing than the choice of tea. Though FWIW my vote's for Yorkshire Tea.

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I can only assume that the testers don't really like tea!

That or the 4 minute brew time is making the decent stuff taste of too much tanin and is making the undrinkable dishwater into something nearly drinkable.

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Well.. Loose leaf tea in a pot.. 4 minutes is reasonable.

A tea bag in a mug.. Hell no. 4 minutes is way way too long.

As long as it takes to get the sugar stirred in, and fetch the milk from the fridge. A minute tops. Any longer becomes wood stain.

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Agreed. Teabags only need a quick swill round or the tannins overwhelm the taste.

At the risk of loosing any tea tasting credentials, I've fond memories of tea served by a rather lovely flatmate who would add a generous slug of brandy to a mix of earl grey and assam. Most evenings would end up with us around the kitchen table setting the world to rights.

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Cripes, no wonder Yorkshire tea faired so badly. 4 minutes in a mug is far too long for that bad boy. It can make the water in the kettle go brown just by being placing the box within 6 inches of it.

Yorkshire tea needs a quick stir plus 20 seconds and a good squeeze. Any longer and it will destroy the spoon. Splash of milk and it's the king of all teas.

Typhoo/pg on the other hand will need the whole 4 mins.

Now, where did I put my flat cap....

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I tend to leave Yorkshire for a minute or two, because you get that lovely clay-red colour.

But 4 minutes is insanity. It only gets left that long if I go for a slash while it's brewing and decide to have a dump instead!

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I use Tetley English blend (I'm in the US) but before I moved here I was a strong supporter of pyramid bags (and still get them on occasion when I get homesick and go to the British import store)

Anyway, what's it say about me that I use a thermal mug, and have it brew for 6-8 hours? Of course the mug is a little larger than a normal mug (its 64fl oz (1.9l) but that and a splash of 2% (semi-skim) and its a wonderful thing.

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This surprises me, I always keep a few different brands of tea in my cupboard and found Typhoo to be the worst (though still not unpleasant). I generally favour the Yorkshire, or Lidl's own "Knightsbridge Gold" - cheap and surprisingly good!

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After realising just how expensive Twinings had become, I recently tried a variety of other teas and settled on Clipper as being an excellent replacement. So good to see it scoring nearly top marks.

I'm confused as to how Typhoo took the top spot though - never got on with it myself.

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> I'm confused as to how Typhoo took the top spot though

Familiarity. Most people train themselves to "know" what a decent cup of tea should taste like. That comes from comparing any new tea with what they're familiar with. Hence the most popular teas will (almost inevitably) get the highest votes.

The surprise being the Clipper Organic. It would be interesting to know if that is basically the same as the other top choices (just with the word "organic" added) or if it was actually different from the most popular tastes.

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I always presumed that all tea was organic, based on the presence of carbon in its various molecular structures. Are non organic teas silicon based?

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Yeah never been a Typhoo fan myself. I do like Clipper, and they get bonus points for being fair trade (I live in north London shockingly enough).

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Typhoo! WTF?

How the hell did that win? Are their taste buds broken?

Sorry but I am stuck with that at work everyday and it is awful stuff perhaps the local fountain water makes all the difference?

I have only had a couple of occasions to have Twinings English Breakfast but that would get my vote. Best I have tasted thus far (but too expensive for me to drink all the time). Though I have not tried several on your list.

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Re: Typhoo! WTF?

like the adverts from the 80s said, you only get an oo with Typhoo

lovely stuff

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Re: Typhoo! WTF?

Bet Typhoo's lost a bit of market share in the Philipines recently!

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FAIL

fish & chips

I spy salad. That's just wrong. If you want something green with your fish & chips, get some peas (preferably mushy ones) but lose the leaf-based greenery.

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Flame

You're joking? Typhoo! That stuff is tea for the devil. I'd rate it alongside Tetley's (which is akin to compost).

Glad to see Clipper getting top marks

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Clipper was my tea of choice till I overcame my "cultural" aversion to Yorkshire Tea about 18 months ago.

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Barrys

Ireland's favourite tea, Barry's, wipes the floor with all of these.

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Re: Barrys

It was recommended by several readers, but we couldn't get it in Brit supermarkets, so that classifies it as "not readily available".

It's a good brew, to be sure.

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Joke

Re: Barrys

If it's suitable for wiping floors, I'm not sure I want to drink it...

:-)

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Re: Barrys

Robert Roberts beats Barrys!

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Re: Barrys

I hate Barrys. Hardly tastes of tea.

I like Punjana, Tetley, Typhoo, Yorkshire.

But I drink it Black. All those Chinese can't be wrong?

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all those Chinese

Mage, perhaps the prevalence of lactose intolerance among the Chinese has something to do with it?

(I’m not a tea drinker, but my coffee is caffeinated, black, and unsweetened.)

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Go

Re: all those Chinese

The French also like to claim that they are lactose intolerant but they also water their orange juice so that it is not so acid and sweet. I consider that they are just intolerant, and their idea of tea is an insult to humanity. Their coffee is strong, caffeinated, black and very good however, even if Italian is better.

By the way, all the Chinese I have met consider that English tea is blended for drinking with milk and happily drink it like that or, if they still don't like the taste, drink Chinese tea - which is not blended for drinking with milk.

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For the Welshies here Cwrw Braf is a good cuppa, nice strong tea but with next to no tanin taste. Cant really stomach PG Tips or the like, leaves that nasty bitter taste on the tongue and back of the throat.

Also always put a bit of cold water into the cup first and pour the boiled water onto the cold water and not the tea bag, it stops the leaves from burning and gives a smoother taste.

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Tea

If 1/3 of the points come from somebody who prefers earl grey then is this going to be a fair tasting as that tea is definitely on the wishy washy scale lol (no disrespect to our artist intended) that would include ty poo, and the more meaty teas such as yorkshire would be at a disadvantage.

Given that this is the most important event on the net at present some fairness should ensue lol

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Boffin

Earl Grey - VOTE NOW

I love the stuff; others hate it. Truly the Marmite of teas.

Commentards are invited to express their feelings for the perfumed brew using the voting buttons. I genuinely have no idea what the result will be...

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Re: Earl Grey - VOTE NOW

I actually read that as "...using the vomiting buttons."

Which probably says something about my opinion.

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Re: Earl Grey - VOTE NOW

Acceptable only if you're a starship captain.

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Re: Earl Grey - VOTE NOW

ready to be downvoted and flamed - but I'd go even further as I prefer Lady Grey, that's what I drink at home in the mornings with Lapsang in the afternoon - unless I'm having coffee but that's another discussion completely!

Mine's the one with the girly teabags in the pocket!

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Re: Earl Grey - VOTE NOW

Ah, Earl Grey with a spoonful of set honey ... I'm in heaven

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Re: Earl Grey - VOTE NOW

Good enough for J-L Picard, good enough for me.... but I must say, a change of pace every now and again is always welcome.

And what is this 275ml crap, bring on a real sized mug.

Hobo as he drinks big ones!

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Re: Earl Grey - VOTE NOW

A qualified +1 there - for mug size only.

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Re: Earl Grey - VOTE NOW

Lady Grey is good as a special occasion tea, but my regular brew (guess what, I have the kettle on...) is Tetley. I'll use Typhoo as a temporary substitute, but never got the liking of the taste of PG (it's too "red" for me). My favourite special occasion tea, however, is one called "Sweet Sakura Tea" (black). But, alas, I can't track down a supplier that doesn't expect an arm and a leg for shipping...

I'm with those who think 4 mins for brewing is insanely long. About a minute does it with a teabag if you want to enjoy the tea at its best and not be clobbered by the resultant tannins, which IIRC are released exponentially so the longer the brewing time, the far worse the result will be.

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Surely (...don't call me...)

4 minutes in a mug is truly excessive (and the tea would be cold by then). Brew tea in a teapot (properly seasoned, of course) for 4 minutes, (retains it's heat and still burns yer tongue when you drink) and adjust the number of bags/1.7 litre to fine tune the strength. That gives enough water to dilute out the taste of the bag... (paper, yeeuch...tiggers don't like paper) and enough tea to store some for later.

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Re: Surely (...don't call me...)

"4 minutes in a mug is truly excessive (and the tea would be cold by then). Brew tea in a teapot (properly seasoned, of course) for 4 minutes..."

The point of the exercise was to evaluate the 'work brew', which is why the idea of using a pot was previously discussed and discarded during lengthy debate (Rightly too: Although a few have such things at work, most of us don't!). I don't remember signing off on a 4 minute brew time, though!

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Hmmm...

Twinings Assam is no better than Tescos or Morrisons Assam - but double the price.

Have tried the Clipper organic recently after being given a box as part of a "new house" hamper from my mortgage company, and have been mildly surprised at how nice it is.

Just to re-iterate my previous warning - stay away from the Morrisons "value" box unless you are a masochist - 27p for 80 bags in a box = eughhh!!!!!

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Pg-tips for me

As an Ex-pat from London living in Sardinia there is very little good tea available locally, Tea here consists of expensive weak twinings or equally weak but cheaper Lipton stuff. So instead I get a bi-annual delivery from one of the many expat delivery websites for a pack of 1000+ pg-tips tea bags in a um bag,as well as all my oriental herbs and spices that I miss. British Corner Shop being my current fav (google it / no affiliation BTW). Now all we need here is a good local Curry and Chinese takeaway and all would be well again in the world. :)

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Taking the tea,

12 mugs is an awful lot of tea. Assuming they weren't filled to the 275ml capacity, that's still about 3 litres of tea per person. You' d hope that in the interests scientific rigour, the testers were't all given the same teas in the same order. You'd also hope that for their own well being, they weren't forced to drink all the tea, in every sample.

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Re: Taking the tea,

12 mugs of tea sounds reasonable to me. If I spent, say a Saturday at home I'll easily get through 7 or 8 pints mugs of tea before "caffeine lasites" (sometimes aka pub o'clock).

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Kittehs

Cute ones there and not named...

;)

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PJI
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Childcatcher

AaRGHH - how standards have been perverted

I can scarcely credit what my eyes saw. I know that the education system if failing and rampant Americanisation is taking over all aspects of life; but:

SKIMMED milk? What a perverted abomination in any context: all or nothing please - full fat or none.

TEA BAGS? TEA BAGS! I feel like Lady Bracknell and handbags. In an emergency, perhaps: loose tea and not too finely cut either. Failing time to make a pot, use a tea sieve (or is it tea egg? I live abroad now and the local name translates to "tea egg"). You will never, ever get the taste of even a cheap tea to a proper level in a bag and then there is the taste of cheap paper and …. No, must stop before I suffer apoplexy. No doubt these are the same people who think Starbucks makes coffee (oops, excuse the expletives, S* and c*).

MUG? Hmm. Now break down into thick and chunky or fine porcelain …. On some occasions, e.g. a proper afternoon tea, such as one or two Manchester hotels will still provide, it must be good porcelain cups and saucers giving a proper sense of occasion and ceremony.

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Re: AaRGHH - how standards have been perverted

"I can scarcely credit what my eyes saw."

The entire point of the survey was to find a decent work brew, made under work-brew conditions. Not to take high tea. Now you might drink from fine china and consume the finest loose leaf in the confines of your office, but the vast majority of us make it in bags and drink it by the half-pint.

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Re: Re: AaRGHH - how standards have been perverted

Exactly. We set right from the start we weren't interested in exotic blends and brewing methods. Readers had plenty of time to express their opinions.

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says

Too busy to make tea? Too BUSY to make tea?

During WWII US tanks sent to Britain had to go into the workshop to get a hot water boiler fitted so that tea could be made; Brit tanks had them as standard fit.

Crews would stop at any opportunity to brew a cuppa, even during battle. Probably affected the rate of fire somewhat though.

None of this "too busy" malarkey. Kids today etc.

"Ere, Jimmy, pass the milk."

"Hang on, got a Jerry in my sights."

"That's sergeant to you, and pass the bloody milk NOW!"

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Re: says

"Brit tanks had them as standard fit."

HAD? Still have, you mean.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boiling_vessel

(Although it appears that the idea they were present in WW2 in any numbers appears to be a complete myth)

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tea tastes bad without making it from some dead mans piss

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Paris Hilton

@Zmodem

Are you saying the piss isn't optional?

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Re: @Zmodem

That would explain his posting history, he's constantly taking the piss - to use for his tea.

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