When it comes to tea many people, especially the British, can be very particular about which brand they like, which types of tea they like, and even how they take it.
Although there are many branded tea bags out there on the market, many popular supermarket chains also have their own brand of tea bags, which are often considerably cheaper than the branded ones.
But does Tesco actually make their own tea? Yes, Tesco has its very own tea expert, along with a number of tea masters, who travel the world in search of the perfect blend.
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Where is Tesco tea from?
Tesco is one such supermarket that has their own brand of tea, but how does their tea compare to other brands? And is there a difference in quality between them? Just because it’s cheaper does it mean that they cut corners?
Well, according to the Tesco website the company takes its tea very seriously. They state that all of their own brand tea products, including tea bags and loose leaf tea, are sourced by in-house staff.
For example, under their Original Tea tea bags on the website, the company states that they have their very own expert tea taster, Tim Clifton, who they send around the world in order to experience the best flavors of tea possible which can then be used to create the perfect tea blend for Tesco.
They state that their tea comes from India, Africa, Sri Lanka, along with many other places. Although they do not specify that it is the company who produces the tea bags, this is probably safe to assume given the lengths that the company goes to to ensure that it has the best leaves available and also due to the fact that it states “packaged in the UK”.
However, for certain types of tea, such as Assam tea, the company provides the information about the exact location that the tea leaves come from: Brahmaputra valley in India. Their Darjeeling tea, on the other hand, does state that it is from India, but is much less specific about where, simply saying that it comes from the “foothills of the Himalayas.
Again, even though these two types of Tesco tea come from India, it says that they are packaged in the UK, implying that the entire process is handled by Tesco.
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Reviews of Tesco tea
So, Tesco does not seem to cut any corners when it comes to producing their own tea and ensuring that they get a good quality product for their customers. But how does the tea actually rank among the general public in comparison to some very well known brands?
Perhaps surprisingly the answer is very well. One reviewer gave it a 4/5 rating claiming that the cheap price (especially compared to other brands that they tried) helped to swing them in favor of the brand perhaps more than the taste.
The reviewer said that Tesco tea is a little bit bitter compared to some of the other brands on offer in the supermarket, but that this was personal taste and that some people may prefer the bitterness of this tea.
This was rather surprising considering that Twinnings, one of the most reputable tea brands out there, as well as one of the most expensive commonly found in supermarkets, was only given a 1/5 rating because it lacked “tea flavor”.
The issue of the tea bag
Although Tesco tea bags have come out very favorably in taste tests and in the public opinion regarding the price there is one issue that has arisen with the use of cheap tea bags and that is fluoride.
One study by a doctoral student at the University of Derby found that cheaper tea bag products tended to contain more fluoride than the expensive brands. On average, cheap tea bags, such as those under the Tesco Value brand, had an average of 6 mg of fluoride per liter.
It is worth noting that the type of tea also had an impact on the fluoride levels within the brands.
However, the recommended amount of fluoride that an average adult should consume daily should not exceed 4 mg. So, if you are a big tea drinker then you may want to steer clear of Tesco tea bags in favor of Twinnings or even Waitrose Essential in order to be careful of your fluoride levels.
Excessive fluoride in the body can cause issues with your teeth, resulting in brown spots on the teeth, as well as skeletal fluorosis. This is a condition that causes joint and bone pain as well as muscle weakness.
However, you would need to drink a significant amount of tea to reach the levels needed for this, such as an intake of 10-20 mg of fluoride every day for 10-20 years, or 2.5-5 mg of fluoride every day for 40 years.
Although the company does not explicitly state that they make their own tea bags, this seems pretty safe to assume given that the company details the extent that they go to to source their tea leaves, create the perfect blend and that the tea bags are packaged in the UK.
Overall the tea was well-ranked in a taste test against more popular brands and the price was certainly appreciated. However, if you at all worried about fluoride in tea bags then you may want to opt for another brand.
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