Thursday 8 December 2016

Put to the test: Herbal tea bags

Published 20/05/2010 | 05:00

Herbal teas have become increasingly popular and these days you can easily find a range in cafes and a decent choice in supermarkets, too.

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But does the taste of peppermint tea vary much from one to the other?

The five tea bags tested here are available in supermarkets. All the packaging is similar, being appropriately green in colour and suggesting freshness and cleanliness. Only one, the M&S tea bags, were foil packed.

Scores were awarded on taste, price and packaging.

Lord nelson peppermint herbal infusions x25, lidl

Score: 4/5

Verdict: Not as smooth a flavour as the dearer teas tested here, but these do have a strong, sharp taste and are mintier than the other cheaper bags. So when taste and price are taken into account, these Lidl peppermint tea bags came out on top. There is little information on the packaging, other that instructions to infuse for six minutes in various languages.

Price: €0.99 (3.96c per bag)

M&S organic pure peppermint infusion x20

Score: 3/5

Verdict: These are the second dearest but scored well on taste and packaging. The tea was smooth and very minty. The beverage is organic, the bags were the only that were foil wrapped to maintain freshness and the paper is recycled.

Price: €1.49 (7.45c per bag)

barrys organic peppermint tea x20

Score: 3/5

Verdict: These organic 'big brand' tea bags were the dearest here, but they had a lovely smooth taste, although perhaps not with as big a mint hit as those above. The packaging comes with lots of information, including that the tea "can be used to aid digestion" and that honey or fresh mint can be added for a sweeter drink or that it can also be drunk cold with ice.

Price: €1.99 at Superquinn (9.95c per bag)

Diplomat peppermint infusions x40, Aldi

Score: 2.5/5

Verdict: A very good price, in fact the cheapest per bag by a fraction of a cent, but we found these to be not minty enough. The advice on the package for these bags is simply to "brew according to taste".

Price: €1.25 (3.13c per bag)

Packers best peppermint tea bags x40, Tesco

Score: 2/5

Verdict: Another great price, and similar to the Aldi and Lidl offerings, but we felt these were not minty enough and the taste not smooth enough when compared to the others.

Price: €1.39 (3.48c per bag)

Irish Independent

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