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I Tried To Find A Good Takeaway Tea On The High Street And It Was The Worst

Coffee lovers don't know just how they lucky they are.

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As an avid lover of tea, you could say that over the years I've become quite the expert in brewing a good cuppa.

I use my oven timer when brewing my tea so it's always brewed the same every time, so yeah I guess you could say I need to get out more

But as a tea lover there’s one glaring issue when you're on-the-go: it’s really bloody difficult to get a decent cup of tea to take away.

I like my teas strong and with that proper, tea flavour that's easily achieved at home. In comparison, the best I've found from takeaway teas is usually just a vaguely tea-flavoured hot water that doesn't match up to a homemade brew at all. With this in mind, I went out onto the high street in an attempt to find a takeaway tea that didn't taste of dishwater. To measure it accurately across the board, I had the same type of tea each time: English breakfast, with milk and two sugars.

1. Costa Coffee

Jasmin Nahar

Price: £1.65

What I thought: They use proper teabags (Twinings) and leave it in the cup for it to continue to brew so after a while you can kind of taste that it's tea, but it mostly just tastes of cardboard and disappointment. However I did manage to finish the whole thing and towards the end the taste was almost okay.

Out of 10: 5.

2. Pret

Jasmin Nahar

Price: £1.60

What I thought: Pret, fancy Pret, with their posh sandwiches that contain things like crayfish. I had high expectations. The good thing is it does taste like tea, but it tastes like the weakest, weak-ass tea you could conceive of. Like when someone swirls the teabag in the water for two seconds before taking it out. It also got real tepid within ten minutes, which made it so gross it couldn't all be finished. It's cheaper than Costa but worse.

Out of 10: 3.

3. Starbucks

Jasmin Nahar

Price: £1.95

What I thought: Starbucks are great at really, really sweet coffees but I wasn't sure if they had the whole tea thing down. This didn't really taste like tea but it didn't taste all that terrible either, a bland but not unpleasant, hot water. Tea kept on leaking out from the bit where the teabag string was, so minus points for practicality. Just tasted like a standard rubbish cuppa really.

Out of 10: 4.

4. Ben's Cookies

Jasmin Nahar

Price: £1.60

What I thought: Compared to the utter shambles that were the teas that came before this, Ben's Cookies are the real MVP. This tastes like tea, actual tea. And it's not got a strong cardboardy aftertaste. It's not amazing but its pretty damn good for what it is. You get notably less tea for your money compared to the other places, but it doesn't taste like dishwater so it feels kind of justified. Would drink again, probably.

Out of 10: 7.

5. Leon

Jasmin Nahar

Price: £1.55

What I thought: It’s ~organic~ tea, which made me think, "ooh, fancy!" But while it’s not bad, it’s not quite what I expected, either. Even with milk and sugar, it is by no means a builders’ brew. It tastes very fruity, which is not a bad thing, but it just doesn’t meet my expectations of what an English Breakfast tea should be.

Out of 10: 5.

6. Crussh

Jasmin Nahar

Price: £1.65

What I thought: Crussh is known for being hella healthy, so drinking tea from this place made me feel like the kind of put-together person who has brunch and posts pictures of it on Instagram. They use the same teabags as Leon (Clippers) but it tasted of plain, hot water (as well as utter despair) no matter how long it was brewed for.

Out of 10: 2.

7. McDonald's

Jasmin Nahar

Price: 99p

What I thought: McDonald's was a pleasant surprise. It was only 99p, making it the cheapest of the lot, and it was also the nicest. This was pretty solid and hard to fault, especially compared to the other ones I tried. On price and taste this was definitely the winner. Well done McDonald's, well done.

Out of 10: 8.

Conclusions

Unfortunately for my tastebuds, takeaway teas are pretty horrendous and it was hugely disappointing. However, the best that is available gives you change from £1 and is available from McDonald's, which are everywhere, so it's not all bad. But seriously high street, up your tea game. If a kettle and a standard teabag from the supermarket can make a great brew, there's no reason you can't. If most of these places had a stronger flavour, a more discernible tea one, I would definitely become a regular takeaway tea drinker. And until there's more good alternatives, we all have to come to terms with the fact that the only truly nice teas are the ones made at home.

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