Tea: PG Tips Pyramid bags

A Black Tea from PG Tips

Picture of PG Tips Pyramid bags
Brand:PG Tips
Style:Black Tea
Region:Blend
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Loose?Teabag
# Ratings:24 View All
Product page:PG Tips Pyramid bags

Review of PG Tips Pyramid bags

AromaFlavorValueTotal
8 of 102 of 52 of 555 of 100
ExcellentMediocreOverpriced

PG Tips is a blend of CTC teas. Most American grocery store teas are "orthodox" teas, however. That's worth knowing for a few reasons.

First, while orthodox production results in leaf pieces of various sizes (dust, fannings, broken leaf, whole leaf), the CTC machines produce small, uniform pellets. One thing that means is that with orthodox tea, teabags often have a different grade of tea than loose tea. Compare, for example, the tea in a Twinings teabag with a tin of the same variety of loose tea. CTC tea, on the other hand, has no such distinction. The tea in PG Tips pyramid bags is the same as is in PG Tips loose tea; tear open a pyramid bag and you'll find pellets that are identical to loose PG Tips.

Second, CTC teas in general brew much stronger than loose orthodox tea. If you normally like the robust maltiness, astringency and bitterness of a CTC tea and are starting to try loose orthodox teas, you might find them weak. If that's the case, try brewing your orthodox tea longer. What people used to drinking loose tea might think of as overbrewed, might actually be the exact flavor that you're looking for. Additionally, there are many quality, loose CTC teas available, so you may want to look for those specifically.

Another thing Americans may not realize is that PG Tips pyramid bags contain more tea (almost 3g) than most American teabags (usually 2g). If you find the tea too strong, try brewing in an oversized mug.

Now, back to the PG Tips specifically in my cup. The dry leaves are very aromatic and malty smelling. Adding water intensifies the same aroma, which I describe as a sour maltiness and is characteristic of Assam tea.

The flavor of the tea at the start is equally malty, astringent and bitter. While the bitterness slightly edges out the other flavors, there's still a pretty nice balance. If you don't like bitter tea, though, PG Tips probably isn't for you.

One thing about this style of tea is that the robust flavor is pronounced even while the tea is hot. I find that many teas need to cool a bit before the more subtle flavors become apparent. On the other hand, PG Tips has few subtle flavors and as it cools, astringency and bitterness slowly overpower the maltiness. Once it's lukewarm, I find that the flavor has shifted from a lovely balance to one that overemphasizes bitterness. I like bitter tea, so I enjoy PG Tips to the end of the cup, but I could easily see this tea quickly becoming undrinkable for someone with a lower bitterness tolerance.

In the US, PG Tips is expensive enough that it competes with much better teas. Even if you specifically like CTC teas, you can find higher quality online or in Indian grocery stores at better prices.

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