by Little Yellow Teapot (a tea steeping marvel and occasional contributing author)
The developments in the world of tea are sometimes good and sometimes just odd, at least as far as this little teapot is concerned. A recent article on the blog of Cuppacoasters.com alerted your ever faithful loose leaf tea steeping teapot to another in the annals of tea time puzzles: one of my humans’ fave tea companies putting their delish tea into … are you ready for the shock? … capsules! This from the company that revolutionized tea drinking by inventing a pyramid shaped teabag in 1996. SighTOOOT!
The PG Tips capsules are meant for those strange devices, unknown entirely in our kitchen: the coffee machine (their site says they are compatible with Citiz, Essenza, U, Pixie, Maestria, Lattissima “&milk” and “Clips” models, but not professional Nespresso machines). They are called “capsules” but are actually little cups similar to those used in the Keurig Machines. It seems that the lovely human at Cuppacoasters.com wasn’t impressed, which shows that she has good taste and must have a smart teapot at home like me to help her sort out the good from the odd, tea-wise. The other odd thing that turns off yours truly and my humans is that these are flavored teas and herbals, not good ol’ tasty tea.
About PG Tips
For a black tea that’s a cut above the ordinary blend, treat yourself to a potful of PG Tips Original. While the “PG” doesn’t stand for “Perfectly Great,” it should! (Actually, the “PG” stands for “Pre-Gestee,” as in pre-digestive, something you eat or drink before your meal to aid digestion.) This strong black tea is a balanced blend that both soothes (L-theanine) and enlivens (caffeine). Starting your day with a “cuppa” this tea smoothed with milk and sugar or sweetener, as you prefer, will make you ready for anything.
PG Tips has been made by Brooke, Bond & Co. (founded in 1869 and now part of Unilever) since 1930. Creative ad campaigns, featuring first chimps and then four fake birds (the “T-birds”), pole-vaulted this tea to popularity. The company eventually began offering their tasty tea in bags, trying various shapes (spheres, cylinders, etc.) before determining in 1996 that the pyramid shape offered the optimum space for the tea and water to interact. They even improved the tea bag material to increase water flow through it and thus through the tea. Another innovation (decaf) came about in 2004.
Never fear, though, humans. Your trusty loose tea teapot steeper never allows teabags of any shape size or material in me. I make my humans cut open the bags and dump the tea inside into me. That avoids a weird flavor from the bag material getting into the lovely tea liquid.
In late February 2014 PG Tips added some updated blends and flavored teas to their line-up.
Made by pressing leaves to release their natural essence (quite frankly, a procedure that makes me shudder and go want to hide in the cupboard):
- The Fresh One – 100% Kenyan tea blend, steeps up a fresh, smooth cuppa tea with an aroma like “freshly baked bread” and a deep red color.
- The Strong One – Kenyan and other African tea blend, bold with a strong, bright red color, malty aroma, and thick character.
- Aromatic Spices and Mint Herbal – Spearmint, cinnamon, orange pee), chicory root, rosehips, and licorice.
- Smooth Red Bush and Vanilla – Rooibos (red bush aka “red tea”) with a hint of vanilla, plus hibiscus and cranberry, caffeine free.
- Delicate Chamomile – Natural chamomile and flower infusion.
- Refreshing Peppermint – A peppermint infusion, caffeine free.
Betty Blue Loves PG Tips
One of my “gal pal” teapots and a proud member of the Tea Gang here is Betty Blue. She is a ceramic 6-cupper teapot that is a true pro when it comes to steeping up tea at its tastiest. And she is in love with PG Tips Original Black Tea. And so are our humans. It’s a love affair that has grown warmer over the years.
So, why does this tea make Betty Blue so happy? Did I mention that the Betty Blue holds a generous six cups of tea? That’s six 8-ounce cups (sometimes for tea steeping purposes, a cup is counted as only six ounces). This means that my humans might not drink it all in one sitting. PG Tips is one of those teas that you can steep, pour a couple of teacups full, and let the pot sit in its tea cozy until you’re ready for another cupful. The tea doesn’t get overly bitter or go “odd” after a while of sitting in the teapot. It may not be quite as good as that initial, “golden pour,” but it’s still one of the best-tasting black tea blends around. And that makes not only Betty Blue happy, but our humans, too!
Have a great tea day, humans. TOOOT!
© 2016-2020 A.C. Cargill photos and text
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