Canstar Blue’s 2021 tea bags review has seen Bushells, ALDI Diplomat, Nerada, Coles, Twinings, Dilmah, Tetley, ALDI Just Organic, Lipton, Woolworths and T2 compared on taste, variety, packaging design, value for money and overall satisfaction.
Tea drinking is almost like a ritual on a cold day – boiling the kettle, sitting down on the couch, wrapping yourself up in a blanket and opening up a good book. It’s also nice to simply catch up with friends over a nice cup of tea. So, step aside coffee lovers – with an endless variety of blends to choose from, there’s bound to be something for everyone, whether it’s a hearty black tea for breakfast, or a nice herbal tisane before bed. But finding ‘quali-tea’ isn’t always easy, and that’s where our annual tea bags review comes in.
To find out which brands are rated best in Australia, Canstar Blue asked more than 1,500 Aussie consumers for feedback on the different brands of tea bags they’ve purchased (from a grocer or specialty shop) and tried over the last three months. Survey respondents rated brands on taste, variety, packaging design, value for money and overall satisfaction. Those that met the minimum required survey sample size (30 responses) are included in the results. So, what did we find?
Our 2021 tea bags review featured 11 brands, but only one was rated ‘tea-riffic’ –Bushells! The brand scored five-star ratings in four out of five categories – taste, variety, packaging design and overall satisfaction.
Here are the best brands of tea bags in Australia, as rated by consumers in Canstar Blue’s latest review:
Bushells claimed the top spot in our 2021 tea bags review, as the only brand to score a five-star rating for overall customer satisfaction, while most other brands landed on four stars. Bushells also got top marks for taste, variety and packaging design.
ALDI Diplomat was the only brand to notch up five stars for value for money, and also got top marks for taste, alongside Nerada. Twinings also impressed Aussies with its product variety with five stars as well as for packaging, on par with Nerada, Dilmah, ALDI Just Organic and T2.
Making ‘quali-tea’ tea has been at the heart of Bushells since 1883 when Alfred ‘The Tea Man’ Bushell opened his first tea shop in Queensland. The brand claims its range of distinctively smooth and full-flavoured tea was created especially for Aussie palates, using premium plants from selected plantations around the world. The range includes:
A 100-pack of Bushells Blue Label Black Tea costs about $3.50 from major supermarkets.
There are many different types of tea out there, with brands getting more experimental by adding in different flavours, fruits and spices to jazz things up a little. Here are the most common types of teas explained.
Black tea is perhaps the most popular of all varieties and is where classic favourites such as English Breakfast and Earl Grey fall under. Black tea is fully oxidised, and is most commonly produced in India. There are three types of black tea produced in India – Darjeeling, Assam and Nilgiri. Ceylon is another popular variety from Sri Lanka. Even within this category there are many subcategories – ones even the biggest tea buff would have trouble being an expert in. For a classic cuppa out on the deck, you can’t go wrong with black tea.
Green tea is – as you guessed it – green in colour, which is because it doesn’t go through an oxidisation process. To get the most out of green tea you have to pay more attention to the brewing process, often letting the tea brew for quite a while to unlock the full flavour. Specific profiles of green tea rely on the tea’s origin, time of harvest and various processing methods. Green tea is commonly used as a soothing remedy or as a calming beverage before bed.
Oolong tea is perhaps the most complex tea out there to perfect, and there’s a lot of variety. Oolong tea can be very lightly oxidised, or heavily oxidised to give the desired characteristics and profile. Oolong tea generally needs to be steeped multiple times to get the most from it, with aromas and tastes commonly fruity. As a fun fact, ‘oolong’ comes from the term ‘Wu-long’, which is Chinese for ‘black dragon’. So, get some fire in your belly and sip on an oolong.
Gaining in popularity in Australia are herbal teas, so what are they? Well, herbal infusions are extra ingredients added to the process other than tea leaves. The technical term for herbal tea is ‘lisane’. Here you’ll find teas such as chamomile, peppermint and lemongrass and ginger among other flavours. Really, the possibilities are endless, with flavours as exotic as rose, liquorice, choc mint and beyond.
Whichever type of cuppa tickles your fancy, tea is a great alternative beverage to coffee and soft drink, and can be a relaxing way to start or end your day, or enjoy as a mid-afternoon pick-me-up. We hope you find our ratings helpful.
This report was written by Canstar Blue’s Home & Lifestyle Content Lead, Megan Birot. She’s an expert on household appliances, health & beauty products, as well as all things grocery and shopping. When she’s not writing up our research-based ratings reports, Megan spends her time helping consumers make better purchase decisions, whether it’s at the supermarket, other retailers, or online, highlighting the best deals and flagging anything you need to be aware of.
Picture credits: Africa Studio/Shutterstock.com,/Graphbottles/Shutterstock.com,/Vinne/Shutterstock.com,/Antonova Ganna/Shutterstock.com.
Canstar Blue surveyed more than 3,000 Australian adults across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased (from a supermarket or grocer) and consumed tea bags in the last three months– in this case, 1,526 people.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.
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