'We made brews with the cheapest supermarket tea bags and found we're being taken for mugs'

The bags themselves are a pretty standard size -Credit:Manchester Family / MEN
The bags themselves are a pretty standard size -Credit:Manchester Family / MEN

We all love a brew. And the supermarkets know it.

As you browse the aisles of your nearest Aldi, Sainsbury's, Tesco or Asda, you can't help but be blown away by the sheer range of choice on offer when it comes to a simple cup of tea. A simple English breakfast just doesn't seem to cut it anymore, as brands begin infusing their leaves with the taste of biscuits and other outlandish things.

But at the other end of the scale, there is also a huge range on offer for tea drinkers who want to keep things simple - and as cheap as possible.


To find out exactly what was on offer - and how cheaper bags compare to the standard brew - the MEN's Emma Gill put some supermarket discount brands through the ringer.

You can read what she found out below:

I think we're all quite used to having to shell out more for our regular shopping these days. But while inflation is at its lowest level for some time, we're still seeing price rises in the stores, most recently with tea bags.

In our weekly price comparison, which looks at the cost of basics at the six main supermarkets, nearly all of them have increased the price of their cheapest tea bags over recent weeks. Last week we reported how Lidl and Tesco had followed Aldi's lead by putting theirs up by 14p a box and 10p a box respectively.

With that in mind, I decided to give them all a try, to see which of the cheapest is actually the best.

All the brews were made to similar standards -Credit:Manchester Family / MEN
All the brews were made to similar standards -Credit:Manchester Family / MEN

The cheapest ones come in various pack sizes, starting with the smallest packs of 40 Just Essentials tea bags from Asda, to the biggest 240 box of Knightsbridge Red Label Tea Bags from Lidl.

Aldi and Sainsbury's both sell boxes of 160, with their respective Diplomat Red Label and Stamford Street Co brands, while Tesco's Stockwell and Morrisons' Savers come in boxes of 80. You can get the Aldi ones in a box of 80 too.

The bags themselves are a pretty standard size - round, with only Asda and Aldi having a perforated bag.

I've never really looked that closely at a packet of tea bags before and didn't realise that most come with clear instructions on how to make a brew - suggesting you leave the tea bag to brew for three minutes.

I rarely leave it so long, unless I've got distracted, so just made them all in the usual way - pouring the water, stirring, leaving for a little while before a final squeeze on the edge of the mug and then adding the milk.

They all looked like a decent enough brew, although the ones from Tesco, Asda and Morrisons looked and tasted the weakest. It's only really the Tesco ones that give any indication of the strength though, with a 'medium strength tea' label on the box.

Emma Gill put the brews through their paces -Credit:Manchester Family / MEN
Emma Gill put the brews through their paces -Credit:Manchester Family / MEN

I didn't dislike any of them enough to not be able to drink them. If I was standing at the side of a football pitch, as I often am every Sunday, any one of them would do the trick when you just want something wet and warm. Perhaps that's an indication of what a tea belly I am.

But for a stronger, rounded flavour, my top three would have to be Sainsbury's, Aldi and Lidl. They're all a bit richer and more flavoursome than the others, some of which are a little on the bland side.

My overall favourite is Lidl - a decent strong brew with plenty of flavour and, like most of these packs, works out at a little more than a penny per bag.

When I'm usually splashing out £4.99 for a box of 240 Tetley and Lidl's cost £2.79 for the same size, I think I really have been taken for a mug.