PG Tips — “Perfectly Great” Tea!
By A.C. Cargill
Do you want a black tea that’s a cut above the ordinary blend? Then, treat yourself to a potful of PG Tips. No, the “PG” doesn’t stand for “Perfectly Great” — but it should! This strong black tea is a balanced blend that (it may seem contradictory) both soothes and enlivens.
Starting your day with a “cuppa” this tea smoothed with milk and possibly sweetener, as you prefer, will make you ready for anything. This includes picking up all the kids’ toys lying around the house, dealing with customers playing tug-o-war over the last cashmere sweater in the sale bin, or hiding from your boss because you didn’t quite get to finish that report that just had to be done today.
This “cut above” tea is made by Brooke, Bond & Co. The company was founded in 1869, but it took them over 60 years to start making PG Tips (in the 1930s). I’m not sure why they waited so long, but, this invention was surely like many others that seem obvious only when they have been invented. I’m sure that once PG Tips was created, the tea blenders at Brooke, Bond & Co. were probably slapping their foreheads and saying “Wow! Why didn’t we think of this sooner?” (You know, sort of a V-8 moment.)
Making fabulous tea wasn’t the end of their efforts. Even great tea needs a great marketing program. 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 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.
As a true dedicatee to loose leaf tea steeping, I consider this one of the few bagged teas that are capable of producing a quality cup of tea. My 6-cup “Blue Betty” (the somewhat fancier cousin of the “Brown Betty”) gets the honors of being the steeping vessel of choice. Wrapped in it’s special green cozy, the teapot quietly sits while that magic dance betwixt tea and water goes on. The pyramid bag (I use four per pot) hasn’t failed me yet, producing that dark and enticing brew.
PG Tips has been well suited in the past as a dye. Women used it in the 1940s to “tan” their legs, since stockings were less than abundant. Even the tie-dye crowd in the 1970s considered it an effective and non-toxic colorant. (Anyone want a “tea” dye shirt?)
Oh, yeah, in case you’re wondering, the “PG” stands for “Pre-Gestee” (as in pre-digestive, something you eat or drink before your meal to aid digestion).
Improve your breakfast “cuppa” by choosing a better grade of tea. PG Tips is certainly in that category, bagged or loose. Happy steeping!
PG Tips might be “perfectly great,” but A.C.’s blog, Tea Time with A.C. Cargill, ain’t too shabby either. Check it out today!
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