How were you introduced to Red Rose tea?


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How were you introduced to Red Rose tea?

Jan 19, 2020, 10:10 am

Red Rose seems to be a go-to brand for some of us. How were you introduced to it?

My parents were coffee drinkers. There was a tin of Lipton tea bags in the pantry, used only for when we were feeling ill. For tummy sickness, it was either ginger ale or a cup of tea with sugar and milk.

Not picking up on the coffee taste, my beverage of choice became a cup of tea, with sugar. But it was generally Lipton or a bargain brand, all through college and into my work life.

It was a boss I had in the 80s that introduced me to Red Rose as a superior choice. Mike was head appraiser at the office of World Mortgage in Vienna, VA. He was a great and understated guy at work. But it was just his day job. He was really a jazz musician, and lived for the weekend. I believe his instrument was saxophone.

Anyway, one of the things I'll always be grateful for was his suggestion of tea brand. Until I tried it, I thought tea was supposed to have a bitter aftertaste.

Editado: Jan 19, 2020, 10:16 am

Mom kept some on hand, usually. It was her favorite brand, though she sometimes got the cheaper brands to save money. Most she and Dad drank coffee, but when Dad had to give that up on doctor's orders, they opted for Red Rose as the best alternative. In that era, it was the best you could find in the supermarket. Still is a fine cup of tea.

Jan 19, 2020, 12:48 pm

It's the tea I grew up with. Still a basic, although I'm drinking a lot more loose tea right now because I hate the plastic-infused tea bags. Still, the tea we drink with dinner is always Red Rose.

Of course, the little china animals that used to come in the Red Rose tea boxes were an added bonus when I was a kid :)

Jan 19, 2020, 2:26 pm

It's just something I picked up in the drugstore here in Canada, am (was) not aware of some larger tradition. I get either Red Rose or Tetley's "bold" from Shoppers, whichever is on sale.

Very sad to hear it used to come with the little china animals and doesn't anymore. :(

Jan 19, 2020, 3:06 pm

It still has the Ward figurines in the U.S. At least the last box I bought had the farm series going. I got a tractor. 😀

Jan 19, 2020, 3:07 pm

*so jealous*

Jan 19, 2020, 10:48 pm

What is Red Rose tea? Is it a particular manufacturer or brand name, or a particular blend? In UK we grew up with household names such as Tetleys and PG Tips.

Jan 20, 2020, 3:47 am

>7 John5918: And in Denmark it was Medova Te before Lipton and Douwe Egbert invaded us :-)

Jan 20, 2020, 10:27 am

I was an adult before I knew Red Rose existed ... started seeing chat about it on a tea-lovers' website ( and when I discovered you could (occasionally) find it in SW Missouri, I snapped up a box. And discovered it is a good, basic, no-frills, can't-ruin-it tea, hot or cold.

Editado: Jan 20, 2020, 10:33 pm

My mother always drank Lipton but in her later years bought Red Rose as well.

When I decided to drink less coffee, I went looking for some Earl Grey which I heard was good. My local grocery had Red Rose Earl Grey, which is now my favorite tea. Or is it Reddish-Grey Earl Rose?

Jan 20, 2020, 6:36 pm

>7 John5918: Red Rose is a brand. It's an orange pekoe tea, fairly strong. They used to have commercials that said "Only in Canada, eh? Pity!"

Jan 20, 2020, 7:06 pm

Never had Red Rose. Grew up in the American South. My mom made a pitcher of sweet tea every night for dinner. She always used Lipton Family Size Teabags.

Editado: Jan 23, 2020, 3:46 am

>11 tardis: Don't recall those but might have been before my time.

Being Canadian, Red Rose what just what I got. My mom bought it, and pretty much every restaurant had it. It was Red Rose by default. Even when I was working a Tim Horton's, there was Tim Horton's "specialty" tea, and then Red Rose for everyone who asked for "tea" with no further instruction. It didn't come in fancy pre-wrapped packages like the Tim Horton's brand. It was always bulked packed in loose bags.

Lipton, as far as I knew at the time, made pre-mixed iced tea.

We still have Red Rose around because we've yet to find a suitable, reliable, replacement. Even though I have piles of loose leaf, I tend to have moods for what type I have. Red Rose has always been a good staple "good for any occasion" tea.

I see those little figurines for sale on auction sites and such.

Jan 22, 2020, 9:56 am

>3 tardis: When I heard about some teabags being a blend of paper and plastic, I nearly choked. I've been trying to eliminate plastics contamination in my food supply. And daily hot water doses of plastic is not my "cup of tea!"

I've had reason to correspond with their customer service office, so I asked directly about the teabag composition. She gave me a very waffly answer; not direct in any fashion. So I tried the match test. It seems to burn clean. There is a wisp of ash, but it's not greasy or fused.

I remember that years back, Canada posted a report that listed pesticide residues in teas, and Red Rose came out pretty clean.

Jan 22, 2020, 1:09 pm

Ha. I found my questions and the answers exchanged in 2018:

1st email:

I've been reading up on plastics contamination in food products.

There are recent news stories about tea bags with plastic content within the paper, deliberately added to assist in sealing the tea bag. I read today that there is also an organochlorine product, Epichlorohydrin, used to reinforce paper in the food industry.

I'd like to know whether your tea bags use either plastic (polypropylene) or Epichlorohydrin.

Thanks for your reply,

a very long-time consumer of Red Rose tea


There is no plastic in the new envelope paper. It is a food grade coating, much like what is on the outside of the carton to make the carton shiny. It is approved for food contact and is "no danger to human health." The envelope is still biodegradable.

We are not only bound by FDA and USDA regulations, but because we are owned by a German company, we are under strict regulations through the European Union concerning pesticides and herbicides.

2nd inquiry:

So, that is a Yes on the use of Epichlorohydrin?


The answer to your question is no.

Jan 22, 2020, 2:54 pm

>15 2wonderY: Good to know. I have to say, though, that the bags DON'T seem to break down in my compost. I am a "master" composter, and my compost gets very hot. On the other hand, the bag residue after composting doesn't feel like plastic. More like reemay garden fabric.

Jan 22, 2020, 3:42 pm

>16 tardis: I use the Ruth Stout method, and just throw my compostables into the garden and cover with mulch. I haven't noticed tea bags not rotting. I'll look though next time I'm on the ridgetop.

Jan 22, 2020, 9:47 pm

Here in Calif my last three boxes have included a tractor, space shuttle and a patriot hat. It has been about a year since my last box tho and I am due for another - For bags I drink both Lipton and Red Rose tho I prefer Red Rose a little. I also like tetley. I don't think I drank Red Rose or used teabags until well into adulthood. My gram would make me lipton as much as I recall and when I went away to college I bought bulk tea tins at Cost Plus so I always had something "unusual" in my teaball whether it was Twinnings or Billy tea from Australia or whatever. I splurge on tins of taylor's of harrogate now and then, which is probably my favorite. I also enjoyed Peet's teas for many years but haven't bought them since the change and when so many were discontinued.

Jan 23, 2020, 2:33 am

Wade Whimsies were a big draw. Lately I’ve been buying Typhoo Tips in boxes of 150 at Tuesday Morning ... but both are nice black teas..

Jan 23, 2020, 3:58 am

The teas that are staples vary at the stores I go to. Red Rose is everywhere, of course. Twinnings, Stash, Tetley, and Lipton are frequently with it, and then there will be a less common brand like Dilmah, Typhoo, Yorkshire, Tea India, and whatever the store has for a house brand orange pekoe. There's more, but those are the ones I know off the top of my head as far as bag teas or teas that don't call themselves "specialty."

I've seen King Cole and Alokozay brands precisely once. Spotted the Alokozay at a Canadian Tire of all places. Tried to get more but never saw it again.

Jan 23, 2020, 4:09 am

Most of the chain stores around me don’t carry Red Rose. I have to plan a stop in another state to stock up on it. Keep tins of it at work, home, cabin and both daughters homes. Older daughter finally adopted my habit of keeping a pot going all day and broke her soda habit. Her health improved markedly.

Jan 23, 2020, 10:18 am

My mom is a big tea drinker, and the default black tea in our house was always Red Rose. I still have all the little figurines from back then. Unfortunately, Aldi doesn't carry it, and even ShopRite only has it every once in a while. I'm going to have to start ordering it online, but it's totally worth it. Best black tea ever!

Jan 23, 2020, 12:08 pm

We always had a box of Red Rose in the cupboard growing up. I loved the little figurines. I think my mom made iced tea with it. We always had several brands of tea around, but Red Rose is what sticks in my memory.

Jan 23, 2020, 5:57 pm

My family too had the seemingly required box of Lipton tea. I first tasted English tea oddly enough in the South Pacific. We lived in American Samoa for two years (Dad got a job there in education) and visited its neighboring island Western Samoa which at the time (1966) was using the "pound" as its currency. Our tour guide was a nun we had met in American Samoa who took us to various convents where the nuns spoke with English accents and served tea and crumpets. I first had Red Rose tea at the Tudor House in Santa Monica, California when taken there by an English friend. I immediately bought a box of it and continued, especially when they used to include the little ceramic animal in each box.

Jan 24, 2020, 12:59 pm

Collected figurines.

Out 8, 2020, 7:46 pm

Bought some at the store when I was looking for some Earl Grey...

Nov 28, 2020, 1:57 am

Opened a new box of Red Rose yesterday, and I was appalled. They have begun wrapping each bag in its own paper envelope and the tag is integral with the envelope. Not only is it a terrible waste of materials; it’s a pain to disengage the bag. I will be registering my protest by email.

Nov 28, 2020, 2:14 am

>27 2wonderY:

Yes, it's getting more and more difficult to find tea bags which are just bog standard tea bags, without individual paper or foil sachets and various types of tags and strings. I suppose they call it progress; I would agree with you and call it waste and a pain.