Review of Marks & Spencer’s Empress Grey Teabags

I found myself in Marks & Spencer’s the other day for some emergency food for dinner. On doing so I ended up passing the tea aisle. I had a sudden thought that reminded me that I was researching tea for my blog. So what else could a girl do but pick up a couple of boxes to try. One of these being the Empress Grey teabags. I decided on this variety of teabags as I felt they were the closest I was going to get to my favourite lady Grey teabags. The front of the packaging describes the tea as light delicate and zesty with sweet notes of orange and lemon. It also describes it as strength number one which is light. Perfect for an individual who has their tea milk free. Oh on a positive note it is also fair trade tea. I was immediately drawn to the inviting purple and black boxed pattern around the box.
On opening the cardboard box foil packaging is revealed, great for keeping the teabags fresh. I was immediately hit by the aroma coming from the foil packaging once opened. There was a very strong aroma of bergamot and citrus. I couldn’t distinguish between the lemon and orange elements of the aroma. I personally found this smell slightly overpowering and artificial in smell, it was almost as if it was chemically. This could perhaps be because I’m not used to drinking high strength teas and not used to a strong aroma. However, the description describes it as being light. I did not let this put me off and eagerly anticipated my new cup of tea. The teabag quickly infused with the hot water, quicker in fact compared to other teas that I have had. It recommends that the tea is brewed for 3 to 5 minutes and then have milk or lemon added if desired. I’m afraid my teabag was removed within a minute, as it was becoming too strong for my personal taste. On removing the teabag there was a definite aroma of bergamot and citrus noted. I was still unable to distinguish between the lemon and orange flavouring. The aroma overall was slightly strong and overpowering and I still felt a little artificial. On tasting the tea I was definitely able to taste the bergamot element and this citrus flavours combined. However, I was unable to distinguish between the orange and lemon.
I was disappointed by the teabags as I hoped they would be Marks & Spencer’s version of Lady Grey. Maybe it’s wrong of me to compare them to a different brand and I should learn to embrace the stronger flavours and persevere with these teabags. On a positive note I could get 2 cups of tea for the price of one. Oh and they are Fairtrade which is always a good thing.


  1. Anne heydon
    February 11, 2017 / 3:55 pm

    I have been sad to see that I can’t get my favourite tea, I have drunk empress grey tea for many years now and apart from thee odd herbal empress grey is all I drink I take some in my hand bag where ever I go.

    • February 11, 2017 / 8:18 pm

      Hi Anne thank you for taking the time to read my tea review. It’s always good to have some tea with you, Chloe.

  2. June 6, 2017 / 6:12 pm

    while looking for Earl Greym fund Empress Grey -, decided to try out. strong, but fantastic flavour, manufacturer should specify is flavouring is natural or artificial I think its natural,

    • June 7, 2017 / 7:43 pm

      Yes I wish they would specify on my flavours.

  3. May 11, 2018 / 4:49 am

    I now in May 2018 have just found my local M&S food hall has stopped stocking the shelves with this my favourite tea, stating that they are cutting down on the amount of flavours of tea they are selling. Empress Grey and also there Chi tea. I love these two tea flavours from M&S as the tea dose not overpower the shuttle citrus flavour. This was a great hook, in getting me into the store as whilst there I would end up buying many other products.

    • Pinkiebag
      May 12, 2018 / 6:55 pm

      Hi, that’s a shame that they no longer stock those teas. Have you tried Twinings lady grey? It’s in most supermarkets.

  4. Angela Pearce
    June 20, 2018 / 3:18 pm

    I have been completely hooked on Empress Grey tea bags M&S, came back after 3 months in Spain, in a campervan, wanted to stock up, both home & Van & was completely bereft to find they no longer stock them ! Oh No!! Now what?Does anyone know where I can buy them. Have looked on internet & was shocked to find the price! ! Will not pay that much. Please M&S get them back.

    • Pinkiebag
      August 18, 2018 / 6:04 pm

      Have you tried Twinnings lady grey? That may be an alternative to try.

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