Forty Shades of Green: The Best Green Tea Brands for a Refreshing Brew

August 5, 2022

We already took an in-depth look at green tea in one of our previous posts. There we broke down how it is produced, the distinct flavor profile, the types of green tea, and more. In this article, however, we want to introduce you to some of the best green teas on the market. After all, if you want the best tasting green tea, you need to know where to start. So, without further ado, here is your guide to selecting the right green tea for you.

Our Picks

How to Select the Best Green Tea Brand for You

No thanks, take me to the Best Green Teas

Before we move onto our list of the top brands, you first need to know how to select green tea. As you can imagine, there is quite a bit of variety out there. To top it all off, there is a significant discrepancy between the types and brands. So, to select the top options, here is what you will need to know: 

cup of green tea

The Growing Region – Does It Matter?

When it comes to tea growing regions, Asian countries such as China, India, and Sri Lanka are ahead of the curve when it comes to most kinds of tea.

However, for green tea, China and Japan lead the race. This is because green tea is drunk in larger quantities in these countries.

Thus, if you want a taste of authenticity, opt for a tea that is grown in either China or Japan.

That is not to say that green tea grown in other regions is less superior – not at all. However, the tea that is grown and processed in these areas often have a slightly different taste. Rather than notes of grassiness, you will find the green teas from India and Ceylon to be slightly earthier. At the end of the day, it is just a matter of taste. 

Know Your Seasons

If you thought you didn’t need to know when your tea is harvested, think again! Learning how the tea leaves were picked and processed is actually quite important.

This is because the harvest season actually has an impact on the quality and the taste of the final product.

If you do have a more discerning palate, you may want to choose the teas that were picked during the earliest point of the harvest.

This often results in a delightful and sprightly green tea. Of course, these teas are often a bit more expensive as well.

Thus, if this isn’t such an important factor to you, you may want to opt for teas picked during the secondary harvest time.

Loose Tea, Tea Bags – What's the Difference?

Believe it or not, there is a science to brewing your green tea. Let’s break this down a bit so that you can understand why loose tea is often better for you than tea bags.

To begin with, loose tea tends to be of a higher quality. In particular, the leaves are whole and uncut. Thus, the taste and the nutrient content are preserved quite a bit. As you can imagine, this translates to a much better cup of tea.

Another issue with tea bags is that they are quite restrictive. Due to this, the green tea leaves aren’t able to unfurl as fully as they should. This, in turn, restricts how much flavor and nutrients are released into the water.

So, what if your only option is tea bags? Well, in this case, there is a solution. For a brew that is similar to loose tea, opt for the premium or luxury tea bags. In particular, focus on those with uncut leaves and larger tea bags as well.

Go Organic

Many people are on the fence when it comes to drinking organic beverages. This is often because these products tend to have a higher price tag.

Is it worth it to go organic with your green tea, however? Well, the research seems to show that it is probably a good idea.

Many popular brands can actually have a higher number of pesticides than most people realize. So, if you want to err on the side of caution, drinking organic green tea is a good way to start.

At the very least, do your homework on the brands you want to buy to make sure they are growing their tea leaves in a safe and ethical manner.

Check for Freshness

With green tea, freshness can be especially important. The fresher the batch, the better it tastes. Not to mention, fresh green tea often has a higher level of nutrients as well.

Thus, always look at the harvesting and packaging date on the tea that you wish to purchase. This should give you some idea of how long it will last.

Furthermore, examine how the tea has been packaged. Is it in airtight container or package? Has it been shielded from the sun?

Green teas that have been packed well are more likely to remain fresh for a longer period of time.

The Best Brands of Green Tea

Now that you are aware of the exact factors to look for, you can move onto the list of the top rated green tea brands on the market.

loose leaf green tea

Best Loose Leaf Green Tea

The best way to brew a cup of green tea, of course, is to use leaves. This provides you with a more complete flavor profile. Here are our picks for this category:

Luxury Pick

3,850 Reviews
If you would like to enjoy some of the purest green tea around, then this is the tea to reach for. From the presentation of the leaves to the aroma and taste, there is a lot to enjoy about this tea, especially if you have a more discerning palate.

What We Like:

  • Excellent Leaf Structure: the leaves in the pellets are long and unbroken. As such, when they are placed in hot water, they unfurl well and release a delicious taste and aroma.
  • Flavorful and Light Taste: whether you are a novice or expert in green tea, you are sure to enjoy the taste of this brand. While there is a notable green tea flavor, it is light and airy, ensuring that there is no bitterness.
  • Easy to Brew: as the tea comes in pellet form, it is quite easy to measure out the right amount and brew the tea without making a mess as well.

What We Don’t Like:

  • Heightened Jasmine Aroma: the aroma of jasmine is quite noticeable in this tea. While it isn’t overwhelming, it may be a bit off-putting to the uninitiated.

Value Pick

8,343 Reviews
If you are looking for a balance between price and quality, then Davidson’s has just what you need. Although it is available in larger quantities and at a lower cost, the green tea is available in pellets.

What We Like:

  • Unbroken Tea Leaves: it is a pleasant surprise that you get long, unbroken tea leaves with this brand. As a result, when you brew the leaves, you get a more authentic color and taste to your tea.
  • Good Flavor Profile: the flavor profile with this green tea is quite good as well. It is strong and deep, but not overwhelming – it is still a good pick for someone who is being introduced to green tea. 
  • Long-Lasting Freshness: the tea is quite fresh when it arrives at your doorstep and continues to maintain its fresh taste for quite a while. 

What We Don’t Like:

  • Inconsistent Quality: the quality can be rather inconsistent with this brand from one batch to the next.

Our Pick

1,962 Reviews
Harney and Sons is a well-known tea company and the brand has really made a mark with this Japanese Sencha. If you are looking for a more authentic green tea drinking experience, then these are the leaves for you.

What We Like:

  • Well-Sourced Leaves: the green tea leaves are sourced from a reputable supplier, ensuring that the high quality of the tea leaves is maintained.
  • True Green Tea Taste: the blend of green tea produces a real and unvarnished aroma and flavor of green tea. It is an excellent option for purists.
  • Good Medium Body Flavor: this tea boasts a medium-bodied flavor that includes hints of spinach and a mild roasted flavor.

What We Don’t Like:

  • Taste Can Be Strong: the strength of this green tea may be a bit much for most people.
green tea bag

Best Green Tea Bags

When you need a cup of green tea in a pinch, you can’t really play around with whole tea leaves. In times such as these, you need to rely on teabags. Here are the ones that will still offer up a great taste of green tea:

Luxury Pick

6,278 Reviews
One of Vadham’s calling cards is a high quality green tea leaf. What's excellent about this tea bag is that the brand doesn’t skimp on the quality. Thus, it is as close to a full leaf green tea brew as you can get.

What We Like:

  • Single Origin Tea: the tea leaves in the bags are all from a single estate or farm. As such, the high quality – and the taste is maintained every time.
  • Long Leaf Tea: the tea leaves in the bags are longleaf, much like with loose leaf tea. This allows the tea to unfurl properly and to let out more of its taste and aroma.
  • Earthy Taste: this green has an earthier, deeper taste than some of the other traditional options. As such, there is less of the grassy taste which can be off-putting to some.

What We Don’t Like:

  • Different from Japanese Teas: this version is a bit different from traditional Japanese teas. Thus, purists may not appreciate it as much.

Value Pick

9,977 Reviews
Bigelow is one of the better-known brands of green tea. It provides a good quality green tea without an unnecessarily high price tag.

What We Like:

  • Well-Sourced Ingredients: the green tea leaves are hand-picked from high elevation gardens. It is also gently processed to maximize flavor.
  • Good Flavor Profile: this green tea has a slightly vegetal flavor and is quite delicate, with a hint of sweetness. It works quite well for first-time drinkers.
  • Certified B Corporation: the brand is socially responsible, ensuring that your green tea is properly sourced.

What We Don’t Like:

  • Not Very Strong: you will often have to use two green tea bags to get a good flavor from this tea. So, if you enjoy the taste of green tea, this may not be a potent enough brew.

Our Pick

2,948 Reviews
If you are serious about your green tea, then you will be hard-pressed to find a brand that offers you as much in terms of selection and flavor.While Tazo is only just now really beginning to pick up steam, the reason for its popularity is clear. This company is responsible for some of the most innovative green tea on the market.

What We Like:

  • All-Natural Ingredients: all of the ingredients present in the green tea blends are naturally sourced. In particular, they are GMO-free.
  • Tasty Flavors: there are so many different tasty blends to enjoy. So, if you are just getting used to the taste of green tea, this is one of the best brands.
  • Decent Price: while this green tea isn’t exactly cheap, it is still affordable enough to enjoy a few times a week without breaking the bank.

What We Don’t Like:

  • Not for Purists: considering all of the blends and flavors, the green tea taste isn’t prominent. So, if you are a green tea purist, this brand may not work for you.
green tea in chinese tea cup

Best Organic Green Tea

If you want to avoid pesticides, artificial additives, or similar components, then it is best to opt for organic green tea. The following options are some of the best on the market:

Luxury Pick

1,818 Reviews
One of the factors that put this green tea ahead of the crowd is the sheer attention to quality. You will be hard-pressed to find a brand that has a better commitment to purity and authenticity.

What We Like:

  • Well-Harvested: the tea is grown on a single estate and is harvested during the first spring. This is what elevates the quality and the taste of the tea.
  • Authentic Taste: this tea has a bright and fresh taste to it. The taste is as close to an authentic cup of Japanese green tea as it gets.
  • High Nutritional Value: due to the time that the leaves are harvested, these green tea leaves have a higher nutritional value than most others.

What We Don’t Like:

  • Taste May Not Be for Everyone: if you aren’t able to distinguish between the subtle notes and tones of green tea, this may not be a suitable brand for you.

Value Pick

What We Like:

  • Good Taste: while this green tea may not be top of the line, it certainly isn’t bad. In fact, its mild but fresh and sprightly flavor may appeal to a wider audience.
  • Good Value: you get plenty of tea bags for a rather impressive price. Thus, if you wanted to drink green tea on a daily basis, this brand would allow you to do so.
  • Consistent Quality: you get consistent quality with this tea and thus, you can be certain that every batch will be the same.

What We Don’t Like:

  • Weak Brew: the tea can be quite weak so you may want to use at least two bags when brewing yourself a cup.

Our Pick

6,756 Reviews
Numi Organic Tea has certainly made a name for itself among green teas. We prefer it because it boasts an excellent, wholesome flavor.

What We Like:

  • Bold Taste: if you enjoy the taste of pure green tea, then this brand is an absolute delight. It offers up rolled pearls of tea that unfurl to give off a smoky flavor.
  • High-quality Ingredients: the company takes a great deal of pride in only choosing tea leaves of the highest grade. What’s more, the tea is organic as well.
  • Excellent Processing System: the green tea leaves are processed for only a short period after they are picked. They are also gently steamed to maintain as much of the taste and nutrients as possible.

What We Don’t Like:

  • Can Be Quite Strong: this tea isn’t for the faint of heart. With its strong, smoky flavor, beginner green tea drinkers may find it a bit much.

This concludes your guide to selecting the best green tea on the market. With these tips as well as your very own shopping guide, you should be able to pinpoint which brew is most suitable for your tastes, wallet, and lifestyle. After that, you can simply become a loyal fan for life!

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About the Author
Dr. Dheena Sadik
Dr. Dheena Sadik is a consultant Nutritionist and Dietician. She has over a decade of experience in the health and fitness industry.
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