best tea brands

What’s In a Label?
We Left No Leaf Unturned When Uncovering The Best Tea Brands

[2020 Update]

Are you a tea brand lifer? You probably are! Most people get hooked onto a certain brand at some point in their life. And after that, they never look back.

Now, there is no judgment here – we were part of this pack too. That all changed when we realized just how many different brands were out there. Clearly, we were missing out on a lot.

Since we appreciate that you don’t have the time to sit and taste all the teas available, we took the liberty of doing this for you. So, without further ado, here are the results of our search.

Our Picks
Twinings Black Tea
Twinings Black Tea

Twinings Tea has the ultimate recommendation – Queen Elizabeth II herself drinks a cup at least once a day! Despite this lofty overtone, the tea is far more affordable than you might expect.

Now, it isn’t just the royal association that makes Twinings out favorite pick. Its offerings of black tea and its commitment to quality keeps it on top. 

Tazo Green Tea
Tazo Green Tea

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. 

Pukka Herbal Tea
Pukka Herbal Tea

If you would like a more holistic approach to your herbal teas, then the Pukka tea company is it. The brand has a major focus on wellbeing.

This is reflected in their herbal teas. A number of their tisanes have been specially blended to produce a variety of positive and healthy effects. 

Salada White Tea
Salada White Tea

Salada is a bit of a cult hit among tea drinkers. Although it isn’t as widely known as some of the other brands on this list, it has nonetheless left its mark.

One of the more discerning traits of this brand is that it uses a mix of traditional and modern techniques to produce some of the finest tasting mid-range tea around. 

The Republic of Tea - Oolong
The Republic of Tea - Oolong

Republic of Tea stays as close to its tea origins as possible. As such, you can expect a more traditional taste with this brand.

At the same time, the company isn’t afraid to get a little creative as well, ensuring that there is something for everyone. 

How to Identify the Best Tea Companies

OK, technically we can just introduce you to the best rated tea brands currently on the market. However, that would feel like we were letting a great teaching moment pass us by.

So, instead, we’re going to give you some insight into how to spot a top tea brand all by yourself. Here’s what you should know: 

Popularity Doesn’t Reflect Quality  


Even if you have never drunk a cup of tea in your life, there will still be popular tea brands that you recognize immediately. These can easily be found on supermarket shelves everywhere.

Naturally, it is easy to imagine that these brands are good. After all, isn’t that why it’s quite so prevalent? Well, the unfortunate truth is that there isn’t always an overlap between fame and quality.

Take Lipton, for instance. According to the numbers, it has sold more tea than any other brand in the US.

However, if you were to ask a tea expert, they probably wouldn’t have too many complimentary things to say about these tea bags.

The moral of the story is:
Don’t pick your tea brand simply based on how popular it is.

Best Tea Bag Brands vs. Loose Tea Brands


So, the jury is in – loose tea is better than tea bags in terms of taste and quality. This is true even for the best tea bag companies as well. 

More often than not, the tea leaves in tea bags are poor quality or have been ground so finely that they have lost much of their taste and aroma.

This means that if you really want to experience a great-tasting cup of tea, loose tea is the way to go. Of course, even if this becomes common knowledge, the average person isn’t going to give up their tea bags.

Tea bags allow you to brew your drink quickly and with minimal fuss. So, is there a workaround for those days when you want to enjoy your brew, but can’t be bothered to make an effort?

Well, there is. See, the best luxury tea brands make an effort to include higher quality leaves in their tea bags. What’s more, the leaves aren’t quite as chopped up as with other companies.

Thus, if you really don’t want to do away with your tea bags permanently, you should make an investment in a higher-quality brand.

Loose leaf tea

Know the Backstory


What many people don’t know is that teas from various parts of the world can actually taste different. In fact, the taste can vary from one estate to another!

This is because the taste and quality of tea are dependent on a number of factors. These include: 

  • Environment 
  • Cultivars
  • Cultural practices
  • Tea processing techniques

In short, the soil where the tea bushes are planted – as well as the surrounding plants – can all have an impact on the final tea taste.

So, if you want some insight on what your cup of tea is going to taste like, do your research. You will then be able to select a company that grows tea in conditions that are more suitable to your preferred palate. 

What You Should Know About Price


Let’s face it, the last thing that you want to do is to shell out a lot of money on your tea. Especially if you are someone who likes to drink several cups of tea a day.

While you may want to save money, though, there is no denying that price is often indicative of quality.

In many cases, more expensive brands take greater care with growing and producing their tea leaves. This means that you end up with the highest quality of leaves with a minimal amount of blending.

Naturally, you get a better tasting cuppa.

So, does this mean that the only way to enjoy a great-tasting cup of tea is to buy the most expensive brand?

The good news is that this is not your only option. As you will find out in my reviews, there is always a middle-of-the-road brand.

Thus, you can get a great-tasting cup of tea, without having to empty your bank account in the process.

Follow Your Taste Buds


Now, all of the above guidelines are perfectly valid. If you want to find the best loose leaf tea brands, those are the suggestions to follow.

But, here’s the deal:

It is important to trust your taste buds. At the end of the day, they will be your greatest guide.

So, if a particular brand tastes good to you, then that should be enough proof that you have found a suitable product for yourself. 

The Best Tea Brands

OK, so now let’s get to the part that you’re really here for – the best hot tea brands on the market.

As you may know, picking the best of the best can be nearly impossible. It’s almost like being asked to pick your favorite child.

Not to mention, taste preference can differ from one person to another. This is why we have nominated three different brands under three separate categories.

This way, you can see what the best tea brands are at different levels. Let’s get started.

Black Tea


In most parts of the world, black tea is the most popular type. So, here are the brands that you should be stocking up on:

Black Tea

PREMIUM PICK

Dilmah Tea

Launched in 1988, Dilmah has only recently skyrocketed to universal fame. It is particularly known for its commitment to quality and taste, above all else.

The upside of this dedication is that it produces tea that is nearly unparalleled in terms of quality. At the same time, this level of production care ensures that the price tag of this tea is rather high. 

What We Like:
  • Single Origin Tea: the company only uses tea that has originated from a specific region. As such, the taste of the leaves remains unchanged.  
  • Unblended: Dilmah also ensures that its tea leaves remain unblended with others of different strains. Thus, each serving of the tea is made from the same, high-quality leaves.
  • Hand-plucked: all the tea leaves used to make Dilmah tea are hand-plucked, ensuring that only the finest leaves are carefully chosen each and every time.
  • Traditional Processing Methods: the company has eschewed the now-popular method for traditional processing options. As such, the tea leaves are never over-treated or ground too finely. In short, they maintain their aroma and flavor.
What We Don’t Like:
  • Requires an Experienced Palate: novice tea drinkers may not be able to appreciate the subtle flavors and aroma of the tea.
  • Not Readily Available: the tea still isn’t widely available in all countries.

VALUE PICK

Taylors of Harrogate

Taylors of Harrogate have been producing loose tea and tea bags since 1886. During this time, one of their offerings – Yorkshire Tea – has risen to particular fame in the United Kingdom.

It is especially favored for its notable taste and its low cost. If you want to drink an everyday cup of black tea without breaking the bank, this is the tea for you. 

What We Like:
  • Strong Taste: what Yorkshire tea is most known for is its strong taste. So, if you like a potent cuppa that you can prepare with a drop of milk, this tea will be a joy to drink.
  • Options for Hard and Soft Water: this brand provides tea based on the water found in your region.
  • Affordable: You can buy 100 or more tea bags for a very reasonable price. Thus, it offers great value.  
  • Rainforest Alliance Certified: to a certain degree, the company is associated with Rainforest Alliance. So, many of their practices are sustainable.
What We Don’t Like:
  • Blended Tea Leaves: the tea leaves used in the bags and loose tea come from three different countries. As such, you aren’t provided with a consistent, high-grade taste every time.
  • Tricky to Find Overseas: if you live outside the UK, you will probably have to resort to online shopping platforms to find this tea.

Our PICK

​Twinings Tea

Twinings Tea has the ultimate recommendation – Queen Elizabeth II herself drinks a cup at least once a day! Despite this lofty overtone, the tea is far more affordable than you might expect.

Now, it isn’t just the royal association that makes Twinings out favorite pick. Its offerings of black tea and its commitment to quality keeps it on top. 

What We Like:
  • Good Black Tea Selection: Twinings actually has a considerable selection to choose from. The most famous of them is Earl Grey and Lady Grey tea.
  • Mid-Range Quality: while the Twinings tea leaves aren’t necessarily single-origin, they are all plucked from Darjeeling. As such, it offers a more consistent flavor and aroma.
  • Ethically Sourced: Twinings has a huge positive social impact in the regions where their tea leaves are gathered.  
What We Don’t Like:
  • Standards Vary Across Blends: the only flaw we can find is that the brand doesn’t really maintain the standards across all blends of black tea. Thus, you do have to be careful about what you select.

Green Tea


The health benefits associated with green tea ensure that it is becoming one of the most popular types of tea around. Here are the best brands to buy this variety from:

Green Tea

PRemium PICK

Numi Tea

Numi Tea is practically the new kid on the block, only being established in 1999. Despite that, the company has quickly earned its reputation in the tea industry.

In particular, Numi tea is known for its potent, high-quality green teas. The green tea is available in an original flavor as well as a blended option. 

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 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.

​VALUE PICK

Bigelow Tea

Bigelow Tea offers you the best of both worlds. This is a company that strikes an appropriate balance between price and quality.

As an additional bonus, this brand allows you to enjoy some of the greenest tea flavors around. There are no other profiles or aromas to intrude on the natural taste. 

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 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

Tazo Tea

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 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.

Herbal Tea


As you may be well aware, herbal tea isn’t actually “tea” at all. Nevertheless, it is quite a popular drink. These are the brands that offer up the best flavor and nutrient profile:

Herbal Tea

​PREMIUM PICK

Smith Teamaker

In business since 1949, Smith Teamaker has gained a reputation for being a discerning producer. It is particularly well-known for its delicious herbal brews.

Each type has been carefully sourced, ensuring that the taste is as wholesome and as natural as possible. This is an excellent brand for a hardcore enthusiast. 

What We Like:
  • Great, Natural Taste: if you are someone who appreciates a natural herbal brew, then this is a brand that certainly delivers every time.
  • Well-Sourced Ingredients: the ingredients have been carefully sourced from their native lands to ensure that they are as fresh and wholesome as possible.
  • Excellent Blends: the herbal blends are delicious and have been carefully selected to offer up a balanced taste. As a result, no one flavor overpowers the other.
What We Don’t Like:
  • High Cost: considering that it is a premium pick, the high price tag is to be expected. Nevertheless, this is quite a pricey tea and may only be affordable as an occasional treat.

​VALUE PICK

Yogi Tea

Yogi is known for its wholesome production practices, ensuring that every cup you drink is safe and healthy.

At the same time, this is a rather adventurous brand with a wide blend of herbal teas available. Best of all, the range is quite affordable. 

What We Like:
  • Considerable Selection: there are all types of blends and fusions with this brand. As such, you will be spoilt for choice regardless of whether you prefer spicy, sweet, or vegetal flavors.
  • Can Soothe Specific Ailments: many of the teas have been produced to treat certain ailments. Thus, selecting a particular option may help to improve sleep issues, digestion, and even immunity.
  • Organic: all of the ingredients are vegan and have been naturally sourced. Therefore, they are completely safe to consume.
What We Don’t Like:
  • Taste Can Be Overwhelming: many of the blends can be quite overwhelming. So, if you are new to herbal teas, you may find that this brand is an acquired taste.

Our PICK

Pukka Tea

If you would like a more holistic approach to your herbal teas, then the Pukka tea company is it. The brand has a major focus on wellbeing.

This is reflected in their herbal teas. A number of their tisanes have been specially blended to produce a variety of positive and healthy effects. 

What We Like:
  • Gorgeous Blends: the different herbal ingredients have been beautifully blended together to produce a cohesive and refreshing taste.
  • Organic Ingredients: all the ingredients found in the Pukka teas are organic and wholesome.
  • Healthful Benefits: the various herbal teas have been specifically designed to help alleviate various physical issues.
  • Low Carbon Footprint: this tea boasts a low carbon footprint from the farm to the cup.
What We Don’t Like:
  • Mild Taste: these herbal teas may be rather mild for some individuals. For a stronger taste, you will need to steep the teas for longer.

White Tea


White tea is the least processed of all the teas derived from the Camellia Sinensis plant. As such, it boasts a lighter and sweeter flavor than its counterparts. Here are some of the brands that truly bring this tea to life:

White Tea

PREMIUM PICK

Harney and Sons Tea

Unlike many of the other brands on this list, this company got its start in the United States. Since then, however, it has worked to stay as true to the original tea roots as possible.

At the same time, this distinguished brand has taken the liberty of composing some unique blends to appeal to more adventurous tea drinkers in the country. 

What We Like:
  • Variety of Blends: as well as the unblended versions, there are plenty of white tea blends to enjoy with this brand. Best of all, they each have a theme.
  • Exquisitely Processed: due to its delicate flavor, white teas have to be handled properly. From appropriate plucking techniques to air drying, Harney and Sons make certain that the leaves are taken care of.
  • Great Taste and Aroma: each of the white teas boasts a delicate yet noticeable flavor that is suitable for veterans and first-timers alike.
What We Don’t Like:
  • Unblended Versions are Expensive: the unblended white tea options can be quite expensive for the average tea drinker.

​VALUE PICK

Allegro Tea

Not only is Allegro an American company, but it produces just as much coffee as it does tea. Despite this split pedigree, the brand stands out as one of the better options on the market.

The company takes quite a bit of care in sourcing their ingredients, ensuring that you end up with a delicious and wholesome cup of white tea. 


What We Like:
  • Delicious Blend: the white tea is combined with hints of passionfruit, guava, and coconut for a delicious tropical taste. It is perfect for first-time white tea drinkers.
  • Organic Ingredients: all of the ingredients are natural and organic, maintaining the purest taste possible in every cup.
  • Sustainable Growing Practices: all the tea leaves are grown in a sustainable manner, ensuring that you enjoy a clear conscience with each brew.
What We Don’t Like:
  • Only One Flavor: there is just the one, blended taste available. So, if you are looking for something that is unblended, you will need to go with one of the other two picks.

​OUR PICK

Salada Tea

Salada is a bit of a cult hit among tea drinkers. Although it isn’t as widely known as some of the other brands on this list, it has nonetheless left its mark.

One of the more discerning traits of this brand is that it uses a mix of traditional and modern techniques to produce some of the finest tasting mid-range tea around. 

What We Like:
  • Well-Sourced Tea Leaves: the white tea leaves for this brand’s drink is harvested on mountains in China. The perfect surroundings allow for a more natural flavor.
  • Minimal Processing: Salada only minimally processes these tea leaves. As a result, natural flavors are maintained and preserved.
  • Affordable: the brand is quite affordable all around – however, its white teas are particularly fairly priced when compared to other high-end brands.
What We Don’t Like:
  • Mild Flavor: the flavor is quite mild. So, you often have to use more tea bags for the flavor to really seep through.

Oolong Tea


You can think of Oolong tea as a mix between dark and green teas. Thus, when you drink this tea, you get to enjoy the best of both worlds. Now, let’s take a look at the brands that do this better than the rest.

Oolong Tea

​PREMIUM PICK

Vadham Tea

This exclusive tea brand is all about cutting the middlemen out of the process. As a result, you are provided with an oolong tea that is as close to the natural source as possible.

This is just one of the reasons that Vadham Tea is our premium pick. 

What We Like:
  • Exquisite Taste: this oolong tea is full-bodied and robust. The natural oolong flavor is enhanced by fruity undertones.
  • Well-Sourced Leaves: the leaves have been sourced from the high mountains in Darjeeling. As such, they have been highly graded.
  • Ultimate Freshness: the tea leaves are mildly processed and quickly packaged, ensuring that very little freshness is lost during the process.
What We Don’t Like:
  • May Be a Bit Strong: if you don’t like a stronger oolong flavor, this may prove to be a bit too potent for you.

​VALUE PICK

Teatulia Tea

Teatulia Tea has really picked up steam over the last few years. While it does offer a number of teas, its oolong options do stand out for their unique and notable taste.

Thus, you will be hard-pressed to go wrong by selecting this brand. 

What We Like:
  • Delicious Taste: the only thing better than the sweet and spicy aroma of the tea is the taste. It is full-bodied with notes of lemon and sake.  
  • Single Sourced Garden Leaves: the leaves are all sourced from a single garden which helps to maintain a more cohesive taste.
  • Organic: this oolong tea is wholly organic and is grown in a sustainable way as well.
What We Don’t Like:
  • Taste Can Vary by Batch: sometimes, this tea can tend to be on the darker side, depending on the batch.

​OUR PICK

Republic of Tea

Republic of Tea stays as close to its tea origins as possible. As such, you can expect a more traditional taste with this brand.

At the same time, the company isn’t afraid to get a little creative as well, ensuring that there is something for everyone. 

What We Like:
  • Gorgeous Flavor Profile: this is a brand that really understands the taste of oolong tea. As such, you are treated to a subtle yet aromatic tea, regardless of the variety.
  • Interesting Selection: there is also a delicious selection of blended and unblended teas. Each of them has been carefully designed to balance all of the flavor profiles in every cup.
  • Well-Sourced Leaves: the leaves have been sourced from China or Taiwan, ensuring that you really are getting an authentic version.
What We Don’t Like:
  • Subtle Flavor: the subtler flavors may not appeal to more seasoned oolong tea drinkers.

So, there you have it. These are the best tea brands for virtually every type of tea that you would like to drink. The next time you are considering making a switch, keep these tea brands in mind. As you can see, there is something here for everyone.

What do you think of our list? If you want to stay tuned for even more tips on the best tea products head to our Facebook page now!

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