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Updated September 2022
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Pros
Cons
Best of the Best
Tiesta Tea Top 8 Favorites Tea Sampler
Tiesta Tea
Top 8 Favorites Tea Sampler
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High-Quality Tea
Bottom Line

This is a highly preferred tea set for its health benefits and great flavors.

Pros

Each pack contains 8 flavors. Ranging in caffeine levels, the tea leaves boast a natural taste that suits the palate of all tea lovers. Includes premium health benefits and each blend has a unique flavor.

Cons

Loose-leaf tea, making it difficult to brew while traveling.

Best Bang for the Buck
Stash Herbal & Decaf Tea Sampler - 40 Tea Bag, 20 Flavor Assortment
Stash
Herbal & Decaf Tea Sampler - 40 Tea Bag, 20 Flavor Assortment
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Tea Bags for Everyday Use
Bottom Line

Enjoy a freshly brewed cup with top-quality natural ingredients, delicious taste, and health benefits.

Pros

Every pack contains 40 tea bags with 20 flavors and By The Cup honey sticks. Has 100% natural ingredients and no artificial flavors. The teabags are decaffeinated.

Cons

Some flavors are on the sweeter side, which can be a drawback for some people.

Taylors of Harrogate Classic Tea Variety Box, 48 Count
Taylors of Harrogate
Classic Tea Variety Box, 48 Count
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Expert-Recommended
Bottom Line

An outstanding assortment of teas by a company that's been selecting teas since the 1880s. The best variety, quality, and quantity for the price.

Pros

Offers an impressive assortment of flavorful teas – 8 varieties and 48 tea bags. Tea connoisseurs rave about the unique flavors including Lemon & Orange, Black Tea, and Ceylon Breakfast. Comes nicely packaged.

Cons

A few flavors are stronger than others, and the tea bags aren't individually packaged.

Twinings English Breakfast Tea, Keurig K-Cups, 24 Count
Twinings
English Breakfast Tea, Keurig K-Cups, 24 Count
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Customer Favorite
Bottom Line

If you want robust tea and have a Keurig, you will enjoy how easy it is to make this classic blend.

Pros

Owners of Keurig brewing systems can't get enough of this English breakfast blend crafted with black tea by Twinings of London, a company that's been making tea since the 1700s. 24 pods.

Cons

The flavor may be too bold for tea drinkers who prefer a milder taste. Some tea enthusiasts prefer the traditional method of brewing.

VAHDAM Assorted Tea Bag Sampler - 8 Tea Flavors
VAHDAM
Assorted Tea Bag Sampler - 8 Tea Flavors
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Best-Selling Teabags
Bottom Line

A pack of delicious teas that are freshly sourced, making it healthy and good for everyday consumption.

Pros

Each box is packed with 8 flavorful tea blends which come in 40 tea bags. The tea leaves are vacuum-sealed to secure the aroma. Packed in plastic neutral bags and great for gifting. Easy to brew.

Cons

The tea bags are rumored to contain microplastic but all these claims have yet to be addressed by the company.

HOW WE TESTED

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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211
Consumers
Consulted
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Researched
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Buying guide for best tea

Coffee might be the caffeinated drink of choice for most Americans, but there's certainly a place in our hearts (and our kitchen cupboards) for tea. Whether you're trying to cut back on caffeine or you simply like the taste, it's always time for tea.

The variety of teas on the market can be baffling, however. There are white, green, black, and herbal teas, but tea also comes in bags, as loose leaves, in pods, and pre-brewed. Knowing the basic ins and outs of the choices available will help you make the right selection.

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Tea should be stored in a tightly sealed container to keep it fresh as long as possible.

Tea in all its forms

The first thing to decide is what form you'll buy your tea in – bagged, loose, in pods, or pre-brewed. Each form of tea has its pros and cons.

Bagged tea

  • Pros: Tea that comes in tea bags is quick and easy to brew. Simply steep a bag in hot water and you're ready to go. Bagged tea also tends to be cheaper than loose-leaf varieties.

  • Cons: To speed up brewing time, the tea inside teabags is ground up finely, but this tends to produce a slightly bitter, one-dimensional cup of tea. Bagged tea may also use lower-quality leaves.

  • Price: The cost of bagged tea varies depending on the type of tea and the size of the package, but you'll usually pay between 5 and 35 cents per teabag.

"A single tea bag equals one cup of tea, but it can be more difficult to work out the price per cup of loose tea. Most people use around one-tenth of an ounce to two-tenths of an ounce of loose tea per cup."
STAFF
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Loose-leaf tea

  • Pros: Loose leaf tea is usually made using quality leaves. Most tea enthusiasts would agree that you get a better flavor from loose tea. You may also find a wider range of tea varieties and flavors available in loose-leaf form.

  • Cons: You need an infuser or a teapot and strainer to brew loose leaf tea. You may have to go to a specialist retailer to get the widest range of options.

  • Price: Depending on the brand, variety, and quality, expect to pay between $1 and $10 per ounce of loose leaf tea.

"Some varieties of loose leaf tea can be steeped several times, so you'll get multiple cups of tea from one teaspoon of leaves. Just be sure to keep them moist between steepings and throw them out after 12 hours."
STAFF
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Tea pods

  • Pros: If you already have a Keurig or similar pod-based coffee machine, you can make tea from pods/K cups without having to buy additional equipment.

  • Cons: The flavor of tea from pods isn't the greatest. Furthermore, plastic pods aren't very environmentally friendly.

  • Price: Most tea pods cost between 30 and 90 cents a piece.
     

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Staff Tip
An electric kettle with variable temperature controls is a handy appliance to have if you want to make a range of different teas.
STAFF
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Pre-brewed tea

  • Pros: If you love tea but don't want the hassle of making it from scratch, you can buy bottles of pre-brewed tea. You can find a range of both sweetened and unsweetened pre-brewed iced teas and herbal teas. Plus, you're able to drink them on the go, no equipment needed.

  • Cons: Pre-brewed tea is cold by default, so it’s not ideal if you like your tea hot. There's also far less variety to be found on store shelves than if you were to brew the tea yourself.

  • Price: You'll usually pay around $1 to $2 for 15 to 20 ounces of pre-brewed tea.

Tea varieties

All true tea comes from the same plant: Camellia sinensis. However, you'll find a range of types of tea. These types vary depending on factors such as the variety of Camellia sinensis plant they come from, how they're grown, where they're grown, and how they're processed.

Tea blends

Tea blends can either be blends of different varieties of a single type of tea (for instance, English Breakfast tea is a blend of various black teas) or they may be teas blended with fruits, flowers, oils, spices, or herbs to create flavored teas.

"Earl Grey and chai are both popular tea blends. Earl Grey contains bergamot oil to give it a citrusy flavor, whereas chai contains a range of spices that include cinnamon, cardamom, and star anise."
STAFF
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White tea

Unlike other tea varieties made from the mature leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, white tea is produced from the buds and young leaves. This gives it a sweet, delicate taste and a low caffeine content.

Herbal and fruit tea

Sometimes referred to as "infusions," herbal and fruit teas consist of fruits and/or herbs but no actual tea. This differentiates them from tea blends containing fruit or herbs.

"Rooibos is a popular caffeine-free "tea," but it's not technically a type of tea, as it doesn't come from the Camellia sinensis plant."
STAFF
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Green tea

Green tea is a popular tea that's often praised for its health benefits due to high levels of antioxidants.

While it is dried, green tea isn't left to oxidize like black and oolong teas are, which is why it retains its green hue and has a mild flavor.

Black tea

Black tea is perhaps the most common type of tea. It's the kind you'd serve British-style with milk and sugar, and it's also the variety that's most often used for iced tea. It gets its dark hue and stronger flavor from being dried longer and more oxidized than other types of tea. Common black tea subtypes include Assam, Ceylon, Darjeeling, Kenyan, and Keemun.

Oolong tea

Oolong tea is dried in a similar way to black tea but for a shorter amount of time. This makes it weaker and more subtly flavored than black tea but stronger than green tea, though it can vary in strength depending on how it's processed. Oolong tea is popular in China and Taiwan and should be drunk without milk.

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Did you know?
Black tea has the most caffeine out of all tea varieties, followed by oolong tea, green tea, and white tea, in that order.
STAFF
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Tips

  • Decide what flavor you want from your tea. If you want traditional sweet tea, you'll need some kind of plain black tea, whereas if you like something fruity, you might favor a fruit infusion or a fruit-containing tea blend. A whole world of tea is there for you to explore.

  • Consider a tea multipack. If you're unsure what kind of tea you prefer, consider getting a multipack containing a range of flavors, so you can try them out and find what you like.

  • Don't be put off by the extra equipment needed to make loose tea. You can find basic infusers for just a couple of dollars, so there's no need to be daunted by loose leaf tea.

  • Think about your mug size. If you drink tea from a large mug, it will taste weaker than it would if you brewed the same amount of tea with less water. Consider steeping your tea for longer or using more tea if your cup is large.

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You can compost loose leaf tea and tea bags after brewing as long as they don't contain any plastic.

FAQ

Q. What's the best brewing temperature for different varieties of tea?

A. Different types of tea have different optimal brewing temperatures and times. Here's how you should be brewing your tea.

  • Black tea should be brewed at 210°F for two to three minutes.

  • Oolong tea should be brewed at 176°F to 185°F for two to three minutes.

  • Green tea should be brewed at 167°F to 176°F for one to two minutes.

  • Oolong tea should be brewed at 149°F to 158°F for one to two minutes.

  • Herbal tea should be brewed at 210°F for five to six minutes.
     

Q. Do I need a teapot in order to make tea?

A. A teapot certainly isn't a tea-making necessity, but it can be nice to have when you're making tea for a large group of people or if you're having tea with guests. That way, you can bring the teapot and teacups to the table and everyone can serve themselves.

Q. I'm trying to reduce my caffeine intake. What's the best kind of tea to drink?

A. If you want to cut out caffeine altogether, look for rooibos tea or for herbal or fruit infusions. However, if you just want to cut back, it's worth noting that even black tea (which contains the most caffeine out of all tea varieties) contains less than a third of the amount of caffeine than coffee per serving. Oolong, green tea, and white tea contain even less. Confusingly, decaf tea still contains a small amount of caffeine.

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