10 Best Loose Leaf Teas | Our 2023 Favorite Teas
Drinking tea has been purported to have a ton of healthy benefits. It may range from lowering risk of heart disease, cancer, and a host of different benefits. But it’s not definitive as to what exactly is causing said benefits. All we can say is that something about tea seems to be beneficial for us. However, not all tea is created equal and it’s important to know which teas to choose. For example, caffeinated teas may be helpful in reducing that dependency on caffeine, but if you’re looking for non caffeinated teas, will they have the same benefits? It also depends on the form of tea you consume.
Naturally, it is well accepted that higher quality teas, such as loose leaf teas tend to hold onto their benefits better than bagged teas. Since loose leaf teas are not ground into powder or mulch, they tend to be higher quality in both taste and benefits. The best loose leaf teas for health depends on what you personally need and how you steep them. The best loose leaf teas are hard to differentiate between the mass amounts of teas available, but we picked out the standouts from the crowds below.
What is Loose Leaf Tea?
In a simple sense, a loose leaf tea consists of tea leaves that have been processed as per its tea type but not ground up and placed into a tea bag. The best loose leaf teas have tea leaves that are well preserved and in their original shape with minimal damage. This ensures that the steeping, which is different for each tea type, can bring out the full flavors of the tea.
For the best loose leaf teas, the quality is higher because the leaves chosen are better. Tea leaves that do not make the cut can easily be ground into bagged teas because you won’t be able to tell the difference until you steep it. Dust and other compounds can also be added to tea bags without your knowledge because again, you won’t be able to tell. Loose leaf tea is held to a higher standard. It’s also easy to control the portions that you need for the strength of the tea. Loose leaf teas also produce more cups per brew than a tea bag. I’m sure if you’ve had prepackaged tea bags, you’ll know that you can’t brew more than 2 cups at most out of them. You can try, but you end with a flavorless concoction that can only be described as hot leaf water. It’s definitely not what you want from your expensive tea. The best loose leaf teas can be brewed multiple times and the flavor profile ever so deepens with each brew. Tea bags may be more convenient, it’s true, but nothing compares to the taste and scent of the best loose leaf teas.
Top 10 Best Loose Leaf Teas
No matter whether you are a seasoned tea drinker, or someone just getting started, you can always try loose leaf teas. If you’re not sticking to grocery store tea bags, you’ll find that there’s a huge variety of loose leaf teas out there, beyond your typical green, black, chamomile, and chai. There’s so many cultures where tea is important, from English tea with milk and sugar, to traditional Chinese Gongfu Cha, to the Indian chai full of wondrous spices, there’s a tea that fits the taste of everyone.
The important thing to remember is that tea preferences are a matter of taste. It’s common to see people searching for what is the best loose leaf tea online or even what is the best loose leaf tea reddit, but since it’s such a personal choice, it’s hard to actually choose. So, in the end, when you’re looking for the best loose leaf tea, you should look for the quality of the product instead. Quick note on the matter, sometimes for loose leaf tea, it’s perfectly fine to look online, but another thing to consider is to find a nearby tea store that can provide in person recommendations and tastings. You can always search for the best loose leaf tea near me to find a tea sommelier to help you out.
For the recommendations below, we’ve recommended some of the highest quality in each type of tea.
First Flush LongJing (Dragon’s Well) Tea - $7 for 25 grams
This loose leaf tea is one of the most well known and popular green teas in the world. It is considered an artisanal tea and is harvested in the early spring from the youngest buds in Hangzhou, China. They are folded by hand into flattened sticks and roasted also by hand until the tea is aromatic and perfect for steeping. This is also the best loose leaf tea for weight loss, as the green tea lowers cholesterol and helps improve metabolism.
This is a premium quality tea that is slightly sweet and has a roasted aroma of chestnuts. Due to its premium grade, the leaves are very uniform in nature and drink wonderfully after many steeps. It creates a tea that is light green in color.
This sourcing company sources their tea directly from the region in China from where the tea is grown, picked, and processed. They have clear instructions on how to steep the tea and all the background information of tasting notes. They have a wonderful large selection of premium teas at a wholesaler’s price. It’s a great place to try other loose leaf teas that may not be available elsewhere outside of China.
Tea Forte Loose Tea Sampler - $18 for 15 single use tea pouches
If you’re looking for the best loose leaf tea on amazon, this is it, especially if you’re just getting into loose leaf teas and you don’t know what your preferences are. This is a great introduction to loose leaf tea as Tea Forte has conveniently placed them into tea bags that are just as pretty to look at as they are tasty to drink. Unfortunately, they are single use only, but if you do find your new favorite tea, it’s easy to order more.
Tea Forte has an elegantly designed pyramid shaped infuser that is a treat for the eyes. They are dedicated to creating tea blends that are both strong in aroma and taste and will not disappoint.
Art of Tea’s Wellness Rejuvenating Tea Bundle - $41 for 2 6 x 2.5” Tins
This is the best loose leaf tea for sleep and awakeness. This bundle includes 2 tins of caffeine free loose leaf teas that are guaranteed to guide you to sleep at night and perk you right back up in the morning. They have tasting notes of earthly, smooth, and spicy. The sleep tea contains chamomile and a mix of mints that are refreshing and relaxing.
The Art of Tea is a luxury tea brand that is well known for their immaculate tea mixes. They pay homage to the beauty and ritual that comes with the proper loose leaf tea steeping and cultivate some of the highest quality loose leaf teas out there. Whichever tea you choose from them, while pricey, you can guarantee the quality.
Vadham’s India’s Original Masala Chai Tea - $12.99 for 3.53 oz
This is the best loose leaf chai. Full of warm and spicy Indian spices such as cardamon, cinnamon, black pepper, and clove, this loose leaf black tea is both rich tasting and full of healthy benefits. Vadham is a brand that is dedicated to bringing the best of Indian teas to the world. They source and package their teas directly on the tea estate to ensure the freshness and quality of their teas.
TWG’s Silver Moon Tea - $11.25 for 50 grams
This is the best luxury loose leaf tea brand. This tea is a blend of green teas that drink extremely smooth with a hint of vanilla. TWG stands for The Wellness Group and its president and CEO is one of the well known tea connoisseurs in the world. It is arguably one of the highest quality loose leaf tea suppliers out there. They even use 100% hand sewn cotton tea bags, which are perfect for allowing their tea leaves to bloom properly. TWG’s tea blends are on a different level.
Bellocq’s No. 81 Darjeeling First Flush, Rohini Estate - $36 for 2 oz or 57 grams
Bellocq’s has a tradition of procuring only the best English teas. Because they create single estate tea blends, you can guarantee the quality of their tea blends will include the same consistent flavor throughout. This is a lovely black tea that has an exquisite floral aroma from the Rohini Estate in North Darjeeling, India.
Fortnum and Mason’s Earl Grey Classic - $19.31 for 250 grams
Fortnum and Mason has been a huge contender in the world of classic English teas. This centuries old company has been supplying quality foods for generations and their teas are not an exception. Their early grey is classic for a reason and the simplicity of black tea with notes of bergamot is as sophisticated as it is delicious.
DavidsTea’s Hibiscus Splash Tea - $9.98 for 50 grams
This loose leaf tea is a herbal tea with hibiscus flowers mixed in. It is refreshing and tangy and works wonderfully both hot and cold. It’s popular among all ages, young and old. The great thing about David’s Tea is that it’s not expensive but they have the best herbal blends and are great for iced tea with a bit of sugar.
Teavivre’s Menghai Palace Tribute Ripened Pu-Erh Tea Cake - $45 for 357 grams or 1 cake
Pu-Erh Tea is typically served and stored as a tea cake made of full tea leaves instead of the traditional loose tea leaves, but it’s still considered a loose leaf tea. It can be steeped in a cup or the traditional chinese gongfu tea method and is a tea that is both earthy and rich with chocolate notes due to its fermentation process. This is a great tea cake for beginners as it’s easy to steep and forgiving if slight mistakes are made. Pu-Erh Tea is a classic export from the Yunnan region of China and is considered one of the oldest tea types in the world. Teavivre sources directly from China to the consumer and guarantees their quality Pu-Erh tea.
Stash’s Genmaicha Tea - $7.95 for 100 grams
Genmaicha tea is a type of green tea that includes roasted brown rice. It originated in Japan and remains popular there today. Genmaicha has a light golden color when brewed and has a nutty taste due to the brown rice. This is a beautiful and easy loose leaf tea to begin drinking as it is both warm and comforting. Stash is well known for their herbal teas and tea blends.
Loose leaf teas are whole tea leaves that are steeped to make tea. Rather than the convenience of tea bags, you’re instead paying for a much higher quality tea in both health benefits and taste. Loose leaf tea has a long established history along with a myriad of health benefits, so it’s important to choose the right one for you.
The best loose leaf teas on amazon, reddit, or even google may not suit your own personal tastes so make sure you look for high quality in every recommendation. As a quick reminder, the teas that we recommended cater to varying tastes, so pick some flavor notes that work for you and enjoy!
Is loose leaf tea better than bagged?
Loose leaf tea is generally higher quality and tastes better than bagged tea.
Is loose leaf tea the best?
It depends on what you’re looking for! In terms of quality, it is better than pre packaged tea bags, but it may not be as convenient.
Are loose leaf teas healthy?
Loose leaf teas are healthy because they contain the whole tea undamaged tea leaf, which retains a lot of its nutrients.
Which brand is best for tea?
The best brands for tea depend on what you’re looking for, but quality brands include Bellocq, Twinings, and DavidsTea.