Black tea is one of the most popular teas available in North America and it’s a tea that millions of people enjoy every single day in a variety of different ways. Some people choose to use tea bags, while others choose loose tea; Some people choose caffeinated black tea, while others choose decaffeinated. No matter how you enjoy it, however, you are probably going to want to enjoy the best black teas available. And we can help all of our readers towards that end. We did it by not only listing the top black teas available but also by listing a guide that gives vital information on this incredible product.
List of the Best Black Teas
- Best Overall: Bigelow Earl Grey Black Tea (Amazon) – Review
- Best Seasonal : Celestial Seasonings Herbal Tea Sugar Plum Spice (Amazon) – Review
- Best Decaffainated Black Tea: Harry & Sons Decaffeinated Hot Cinnamon Black Tea (Amazon) – Review
- Best Loose Leaf Black Tea: Assam Black Tea Leaves (Amazon) – Review
- Best Black Tea Bags: Lipton Black Tea Bags (Amazon) – Review
Best Overall: Bigelow Earl Grey Black Tea
Bigelow has been making high-quality black teas since the mid-1940s and their know-how and commitment to excellence shine in every single individual bag of tea that they sell. That’s because they not only source some of the best black teas from all over the globe, but it’s also because they prepare their tea meticulously. Let us give you an example of how they prepare their tea so that our readers can see how it’s different from ordinary teas.
The main key to this tea’s flavor is the genuine Bergamot oil that they add to it. This oil has been sourced from the same gardens in Calabria, Italy, and is the main ingredient that’s responsible for this blend’s aroma. They then pack this marvelous tea in a special foil pouch that not only locks in the aroma and flavor of the tea but also helps to seal out moisture and other aromas that other teas soak up. The result is the cleanest, tastiest, and most aromatic black tea that a consumer could wish for. It’s not very strong, but it is quite delightful.
Best Seasonal : Celestial Seasonings Herbal Tea Sugar Plum Spice
We’re all familiar with sugar plums from the Christmas classic “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” but not everyone knows what’s sugar plums are. Let us correct that here and now. As their name suggests, they are plums coated in sugar, but there’s more to them than that. They’re also seasoned with cardamom and ginger, which makes them the perfect flavoring for a black tea.
That’s why this product is so delightful to enjoy. It not only has the taste of sugar-coated plums but is also balanced with cardamom and ginger. That makes it a very refreshing tea that has a very unique seasonal profile. There are plenty of peppermints, pumpkin spice, and gingerbread teas, but how often does a person experience a sugar plum black tea? Not often, we suppose and it’s this unique quality that makes this one of the best seasonal teas available.
Another thing we liked about this tea was that it was gluten and caffeine-free, and also free of artificial flavorings or colorings. It’s also free of preservatives. And this makes it a natural choice that black tea lovers are going to want to enjoy all year round. And they also make other great flavors including Candy Cane Lane, Cranberry Vanilla Wonderland, Gingerbread Spice, Nutcracker Sweet, and Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride.
Best Decaffainated Black Tea: Harry & Sons Decaffeinated Hot Cinnamon Black Tea
Even though we understand that not everyone is a fan of decaffeinated black tea, for those people who do enjoy this type of tea, these tea bags are worth checking out. That’s because this black tea has a sweet, spicy flavor profile that many consumers are going to love. How do they come up with this distinctive aroma and taste profile? They achieve it by combining quality black teas with an array of spices and we presume, a little bit of magic.
Harney & Sons have been blending quality teas since the early 1980s and their pursuit of excellence shows in every cup of tea that’s brewed with their bags. They use a special Ceylon tea derived from Sri Lanka, that has a smooth but subtle taste that consumers are going to enjoy. They take their quality black tea and combine it with not one, not two, but three different types of cinnamon for a delightful cinnamon taste that isn’t overwhelming. They then add orange peel and sweet clove flavors to it and the result is nothing short of magical.
Best Loose Leaf Black Tea: Assam Black Tea Leaves
More and more people are migrating towards loose black teas and there’s a good reason why that’s the case. That’s because loose leaf teas allow the user to decide how much they need to use to get the perfect cup of black tea. And more and more people are migrating towards this particular type of loose tea because it’s probably the most versatile of all of the different types of black teas available. Although many teas can only be served hot, this tea can be made into hot tea, iced tea or even used to make an excellent Kombucha tea.
The secret behind this quality tea is that it comes from the Assam region of India. A region that’s located south of the eastern Himalayans and is known for producing some of the best black teas in the world. It’s a Fair-Trade product that’s ethically sourced and is backed by a moneyback guarantee as well. It’s also a product that’s free of preservatives or artificial flavors. Although it isn’t a premium-grade tea, it’s still one worth checking out.
Best Black Tea Bags: Lipton Black Tea Bags
Lipton is probably the most well-known tea company around, at least in the United States. That’s because this company has been making quality teas quietly for many years. And when we say many years, we mean many years. This company was first established in 1890 when Sir Thomas Lipton began sourcing tea from Ceylon (now known as Sri Lanka) for his grocery shop in Glasgow. The tea was so popular, it was not only widely received in the U.K, but was eventually enjoyed by people in the U.S as well. And over the years, Lipton would continue to make high-quality teas that tantalized the palates of all who tasted them.
These Lipton tea bags are some of the best black tea bags available and people all over the world enjoy them. Although they do seem like they’re a little bit overprocessed, they do produce a wonderfully subtle cup of tea. And probably best of all, they can be used to make either hot or cold tea and both types turn out wonderfully. It’s easy to see why Lipton is America’s favorite tea.
A Guide To Black Tea
Before anyone can buy the best black tea available, they first have to educate themselves a little bit on the subject. That’s because there’s a lot to learn about these types of teas, so consumers need to know as much about them as possible if they hope to buy a quality blend. Towards that lofty goal, we’ve decided to create this extensive guide that will give all of our readers the information they need to buy a great black tea.
What Is Black Tea?
When it comes to teas, there are three main types available: Oolong Tea, White Tea, Green Tea, and Black Tea. Each of these teas come from the same plant, the Camellia Sinensis plant, but unlike the other types of teas on that list, black tea is heavily oxidized. It’s this oxidization process that gives this tea its black color. The oxidation process just doesn’t affect the color of the tea, however. It also affects how the tea tastes by making it bolder.
The Benefits Of Black Tea
Now that we understand what black tea is it’s time to talk about some of the health benefits that are often associated with drinking black tea. Everyone is familiar with the health benefits of green teas, but fewer people realize that black teas may impart certain health benefits. Of course, not all supposed health benefits are supported by the FDA, so it’s up to the consumer to read the research associated with these benefits.
- Black Teas Support Heart Health
- They Have Antioxidant Properties
- They May Lower LDL Cholesterol
- Moderate Use May Reduce Blood Pressure
- They May Lower Blood Sugar Levels
- They May Improve Mental Focus
How To Purchase The Best Black Tea
Moving on with this guide, it’s time to talk about how to find the best black tea available. Although there isn’t a whole lot of things to consider when buying black tea, the things that need to be considered are very important. Let’s get started and find out what’s essential when choosing a proper black tea.
Choose A Type Of Black Tea
The first thing the consumer should consider when purchasing a black tea is what type they want and/or where the tea originates from. These factors can have a profound effect on how the tea tastes, so it’s probably one of the most important things for any black tea fan to consider. Let’s begin with the different types of black tea blends available, and then spend a few moments talking about some of the common blends sourced from around the world. This will give all of our readers a better idea of what’s available and what characteristics certain black teas have.
Typical Flavored Tea Blends:
- Earl Grey—Flavored with citrus, or bergamot essential oils.
- Rose Black & Lichee Black Teas—Chinese teas flavored with flowers or fruits.
- Chai Black Teas—Flavored with spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, or cloves.
The Origin Of Quality Single-Source Black Teas:
- Darjeeling: This is a fruity, floral and light blend that produces delicate notes.
- Assam: This blend of tea is usually strong, bold and with a malty-taste to it.
- Kenyan: This is an astringent and dark blend that’s very bold.
- Ceylon (Sri Lanka): This is a tea that’s bold and rich.
- Nilgiri: This is a floral and very fragrant black tea.
- Yunnan: This is malty and dark and has chocolate notes to it.
Check How The Tea Is Packaged
It doesn’t matter if a particular tea company starts with the best tea in the world if they don’t package it in a way that preserves its integrity. These best black teas are packaged in foil or in some other way that keeps them fresh. Avoid black teas that are simply placed into cardboard boxes. These black teas are usually stale long before they arrive at your doorstep.
Properly Storing Black Tea
Once you’ve received the best black tea available, it’s time to store it in a way that will ensure that every single cup of it is fresh, tasty and lively. We’ve included a few helpful tips that will help you store your black tea in a way that preserves its integrity.
- Store tea in opaque non-reactive metals, glazed ceramics or plastics.
- Keep tea away from strong odors.
- Don’t store delicate teas with teas that have strong scents.
- Keep tea away from areas of high humidity.
- Don’t buy more tea than can be used in a timely manner.
- Don’t buy large batches of tea at one time.
- Keep tea away from heat and light.
Black Tea to Make Kombucha
In recent years Kombucha (a fermented tea) has gained popularity among health conscious consumers. To make your own Kombucha, you’ll need black tea, water, sugar or honey, bacteria, and yeast. The bacteria and yeast is also known as SCOBY or mother; SCOBY then transforms the sugar into a bubbly, fermented beverage that is low in calories and sugar and offers health benefits due to its probiotics.