10 Best Loose Leaf Tea Brands
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Finding the Best Loose Leaf Tea Brands
The aroma, taste, and experience of tea are enjoyed around the world. With over 3,000 different types of the beverage, it’s safe to say there’s something for everyone. Here, we’ll introduce you to the best loose leaf brands to help you get the most out of your favorite sip.
Some people choose tea because of the comfort it gives, its healing properties, or as part of their culture. No matter which group you fall into, there’s no denying that the treasured beverage comes with a heap of both physical and emotional benefits.
Coming up, you’ll meet our top 10 picks for the best loose leaf tea brands to help you connect with your favorite drink, your family, and the world around you that much more.
10 Best Loose Leaf Tea Brands
Twinings has been around since 1787, and that makes it the oldest of the best loose leaf tea brands on this list. Does age make it better? That’s for you to decide, but we will say that it does speak to the quality, consistency, and integrity of a company.
Found around the world and in the bulk of cupboards in the UK and North America, Twinings is a name people associate with comfort, dependability, and affordability. Created by Thomas Twining, the UK-based brand spearheaded the success of the tea industry today, becoming the official tea of the Royal Household in the early 1800s.
Staying modern by adopting more sustainable and ethical practices, in general, people feel like Twinings is a safe and quality choice. Its specialty is tea bags, but it also has a selection of loose leaf tea pyramids in its collection.
You’ll discover all of the tea time must-haves like chamomile and Darjeeling there, along with exciting additions like exotic mango and ginger. Pick up a box of 15 pyramids for $9.
- Offers a range of loose leaf tea pyramids
- Trustworthy reputation
- Historic company
- Adopting sustainable practices
2. Stash Tea
When you’re in need of something delightful, warm, and delicious, hit up Stash Tea. With 72 different loose leaf options in its collection, the brand describes its tea as “a little bag of crazy.”
With cute, fruity characters being their wacky selves across the company’s site, Stash lightens up the world of tea, putting an exciting twist on (what can be) a quiet drink. Founded in 1972 by Steve Lee, Dave Leger, and Steven Smith, the Portland-based company approaches tea from a modern angle.
A Certified B Corp, Stash commits to providing its customers with transparency and treats the world and its workers with respect. With compostable packaging and non-GMO ingredients, it puts heavy emphasis on quality from start to finish.
Its line includes favorites like English breakfast, as well as thrilling picks like dragon’s pearl and the Portland blend. An affordable brand that dips into mid-range prices, Stash’s most expensive pick is a 50 g bag of golden monkey, while its least expensive is peppermint for $6.
- 72 different tea varieties
- Affordable line of teas
- Fun flavors along with reliable favorites
- Compostable packaging
- Certified B Corp
3. Atlas Tea Club
Atlas Tea Club’s culturally-rich and exotic line takes you on journeys across the world with each inhale and sip. Divulging details on the region, altitude, and method of where and how each tea is grown, the brand thoughtfully crafts its beverages to represent specific places like Indonesia, Nepal, and Japan.
Operating as a club, when you sign up for Atlas, you’ll choose your preferences for the types of tea you like. You’ll then receive a box of high-quality single-origin teas each month, along with details on the flavor notes, steeping tips, recyclable tea filters, and a postcard from the country your box is curated around.
Founded in 2020 by Kader Meroni, Atlas Tea Club creates adventures through its monthly teas. It delivers two varieties per month for $14.
- Monthly tea club
- High-quality, single-origin teas
- Experience other cultures through tea
4. Verdant Tea
Verdant Tea was founded in 2011 after David and Lily Duckler met Weiwei Ren and Wang Humin. The Ducklers were on a trip to learn about tea folklore and met Weiwei and Wang while researching. But, years before launch, the co-founders had knowledge of Chinese culture and traditional tea practices.
Whether you’re a casual tea drinker or an avid expert, it’s always lovely to enjoy exciting and rare teas that you might not be able to find anywhere else. Verdant Tea offers a variety of leaves that are sustainably and responsibly sourced. In addition, it’s clear that they ensure quality in every aspect of manufacturing.
The online tea store has everything you need for tea time, from introduction bundles to gorgeous tea sets. So, you can sip and learn about the Chinese tea tradition with their popular items. One of their bestsellers, the Introduction to Craft Black Tea runs for $44 and comes with five 25 g bags.
- The company offers loose leaf teas, pressed cakes, and teaware
- Farmers and tea masters in China make the company’s products
- Free samples are available
- Publish blog posts about tea, field updates, and brewing tips
- Free shipping with an order minimum
- International shipping is available
- 30-day returns policy
Born from the principles of Ayurvedic medicine, Yogi is the creation of Kundalini yoga in structure Yogi Bhajan. Founded in 1984, the brand takes a simple approach to the healthful drink, crafting its first tea as a mix of ginger, cinnamon, clove, cardamom, and black pepper.
You’ll discover 40 tea varieties in its collection, but it offers just four loose leaf teas, all of which are different versions of chai like chocolate, classic, Himalayan, and turmeric. Focused on increasing your wellness, Yogi’s mission is to “support body and mind,” and it sources ingredients from the finest locations. All are certified USDA organic.
Incredibly affordable, you can get a 90 g box of loose leaf tea for about $6.
- Four different loose leaf teas
- USDA Certified Organic
- Focus on health & wellness
- Crafted with the principles of Ayurvedic medicine
6. Harney & Sons
Tea is all about creating rituals, and there’s nothing better than enjoying those rituals with the ones you love. As a family-owned and run brand, Harney & Sons is dedicated to bringing your quality, variety, and traditional flavor.
Founded in New York by John Harney in 1983, the brand boasts over 300 types of teas in its collection that promise superior flavors for refined palates. Proudly bearing the Fair Trade Certified seal, it also offers organic and kosher options, alongside its lines specific to wellness or the Historic Royal Palaces.
Its array of teas comes in beautiful packaging, and you can get a 4 oz tin for about $10. If you prefer to buy in bulk, Harney & Sons also offers its loose leaf teas in 1 lb bags for $28.
- 300+ types of tea
- Organic and kosher options available
- Fair Trade Certified
- High-quality teas
TWG, or The Wellbeing Group, was created in 2008 by Tasha Bouqdib. The product of his great love and passion for tea, the brand takes inspiration from both ceremonial and comforting sips, carefully selecting single-estate, incredibly exclusive tea blends from around the world.
Its collection bursts with variety, adventure, and culture, approaching tea from an angle of luxury. Toiled over to create flavors for the modern, enlightened individual, its single-origin and blends which include all of your favorites, but nothing frilly and flavored like American companies offer.
Offering its teas in 50 g boxes, most of its collection lingers between $10-$100. Interested in experiencing one of the best teas life has to offer? Try its most expensive variety, the Imperial Gyokuro for $1,200.
- Affordable & luxury tea options
- Incredibly high-quality
- Sourced from exclusive, private reserves
- Single-origin & blends
8. Art of Tea
With the Art of Tea, it’s all in the name. Choosing art-deco-inspired bags and tins for its delightfully hand-blended teas, the brand transforms the joyful ritual into one to be admired. If you’re ever a guest of The Beverly Hills Hotel or Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant, you’ll find its name on your menu.
Served in Google’s offices as well, it’s safe to say this expressive tea is one chosen by those with an interest in quality, flavor, and style. It’s no wonder Art of Tea calls LA home.
The brand came to be in 2007 after founder Steve Schwartz decided to put his knowledge of Ayurvedic medicine to work. Crafting award-winning teas, his organic blends infuse botanicals into every batch, sourcing from growers across the globe.
Its loose leaf collection includes bright blends and elevated favorites, including names like Glow, Egyptian Chamomile, and White Coconut Creme. Available in 4 oz pouches along with a few larger sizes, its prices range between $15-$61.
- Wonderful array of blends and single-origin teas
- Ingredients sourced from top 2% of tea growers in the world
- Luxury teas
- Mid-range prices
- Made by a Master Tea Blender
9. Tea Forté
You may have come to know Tea Forté through its triangle-shaped tea pods and their cute little leaf string. Though the pyramids are technically a form of loose-leaf tea as well, the brand does also offer pouches of its famed varieties.
Founded in 2003, Tea Forté’s blends have won numerous awards throughout the past 11 years for delightful blends like blueberry merlot and Moroccan mint. With teas that represent under 1% of what’s sold around the world, you know you’re getting quality and unique tastes from this brand.
Tea Forté handcrafts its blends, using whole leaf teas, flowers, fruits, and herbs to create undiscovered flavors and aromas. With 77 different loose leaf teas in its collection, African Solstice comes highly recommended. On average, its 35-50 serving tins are $17.
- 46 different loose leaf teas
- Delicious, award-winning flavors
- USDA Organic
- Kosher Certified
- Content-rich website
10. Republic of Tea
The Republic of Tea puts a fun and thematic spin on the simple ritual of drinking tea. Offering a thrilling blend of flavors for wellness, indulgence, and entertainment, you’ll find delicious names like Cranberry Blood Orange and easy sippers like Silver Rain White in its loose leaf line.
Founded with a mission to make men, women, and children happy through its delightful teas, Republic of Tea was launched in 1992 and encourages its customers to slow down and enjoy the little things. Its gluten-free line is highly favored, with a lot of buzz going on about it around the web.
With thorough details on every type of its teas, loose leaf selections range from $10-$31 for a 1.75 oz tin.
- Nice variety of loose leaf teas
- Tons of detail available for each tea
- Very popular brand
11. VAHDAM India
VAHDAM India was born with the mission to keep the Indian tea legacy alive and well. Offering a rich selection of wellness teas for day and night, the brand helps “redefine the way the world experiences tea and other native Indian foods.”
Founded in 2105 by Bala Sardha, VAHDAM India is a carbon and plastic-neutral brand, planting trees to offset carbon emissions while eliminating the need for plastic waste. Its teas embody the Indian culture around tea, offering a selection made from hand-picked leaves from Indian tea gardens.
With a range of loose leaf teas including English Breakfast, Double Spice Masala Chai, and Imperial Muscatel Darjeeling Second Flush, there is great quality, variety, and strong flavors found throughout the brand’s collection. Enjoy any 3.43 oz bag for between $16-$50.
- Great range of single-origin teas and blends
- Hand-picked tea leaves from India
- Preserving Indian tea tradition
- Recommended by Oprah
- Carbon & plastic-neutral company
How to Shop For The Best Loose Leaf Tea
Any tea enthusiast knows that the world of tea holds many variations. If you’re on the search for the perfect sip, whether it’s the source, type of farming, blending, or brand ethics, choosing the right tea for you can come along with a lengthy checklist.
To help make navigating through the best loose leaf tea brands as easy as possible, we’ve put together a list of areas to keep in mind as you browse.
If you’re someone who enjoys the cultural experience of drinking tea, then you may be pulled towards a brand that gives you that. Rather stock something with packaging that makes you smile? Choose one that puts effort into how their products look.
Each company has its own ethos that attracts a target customer. There’s a reason that people who practice Ayurveda would choose a tea made by an Ayurvedic teacher. It aligns with who they are.
This same principle may apply to how you select a tea, but your choice may also come down to recognizing a brand name and knowing how it operates. It’s easy to gravitate towards a company with a good reputation, and if that, or say, its organic farming methods appeal to you, then you’re most likely to find a tea you can love for life.
The best loose leaf tea brands source from different places around the world. Of course, depending on where and who they source their tea from depends on the quality of the final product.
If you’re a stickler for quality, you may want to opt for a brand that’s non-GMO or organic and be mindful of phrases like “hand-selected” and “single-origin.” Teas that are made this way are often higher in quality, purer, and have a stronger taste or more benefits.
This is an easy one. You either drink a lot of tea or you don’t. You either buy in bulk or you don’t. You, yourself, know your purchasing and sipping habits, so you should be on the lookout for the sizes available from each brand.
Why settle for a company that offers just a few servings per box when you could buy from one that delivers much more? If you’re a frequent sipper, also consider brands that offer recurring subscriptions.
Tea is known for its range of health benefits, though, not all tea is made the same. Some of the best loose leaf tea brands design their teas around wellness. With those, you’ll find wellness collections that focus on immunity, stress, detoxification, and even memory.
If you’re after a particular health benefit past the ones provided by tea’s natural antioxidants, then seek out a brand with a wellness collection that offers exactly what you need.
There are a handful of names on this best loose leaf tea brands list known for their incredible flavors. Meanwhile, others focus on the traditional flavor of the tea. If you’re someone who wants variety and likes trying flavorful blends, then opting for a company that makes those would be wise.
Some of the best loose leaf tea brands are very affordable. Others clock in around mid-range. There is only one name on this list that goes into extravagant prices. In other words, there is a ton of variety to choose from to find a quality company that fits your budget.
If tea is a big part of your life, then splurging on a rare, luxury tea could be a fun part of trying new things. Seeking consistently low prices? Several options deliver quality teas for an affordable price.
Is loose leaf tea better?
When compared to bagged tea, loose leaves provide more room for water to flow through them. Some of the best loose leaf tea brands serve their leaves up in pyramids which mimic the experience of using an infuser, only, they also have the convenience of being disposable.
When more water flows through tea leaves, they absorb it and expand, releasing greater levels of minerals, vitamins, and flavors that you may not get from bagged tea. In short, if you want a more fulfilling tea drinking experience, a loose leaf tea is better.
If you’re not too concerned with how your tea tastes, smells, and the benefits you get from it, bagged will do fine.
How do you make loose leaf tea?
Unlike bagged tea, to make loose leaf tea, you’ll typically just need one extra tool and 1-2 more steps. Here’s a step-by-step on how to make the perfect cup:
- Pick your favorite loose leaf tea
- Boil water and pour it into your preferred cup
- Put as much loose leaf tea into your infuser as you wish (most brands offer suggestions)
- Let your tea infuser sit in your cup of hot water for 2-5 minutes
- Remove your tea infuser
- Enjoy your freshly brewed tea
What can I do with old loose tea leaves?
Cutting down on waste is something we could all do more of in our lives. If you’re an avid tea drinker, then you’ve probably noticed your old loose tea leaves go to waste. If you’re wondering if they have other purposes, the simple answer is “yes.” You’ll find a few ideas below:
- Use to flavor food: Add old tea leaves to recipes for a subtle, earthy flavor or check out a recipe for pickled tea leaves (they’re surprisingly good!)
- Create a deodorizer for your home: Pack old tea leaves into a decorative glass bottle to absorb odors in your home—get creative with this one and add dried flower petals or fruit peels to create a custom scent
- Make into skincare: Because of its high level of antioxidants, tea is the perfect addition to your weekly skincare ritual—try it in DIY masks and scrubs as a healthy boost for your skin
- Turn it into compost or mulch: If you’ve truly run out of ideas for how to use your old tea leaves, don’t throw them in the trash! Compost them or add them to plant soil to pump up nutrients
Why does tea get darker the longer it sits?
The scientific term for this process is called “oxidation.” The longer your tea leaves sit, the more oxygen they’re exposed to. As oxygen breaks down the chlorophyll in the leaves, tannins are released which creates a darker leaf.
When you brew a cup of tea and let it steep for a while, the color becomes more saturated because of those tannins.
For some, tea is all about the little moments. For others, it’s about culture, ceremony, or wellness. Whichever reason you gravitate to the beverage, you deserve to fully enjoy what you’re drinking. Now that you know what the best loose leaf tea brands are, we hope you’ve found one to meet your unique needs, taste, and life.
How We Chose The Best Loose Leaf Tea Brands
Before choosing any brand, we scour the web and all the biggest e-tailers to ensure we know all the available options on the market. We look at customer reviews, star ratings, brand ethos, processes, materials, accessibility, and so much more. We weigh the pros and cons, so you don’t have to, helping you make informed shopping decisions.
Check out some of our other curated lists of top brands: