Bottled tea is great when you need a quick refreshment or want some drink to bring on the go. There's no need for brewing equipment or waiting around for your tea to be ready. On top of that, there's a wide variety of bottled tea options, from mild green tea to bold black tea! That's why we've written a buying guide that details how to choose the perfect bottled tea.
Our list of favorites might be of help to you as well! After combing through Amazon and Walmart, we've found the 10 most impressive bottled teas that have earned the trust and love of many reviewers. One of them is Ito En's Oi Ocha Unsweetened Green Tea. It's brewed from whole tea leaves and has a rich, full-bodied flavor that will leave you craving for more. Read on to know more about this tea and other products on our list. And check out our buying guide, which was reviewed by a tea sommelier, for more advice on choosing.
When choosing bottled teas, there are plenty of factors that you might want to take into consideration. In this buying guide, we compare different kinds of tea and flavors to help you find the best product for your taste.
The first step in choosing a bottled tea is to consider which style of tea you enjoy. There are four main types: black, green, white, and oolong.
Black tea is probably the most common one. It's fully oxidized and has a robust flavor with a malty note. It also has a high caffeine level (60 to 75 milligrams for every eight ounces of tea).
Green tea is incredibly popular as well. It's not oxidized and therefore retains the natural green color. Due to the lack of oxidization process, it yields a delicate and aromatic flavor. Green tea has a moderate caffeine content (15 to 30 milligrams for every eight ounces of tea).
Although most bottled teas are made from green or black tea, you'll find some that are made with white tea. It's the least processed kind of tea and has an incredibly delicate and fragrant taste. White tea has a low caffeine content, around 10 to 15 milligrams every 8-ounce cup.
Oolong tea is another lovely tea option. Its flavor depends largely on the variety, but for the most part, it has an earthy and sweet flavor. The caffeine content of oolong tea is moderate, about 30 to 45 milligrams per 8-ounce cup.
In general, all kinds of tea are packed with polyphenols, which are micronutrients that contain a high amount of antioxidants to help support your overall health. It has been shown that drinking tea can boost your overall immune system, help your digestive system, and even prevent neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases.
Fun fact: almost all bottled teas are made from tea leaves grown in Argentina. This is because the tea grown there produces a liquid that is lower in tea solids. Most brewed tea will become cloudy when cooled, so Argentinian-grown tea is the perfect solution for producing bottled tea to be served cold.
When screening through the ingredient list of bottled teas, you'll find that many products are made with tea extract or powdered tea. The flavor generated by those ingredients is not generally fragrant and robust.
Additionally, tea extract and powder won't bring you as many health benefits since they have lost most of their natural essential oils during the intense manufacturing process.
That's why you should go for whole leaf tea. You'll get a full-bodied and rich tea flavor and much more antioxidants as whole leaf tea still retains many vitamins, minerals, and essential oils. Overall, the benefits of whole leaf tea over powdered tea are not to be underestimated!
Tea without anything additives will deliver the purest and strongest taste. Just from one sip, you'll get the flavor and aroma right away. But in case you want something different, you might want to try a blended tea.
There are many bottled teas infused with fruit concentrates such as peach, mango, and raspberry. If you're craving something fruity and refreshing, these are definitely a great choice.
Other interesting ingredients you might want to try out include mint, basil, and cucumber. Citrus fruits can add a zing to your classic tea and bring you an ultra-refreshing experience.
And have you ever heard of kombucha? It's a fermented drink made with a blend of tea, bacteria, yeast, and sugar. Differently from regular tea, it's a little fizzy and has a sweet and sour flavor. It also has a myriad of health benefits.
Just like tea, kombucha is packed with antioxidants that can enhance your immune system. On top of that, it contains a high amount of probiotics and can improve your gut health. To understand what the hype is all about, just try it out!
For herbal blends, read the ingredients list carefully and make sure you understand the potential side effects of some of the trendier "super food" herbs that make their way into bottled teas. For example, St. John's Wort can make one more susceptible to sunburn and Tulsi or Holy Basil can impact the effectiveness of SSRIs.
Sweet tea is a classic and almost a staple for summer parties. But many manufacturers go way overboard with sugar, thus making their tea taste quite diluted. You might also experience a bitter aftertaste if your tea contains too much sugar.
Check the amount of added sugar as well as the reviewers' comments to find products with a balanced level of sweetness. If your tea ends up too bland, you can always add more sugar to your taste. At least that's easier to do than neutralize the cloying sweetness with water and end up with a flavorless tea.
Furthermore, it's best to consume added sugar in moderation so as to prevent health issues such as obesity and hypertension. According to the American Heart Association, men should only consume nine teaspoons of sugar (37.5 grams) per day, while the amount for women is roughly six teaspoons (25 grams).
The type of sweeteners matters to the taste as well! Cane sugar will provide the most natural taste to your tea. Tea and honey are also a killer combo. Honey not only adds a delicate sweetness to your tea but it also provides anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits.
If you're on a diet, there are products with zero-calorie sweeteners such as stevia leaf extract and erythritol. They won't raise your blood sugar and insulin levels but might bring an off-putting aftertaste. And don't overdo with those sweeteners as they can cause weight gain and other side effects.
Many bottled teas are certified in order to give you some peace of mind regarding the quality. If you're not familiar with those certifications, we've got you covered here!
Tea leaves are usually sprayed with pesticides and fertilizer. And if not cleaned off, the residues of those pesticides and fertilizers might wind up in your tea.
Artificial flavors and other additives are also added to many products to enhance the taste of the tea. Although those ingredients are generally safe, some people might still get allergic reactions.
If you want to stay clear of those ingredients, you might want to go for a certified organic tea. According to the USDA, certified organic products are strictly inspected and grown without the use of any pesticides and fertilizers. They are free from artificial preservatives and additives as well.
Many tea farms are associated with child labor as well as poor working conditions for farmers. Therefore, various manufacturers are committed to fair-trade practices in order to assure that there is no exploitation and that workers are paid a fair wage.
Many products also bear the Rainforest Alliance certification logo. This seal indicates that the product or specific ingredients such as tea or sugar was produced utilizing sustainable methods. In fact, this certification aims to ensure the ecosystem health as well as the economic stability of local communities.
So by purchasing fair-trade or Rainforest Alliance certified products, you're also playing a role in supporting the livelihoods of many workers!
In addition to Certified Organic, Fair Trade, and Rainforest Alliance, Ethical Tea Partnership also ensures quality, fair pay and healthy working and living conditions for tea workers.
If you don't know where to start, check out our list of favorites! We've tracked down the 10 best bottled teas that are highly recommended by reviewers. All of them have different flavors, so check to see if there are any that will suit your taste.
*Please note that these products were chosen after extensive research by mybest writers. The choices are not necessarily affiliated with or recommended by Kate Hesser unless explicitly stated so.
GT's Organic Kombucha
Oi Ocha Unsweetened Green Tea
Narino Peach Antioxidant Infused Supertea
Unsweetened Elegant Jasmine Green Tea
Unsweetened Black Tea
Organic Half Tea & Half Lemonade
Original Black Tea
Organic Iced Grean Tea With Mint and Honey
Mango Iced Tea
Organic Kombucha Gingerberry
Raspberry Flavored Iced Tea Drink
Refreshing Green Tea With No Sugar Added
Low-Sugar Tea Infused With Antioxidants
Jasmine Flowers for an Enticing Floral Fragrance
Unsweetened Black Tea Without Artificial Flavors
Fair-Trade and Organic Tea With a Bold Citrus Flavor
Unsweetened Black Tea Packed in a BPA-Free PET Bottle
Refreshing Tea With Honey and Mint
Mango for a Tropical Flavor
Try Kombucha for an Interesting and Healthy Experience
Raspberry Tea for a Mellow Flavor
|Amount||16.9 oz.||18 oz.||16.9 oz.||18.5 oz.||16.9 oz.||16.9 oz.||16 oz.||16.9 oz.||16 oz.||16.9 oz.|
|Main ingredients||Purified water, green tea, vitamin C||Brewed tea, erythritol, peach juice concentrate, tea extract, stevia leaf extract||Purified water, jasmine green tea, ascorbic acid||Brewed tea, citric acid||Brewed tea, cane sugar, lemon juice from concentrate, lemon extract||Water, Java tea leaves||Green tea, honey, mint||Water, sugar, black tea||Kombucha culture, black tea, green tea, kiwi juice, blueberry juice||Brewed tea, sugar, citric acid|
|Main ingredients||Purified water, green tea, vitamin C|
|Main ingredients||Brewed tea, erythritol, peach juice concentrate, tea extract, stevia leaf extract|
|Main ingredients||Purified water, jasmine green tea, ascorbic acid|
|Main ingredients||Brewed tea, citric acid|
|Main ingredients||Brewed tea, cane sugar, lemon juice from concentrate, lemon extract|
|Main ingredients||Water, Java tea leaves|
|Main ingredients||Green tea, honey, mint|
|Main ingredients||Water, sugar, black tea|
|Main ingredients||Kombucha culture, black tea, green tea, kiwi juice, blueberry juice|
|Main ingredients||Brewed tea, sugar, citric acid|
In addition to checking our buying guide for accuracy, Kate took the time to answer some commonly asked questions about bottled teas.
"Most shelf-stable bottled teas will last a very long time, like their canned and bottled counterparts in the food and drink aisles. While it doesn't technically expire, most bottled tea will have a "best by" date in the range of six months to two years," Kate explains.
If you prefer to brew your own tea, check out our tea recommendations. Their aromatic and rich flavors will definitely tickle your taste buds.
This expert reviewed the contents of the buying guide for accuracy and provided factual corrections when necessary, as well as extra tips and advice. They did not participate in the product selection process, nor are they affiliated with any of our choices unless explicitly stated so.
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