Green tea is a popular drink consumed all around the world! It offers many health benefits and has a refreshing taste with distinctively grassy notes. Green tea has even been shown in studies to help with weight loss! It comes in many different varieties as well, from intense gunpowder to delicate sencha. Loose-leaf tea is an excellent way to enjoy the full flavor profile and aroma of green tea.
Since the tea market is flooded with different kinds of green tea, it's difficult to choose which one is best for you! Take a look at our list of favorites for some options. Vahdam's Himalayan Green Tea is perfect if you prefer a bold cup of tea. We also created a buying guide reviewed by a certified tea sommelier to help you confidently pick loose-leaf green tea.
When choosing a loose-leaf green tea, there are many factors that you should keep in mind, including the tea's flavor and variety. Continue reading to learn more!
Although all green tea is made from the Camellia Sinensis plant, many different varieties are grown around the world. China and Japan are the two largest green tea producers in the world! Here are some common tea varieties that you will come across.
Some of the most well-known Chinese green teas are gunpowder, dragonwell, and chun mee. Gunpowder tea, also known as pearl tea, is made from green tea leaves rolled into small pellets and has a bold and astringent flavor.
Dragonwell tea, or Longjing tea, is pan-roasted and has a sweet, slightly nutty, and mellow flavor with distinctively grassy notes. It doesn't get bitter and is great if you're looking for a smooth and mild tea.
Chun mee tea leaves have a unique eyebrow shape. Chun mee tea tastes bright and slightly tangy with a sweet aftertaste.
Gunpowder tea is the least forgiving when it comes to steeping times. Just two minutes - or maybe three - at 175 degrees, then quickly remove the leaves from the water! Long Jing tea leaves are shaped into long, flat pieces after pan firing.
Japan is also famous for green tea production. Sencha is the most popular green tea in Japan, and it has a bright, grassy, and mildly astringent flavor.
Houjicha is made by roasting sencha leaves at high temperatures. Due to the long roasting time, houjicha has less caffeine than sencha and tastes slightly nutty. Genmaicha is made of sencha tea leaves with roasted brown rice. It has a subtle, toasty flavor and tastes best served hot.
The flavor profile varies from region to region since it's influenced by factors such as the soil and climate conditions.
Green tea produced in Shizuoka has a well-rounded and slightly bitter flavor. Gifu is another leading tea-producing prefecture in Japan. Since it's grown in fertile soil, the tea in Gifu has an intense and rich flavor profile.
Meanwhile, due to Kagoshima's mineral-rich volcanic soil and subtropical climate, the tea grown there tends to taste slightly fruity. Kyoto is the birthplace of the tea ceremony in Japan and has ideal growing conditions for green tea. The green tea in Kyoto has a strong, slightly sweet, and aromatic taste.
While Chinese tea leaves are shaped in lots of different ways, almost all Japanese tea leaves are shaped into long flat, needle-like shapes.
Go for classics, such as gunpowder tea or sencha, for the pure and clean taste of green tea leaves. However, if you find green tea too astringent and grassy or just want to try something different, consider a tea blended with extra ingredients.
Green teas blended with fruits like peach and mango are usually are a little bit sweet. Teas made with citrus fruits like lemon or orange are tangy and refreshing. Green tea also goes well with mint leaves. If you like soothing and fragrant teas, consider blends with flowers like chamomile or rose.
The grading system for green tea varies depending on the country of origin. But usually, high-quality loose-leaf tea is made of buds and whole leaves. So check the product's description for information about the condition of the tea leaves.
You should also check the review section and see what people think about the size of the leaves. Try to avoid teas with broken leaves, dust, or fannings, as they release tannings quickly, resulting in bitter and astringent brews.
Do keep in mind that the taste is affected by the steeping time and technique, too! If you brew green tea at high temperatures or for a long time, it will turn very bitter.
Chinese teas, especially, are plucked in specific combinations of a bud with one or two leaves and are formed into unique shapes that impact how they interact with the water when steeping, and thus, their flavor.
Taylors of Harrogate
The Tao of Tea
Sugimoto Tea Company
Harney & Sons
Lean Green Machine
Himalayan Green Tea
Green Mango Peach
Green Tea Leaves Sencha
Organic Jasmine Green Tea
Moroccan Mint Leaf Tea
Organic Pearl Gunpowder Green Tea
Sencha Classic Green Tea
Jasmine Dragon Pearls Green Tea
Genmaicha Green Tea
Citrus Peels for a Tangy Touch
Finest Grade Tea Leaves Without Fannings
A Refreshing Tea Blend With Mango and Peach
A Smooth and Mellow Cup of Tea
Fragrant Tea With Jasmine Flowers
Mint Leaves for a Refreshing Twist
Gunpowder Green Tea With a Smoky Taste
A Sustainably-Farmed and Refreshing Tea
Mild and Floral Green Tea
Blended With Roasted Rice for a Nutty Taste
|Amount||4 oz.||9 oz.||3.53 oz.||2.8 oz.||16 oz.||4.41 oz.||4 oz.||3.5 oz.||4 oz.||8 oz.|
|Extra ingredients||Lemongrass, orange peel, lemon peel||None||Mango pieces, peppermint, ginger root, honeybush, peach pieces||No||Jasmine flowers||Peppermint leaves||None||None||Jasmine flowers||Toasted brown rice|
After combing through the Internet, we've narrowed down the 10 best loose-leaf green teas. We selected these options based on the important factors listed in our buying guide and reviewer satisfaction.
*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.
|Extra ingredients||Lemongrass, orange peel, lemon peel|
|Extra ingredients||Mango pieces, peppermint, ginger root, honeybush, peach pieces|
|Extra ingredients||Jasmine flowers|
|Extra ingredients||Peppermint leaves|
|Extra ingredients||Jasmine flowers|
|Extra ingredients||Toasted brown rice|
|Extra ingredients||Moroccan mint leaves|
I really enjoy Fortnam & Mason Moroccan Mint. It is gunpowder tea with dried mint leaves and is warming and refreshing at the same time. The packaging is beautiful and the aroma of the tea is strong and bright.
In addition to reviewing and commenting on our buying guide, Kate also took the time to answer some commonly asked questions about green tea.
"You can follow the directions on the package or from the shop," Kate explains, "but most green teas should be brewed at around 175 degrees and for 2 to 3 minutes. The leaves are tender, so water hotter than that will scorch them and bring out bitterness.
Water that is cooler than that (unless specified) may not penetrate the leaves enough to release the essential oils and flavors. If the leaves stay in the water for too long, they will eventually become bitter."
Kate says, "For most teas, use 2 grams of tea for 6 to 8 ounces of water, depending on how strong you like it. That said, most instructions will tell you to use 1 teaspoon of tea per 6 to 8 ounces of water, but it is hard to measure longer leaves by the teaspoon. Weighing your leaves makes for a more consistent cup of tea."
Interested in making the tea brewing process easier and more fun? Here are some essential tools that will help you brew the best cup of tea!
Still not sure what green tea you want to try next? See what Amazon shoppers like for their brew.
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.
Home electronics, PC, camera
Cosmetics and skincare
Food and drinks
Kids and baby
Interior and furniture
DIY and tools
Sports and fitness
Books, CDs, DVDs
Cars and motorcycles
Housing equipment and renovation
Smartphones and mobile phones
Investment and asset management
Credit cards and loans