• 10 Best Loose-Leaf Green Teas in 2022 (Tea Sommelier-Reviewed) 1
  • 10 Best Loose-Leaf Green Teas in 2022 (Tea Sommelier-Reviewed) 2
  • 10 Best Loose-Leaf Green Teas in 2022 (Tea Sommelier-Reviewed) 3
  • 10 Best Loose-Leaf Green Teas in 2022 (Tea Sommelier-Reviewed) 4
  • 10 Best Loose-Leaf Green Teas in 2022 (Tea Sommelier-Reviewed) 5

10 Best Loose-Leaf Green Teas in 2022 (Tea Sommelier-Reviewed)

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.

Featured in this article

Kate Hesser
mybest US Editors
  • Last updated: 08-22-2022
Table of Contents

How to Choose a Loose-Leaf Green Tea - Buying Guide

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! 

Consider the Origin of the Tea

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.  

Chinese Green Tea Is Usually Strong, Grassy, and Roasted

Chinese Green Tea Is Usually Strong, Grassy, and Roasted

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. 

Kate Hesser
Tea Sommelier
Kate Hesser

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.

Japanese Green Tea Is Light and Less Bitter

Japanese Green Tea Is Light and Less Bitter

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. 

Japanese Green Tea Is Light and Less Bitter

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. 

Kate Hesser
Tea Sommelier
Kate Hesser

While Chinese tea leaves are shaped in lots of different ways, almost all Japanese tea leaves are shaped into long flat, needle-like shapes.

Decide Between Plain and Blended Green Teas

Decide Between Plain and Blended Green Teas

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.  

Make Sure the Tea Leaves Are Whole

Make Sure the Tea Leaves Are Whole

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.  

Kate Hesser
Tea Sommelier
Kate Hesser

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.

Image
1
Tiesta  Lean Green Machine  1

Tiesta

2
Vahdam  Himalayan Green Tea 1

Vahdam

3
Tea Forte Green Mango Peach  1

Tea Forte

4
Chaganju Green Tea Leaves Sencha  1

Chaganju

5
Numi  Organic Jasmine Green Tea  1

Numi

6
Taylors of Harrogate Moroccan Mint Leaf Tea  1

Taylors of Harrogate

7
The Tao of Tea  Organic Pearl Gunpowder Green Tea  1

The Tao of Tea

8
Sugimoto Tea Company Sencha Classic Green Tea  1

Sugimoto Tea Company

9
MagJo Jasmine Dragon Pearls Green Tea  1

MagJo

10
Harney & Sons  Genmaicha Green Tea  1

Harney & Sons

Name

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

Features

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

Price$6.43$29.99$17.00$14.00$20.58$11.33$7.50$11.08$11.95$14.00
Amount4 oz. 9 oz. 3.53 oz. 2.8 oz. 16 oz. 4.41 oz. 4 oz. 3.5 oz. 4 oz. 8 oz.
Extra ingredientsLemongrass, orange peel, lemon peelNone Mango pieces, peppermint, ginger root, honeybush, peach piecesNo Jasmine flowersPeppermint leavesNone None Jasmine flowers Toasted brown rice
OriginJapanIndia ChinaJapanChinaChina ChinaJapanChinaJapan
Link

10 Best Loose-Leaf Green Teas

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.

1

Tiesta Lean Green Machine

$6.43

Amount4 oz.
Extra ingredientsLemongrass, orange peel, lemon peel
OriginJapan
2

Vahdam Himalayan Green Tea

$29.99

Amount9 oz.
Extra ingredientsNone
OriginIndia
3

Tea ForteGreen Mango Peach

$17.00

Amount3.53 oz.
Extra ingredientsMango pieces, peppermint, ginger root, honeybush, peach pieces
OriginChina
4

ChaganjuGreen Tea Leaves Sencha

$14.00

Amount2.8 oz.
Extra ingredientsNo
OriginJapan
5

Numi Organic Jasmine Green Tea

$20.58

Amount16 oz.
Extra ingredientsJasmine flowers
OriginChina
6

Taylors of HarrogateMoroccan Mint Leaf Tea

$11.33

Amount4.41 oz.
Extra ingredientsPeppermint leaves
OriginChina
7

The Tao of Tea Organic Pearl Gunpowder Green Tea

$7.50

Amount4 oz.
Extra ingredientsNone
OriginChina
8

Sugimoto Tea CompanySencha Classic Green Tea

3.5 oz.

$11.08

Amount3.5 oz.
Extra ingredientsNone
OriginJapan
9

MagJoJasmine Dragon Pearls Green Tea

4 oz.

$11.95

Amount4 oz.
Extra ingredientsJasmine flowers
OriginChina
10

Harney & Sons Genmaicha Green Tea

$14.00

Amount8 oz.
Extra ingredientsToasted brown rice
OriginJapan

Kate's Recommended Loose-Leaf Green Tea

Fortnum & MasonMoroccan Mint Loose Tea Tin

$12.87

Amount2.1 oz.
Extra ingredientsMoroccan mint leaves
OriginChina, Morocco
Kate Hesser
Tea Sommelier
Kate Hesser

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

In addition to reviewing and commenting on our buying guide, Kate also took the time to answer some commonly asked questions about green tea.

How do I brew loose leaf 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."

How much loose leaf green tea should I add per cup?

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."

Essential Equipment for Brewing 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! 

Amazon's Best Selling Green Teas

Still not sure what green tea you want to try next? See what Amazon shoppers like for their brew.

In Collaboration With Certified Tea Sommelier Kate Hesser

Kate Hesser
Tea Sommelier
Kate Hesser

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.

Author: Thuy Nguyen


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