Which Brand Is The Best Green Tea? Expert Advice & Reviews

Tea is a popular drink enjoyed by people all over the world. While there are many different types of tea, green tea is one of the most popular. Brewed from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, green tea is known for its antioxidants and health benefits. But which brand of green tea is best? In this blog post, we’ll take a look at Which Brand Is The Best Green Tea? and compare them head-to-head. Stay tuned to find out which brand comes out on top.

What is green tea?

What is green tea?

Before we get into which brands make the best green tea, let’s first take a look at what green tea is and what sets it apart from other types of tea. Green tea is made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, which is also used to make black tea and oolong tea. Unlike these other types of tea, which are oxidized, green tea leaves are not oxidized and instead are simply dried and then rolled. This results in a tea with a more delicate flavor and a higher concentration of antioxidants.

Types of green teas

Green tea is available in many different varieties, with each type having its own unique flavor and characteristics. Some popular types of green tea include:

  1. Decaf Green: This blend is a decaffeinated, mild green tea, sourced from sun-kissed tea estates. Experience guilt-free pleasure with its gentle flavor and health-boosting flavonoids.
  2. Sencha: Indulge in luxurious Sencha tea, a minimally processed, delicately sweet Japanese tea with a subtle tang. Savour a cup and let stress float away.
  3. Matcha: Originally used by Buddhist monks, Matcha tea is now enjoyed by everyone. Sip the delicate, sweet infusion of stone-pounded green Matcha tea powder and experience contemplative calm.
  4. Jasmine Leaf: Plucked in spring and infused with fresh jasmine flowers, Jasmine tea has a strong fragrance and flavor. Enjoy a cup of this fresh, mildly sweet tea for good health.
  5. Gunpowder: Legend has it that Gunpowder tea came into existence by accident when Chinese alchemists were attempting to create an elixir of immortality. The tea leaves were steamed and rolled into tight pellets, preserving their aroma and freshness while reducing their volume. Although the elixir remained elusive, the shiny pellets of Gunpowder became popular worldwide, as they were perfectly preserved during long caravan journeys and ocean voyages.
  6. Hojicha: Experience the warmth of a cup of Hojicha tea on a cool evening, as you find yourself wrapped in a comforting cocoon. Hojicha was created in the 1920s when thrifty tea merchants roasted leftover green tea leaves in porcelain pots over charcoal. This novel roasting process brought out an intense aroma and smoky flavor that was widely appreciated. Today, Hojicha’s unique taste and aroma are loved around the world.
  7. Lotus Tea: By delicately wrapping fine green tea leaves within newly bloomed lotus flowers, Lotus tea offers a unique fusion of flavor and fragrance. According to legend, King Tu Duc of Vietnam’s Nguyen Dynasty had his staff row across the lotus lake in the palace garden to enclose green tea leaves in the buds of newly bloomed lotus flowers. These buds were then tied around the tea leaves and left overnight to absorb the flower’s fragrance. Each morning, the infused tea leaves were collected and brewed to provide the King with a refreshing cup of Lotus tea. Even today, artisans use one thousand newly bloomed lotus flowers to produce one kilogram of authentic tea.
  8. Dragonwell: Dragonwell is made from the first flush of hand-plucked tea leaves during springtime. The leaves are then immediately roasted in woks at the right temperature, resulting in a delicate Green tea. In 250 AD, inhabitants of a drought-affected Chinese village prayed to a dragon residing deep within the earth for a water source. Miraculously, their prayers were answered, ending the drought, and the village was named Dragon Well. During a visit to Dragon Well in the 17th century, Emperor Qianlong was so impressed by the quality of the tea offered to him that he granted the village’s 18 Dragon Well Tea Trees royal status.

How to choose the right green tea?

This buying guide provides 8 considerations when selecting good green tea. Following these tips can help save money and enjoy a better cup of tea at home.

  1. Variety: Evaluating the quality of tea requires understanding the variety of tea being purchased. Different criteria should be applied for different types of teas; e.g. for gyokuro, large, unbroken needles are desired, while fukamushi should have more broken leaves due to its deep steaming process. Although broken leaves may usually indicate a negative quality, it can instead result in a more flavorful tea for fukamushi sencha as smaller particles have increased surface area and extract more into a cup.
  2. Don’t buy a tea that is generic: When buying green tea, look for specific categories as they generally indicate higher quality. Generic names such as “Green Tea” typically signify lower quality. Be sure to challenge companies to provide more information about the tea in order to ensure it is not a cheap substitute.
  3. Cultivar: When choosing a green tea, it is important to consider the cultivar. Find out which cultivar the tea comes from by asking a high-end tea supplier for more information. If a supplier mentions a rare cultivar like Saemidori or Okumidori on their packaging, they are proud of their product and intend to capture a specific taste profile. Common cultivars can still produce good teas, as well.
  4. Source: Look for single origin teas as they are more likely to be produced by smaller operations and have subtle nuances in flavor. Ask companies for location or region where tea is produced; if a company does not provide information, look for another supplier. Small batch teas are an exciting adventure and offer unique flavor profiles.
  5. Always choose loose leaf and never teabags: Green tea drinkers should opt for loose leaf over teabags as the latter contain lower quality leaves and can interfere with the taste of the tea. The popularity of teabags is likely due to lack of knowledge and proper tools for preparing loose leaf tea. To make it easier, we provide comprehensive information on how to prepare loose leaf tea, alongside Japanese teaware like kyusu teapots to make it in the comfort of your own home.
  6. It has to be fresh: Choose tea that is fresh when selecting a good green tea. Tea can be stored for at least one year if properly sealed.
  7. Organically grown: When buying green tea, purchase organically grown or pesticide free varieties to ensure a more sustainable result. Organic tea fields are able to support a greater variety of flora and fauna, enhancing the surrounding ecosystem in addition to their own health.
  8. Quality of the leaves: When buying green tea, one should consider the shape of the leaves – Gyokuro will be needle-shaped, Sencha will be slightly flatter and looser, Kamairicha will be curled, and Tamaryokucha will be comma-shaped. The color of the leaves can be indicative of the flavor – Dark green leaves are usually sweeter than light green leaves. People should use all their senses when buying green tea in person by taking a moment to smell the dry leaves for hints of flavor before soaking them with water.

Which brand is the best green tea?

The best green tea brand is subjective and varies based on personal preference. The 9 best green teas of 2023, according to a dietitian include:

Best Overall: Rishi Tea Sencha Tea

Rishi Tea Sencha Tea is considered the best green tea brand for its delicate, balanced taste profile, transparent sourcing, and organic cultivation in nutrient-rich soil. Although it is slightly expensive, Rishi Sencha Green Tea stands out with its certification as organic, non-GMO, and 100% green tea. It is sourced from Kyushu Island in southern Japan, ensuring exceptional quality. Each box contains 15 sachets, and the recommended brewing instructions are one sachet per eight ounces of water at 160 degrees Fahrenheit for two minutes.

With a price of $11 ($0.70 per serving) at the time of publication, Rishi Sencha Tea is a top choice for green tea enthusiasts.

Best Budget: Best Budget Bigelow Classic Green Tea

Best Budget: Best Budget Bigelow Classic Green Tea

Best Budget Bigelow Classic Green Tea is an affordable and flavorful option for green tea enthusiasts. The tea leaves are hand-picked from high elevated gardens and are individually packaged in foil packets to preserve freshness. Each box contains 40 tea bags, filled with the signature green tea blend. To enjoy, steep a tea bag in boiling water for three minutes.

With a price of $30 at the time of publication, it offers a great value at only $0.13 per serving.

Best On-The-Go: Pique Tea Organic Jasmine Green Tea

Pique Organic Jasmine Green Tea packets are a recommended choice for green tea enthusiasts seeking convenience. Pique stands out through its transparent sourcing practices, collaborating with multi-generational farmers and tea masters from Japan, China, and Italy. All Pique teas undergo thorough toxin screening and are USDA Organic certified, ensuring the preservation of active antioxidants.

Each box contains 14 single-serve packets, perfect for preparing hot or cold green tea. For a refreshing cold tea, simply stir one packet into 8 ounces of cold water and shake or stir. To enjoy a warm cup, add a packet to a cup and pour in 8 ounces of warm water at around 170 degrees Fahrenheit, avoiding boiling.

At the time of publication, Pique Organic Jasmine Green Tea is priced at $21 ($1.50 per serving).

Key Specs:

  • Serving size: 1 packet
  • Servings per container: 14 single-serve packets
  • Ingredients: Organic Jasmine Green Tea
  • Caffeine per serving: 34-50 mg
  • Non-GMO: Yes
  • USDA Organic: Yes
  • Additives: No

When it comes to the best green tea brand, Pique’s Organic Jasmine Green Tea is a noteworthy option to consider.

Best Matcha: Kyoto Dew Matcha Ceremonial Grade Matcha Powder

Kyoto Dew Matcha is an exceptional choice for the finest organic ceremonial grade matcha. Its smooth texture, rich flavor, and pure organic green tea matcha ingredient make it stand out among other brands. Sourced from Uji, Kyoto Japan, it is made from high-grade, first harvest matcha leaves.

Price at time of publication: $25 ($1.67 per serving)

Key Specs: Serving size: 1 tsp (2 grams) | Servings per container: 30 (60 grams) | Ingredients: Organic matcha | Caffeine per serving: 60 milligrams | Non-GMO: Yes | USDA Organic: Yes | Additives: No

Best Organic: Yogi Tea Green Tea Pure Green

Best OrganicYogi Tea Green Tea Pure Green is a top contender for the best green tea brand. With its smooth taste, transparent and organic sourcing, and a giveback mission, it offers a holistic approach inspired by Ayurvedic medicine. The Pure Green tea provides a robust flavor and can be enjoyed hot or cold. It is USDA organic certified and contains no additives. Its caffeine content is slightly higher at 58 mg per serving.

Priced at $24 for a container of 16 tea bags, it offers excellent value at $0.25 per serving.

Best Tasting: Kusmi Tea Ginger Lemon Green Tea

Product Description:  The lemon and ginger notes in Kusmi Green Tea result in a complex flavor, enhancing the natural taste of the green tea. Made in France, Kusmi teas are sourced from tea leaves worldwide, offering a wide selection of meticulously crafted flavors. Enjoy the Ginger Lemon Green Tea after meals to potentially benefit from ginger’s digestive properties and lemon’s palate-cleansing taste. Note that it contains caffeine, so it may not be suitable for consumption in the later afternoon or evening.

Features and Specifications

  • Brand: Kusmi Tea
  • Flavor: Ginger Lemon
  • Size: 3.5 ounces of loose-leaf tea
  • Serving Size: 3 grams
  • Servings Per Container: Varies
  • Ingredients: Organic green tea, ginger flavor, lemon flavor
  • Caffeine: Not listed
  • Non-GMO: Yes
  • USDA Organic: Yes
  • Additives: No

Price: $18 ($0.55 per serving) at the time of publication.

Best Versatile Matcha Powder: Jade Leaf Organic Culinary Grade Matcha 

Jade Leaf Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder is the top choice when it comes to the best green tea. This culinary grade matcha powder is sourced from Uji and Kagoshima, Japan, ensuring its high quality and excellent flavor profile. While it is a slightly lower grade, it offers a bolder taste that is perfect for making lattes, blending into smoothies, and incorporating into baked goods. It is not recommended to consume it simply by brewing it in hot water due to its potent flavor.

Each 30-gram bag of Jade Leaf Organic Matcha Powder provides 15 to 30 servings, making it a cost-effective option. By preparing matcha at home, you can have more control over your sugar intake compared to prepared matcha drinks from coffee shops, which often contain excessive amounts of sugar. For a delicious matcha latte, try mixing the matcha powder with steamed milk or your preferred non-dairy milk.

Price at the time of publication: $10 ($0.34 per serving)

Key Specs:

  • Serving size: 1/2 teaspoon (1 gram)
  • Servings per container: 30 (30 grams)
  • Ingredients: Organic matcha green tea powder
  • Caffeine per serving: 16-24 milligrams
  • Non-GMO: Yes
  • USDA Organic: Yes
  • Additives: No

Best Loose Leaf: Vahdam Teas Himalayan Green Tea

Vahdam Teas is highly regarded as one of the best green tea brands available. They are known for their carbon and plastic neutral practices, transparent sourcing, and commitment to giving back. Their Himalayan Green Tea Leaves, sourced from the Himalayan region of India, offer a delightful sweet and vegetal flavor. With a 3.53-ounce bag yielding 50 cups of tea, it provides excellent value for money. Vahdam recommends brewing 1 teaspoon in 175 Fahrenheit water for three to four minutes and then straining into a cup. Additionally, Vahdam is a socially responsible brand, allocating 1% of revenue to the education of their tea growers’ children.

Best Bottled: Ito En Tea Unsweetened Oi Ocha Green Tea

Best BottledIto En Tea Unsweetened Oi Ocha Green is an excellent choice for green tea enthusiasts. With its three simple ingredients, no added sugar, and the convenience it offers, it stands out among other brands. While the packaging may create waste and the price tag is slightly higher, the absence of added sugar and unwanted additives makes it a reliable option. Each 16.9-ounce bottle contains purified water, green tea, and ascorbic acid (Vitamin C). For a refreshing and convenient choice, keep a few bottles in your fridge.

How to make a perfect cup of green tea?

To prepare a perfect cup of green tea, follow these steps:

  • Start with spring or freshly drawn filtered water.
  • Heat the water to 185℉ for optimum flavor. If you don’t have a thermometer, let boiling water cool for approximately 2 minutes.
  • Steep the tea for 3 minutes to extract the desired flavors.
  • Remove the sachet after 3 minutes.
  • Enjoy your perfectly brewed green tea.

Health benefits of drinking green tea

Green tea is not only a delicious beverage, but it also offers many health benefits. Some of the key health benefits of drinking green tea include:

  1. Antioxidant properties: Green tea contains high levels of antioxidants called polyphenols, which can help protect cells from damage caused by harmful free radicals.
  2. Boosts metabolism: Studies have shown that green tea can increase metabolism and help with weight loss.
  3. Reduces the risk of heart disease: The antioxidants in green tea can help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.
  4. Improves brain function: Green tea contains caffeine, which can improve brain function and boost alertness.
  5. Regulates blood sugar levels: Drinking green tea regularly may help regulate blood sugar levels, reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  6. Supports healthy skin: The antioxidants in green tea can help protect the skin from UV damage and reduce signs of aging.
  7. May have cancer-fighting properties: Some studies have shown that green tea may have anti-cancer properties, particularly in preventing certain types of cancers.

The best time of day to drink green tea

Drinking green tea in the morning or early afternoon, 1-2 hours after meals, is beneficial for brain health. Having green tea at this time will not interfere with sleep. Lack of sleep can increase anxiety and restlessness, so it is important to follow a consistent routine for maximum benefit.

How much green tea should you drink each day?

In order to maintain a safe and healthy habit, it is recommended to drink 2-3 cups of green tea per day. However, if you are sensitive to caffeine, it is advisable to avoid consuming green tea in the late afternoon. Instead, you can opt for low-caffeine alternative green teas such as Hojicha or Kukicha.

FAQs Green tea

What is the best quality Chinese green tea?

Lushan Cloud-fog is one of the best-quality Chinese green teas, originating from the Lushan Mountain area in Jiangxi province. The tea gets its name from the location of its production.

Is Matcha green tea better from China or Japan?

The higher levels of antioxidants, l-theanine, and ECGC found in Japanese matcha make it a preferred choice compared to matcha from China.

Can I drink green tea with empty stomach?

Drinking green tea on an empty stomach in the morning may potentially be harmful to the liver due to its high catechin content. It is advisable to consume green tea between meals or after a meal to avoid potential stomach discomfort, such as stomach pain, nausea, burning sensation, or constipation, as green tea’s polyphenols known as tannins can increase stomach acid levels.

How can you tell if green tea is pure?

A reliable way to determine the purity of green tea is by observing its color. Prior to brewing, fine quality green tea leaves are usually vibrant green, sometimes with an olive hue. When brewed, the tea in your cup should maintain a green color. Additionally, upon close examination, you will notice that all the brewed tea leaves revert back to their original green color. This indicates the authenticity and purity of the green tea.

How long do you steep green tea?

For optimal flavor extraction, steep green tea for approximately 3 minutes. Then, remove the sachet and savor the exquisite taste.

Is replacing coffee with green tea better?

If you are looking to reduce your coffee consumption, replacing it with green tea might be a beneficial option. Green tea offers reduced stress and improved sleep quality, which can be attributed to its lower caffeine content compared to coffee. Surprisingly, tea actually contains more caffeine than coffee before it is brewed.

What is the highest grade of green tea?

The highest grade of green tea is Ceremonial Grade Matcha, which has been used for centuries in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies. However, it can also be enjoyed outside of these formal rituals. This grade is made from the youngest tea leaves.

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