Whether you're new to green tea entirely or just looking for a new green tea variety to try, the sheer number of teas on the market can feel a bit overwhelming. So to help you brew the perfect cup, we've rounded up the best green tea options out there.
But first, let's take a quick look at what makes for a great cup of green tea.
What should you look for when buying green tea?
Though all green tea comes from the same plant family, it varies widely in flavor, quality, and antioxidant content depending on many factors:
- Organic & Non-GMO— The best green tea brands grow their tea leaves without pesticides, chemicals, and GMOs.
- Single Origin— Teas labeled as single-origin are sourced from a single grower or region. Not only does this improve traceability, but it also allows the unique flavors created by that growing environment to shine through every brew.
- Ceremonial Grade— While there is no universal grading system for green teas, there are two common divisions: ceremonial and culinary. If you're searching for the best-tasting, highest-quality tea, stick to products labeled ceremonial grade.
- Tea Bags Made From Natural Materials— Studies have found pyramid-style plastic tea sachets can release microplastics as you steep. Stick to tea bags made from biodegradable, BPA-free materials that are better for your health and better for the environment.
- Tea Variety— Different green tea varieties offer different flavor notes and aromas. The most popular varieties are sencha and matcha.
- Chinese vs. Japanese tea— Almost all green tea is sourced from China or Japan. The two countries traditionally use different methods, resulting in slightly different flavors, aromas, and colors. While Chinese green tea is more common, Japanese green teas boast higher antioxidant levels.
- Packaging— Are you searching for loose-leaf tea or individually packaged tea bags? While loose-leaf green tea uses less packaging, individually packaged tea bags are more convenient and keep the tea fresher for longer.
Green tea features a fresh, light flavor and is verdant green in color. Green tea is lower in caffeine than black tea but has quite an impressive list of potent health benefits.
How do you properly brew green tea?
Any true tea enthusiast will tell you that it's all in the brew. The final result depends mainly on how you steep your tea. Even a high-quality tea can taste bland or bitter if it's brewed incorrectly.
Be sure to read the brewing instructions on the package to ensure you get the best brewed green tea possible. Here are a few tips on how to steep the perfect cup:
- For the best flavor, use water that's 185 degrees F instead of boiling water.
- Use 8 to 10 ounces of water for every tea bag. If you're brewing iced tea, you'll want to use two tea bags for every 8 to 10 ounces.
- Leave the teabag in the water for 3 minutes and remove it immediately after steeping. Leaving your tea bag in for longer releases extra tannins and creates a bitter taste.
- While it may be tempting, avoid squeezing the tea bag after steeping, as it can release bitter flavors from the added tannins.
- Whole tea leaves can be steeped 2 to 3 times. Each steep will produce a slightly milder green tea flavor.
Check out my favorite tea kettle.
14 Best organic green tea And Green Tea Leaves
Now that you know what to look for in a product, it's time to break down the best green teas from premium quality green tea brands on the market today.
Numi Gunpowder Green Organic Green Tea
Looking for organic green tea that's good for the planet and your wallet? Try Numi's Gunpowder Green Organic Green Tea. This gunpowder green tea is custom crafted from full leaf pearls sourced from Jiangxi, China, for a full-bodied flavor with medium caffeine content. The Fair Trade Certified, single-origin green tea is packaged in biodegradable tea bags made from unbleached, non-GMO Manila hemp fiber. Also available in loose leaf tea. This tea is perfect for someone who loves plain green tea.
If you're a fan of matcha, you'll love this Supreme Matcha Green Tea from Pukka. It's made with ethically sourced and 100% organic Sencha, Oothu, Suio Gang, and Pin Ho Wild Jade green tea. After a 3-5 minute brew, you'll be greeted by an inviting aroma and exceptional flavor. Consider it the perfect way to kickstart your morning.
Organic India Tulsi Green Tea goes above and beyond other green teas. It's formulated with Organic India's signature blend of Rama, Vana, and Tulsi (also known as Holy Basil) for added stress relief and rejuvenation. You can sip easily knowing it's grown sustainably using regenerative agriculture and processed in Leed Platinum Certified facilities that support the well-being of the farmers, local community.
Choice Organic Teas' Premium Japanese Green Tea is certified organic, Non-GMO Project Verified and certified gluten-free. Not to mention, it tastes incredible! The tender, spring-picked green tea leaves have a rich, green color and a clean, gentle flavor with sweet grassy notes. While it's delicious hot, it makes great iced tea too!
Buddha Teas' Organic Matcha Green Tea is made using shade-grown green tea leaves for increased chlorophyll content. The result is a delicious flavor, bright green color, and increased antioxidant levels. It's crafted without additives, GMOs, or chemical pesticides and packaged in bleach-free tea bags and boxes made from 100% recycled materials.
Eden Genmaicha's Organic Green Tea with Roasted Brown Rice isn't your average green tea. It's made from a blend of early spring leaf sencha green tea typically reserved for Gyokuro and Matcha grade tea and roasted short grain brown rice. Each batch is grown using traditional methods and prepared by skilled artisans. The result is an uplifting and invigorating tea of the highest quality. Its smooth, mellow flavor makes it an excellent choice for iced tea lovers.
For a unique take on green tea, try Clipper's Queen of Greens Organic Tea. It's made with a refreshing mix of green tea, lime, and ginger that's guaranteed to put a pep in your step. All of Clipper's teas are organically grown and individually wrapped in unbleached, eco-friendly tea bags to preserve freshness and antioxidants. This one-of-a-kind tea is sure to be your new favorite!
Pique Sun Goddess' Matcha Sticks are the perfect choice for tea drinkers who love matcha lattes. The only ingredient is ceremonial-grade matcha powder sourced from organic farms in Kagoshima, Japan. It's made in collaboration with Mr. Mori, one of the most respected tea masters in the world to ensure it meets the highest quality and purity standards. Every batch is carefully screened for heavy metals, pesticides, and toxins.
Yogi Tea's Super Antioxidant Green Tea is packed with natural antioxidants that help reduce free radicals and improve cell health. It contains a blend of jasmine green tea leaves, lemongrass, grape seed extract, white licorice, burdock, and dandelion root for a restorative and rejuvenating cup. Plus, it's USDA Certified Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, and made without artificial flavors or sweeteners. You'll fall in love with the bright citrus flavor and sweet, floral notes with every brew.
If you are looking for decaffeinated green tea, check out Yogi green tea pure green decaf. This decaf green tea is recommended to support nature's path to vitality.
If you drink green tea for the weight loss benefits, try The Republic of Tea's Lean Green Tea. It's made with matcha powder, green tea, cinnamon for appetite control, and Garcinia Cambogia, a fruit extract shown to inhibit fat production. But there's more to love about this organic green tea than just its health benefits. The nutrient-packed blend has a pale golden color and irresistible spicy-sweet flavor that'll have you coming back for cup after cup.
If you love just plain green tea, check out their People's green tea option. People's green tea is made with a single ingredient, China green tea leaves.
Stash is undoubtedly one of the best green tea brands on the market. Their Premium Green Tea is processed using traditional Japanese methods to preserve as much flavor and antioxidants as possible. Each tea bag is individually packaged in a foil wrapper to keep it fresh. Toss a few in your purse or keep a few tucked in your desk to enjoy a delicious cup of pure green tea anywhere, any time.
Rishi Tea and Botanicals is known for its high-quality teas and eco-conscious business practices. Their Matcha Super Green Tea is made with a balanced blend of matcha and sencha green tea sourced from sustainable, organic farms. It's packaged in unbleached tea bags that are BPA-free and biodegradable. You won't be able to resist the complex umami flavor and smoothness in every brew.
Matcha latte lovers can't get enough of Encha's Ceremonial Grade Matcha Green Tea Powder. The premium-quality matcha tea powder is sourced from organic leaves plucked each spring in the hills of Uji, Japan. It's ideal for making a matcha latte, mixing it into baked goods, or drinking solo to enjoy its velvety, smooth consistency. And unlike a cup of coffee, it provides sustained energy without the caffeine jitters or afternoon caffeine crashes.
Traditional Medicinals Organic Ginger Green Tea aids healthy digestion and provides an invigorating burst of energy. The organic green tea is made with a mix of mellow green tea and warm, spicy ginger that supports digestive health. It's also a great choice for tea lovers who don't love the taste of green tea on its own. The warm, spicy ginger flavor balances out the mild, earthy taste of the green tea.
Find the right variety of green tea for you to drink
Biluochun translates to "green snail spring," and it's named for the shape: a tight spiral resembling a snail. This variety of green tastes fruity and has a floral aroma.
This is the most popular variety of green tea, and when you go to a sushi restaurant, you are most likely served with sencha. This variety of green tea has a grassy flavor and earthy flavor.
This variety is also known as Jade Drew. They have lower astringency and are rich in flavor with an aroma similar to nori seaweed.
This variety has dark green color, full-bodied flavor, and lower astringency than sencha. It is rich, almost buttery, with plenty of umami flavors.
Matcha is a stoneground green tea that is used in Japan's traditional tea ceremony. It features a bright, vegetal, and slightly bitter taste with notes of sweetness.
Genmaicha translates to "brown rice tea," and it offers a delicious toasty, nutty full-bodied tea that's on the savory side.
Hojicha is made by roasting Sencha or other types of green tea, which gives it a distinctive roasted aroma, light taste, and less bitterness. For this reason, it's popular among children and the elderly.
A variety from China that translates to "dragon well." Longjing typically has a mild and sweet flavor with underlying notes of chestnut.
Shincha is the "new tea," or the first pick of the season. This variety features the refreshing and invigorating scent of new leaves. It has a higher content of amino acids, which gives it full bodies of flavor and sweetness.
This tea is mainly used for matcha. It features a pale green color that is deep and mellow with a subtle noble aroma.
Ichibancha, Nibancha, Sanbancha
Ichibancha is the first picking of new leaf shoots of the year. They have much higher levels of nutrients, and it drops significantly from the first harvest session. After that, the tea is called Nibancha and Sanbancha based on the order in which it is picked.
Green Tea FAQ
Why green tea is good for you?
Green tea is one of the healthiest beverages you can drink as it is loaded with antioxidants. Some of the health benefits of drinking green tea include improving brain function, promoting weight loss, protecting against cancer, and lowering the risk of heart disease.
Which green tea has the most caffeine?
Matcha tends to have the most caffeine out of any type of tea because the leaves are ground into a powder, so you consume more. The next in line for high caffeine is black tea and pu-erh tea.
Which green tea is best for weight loss?
Matcha is usually a powerhouse when it comes to weight loss support. Because it is so concentrated in green tea leaves, it contains the highest concentration of healthy compounds like EGCG.
Who should not drink green tea?
Green tea is safe for most people. However, people who are sensitive to caffeine should avoid drinking green tea.