Most of us are used to getting tea in tiny, prepackaged satchels that we steep in boiling water. Though they’re convenient for their ease of use and clean up, they do have significant drawbacks. The biggest one is that tea leaves smushed into a tiny packet and then dunked into boiling water does little to release flavor. If you want to get the most from your tea, try drinking loose-leaf varieties.
Exactly what the name suggests, these teas come with their leaves unconstrained so they can be placed directly in hot water with ample room to “breathe” and release their complex flavor compounds before getting filtered out to drink. It’s a more traditional way of enjoying the beverage and the taste makes it all worthwhile.
To step up your own personal tea game, select one of the top four teas we’ve curated from Amazon. You’re one steep away from the best brew of your life.
1. VAHDAM Green Tea Leaves
If you’re a fan of classic green tea, you can’t go wrong with this choice from Vahdam. The India-based tea company has harvested some of the world’s best green tea leaves (packed with potent antioxidants) without any additives. Every batch comes vacuum-sealed to retain freshness and then packed inside an opaque green bag to protect from the sun’s destructive rays. Perfect brewed either hot or served as iced tea, it packs a flavorful punch. The company behind it is also taking environmentalism seriously having been certified as carbon and plastic neutral for its efforts to reduce and offset any waste.
2. Heavenly Tea Leaves Variety Pack
Most people are used to only a small selection of teas, primarily green and black. But there are so many varieties around the world all with different flavor profiles and aromas. This pack of nine different types allows you to get a rich sampling that goes beyond standard supermarket fair, each one with about ten servings. Some of the more exotic options included are white tea, herbal tisane tea and rooibos herbal tisane tea. The entire selection is packed in environmentally friendly packaging that also makes for a lovely housewarming or holiday present.
3. Harney & Sons Black Earl Grey Loose Leaf Tea
Blended using superb teas from India and China, this classic earl grey—which derives its name from a long-ago British Prime Minister—is mixed with oil of bergamot for a pleasantly strong citrus note that comes through in every sip. The handsome tin helps preserve freshness and holds 4 ounces of product—enough to brew approximately 40 cups of tea. Hand-packed in upstate New York, it has one of the boldest flavor profiles of any pick on our list with a rich medium body that’s a pleasure to drink. Simply add a teaspoon of tea for every cup desired and allow it to steep for five minutes before enjoying.
4. Tealyra Fruity Herbal Loose Leaf Tea
If caffeine isn’t quite your thing or you’re looking for something to drink straight before bed, this caffeine-free blend could be for you. A rich mixture of lemongrass, orange and lemon, it has a bevy of floral, herbal and fruity notes that are as calming as they are refreshing. Coming in an air-tight resealable bag, it is sure to remain fresh before you get your hands on it and stay that way as it zips shut for storage once opened. Charming strawberry slices and apple bits add even more flavor as well as a rich texture that makes for a beautiful pot as your tea steeps.