When it comes to our drinks, tea is a firm favorite, both in the east and the west. It is the second most consumed drink worldwide, coming second only to water. Black tea is perhaps the tea that you are most familiar with as it’s the most popular tea.
As a lover of tea, I have tried and tested many types of tea including black, herbal, and decaffeinated varieties. Good black tea is certainly one of my favorites, as it’s a great traditional tea that packs some great flavour.
Whether you enjoy black tea loose leaf from a teapot, like the convenience of a tea bag, or prefer it chilled, there are many delicious brands of black tea to choose from at the moment. There are lots of varieties too! Some of the best black tea brands and types are listed here below or you can click here to check out some great varieties.
Where Does the Best Black Tea Originate From?
Black tea is made from the leaves of the Camellia sinesis plant. The flavor of black tea varies, depending on where the tea originated from and how it was produced.
The best black tea is produced mainly in China, Africa, India, and Sri Lanka and there is a wide variety of flavors. Many excellent varieties of tea come from these nations. Some teas are sweet with a mild flavor, while others are aromatic and strong. No two brands are the same.
Color of Black Tea
Despite being called black tea, the hue of the brew can range from amber to red to darkish brown and the flavor can be anywhere from savory to sweet. Factors that affect this depend on how the tea was heat processed and how long it was oxidized.
When steeping the tea, strength and brightness in the infusion is a sign of quality. Black teas that have golden or silvery tips in the leaves are superior quality teas.
Black tea can be more bitter and astringent than green tea but when brewed correctly should be flavorsome and smooth to the palate.
Best Black Tea Types
Everyone of course has different tastes and palates, but for me the best tea is Twinings Earl Grey. I like it served in a mug, strong with no sugar, a little coconut cream (dairy is not great for me), with the tea bag left in. It is the same way that my Mum and her mother before her enjoyed their tea. They would both have milk rather than coconut cream. Dairy was a lot more in vogue in their era!. Both were 95% tea-totallers, drinking a glass of wine on only very rare occasions. Tea was a constant in the home and you could be sure that the kettle would be put on the boil whenever friends and family visited.
There are many types of black tea, with something to suit every palate. Here are some of the best black teas:
This delicious blend of black tea is flavored with the addition of oil of bergamot.
English breakfast tea is a blend of black teas that originate from Assam, Kenya, and Ceylon. It is one of the best black teas when it comes to popularity. This type of tea is a traditional blend of black tea which is common in England – the home of black tea.
There are many varieties of decaffeinated black tea on the market and all have distinctive flavors. Decaffeinated black tea is ideal for those who are sensitive to caffeine, and those that are health conscious.
|1||Tetley Classic Decaffinated Black Tea, 48 Tea Bags (Pack of 6)||$20.10||Buy on Amazon|
|2||Bigelow Premium Decaffeinated Black Tea, 150 Count Box||$9.99||Buy on Amazon|
|3||Harney & Sons Black Tea, Tea Bags, Decaffeinated, 50 Count||$11.05||Buy on Amazon|
Assam, India is the largest region for tea growing in the world. The climate produces a tea which is known for its strong malty flavors. This type of tea goes well with milk and sugar.
Much of the tea produced in Sri Lanka for export is Ceylon. These black teas are usually strong and have a hint of spice. Sri Lanka is best known for its production of cinnamon. The economy in Sri Lanka is highly dependent on its Ceylon tea trade.
|1||Taylors of Harrogate Pure Ceylon, 50 Teabags||$7.37||Buy on Amazon|
|2||Davidson's Tea Bulk, Ceylon Op Black, 1 lb Bag||$19.88||Buy on Amazon|
|3||Ahmad Tea of London : Ceylon Tea (loose tea) 454gram /16 Ounce||$8.99||Buy on Amazon|
Darjeeling tea is produced in the mountains of India and is milder and more herbal than many other black teas. Often called the ”champagne of teas” this brand of tea is considered by many to be the best in the world. It is often used as a base for the popular spiced drink, Chai. Chai is another one of my absolute favorites and I have found Celestial Seasonings do a delicious caffeine free version “Bengal Spice”. If you are a lover of tea and want to keep your caffeine intake down, this is one I highly recommend.
Kenyan tea is produced in Kenya in Africa and is a full-bodied style of tea that is popular the world over.
|1||Kericho Gold Tea bags- Kenyan Black Tea String Bags||$7.94||Buy on Amazon|
|2||FAHARI YA KENYA TEA 500g||$11.38 $9.79||Buy on Amazon|
|3||Kericho Gold Tea bags- Kenyan Black Tea String Bags - PACK OF 2||$13.00||Buy on Amazon|
Great Brands of Black Tea
Be adventurous and try some black teas from around the world. There are some fabulous flavors out there and you may be lucky enough to find your new favorite!
Some of the highest quality and most popular brands of black tea include:
- The Keemum Black Tea Xiang Luo by Oriarm
- Taylors of Harrogate English breakfast
- Lipton Darjeeling Tea
- Tata Tea Gold
- Celestial Seasonings South American Morning Thunder
- Twinings Assam Black Tea Bags
- Dilmah Premium Single Origin 100% pure Ceylon tea
- Harney & Sons, Paris flavored black tea
Brewing the Best Black Tea
How you make the best black tea is purely a matter of taste. It is a fine art form, and in my experience, connoisseurs of tea are likely to let you know quite quickly if the tea is not brewed to their liking!
You can add cream, milk, honey or sugar, or a combination of the above. Some people like it straight black. Weak or strong, from the pot, loose leaf or with a teabag, there are many options.
Some like their tea bag or tea bags left in for a strong brew (like me), others prefer a weaker flavor with the tea bag dipped in and out. If you are making tea for company, ask how they prefer it as it’s all personal preference.
For optimum results for most people, brew the tea leaves for 3-5 minutes. If you are using loose leaf tea 2-3 grams of tea is enough for a cup.
Serving your tea cold with ice is another option. Black tea can even be made into a scrumptious cocktail. Long Island iced tea is delicious and can be made into a real experience when served on the patio with your significant other, friends or family. Tea for two or many has always been a highly relaxing, social, and enjoyable experience for me. You can make Ice Tea from brewing Black tea or you can purchase premade ice tea from many retailers. We like this premade ice tea from the pure leaf store.
A Popular Beverage
When it comes to teas, black tea is the most traditional and often consumed beverage in the world. This versatile beverage can be taken hot or cold and is nurturing whether someone else brews it for you and when you make your own. The best black teas can be enjoyed alone or in company, and are an excellent pick me up.
However you prefer it, a cup of the best black tea is a real treat, reward and pleasure with or without company. Using quality black tea gives you an affordable experience that you can enjoy anywhere, anytime.
If you’re not really sure which black tea is the best for you, you can purchase a black tea sample pack that has anywhere from 6 to 48 different types of black tea including Classic English Breakfast Tea, Daily Assam Black Tea, Daily Darjeeling, Darjeeling First Flush, Unitea, Earl Grey Citrus Black Tea, Blooming Rose Black Tea and Himalayan Breakfast Black Tea plus many others so you can try a few different kinds and decide for yourself which ones your favourite.
The health benefits of black tea are huge with lots of black tea containing antioxidants. Antioxidants are known to provide a host of health benefits and consuming them can help remove free radicals from your body and decrease cell damage. This ultimately may help decrease the risk of chronic disease and can improve heart health. There are many health benefits from drinking black tea and they range from boosting your immune system, fighting off inflammation, and even warding off cancer and heart disease. While all these are claims they’re not 100% proven so it’s preferable you seek medical advice if you’re wanting to increase your immune system and improve your general health.
While some brews provide more health advantages than others, there’s plenty of evidence that regularly drinking tea can have a lasting impact on your wellness.
Loose Leaf v’s Tea Bags
The use of Loose Leaf Tea versus Tea Bagged tea both have positive and negative aspects and elements. Tea bagged tea is more convenient and easier to brew than Loose Leaf, has a consistent taste and is cheaper and easy to make. Also Tea bagged tea when steeped, the fine tea leaves release more tannins than loose leaf tea or whole leaf tea, resulting in a more bitter or astringent tasting brew. It comes down to preference at the end of the day as loose leaf tea you’re able to control more of the water, tea and seeping time. Loose leaf tea also generally has more of a flavour profile meaning loose leaf tea is usually more flavourful with more depth to its taste.
Milk and Sugar?
Tea is a pretty personal thing and to add sugar or milk is pure personal preference. There’s milk especially designed for tea that you can purchase here and sugar also designed for tea here but you will find more tea lovers are purists and enjoy their tea without any additions like milk and sugar. If you are like me and can’t tolerate dairy very well you can also buy milk that’s non dairy such as Almond milk, coconut milk, soy milk, oat milk or rice milk.
The Best Black Tea
Black Tea is one of the oldest and most popular drinks in the world today and as you’ve ready seen there’s lots of different varieties and types. As a lover of tea, I have tried and tested many types of black tea including; Assam Black Tea, Darjeeling Black Tea, Ceylon Black Tea, English Breakfast Tea, Irish Breakfast Tea, Earl Gray or Kenyan Black Tea. All these different black teas originate from different areas of the world and have slightly different tastes depending on where they came from. You will find the best black tea is the one that you find tastes the best, it’s about personal preference and if you’re like me, I like different types of tea depending on the time of day, my mood and how the tea makes me feel. I usually like a black tea to start my day with my toast!
Twinings English Breakfast is one of the most famous black tea brands as it boats a fresh flavour with a high quality of tea leaves from five different regions. It’s the quality combined with the steep history of tea production that makes Twinings English Breakfast Tea so popular. Twinings English Breakfast is a favourite of ours here at Tea Perspective but we do love Irish Breakfast and the full bodied flavours of the other breakfast teas and black teas.
The Harney Sons Irish Breakfast Tea is also another favourite tea of ours as it’s a strong flavoured loose leaf tea that is sophisticated and popular for its roast malt flavour tones in this smooth breakfast blend. Harney Sons also made a delicious Earl Grey and English Breakfast loose leaf tea if you enjoy the Irish Breakfast.
If you love Black Tea Harney and Sons make a delicious Chocolate Supreme Chai Black tea this tea is a delicious twist on your traditional black tea if you’re after something a little bit different. It combines the flavors of a classic chai with rich chocolate and vanilla. With a base of blended Chinese and Indian black tea and then combined with all the necessities for a delicious chai—ginger root, cardamom seeds and pods, cinnamon (ground and in chips), and nutmeg. Finally, natural chocolate, cardamom, and vanilla flavor is added through the blend, creating a one-of-a-kind tea experience you won’t soon forget. It’s perfect for after dinner or when you’re after a sweet indulgence without the calories.
What is the best brand of tea bags?
Whether to use tea bags or loose leaf tea is a complete personal preference, some like their tea stronger while others prefer a smoother more subtle blend. The tea bag will produce a smoother blend while a loose leaf tea is generally stronger. The best brand of tea bags we have found is the Lipton Black Tea as we love the freshness and naturally smooth taste. The Lipton tea bags are especially designed to bring out the full taste and flavour of the tea and bring out the full flavor profile of the tea.
Where can I buy black tea?
You can purchase the best black teas from many retail outlets and we have added links to Amazon for your shopping convenience, so you can read reviews, have them delivered direct to your door and relax. Brew, relax, enjoy!
Last update on 2021-06-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API