Best Matcha: Encha Ceremonial Grade Organic Matcha Green Tea
Reasonably priced for ceremonial matcha
Vibrant color and aroma
Packaged in bags not tins
A list of the best green teas wouldnt be complete without at least one matcha option. Matcha, which literally means powdered tea, is a type of green tea thats made by drying young tea leaves and then grinding them into a powder. The powder can be mixed with hot water for a traditional matcha or paired with your favorite milk or non-dairy milk substitute for a green tea latte.
There are lots of matcha options out there, but the Encha Ceremonial Grade Organic Matcha Green Tea earned the best matcha tea spot for several reasons. It has the light signature grassy flavor of matcha without being overpowering. Even if youre new to matcha, youll enjoy the mellow subtly sweet flavor of Encha.
Its organic and comes directly from Kyoto, Japanmatchas birthplace. At first, the price may make you raise an eyebrow, but keep in mind that a little goes a really long way. You only need about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon per cup, so youll get 30 to 60 servings from one pouch.
Form: Matcha powder | Caffeine: 60 milligrams | Steep Time: N/A | Ingredients: Pure matcha green tea powder
Easy to find in-store and online
Multiple flavors available
Prices vary widely by retailer
May not be sweet enough for some
Form: Bottled iced tea | Caffeine: 44 milligrams | Steep Time: N/A | Ingredients: Brewed tea, ascorbic acid, and natural flavor
Not too sweet, not too tart
Slightly more sugar than other brands
The 6 Best Organic And Lead
About half of the coal burned in the world is burned in China, and Chinese coal is about 1,000 times higher in lead than American coal. Why does this matter in a discussion about green tea? Because most of the green tea sold worldwide comes from China and research strongly suggests that in terms of lead, its where its grown that is most important.
Other factors include the use of pesticides, microplastics, and glues made with known human carcinogens, but before we get to that, here are my top picks for the best organic and lead-free green teas. Curious about how we rate products? Click here to view our methodology, which at its core, is about voting with our dollars to fight climate change.
Is Organic Tea Healthier
The research from Newcastle University in the United Kingdom showed that organic food products had 18-69% more antioxidants than non-organic food. However, with tea, things get a bit fuzzier. Firstly, every tea has a different amount of antioxidants. Some green tea types will have as low as 16 mg of EGCg per gram of dried leaves, while others may contain 203 mg per gram. Even if the type with 16 mg is produced organically, 69% more will still be less than the non-organic type with 203 mg. Antioxidants in tea depend on many factorsfrom tea varietal to terroir, to growing and processing methods.
Wisdoms Chai with organic puerh tea
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Where To Buy Green Tea And Considerations Other Than Lead
Many of the best green tea options now come courtesy of Japan, where the export of green tea has increased dramatically in recent years. The same goes for Sri Lanka, with the 2013 study above finding the lowest levels of lead in both organic and standard green tea from Sri Lanka. Buying from Sri Lanka or Japan may also help you save money, given the significant price hikes seen with green tea from China after the Trump administration put tariffs on Chinese tea imports in 2019.
Now, some of you might be wondering if the earthquake and subsequent Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster could make Japanese green tea a bad choice too. Again, its a fair question, but the evidence suggests little to no chance that the countrys tea-growing regions would have been affected by radiation. In addition, the US Food and Drug Administration have put in place significant checks to ensure tea and other products are not contaminated with radiation.
One other consideration before I jump into my top picks for organic and lead-free tea microplastics. Thats right, many green tea bags release plastic particles into brewed tea. One recent study found that steeping a single plastic teabag at brewing temperature releases approximately 11.6 billion microplastics and 3.1 billion nanoplastics into a single cup of the beverage. Not only could these microplastics affect your health, they can also enter wastewater streams and affect aquatic life and bird life.
Best Loose Leaf: Thrive Market Organic Darjeeling Green Loose Leaf Tea
Distinct but not overpowering taste
Available in just one size
Only sold by Thrive Market
If you prefer loose-leaf green tea over bagged options, Thrive Markets Organic Darjeeling Green Loose Leaf Tea is our top pick. Not only is the tea organic, but the leaves are handpicked and ethically sourced from local farmers, so each package helps support small communities in the Himalayas, from where the tea is harvested. And since the only ingredient is organic Darjeeling green tea leaves, the natural floral sweetness and smooth finish really shine through with each brewed cup.
Form: Loose leaf | Caffeine: 20 milligrams | Steep Time: 2 minutes, 30 seconds | Ingredients: Organic Darjeeling green tea leaves
“The number one thing to improve tea at home is to stop covering it. This is essential for green and yellow teas. For other kinds, if the tea isn’t very good quality then leaving it open will increase the taste.” Shunan Teng, Founder and CEO of Tea Drunk
One way to brew tea openly is by using a fairness pitcher , which is common in Gong Fu brewinga traditional Chinese style of tea preparation.
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Why Trust The Spruce Eats
Lindsay Boyers is a certified holistic nutritionist with extensive food and drink-testing experience. Shes developed over 1,000 original recipes and is constantly on a mission to find the best options across all food and beverage categories.
This piece was edited by Derek Rose, the coffee and tea expert for The Spruce Eats. He researches a variety of products, from tiny tea infusers to high-end kettles, and interviews field experts for their insight. He is especially a fan of matcha, enjoying it in everything from lattes and smoothies to the traditional form.
Shunan Teng is the founder and CEO of Tea Drunk and an avid tea educator. Tea Drunk was founded in 2013 and has a brick-and-mortar tea house in New York City. Its teaware and Chinese teas can be purchased online.
Can You Recognize Organic Tea By Flavor
Some organic tea might have less flavor than non-organic tea because different fertilizers will influence the flavor, color, and scent too. For example, non-organic shaded Japanese tea is often considered better in flavor than the organic one. In fact, only less than 5% of all tea production in Japan is organic. However, this is not a general rule. All teas are different and its impossible to say which one is organic and which is non-organic simply by flavor. However, flavor may show the quality of tea, and organic or non-organic, it should be tasty and fresh.
Organic Nepalese green tea from Guranse Estate
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Traditional Medicinals Best For Variety Of Flavors
Traditional Medicinals has a long history of offering sustainable wellness products. Apart from organic teas, they also offer herbal dietary supplements, natural health products, and traditional and OTC medicinal products.
Each box of Traditional Medicinals Organic Green Tea contains 16 tea bags that are individually wrapped, compostable, and non-GMO verified. The one drawback though is that the bags fall apart when allowed to steep.
Like most other tea bags on the market, this one too needs more work, considering how the bags break loose after soaking. However, it is overall the best product with such a variety of flavors. If you dont like your tea plain and grassy, definitely give one of the Traditional Medicinal teas a try!
Quantity: 16 tea bags
Overall Winner For Best Organic And Lead
Highlights: The best of the best! A longstanding B Corp providing almost 100% certified organic teas with Fair Trade certifications and eco-friendly company policies and 100% renewable energy use.
USDA Organic and California Certified Organic Farmers certified, Traditional Medicinals teas are arguably the most sustainable, eco-friendly, socially responsible tea company around. So much so that 100% of the electricity used by Traditional Medicinals comes from renewable resources and even their company cars are EPA SmartWay® Certified.
As a B Corporation since 2010 and part of the Green Americas Green Business Network since 1992, Traditional Medicinals is used to being highly transparent about sustainability efforts. Happily for me, the company offers masses of information in their Traditional Medicinals Sustainability & Benefit Corporation Annual Report which they began publishing in 2012.
The company has been committed to sustainable agriculture for more than 45 years, with Traditional Medicinals starting out by sourcing organic herbs from Trout Lake Farm in the 1970s. This was Americas first major organic medicinal plant farm, and Traditional Medicinals still buy herbs from the farm.
The company got its start as a two-person operation in 1976 in a river cabin in Eastern Iowa. Nowadays, Frontier Co-Op is a major supplier to the natural products industry, selling teas, spices, essential oils and more.
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Organic Vs Non Organic Tea: Is It Worth Buying
Once upon a time, everything was organic. As the technology advanced, a demand for a higher yield and the urge for a bigger, prettier and longer-lasting produce became bigger. The market became flooded with products that are not only grown using harmful synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides. They are fed with sewage sludge, adulterated with harmful additives and grown from the GMO seeds. Nowadays, organic is a must for anyone mindful of their body and health. Non-organic food is considered unhealthy and dangerous.
Things are even more complicated with tea. You may be able to recognize organic vegetables by their imperfection in shape and color, but how can you recognize the organically grown tea? You mostly cant. However, everyone deserves to know what they are drinking and the background of their tea leaves.
On the other hand, is drinking organic tea always better?
Delicious Versatile And Timeless
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People have consumed green tea for thousands of years. In beverage form, whether hot or iced, it’s known for gentle flavors that range from earthy to sweet. On top of that, green tea can be used as an ingredient in everything from ice cream to cakes to smoothies. There are several varieties of green tea leaves, two of the most popular being matcha and sencha.
We’ve rounded up our favorite green teas below and detailed what we like, and even dislike about each one. We researched top-rated options in a range of categories to ensure that all sorts of tea drinkers can find the right pick. After all, everyone should be able to enjoy the culinary versatility and delicious taste of green tea.
For a soothing cup, here are the best green teas to buy.
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Best Organic Green Tea To Reap Most Health Benefits
Green tea is the perfect healthy beverage to sip on year-round. You can drink it as a cool summer drink, a warm winter beverage, or a healthy and refreshing post-workout refresher. Green tea also has less caffeine per cup, making it a healthier alternative to your daily coffee.
And if youre looking to switch from endless cups of coffee or regular green tea and need something just as delicious, then organic green tea could be it for you. Our list of the 8 best organic green tea is sure to make your body and your taste buds sing.
Best For Travel: Pique Tea Organic Jasmine Green Tea
Can make hot or iced tea
Expensive per serving
Designed for small servings
Pique is an innovator in the tea world, creating travel-friendly tea crystals that are soluble in both hot and cold water. Each box of Organic Jasmine Green Tea contains 14 individual packets that you can mix with hot water or pour right into bottled water and shake for iced tea, making it ideal for anyone consistently on the go.
So, what exactly are tea crystals? Pique’s unique innovation takes loose-leaf tea and brews it in low-temperature water for eight hours until it becomes a fast-dissolving powder. The brand says its gentle extraction process creates a sort of tea concentrate that preserves up to 12 times more antioxidants than comparable tea brands. Its not just convenient, though. The Organic Jasmine Green Tea has a fresh flavor that makes each sip smooth and enjoyable.
Form: Tea crystals | Caffeine: 22 to 33 milligrams | Steep Time: N/A | Ingredients: Organic green tea and spearmint
“Mistakes with brewing tea usually involve time, temperature, or water-to-tea ratio. This means brewing for too long or too short using an incorrect temperature or using too much or too little tea. Being mindful of all three factors will help people develop their tea-brewing techniques.” Shunan Teng
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What Is Organic Green Tea Why Organic Green Tea Is Better
Green tea is made from buds or fresh tea leaves of Camellia Sinensis without the oxidation process. Unlike regular green tea, organic green tea is grown without using fertilizers, chemicals, pesticides, or herbicides.
Organic Green Tea is Healthier
Green tea contains natural antioxidants like catechins. These are known to reduce cell damage, lower cholesterol, prevent cancers, and help weight loss, fat-burning, help stomach infections, flu, cold, and indigestion.
According to a study, organic green tea can have up to 60% more antioxidants than regular green tea and provide more health benefits.
Doesnt Contain Harmful Substances
Although fertilizers and pesticides are eliminated during tea processing, some residues are still present on the leaves. Since these substances are water-soluble, they can contaminate the green tea during steeping which can be harmful for health.
On the other hand, organic green tea doesnt contain any of these artificial pesticide or herbicide residues on the leaves.
Uncle Lees Tea Best For Whole Leaf
Uncle Lees Tea is sourced from the Fujian Province in China. It is the second product grown at a high elevation on this list. A single box of Uncle Lees tea consists of 100 tea bags inside, all individually wrapped. It is also ECOCERT, France certified.
Ingredients include organic green tea leaf, organic lemon peel, organic West Indian lemongrass leaf, and organic lemon myrtle leaf oil on gum Arabic. All these unique flavors come together to create a balance of crisp texture and bittersweet flavors.
The tea bags contain whole tea leaves, making it a premium brand on our list.
If youve been on the lookout for organic whole leaf green tea, then this is it. Though wed also categorize it as one of the most flavorful teas on our list. With its flavorful ingredients of lemongrass and lemon peel, you can add more diversity to your tea collection.
Quantity: 40 or 100 tea bag options
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Why Is It Easy To Adulterate Tea
Organic guidelines allow adding certain additives to organic food. That includes tea too. Adulterants are any substances added to tea to make it look, taste or smell better, which should not initially be in the tea. For example, old used tea leaves might be colored and dried and sold as a new healthy product. Different ingredients might be added to tea leaves to increase their weight. Good news? Its easier to adulterate tea in tea bags than loose leaf tea.
Organic tea can be adulterated, thus less healthy and of less quality than non-organic tea. Loose leaf tea is less often adulterated than tea dust in tea bags.
The quality of both organic and non-organic tea will depend on the producer and his moral and ethical principles. There are hundreds of tea varietals in the world, and each of them has specific characteristics. Some are more resistant to pest, and thus wont need as much care as others. Small family-run farms are more likely to follow good principles even if they are not producing organic tea.
By Whole Foods Market Best For Flavor And Color
Made using methods and processes that promote and follow sustainable standards, 365 by Whole Foods Market has gained a certification from the Rainforest Alliance.
The tea is sourced from tea estates in China, where it is hand-picked and then steamed. The steaming procedure ensures the leaves do not oxidize any further after being picked and helps retain their flavor and color at that stage.
It has a delicate aroma and robust flavor. But make sure that you store the tea in air-tight containers or Ziploc bags if you want to retain that delicious scent and flavor as they dont come individually wrapped.
The one reason we love this tea is because of the undeniable freshness that you can immediately taste. The steaming does help lock in its flavors. If you are a tea connoisseur, then this ones a must-have at home! Though we admit it might be a bit bitter for others. However, that problem can be easily resolved by just a dash of honey or a squeeze of fresh lemon.
Quantity: 70 tea bags
The Imozai Organic Green Tea is sourced from plantations in China. The tea bags are individually wrapped for convenience. This makes it one of few green tea brands that you can take along with you to the office or when traveling. It has a decent taste for organic green tea that both beginners and tea connoisseurs can appreciate. The caffeine content is also low at 20-30mg for each cup.
Quantity: 100 tea bags
Quantity: 100 tea bags
Quantity: 30 or 100 tea bag options
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