The Best Black Tea Brands of 2023

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Black tea is a type of tea that is more oxidized than green, oolong, and white teas, characterized by its robust flavor and dark color. It’s derived from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant and goes through a full oxidation process.

In our exploration of the best black tea brands, we examined a variety of single-ingredient teas like Assam, Darjeeling, and Ceylon, as well as blended options like English Breakfast, Irish Breakfast, and Earl Grey. Our top picks encompass different forms, price points, and quality measures to provide a comprehensive guide on the best black teas available.

Here are the best black teas on the market:

Best Black Tea for Iced Tea: Adagio Ceylon Sonata Iced Tea
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The 10 Best Black Teas

We have tested and selected the best black teas available this year, to offer you a variety of options to enhance your tea-drinking experience.

1. Stash Tea Ceylon Kenilworth Estate Black Tea – Best Black Tea Overall

Stash Tea Ceylon Kenilworth Estate Black Tea

Stash Tea Ceylon Kenilworth Estate Black Tea is sourced from the 700-acre Kenilworth Estate in the western hills of Sri Lanka, between 3000 to 4000 feet above sea level. 

The tea leaves, picked after the first monsoon, are processed during the cooler weather, which gives this tea its distinctive creamy quality. 

You’ll find this product to be one of the best black teas due to its smoothness, a characteristic of a quality Ceylon tea, with additional intriguing creamy top notes.

Packaged in loose-leaf form, this black tea offers long, attractive leaves and a mild, slightly floral aroma. 

The flavors are subtle, with hints of raisin, hay, and honey. 

This tea is caffeinated, and the 1lb package can brew approximately 227 cups.

Stash is a B Corp certified brand, which ensures no artificial ingredients are used in their teas. This commitment to quality and social responsibility makes the Kenilworth Estate Ceylon Tea one of the best-tasting black teas available.


  • High-quality tea from a well-known estate.
  • Smooth, full-bodied brew with creamy notes.
  • Loose leaves offer flexibility in brewing.
  • No artificial ingredients are used.
  • Caffeinated, making it a good pick-me-up.
  • A large quantity in each pack offers good value.
  • Comes from a B Corp certified company, reflecting responsible practices.


  • The flavor might be too mild for those who prefer strong tea.
  • Some users might find it expensive.

2. Harney & Sons English Breakfast Tea – Best English Breakfast Tea

Harney & Sons English Breakfast Tea

Harney & Sons English Breakfast Tea offers a straightforward and simple flavor that can be described as mellow and toasty, with a hint of honey. 

This best English breakfast tea is made from 100% China Black Keemun, taking its origins from the original tea the English used to drink back in the 1800s.

The dry leaves of this tea are not your typical ones – they are short and charcoal gray, which creates a dark brown brew. 

One bag contains 50 tea sachets that are designed for a one-time use to make a 12 oz. cup of tea. The bag can be sealed again after use to keep the tea fresh.

The packaging includes tea sachets, which give ample space for the tea leaves to expand and release flavor.


  • Simple, yet rich flavor
  • Convenient to use with individual sachets
  • Keeps fresh with a resealable bag
  • Offers a caffeinated drink
  • Known for quality
  • 50 sachets in one bag offer good value for money
  • Full-bodied tea


  • We have seen a few defective tea sachets
  • The tea may not be strong enough for some tastes

3. Vahdam Earl Grey Black Tea – Best Earl Grey Tea

Vahdam Earl Grey Black Tea

The Vahdam Earl Grey Black Tea is a blend of black tea with a distinct bergamot oil flavor. It’s sourced directly from tea estates in India, and the freshness is kept intact by packing and sealing it at the source before shipping it to the US. 

The tea has a medium level of caffeine, making it a decent choice for any part of the day. 

This product comes as single-serve sachets, which are individually wrapped. This design balances the quality of loose-leaf tea and the handiness of a tea bag.

When it comes to taste, this earl grey black tea has a gentle, well-rounded, and brisk black tea base with an added hint of fresh bergamot. 

The aroma combines the sweet and tangy scent of bergamot with a woody note of black tea. 

The tea leaves are dark brown to black, well-twisted, and exhibit a healthy gloss. 

The pyramid shape of the tea bags aids in better brewing, resulting in a full-flavored cup. 

Many customers have claimed this to be the best earl grey tea due to its unique taste and quality.


  • Good bergamot flavor.
  • Each tea bag is individually wrapped.
  • Suitable for drinking at any time due to medium caffeine content.
  • Freshness is maintained due to the packing and sealing process at the source.
  • Pyramid-shaped tea bags offer good brewing.
  • The company takes sustainability seriously.
  • The packaging comes with a zip-lock feature for easy storage.


  • May not be the best choice for those who prefer strong tea.
  • The price might be high when compared to other common brands.

4. Harney & Sons Irish Breakfast Tea – Best Irish Breakfast Tea

Harney & Sons Irish Breakfast Tea

Harney & Sons Irish Breakfast Tea is one of the best Irish breakfast teas, made to replicate a bygone era. 

This full-bodied blend is 100% Assam, offering a bold flavor that is both rich and robust. It strikes the perfect balance of strength and complexity, featuring a somewhat more sophisticated taste than other Irish Breakfast teas. 

With a weight of 16 ounces, the product offers an ample amount of servings, perfect for starting your day on the right note.

This loose-leaf tea possesses a comforting aroma, delivering the traditional Irish breakfast tea experience in every cup. 

It takes both milk and sugar well, demonstrating its versatility in meeting diverse tastes. 

The tea leaves are reminiscent of the time when teas originated from Assam and had small broken leaves, not CTC pellets. 

It contains caffeine, providing a much-needed boost to your mornings.

Packed in a resealable package, Harney & Sons Irish Breakfast Tea ensures freshness from the first to the last cup. 


  • Full-bodied and robust flavor.
  • Versatile enough to be enjoyed plain or with milk and sugar.
  • 100% Assam blend makes it a traditional Irish breakfast tea.
  • Loose leaves result in a more sophisticated taste.
  • Contains caffeine for a morning pick-me-up.
  • The resealable package ensures freshness.


  • This tea has smaller tea leaves which may be perceived as lower-grade, which is not always true. However, smaller tea leaves may result in a bitter taste when over-brewing.
  • This tea is pricier than most other black teas from other brands.

5. Vahdam India’s Original Masala Loose-Leaf Chai Tea – Best Chai Tea

Vahdam India’s Original Masala Loose-Leaf Chai Tea

Vahdam India’s Original Masala Loose-Leaf Chai Tea is an authentic blend from India, packing an aromatic punch with a combination of CTC black tea and a mix of cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper, and clove. 

This best chai tea doesn’t skimp on flavor, offering a rich malty taste, layered with exotic spices reminiscent of a vibrant Indian spice market. Its subtle warmth is versatile, shining on its own or with a splash of milk and sugar.

The tea arrives in a 12 oz zipper bag, estimated to brew about 170 cups, promising a long-lasting chai experience. 

Its distinct, whole-leaf appearance showcases brown and black leaves accentuated with real spice pieces, and its high caffeine content makes it a perfect morning kick-start. As a loose-leaf product, it ensures that each steeping can be customized to personal strength preferences.

Ethically sourced and vacuum-sealed straight from the tea estates in India, this product maintains an exceptional level of freshness.


  • Authentic Indian flavor profile.
  • High caffeine content, ideal for morning consumption.
  • Good quantity with approximately 170 servings per bag.
  • Packaging ensures product freshness.
  • Easy to customize the strength of the brew.
  • Ethically sourced and environmentally responsible.
  • Vacuum-sealed straight from tea estates in India.


  • The taste may be too spicy for some.
  • The strong flavor can be overwhelming for first-time chai drinkers.
  • High caffeine content may not suit those sensitive to caffeine.
  • Some customers reported the tea lacked a strong cinnamon flavor. However, when we tested the tea, the cinnamon flavor was notable enough.
  • The price point is relatively high.

6. Adagio Ceylon Sonata Iced Tea – Best Black Tea for Iced Tea

Adagio Ceylon Sonata Iced Tea

Adagio’s Ceylon Sonata Iced Tea is a premium-grade black tea packaged conveniently in cold-brew pouches. 

Sourced from the lush landscapes of Sri Lanka, this tea boasts a bright, lively taste that has been described as the quintessential flavor of iced tea. 

Rich in both flavor and aroma, it provides a refreshing, classic iced tea experience that’s perfect for any time of the day.

The packaging includes cold-brew pouches designed for ease of use and perfect infusion. Simply place a pouch in a pitcher of water overnight, and by morning, you have a ready-to-serve beverage that’s high in caffeine, making it a great pick-me-up for early mornings. 

If you’re short on time, the tea can also be steeped in hot water for five minutes before icing, providing the same rich taste in a fraction of the time.

Each pouch is designed to make 32 ounces of iced tea, making it an efficient choice for everyday use or when serving guests. 

When considering the best black tea for iced tea, the Ceylon Sonata Iced Tea’s combination of convenience, taste, and full-bodied flavor makes it a stellar choice.


  • Convenient cold-brew pouches simplify preparation.
  • Bright, lively, classic iced tea flavor.
  • High in caffeine, so it is perfect for a pick-me-up.
  • Each pouch makes 32 ounces of tea, which is ideal for regular consumption or serving guests.
  • Can also be prepared quickly with hot water if needed.
  • Makes a cleaner, smoother iced tea compared to store-bought alternatives.


  • The flavor might not be strong enough for some tea drinkers when prepared with cold brewing.
  • May require additional brewing time (or sun brewing) to achieve a stronger flavor.
  • The price might be higher than standard supermarket black teas.

7. The Republic of Tea Decaf British Breakfast Black Tea Bags – Best Decaf Black Tea

The Republic of Tea Decaf British Breakfast Black Tea Bags

The Republic of Tea Decaf British Breakfast Black Tea Bags is an exquisite blend of the finest decaffeinated black tea leaves from different regions, including China, India, Ceylon, and Kenya. 

The tea is known for its robust and savory taste, complemented by its hearty aroma, reminiscent of the original British Breakfast blend. 

This decaf version is ideal for those who enjoy the full-bodied flavor of black tea but wish to reduce their caffeine intake. 

It comes in a tin containing 50 tea bags, providing ample servings for a delightful tea experience. The packaging has a sophisticated touch, making it a classy addition to your kitchen. 

Each tea bag is easy to brew, requiring only freshly boiled water and a steeping time of 3-5 minutes. 

Furthermore, this premium blend is carb-free, gluten-free, kosher, sugar-free, and calorie-free, catering to various dietary preferences. 

Undoubtedly, The Republic of Tea Decaf British Breakfast Black Tea Bags is one of the best decaf black teas on the market.


  • Made from premium decaffeinated black tea leaves.
  • All-natural and carb-free, gluten-free, kosher, sugar-free, and calorie-free.
  • Comes in environmentally friendly packaging with recycled materials.
  • Provides a bright, robust taste that’s close to caffeinated black tea.
  • Comes in a tin containing 50 tea bags for multiple servings.


  • More expensive compared to other brands.
  • For strong tea lovers, it may require multiple bags to achieve the desired robustness.
  • Might not hold up well when mixed with milk and sugar.

8. Taylors of Harrogate Pure Assam Black Tea Bags – Best Black Tea for Milk Tea

Taylors of Harrogate Pure Assam Black Tea Bags

Taylors of Harrogate Pure Assam Black Tea Bags is a popular choice among tea lovers. 

The tea comes from Assam in northeast India, a region known for its high-quality tea. 

This black tea stands out for its malty flavor, which makes it great for milk tea. You can expect a rich and strong tea flavor from these tea bags, which many think is the best black tea for milk tea.

In the box, you’ll find 50 tagless tea bags. Each bag is filled with 2.5 grams of Assam tea. 

If you’re worried about additives, rest easy. This tea is made from 100% natural Assam tea leaves.

Plus, the company behind it, Taylors of Harrogate, is known for being eco-friendly. They’re Carbon Neutral Certified and part of the Ethical Tea Partnership.


  • Packs a strong, malty flavor.
  • The tea bags are easy to use.
  • Taylors of Harrogate is an environmentally responsible company.
  • Great for making milk tea.
  • Comes in a pack of 50.
  • Affordable.


  • Teabags are not individually wrapped.
  • Not as fresh as loose-leaf tea.
  • No strings on the teabags.

9. Organic Positively Tea Company, Loose-Leaf Ceylon Black Tea – Best Loose-Leaf Black Tea

Organic Positively Tea Company, Loose-Leaf Ceylon Black Tea

Organic Positively Tea Company offers Loose-Leaf Ceylon Black Tea. 

As the best loose-leaf black tea, it carries a balanced flavor that is both sweet and well-rounded. 

This medium-bodied black tea is made from 100% organic Ceylon black tea leaves from Sri Lanka. 

It’s a high-caffeine tea, so it can be a good morning or midday pick-me-up. 

The loose-leaf format, packed in a 16-ounce bag, ensures fresh and flavorful tea. From a single bag, you can get around 150-240 cups of tea, depending on how strong you like it. 

Being USDA Organic and Kosher certified, you can trust its quality. It’s just pure tea, with no additives or preservatives, and it also brings benefits like antioxidants and other nutrients.


  • Organic and high-quality Ceylon black tea.
  • Good flavor, that is sweet and well-rounded.
  • High caffeine content.
  • Makes 150-240 cups from a 16-ounce bag.
  • Loose-leaf tea offers a fresh taste.
  • USDA Organic and Kosher certified.


  • The price is higher than similar teas.
  • The flavor may be weaker for some.
  • Has leaf fragments and stems.

10. Teatulia Organic Black Tea Bags – Best Black Tea Bags

Teatulia Organic Black Tea Bags

Teatulia Organic Black Tea Bags is a pack of 50 pyramid tea bags filled with high-quality black tea. 

These aren’t just your regular tea bags; they’re among the best black tea bags out there. Each tea bag is filled with small, golden-tipped dry leaves that produce a unique flavor that’s both fresh and rich. The taste is like a bold malt balanced with a smooth, sweet finish.

When you brew the tea, it has a golden color with a reddish hue, and it releases a light cherry aroma with a bit of mustiness. 

Each bag is packed with organic black tea, and they’re designed to be environmentally friendly; they are compostable and don’t have any strings, tags, or staples.

This black tea was awarded 2nd Place in the Black Tea Single Origin Category at the 2014 North American Tea Championship, so you know you’re getting a quality product. On top of that, the tea is USDA Organic, Gluten Free, Kosher, and Vegan-friendly, and contains a moderate amount of natural caffeine.


  • Bold flavor with a unique taste
  • Organic, gluten-free, kosher, and vegan
  • Environmentally friendly, compostable tea bags
  • Contains natural caffeine
  • Award-winning quality
  • No unnecessary tags or staples
  • Good quantity with 50 tea bags per pack


  • Some might find the flavor too typical
  • A lack of string on the tea bag could be inconvenient
  • The malty flavor might not suit everyone
  • Could be considered expensive

How We Selected the Best Black Teas

To bring you the best, we’ve considered several critical factors in our selection process.

Type of Black Tea

Black tea comes in various types, primarily single-ingredient and blends. 

Single-ingredient teas like Assam, Darjeeling, and Ceylon come directly from distinct regions, each bearing a unique taste and aroma. Assam tea, for instance, is strong, malty, and richly colored, while Darjeeling boasts a floral and fruity flavor with a gentle hue. 

On the other hand, blended teas like English Breakfast, Irish Breakfast, and Earl Grey combine teas from different regions, offering a balanced, flavorful blend with consistent taste throughout the year.


The form of tea, whether loose-leaf or tea bag, greatly influences the tea-drinking experience. 

Loose-leaf teas often offer the highest quality black tea, providing full-bodied flavor and aroma. They allow the leaves to expand fully during brewing, releasing all their flavorful oils. 

Tea bags, conversely, offer convenience and consistency, making them a popular choice for those who enjoy a quick, good black tea. Despite being pre-portioned, many best black tea brands ensure their tea bags contain high-quality leaves.

Caffeine Content

The caffeine content in black tea can vary, with some types being stronger than others. For those sensitive to caffeine or who prefer a late-night cup, decaf versions are also available, offering the same great flavor with minimal stimulation.


The flavor of black tea can differ considerably depending on the type, origin, and brand. The best black teas present a symphony of flavors – from bold and smoky, to sweet and floral, or even fruity and spicy. This wide flavor profile makes black tea versatile and appealing to many palates.


Price is another determinant in choosing the best black tea. While some high-quality black teas command a higher price due to their sourcing, processing, and packaging, many affordable options do not compromise on flavor or quality. The best black tea brand often balances quality and affordability, catering to a range of budgets.

Tips for Choosing the Best Black Tea

Selecting the best black tea can seem daunting, but here are some tips to guide you.

  • Understand the Types: Understanding different types of black tea is key. If you prefer bold and strong flavor, single-origin teas like Assam or Ceylon may be your best bet. For a more balanced and consistent flavor, blends like English Breakfast or Earl Grey are excellent choices.
  • Consider the Form: Decide if you want loose-leaf or tea bags. Loose-leaf often provides the best flavor and aroma, but tea bags are more convenient, especially if you’re always on the go.
  • Look at the Ingredients: If you’re opting for flavored black teas, always check the ingredient list. Some brands use natural ingredients for flavoring, while others might use artificial ones. The best brands of black tea usually prefer natural ingredients.
  • Caffeine Content: If you’re sensitive to caffeine, opt for decaffeinated versions or black teas known for their lower caffeine content.
  • Price vs. Quality: While price can often indicate quality, this is not always the case. Many good black teas are affordable. Don’t let price alone guide your decision; consider reviews and recommendations too.

Remember, the best black tea is subjective and depends on individual preferences. Happy tea hunting!


How Much Caffeine Is in Black Tea?

Black tea typically contains 40-70mg of caffeine per 8 oz. serving, depending on brewing time and temperature.

What Is the Strongest Black Tea?

The strongest black tea in terms of flavor and caffeine content is often considered Assam tea, originating from the Assam region in India. Its bold, malty flavor and higher caffeine content make it a popular choice for those seeking a strong, robust brew.

What Does Black Tea Taste Like?

Black tea boasts a wide flavor profile, varying from sweet, floral, and fruity, to robust, malty, and smoky, largely dependent on its type and origin.

What Are the Benefits of Black Tea?

Black tea has numerous health benefits, including boosting heart health, reducing LDL cholesterol, improving gut health, and potentially reducing the risk of stroke.

How Many Calories Are in Black Tea?

Unsweetened black tea contains virtually no calories. However, adding sugar, milk, or cream will increase the calorie count.

How to Make a Black Tea?

Here’s a simple recipe:

  1. Heat water to 200-212°F.
  2. Add 1 teaspoon of loose-leaf tea (or one tea bag) per 8 oz. of water.
  3. Steep for 3-5 minutes.
  4. Strain (if using loose-leaf tea) and serve.

Remember, these steps can vary based on the specific black tea, so it’s always best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the label.

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