If you’ve been on the hunt for the best loose leaf green tea and still haven’t discovered your favorite, then I’m happy to tell you that your hunt is finally over!
Green tea is known for having a bitter flavor and many people avoid it because they’ve had an unpleasant experience. That’s because most beginner tea drinkers will use tea bags, which are of lower quality tea leaves, and they will use the incorrect brewing temperature and steeping times.
This article will review and compare the 11 best loose leaf green tea products, and our top 5 picks, so you can choose the one that suits your taste buds and needs.
With the right tea and by following the appropriate brewing recommendations, you will be able to experience the amazing aromas and delightful flavors of green tea, including all the health benefits that come with it!
Check out our overviews below and click on "Read More" to jump down to the in-depth reviews:
Makes Good Sencha by Firebelly Tea
Davidson’s Tea Bulk Gunpowder Green
Zest for Life by Firebelly Tea
Numi Organic Tea Gunpowder Green
Best Gunpowder Green Tea
Organic Houjicha Green Tea Loose Leaf - ShiZen Tea
Organic Sencha Green Tea Loose Leaf from Japan - ShiZen Tea
Tiesta Tea - Lean Green Machine, Loose Leaf Light Citrus Green Tea
Best With Citrus
Oriarm Jasmine Green Tea Bi Tan Piao Xue Yuqian 3rd Grade
Best Jasmine Green
Oriarm Chinese LongJing Dragon Well Green Tea Leaves
Best Dragon Well
Oriarm High Mountain Mao Feng Green Tea Leaves
Best Mao Fen
Japanese Premium Yame Gyokuro Green Tea
Now stick around so you can learn more about each product we mentioned and what you should look for when you're shopping for one!
We have selected this green tea as our number one pick due to several reasons.
The first reason is quality. This loose leaf green tea is a mix of high-grade sencha and gyokuro green teas.
We love this blend because adding gyokuro to sencha results in a superior blend than just sencha, but you don't have to pay as much as getting pure gyokuro tea.
This tea is sourced from Kagoshima and Koyu in Kyushu, Japan. This region of Japan is famous of its volcanic activity which has covered the land in a layer of ash (shirasu in Japanese), rendering the soil extremely rich in minerals. The abundant rainfall results in this region being one of the best producers of agricultural products in the country, including green tea!
Another reason we recommend this tea is because it's certified as ECOCERT, USDA Organic and Canada Organic. This means you can drink this tea with confidence - no extra chemicals or additives will make it into your cup.
The packaging is environmentally friendly and plastic-free - the tea pouch is fully compostable. This is a big plus for us since we are big on the environment.
You can get this tea as a subscription for a discounted price or as a one time purchase. We found the shipping to be extremely quick.
Did you know Firebelly Tea was founded by the David from David's Tea?
This certified organic tea has no additives. Not to mention you’ll get plenty of caffeine in each cup to get your day started or keep it going.
The flavor is strong, as you would expect from a gunpowder style, and it comes straight from China. You’re getting an authentic product that will give you all the best in overall quality.
The loose leaves of this tea are packed in an aluminum foil-lined bag to ensure freshness from the first cup to the last. It’s also grown in the ‘Green Tee Golden Triangle,’ which represents the best province for tea production in China.
This green tea blend is one of the most unique teas in this list, and is another tea from Firebelly Teas. It's a mix of ginger, turmeric, cardamom, lemon verbena, lemon thyme and chili with Japanese green tea.
It's a spicy green tea full of benefits - in addition to the benefits you get from the green tea, the ginger helps with digestion and supports the immune system whereas the turmeric contains curcumin, a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.
The hot chilis provide for an invigorating experience, which makes this tea one of my favorites for the start of the day.
This USDA organic, Canada Organic and ECOCERT tea comes in sustainable packaging, which is plastic free and compostable. The box provides detailed information, such as the country of origin of ALL the ingredients. This is a good sign as it shows the vendor put effort into selecting each ingredient.
If you are feeling sleepy in the afternoon, or want to start your morning in high gear look no more - this tea will exceed your expectations! We recommend a subscription for a discount!
Best Gunpowder Green Tea
This organic tea is a traditional gunpowder style with a whole lot of flavor. It is then formed into tight pearls that create a bright and fresh flavor when you brew your best loose leaf green tea.
Not only that, but the pouches are resealable to keep the tea as fresh as possible each time. You can even use it in any of your favorite infusers, tea balls, or even a French press to get the ideal cup.
This tea is made with pure green tea leaves with no fillers, and it’s USDA certified organic and non-GMO verified.
The smooth and mellow flavor of this Hojicha tea is because it is grown in the foothills of Mount Fuji. Not only that but it is roasted by a true artisan who knows the traditional roasting techniques of Japan.
Made with absolutely no preservatives, sugars, or artificial coloring, you’ll get authentic flavors and brightness from every cup you make. This is a houjicha style tea that comes from high elevations and ancient farming techniques.
This tea is grown on a family farm and ready to brew as fresh as possible when it arrives at your doorstep. There are approximately 25 servings in each bag, though this depends on your serving size preference.
This full-bodied sencha tea is grown in an area on Mount Fuji, on a farm that has been growing organic green tea for over 20 years. It also offers some of the best environments for growing this type of tea.
You’ll get approximately 25 servings from a single package, and you don’t have to worry about preservatives, sugar, or artificial coloring. This tea is completely non-GMO and designed to be as pure as possible.
Certified USDA organic under Japanese organic standards, the high altitude and pure, clean air, water, and soil create a completely unique smooth and earthly flavor profile that you won’t find anywhere else.
Best With Citrus
This light citrus tea is made with green tea, lemongrass, orange peel, lemon peel, and natural flavors. So you don’t have to worry about artificial ingredients clouding the bright flavors.
The crispness and slightly sharp flavor of this tea are definitely going to give you a pick-me-up for the day. Not to mention it has a bright aroma and pieces of real fruit peels to let you truly see what you’re drinking.
You’ll get a medium level of caffeine to keep your day going, and you can feel great knowing that your purchase has supported the community as well.
Best Jasmine Green
This beautiful tea is brewed with green tea from Mount Emei tea trees that are scented with fresh, budding jasmine. This provides a unique scent and even an ornamental aspect to the tea itself.
You can see the jasmine float to the top of your cup as you brew, and you will be able to enjoy the health benefits of this particular blend. Plus it includes catechins to aid in fat burning and weight loss.
Great for relaxation as it is low in caffeine, this tea will give you just the right boost of energy. It is picked only during the natural growing season, which ensures that it is at peak freshness when it arrives to you.
Best Dragon Well
This tea is somewhat unique because it is pan-fried and comes in a long leaf rather than the smaller pieces you may find with other fresh green teas. It is handpicked and packaged whole, providing the best possible flavor.
You’ll find that this tea is smooth with a bit of earthiness but also a fragrant and delicate aroma. It is excellent for hot or iced tea as well as being useful for more than one steep.
It’s also picked right at the peak of the natural season to maintain the best flavor possible.
Best Mao Feng
When it comes time to wake up in the morning, you need a breakfast tea that can give you just the right amount of caffeine while still setting a good tone for the day. This tea is able to fulfill both of those requirements.
You’ll get a fresh tasting cup of tea with just the right hints of florals, chestnuts, and more. Not to mention this sweet tea is processed from an ecological tea garden, which makes it even better for the planet.
The plant that these leaves are grown from is a unique one known as the Huangshan large-leaf tea bush. It features wavy leaves with a sharp tip and fat buds that feature only one to two leaves. They are quite beautiful to look at with their soft white coating and offer high levels of nutrients and antioxidants.
With this tea, you will get a smooth and sweet flavor that comes from one of the top tea brands available. It provides amino acids as well as catechins to get the best health benefits possible as well.
Gyokuro tea is actually considered the top tea grade available in Japan, partially because it is grown under the shade for at least 20 days before harvest. This tea is steamed during the processing, and then machine dried to provide the best level of freshness and preservation, so it’s ready when you are.
You’ll get a beautiful color, flavor, and aroma with just the right balance of caffeine. Not to mention you can get at least two infusions out of a single bunch of leaves.
The color of the tea leaves will allow you to tell the type of tea used, the production process used as well as the expected flavor. For example, the Chinese and Japanese tea artisans will use pan-frying or roasting methods, resulting in different leaf colors and producing different flavors. In general:
The shape of the tea leaves can also tell you a lot about the flavor that you can expect. Large and unbroken tea leaves are going to give you a lighter, yet more flavorful cup. While smaller, and curly leaves are going to have a stronger infusion.
Green tea is harvested multiple times throughout the season, and every harvest will yield a different and unique flavor characteristics. Some might argue that the first harvest, which is usually in early Spring, yields the best flavored green tea leaves, so make sure to look for that information on the packaging.
These are some of the more popular types of green tea.
Japanese sencha is quite possibly the most popular type of Japanese green tea! It is as green as green tea can get, with a fresh and grassy flavor. Don’t over-brew it, as it can get bitter.
This tea comes from China and is probably just as popular as Japanese sencha. It has flat leaves and offers a sweet, nutty, and light flavor. It’s quite popular and also rather unique overall. Again, be careful not to over-brew as it can get bitter.
This type of green tea is also from China and the most popular is grown near Huangshan - Yellow Mountain in Anhui province. It has a needle-like appearance and provides a strong and refreshing flavor with light floral notes.
Japanese gyokuro has a fragrant aroma and umami and it comes with many health benefits. The leaves are shaded from sunlight for at least 20 days before harvest, which produces a mellow and sweet flavor with a higher concentration of nutrients. This is why it is considered a premium tea all over the world.
Many people are aware of this, but matcha is actually green tea leaves that have been grown in the shade and then grinded into the powder you likely already know. In the higher quality matcha brands, you will notice a great balance between vegetal notes, nuttiness and a smooth sweetness.
This tea is grown in China and is one of the 10 famous Chinese teas. It is renowned for its beautiful and delicate appearance, its bright color, its floral aroma and its fruity and mellow taste.
It may come as no surprise that this type of tea has a very strong flavor profile, but its name actually comes from the shape of the leaves, which look like pellets. It is bold, slightly smoky and nutty in flavor.
Loose leaf tea avoids the tea bags and provides you with the best quality and flavor of tea. It then infuses better and provides more boldness that you want in your tea.
Bagged tea is made with the leftovers or remnants of tea leaves and often includes less desirable pieces of the leaf. This can cause more of the essential oils to evaporate, leaving a flat taste.
Besides the flavor profile of green tea, it has numerous potential benefits. First, it contains a moderate to high amount of caffeine (depending on the specific blend), which can give you a bit more energy for the day.
It has also been found to offer health benefits in some cases that include anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, anti-aging, and anti-bacterial effects. It also may have some benefit to weight loss and neurodegenerative or heart diseases (1).
In general, it's not. Many green teas can be alkaline but the acidity of green tea depends on many factors. We measured ours to be mildly acidic. Read our post about how acidic tea is to learn more!
Drinking green tea is a delicate and beautiful experience that everyone deserves to witness. The problem is green tea has such a bad rep for being bitter, and the reason is because people are not using the right type of tea with the right brewing method or process.
In order to experience this world of delectable flavors and enticing aromas, you need to make sure that you are buying the best loose leaf green tea product and following the proper brewing instructions for that specific product.
Happy Green Tea Brewing!
This article is intended for informational purposes only. It is not meant to replace professional medical advice, treatment or diagnosis. Do not consume any type of tea if you are allergic to it. The information in this article is not intended to treat serious medical conditions. Please seek professional medical advice before using home remedies.