9 of the Best Loose Leaf Green Tea Reviews

Last Updated On : June 2021
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Best Loose Leaf Green Tea

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 9 best loose leaf green tea products 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!

Our 9 Picks for The Best Loose Leaf Green Tea

What to Look for in the Best Loose Leaf Green Tea

  • Color
  • Shape
  • Harvesting

Color of the Tea 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:

  • Green gray: these tea leaves are known to have more astringency, with a stronger and smoky flavor.

  • Green yellow: these leaves are known to have a bit of a sweet and toasty flavor.

  • Brown yellow: these leaves are usually roasted and will have that roasted flavor.

  • Dark green: these leaves are deeply steamed, which results in a stronger vegetal or grassy flavor.

  • Bright green: these leaves are lightly steamed, and so their flavor won’t be as grassy.

Shape of the Tea Leaves

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.

Harvesting of the Tea Leaves

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.

A Quick Summary of Our Top Picks

Davidson's Gunpowder - Best Loose Leaf Green Tea

Davidson’s Tea Bulk Gunpowder Green

  • Grown in the ‘Green Tree Golden Triangle’
  • Prepared in the traditional way
  • Certified organic by the USDA

Numi's Gunpowder - Best Loose Leaf Green Tea

Numi Organic Tea Gunpowder Green

  • USDA certified organic
  • Full-bodied, bright and fresh flavor
  • Fair trade and B Corp certified

Shizen Houjicha - Best Loose Leaf Green Tea

Organic Houjicha Green Tea Loose Leaf from Japan 100g - ShiZen Tea

  • Grown on small, family farms
  • Traditional Japanese roasting techniques
  • Rich and soothing flavors

ShiZen Sencha - Best Loose Leaf Green Tea

Organic Sencha Green Tea Loose Leaf from Japan - ShiZen Tea

  • USDA certified organic
  • Grown on small, family farms
  • Earthy, smooth flavors

Tiesta citrus - Best Loose Leaf Green Tea

Tiesta Tea - Lean Green Machine, Loose Leaf Light Citrus Green Tea

  • Bright and refreshing flavor
  • Enjoy it both hot or cold 
  • Not artificial ingredients

Oriarm Jasmine - Best Loose Leaf Green Tea

Oriarm Jasmine Green Tea Bi Tan Piao Xue Yuqian 3rd Grade

  • Picked at natural growing season
  • Scented three times with jasmine
  • Low caffeine for relaxation

Oriarm longjing - Best Loose Leaf Green Tea

Oriarm Chinese LongJing Dragon Well Green Tea Leaves

  • Flavor lasts for more than one steep
  • Can be used as hot or cold tea
  • Pan-fired for unique flavors

Oriarm mao fang - Best Loose Leaf Green Tea

Oriarm High Mountain Mao Feng Green Tea Leaves

  • Unique look and style of leaves
  • Sweet without bitterness
  • Grown on an ecological farm

Japanese Gyokuro - Best Loose Leaf Green Tea

Japanese Premium Yame Gyokuro Green Tea

  • Good for two infusions
  • Smooth and sweet flavor
  • Grown partially in shade

Types of Green Tea

 These are some of the more popular types of green tea.

Japanese Sencha 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. 

Dragon Well

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.

Mao Feng

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

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.

Japanese Matcha

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. 

Bi Luo Chun

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.

Gunpowder

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.

Close Up of Our 9 Best Loose Leaf Green Tea Picks

Davidson’s Tea Bulk Gunpowder Green

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 provinces for tea production in China.

Davidson's Gunpowder - Best Loose Leaf Green Tea

Davidson’s Tea Bulk Gunpowder Green

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Numi Organic Tea Gunpowder Green

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.

Numi's Gunpowder - Best Loose Leaf Green Tea

Numi Organic Tea Gunpowder Green

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Organic Houjicha Green Tea Loose Leaf from Japan 100g - ShiZen Tea

The smooth and mellow flavor of this 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.

Shizen Houjicha - Best Loose Leaf Green Tea

Organic Houjicha Green Tea Loose Leaf from Japan 100g - ShiZen Tea

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Organic Sencha Green Tea Loose Leaf from Japan - ShiZen Tea

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. 

ShiZen Sencha - Best Loose Leaf Green Tea

Organic Sencha Green Tea Loose Leaf from Japan - ShiZen Tea

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Tiesta Tea - Lean Green Machine, Loose Leaf Light Citrus Green Tea

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 is 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.

Tiesta citrus - Best Loose Leaf Green Tea

Tiesta Tea - Lean Green Machine, Loose Leaf Light Citrus Green Tea

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Oriarm Jasmine Green Tea Bi Tan Piao Xue Yuqian 3rd Grade

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. 

Oriarm Jasmine - Best Loose Leaf Green Tea

Oriarm Jasmine Green Tea Bi Tan Piao Xue Yuqian 3rd Grade

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Oriarm Chinese LongJing Dragon Well Green Tea Leaves

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. 

Oriarm longjing - Best Loose Leaf Green Tea

Oriarm Chinese LongJing Dragon Well Green Tea Leaves

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Oriarm High Mountain Mao Feng Green Tea Leaves

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.

Oriarm mao feng - Best Loose Leaf Green Tea

Oriarm High Mountain Mao Feng Green Tea Leaves

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Japanese Premium Yame Gyokuro Green Tea

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. 

Japanese Gyokuro - Best Loose Leaf Green Tea

Japanese Premium Yame Gyokuro Green Tea

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Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

Why should I use loose leaf tea?

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.

What are the benefits of green tea?

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).

Wrapping Up

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!

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