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The 10 best teas to buy in the UK

Picture of a tea

Tea is one of the most popular drinks in the entire world, being the second most consumed beverage after water. Given its long-lasting popularity, it’s safe to say that tea is very enjoyable, with a variety of flavours available to suit every palate.

Choosing the best tea is very subjective. Originating from many countries and available in countless flavours, deciding which tea you like best is usually a case of trial and error. However, buying a great tea is much easier if you know what to look for in the product!

What are teas?

Tea is beverage produced by pouring boiling water over cured tea leaves. All tea comes from a single plant (Camellia sinensis) native to Asia, although the plant is now widely grown throughout the entire world, and the leaves can be treated and processed in many ways to achieve unique types of tea. There are many varieties of tea available, all of which provide their own distinct aromas and flavours. Herbal teas are infused with herbs and fruits, resulting in very flavourful beverages.

Why should you buy a good tea?

The best tea beverages are not just delicious and refreshing. For instance, green tea is rich in antioxidants.

To gain these benefits, the tea must be actual tea, meaning it shouldn’t be infused with other plants (e.g. herbal mint tea.)

How to choose the right tea in 2024?

Another picture of a tea

Choosing a good tea is all about personal preferences, so it can be difficult to know what to look for without trying it first. Here are some things to consider that make choosing a good tea that bit easier:

  • Flavour: A great tea flavour for one person isn’t always enjoyed by everyone, so it’s important to consider the overall flavours when buying tea. For example, black teas usually have the strongest flavours, while white and green teas tend to be milder. Herbal teas offer distinct flavours that are often quite pleasant, with fruit and herb infusions offering a delicious tasting beverage. Remember, teas can be mixed with milk and other ingredients to create more unique flavours. Black tea often pairs great with milk, although you may prefer the more pronounced flavour of straight tea.
  • Preparation: A common misconception is that all tea requires boiling water and cup to make. While true with some types of tea, there is a lot of different ways to prepare tea, with factors such as tea type, water temperature, and the duration of infusion all impacting how you make it. Make sure you have the necessary items to make the tea, as not all tea comes in a bag ready for infusion, and be sure to check the preparation instructions before you buy.

What is the best kind of tea in the UK?

All tea comes from a single plant, but the there are many varieties to this plant and different ways to process (namely oxidization) the leaves, resulting in many types of tea. However, pure tea can be categorised into four main types:

  • Black Tea: The best tea for anyone starting out, this is the most widely consumed type of tea. It’s dark in appearance and comes with the strongest flavours, while caffeine content is typically higher too. Black tea is great on its own or can be combined with milk, sugar, or lemon.
  • Green Tea: Green tea has not been oxidized, resulting in high levels of antioxidants and other minerals and vitamins, making it one of the best teas out there. It comes in a pale green or yellow colour, and comes with a light flavour and body. Green tea tastes best when drunk without any additives like milk or sugar, although lemon and honey can make a pleasant addition.
  • Oolong Tea: This partially oxidized tea can vary in flavour and colour based the duration of oxidization. For instance, darker oolong that tastes similar to black tea has been oxidized for longer, while shorter oxidization leads to a milder tasting beverage similar to green tea. It can be steeped to produce a very unique tea as well, so there is plenty of choice when it comes to oolong tea.
  • White Tea: Having been processed the least, white tea offers the mildest flavour and lightest colour of all teas. It tends to have a very low caffeine content but is high in antioxidants, and should be drunk without adding anything to preserve the flavour.

Top 10 list of teas in the UK (2024)

The bestseller list compares brands and their teas. Which tea is the best?
Best choice TOP 1
Image of Yorkshire Tea 5007 tea
Yorkshire Tea Bags 3.25 kg (1040 tea bags)
  • Yorkshire Tea is a member of the Ethical Tea Partnership and Rainforest Alliance…
  • We’ve built close relationships with brilliant tea gardens which share our…
  • We go to great lengths to make tea properly – from tasting 1000s of teas a…
Offer TOP 2
Image of Taylors of Harrogate 2600RW tea
Taylors of Harrogate Assorted Speciality Teas Selection Gift Box 108…
  • Taylors of Harrogate are a member of the Ethical Tea Partnership who work to ensure…
  • Classic teas: English Breakfast Tea, Earl Grey Tea, Assam Tea, Green Tea with Jasmine,…
  • Caffeine-free teas: Decaffeinated Breakfast Tea, Organic Peppermint, Lemon &…
Image of Yorkshire Tea 1029 tea
Yorkshire Tea 160 Tea Bags (Pack of 6, total of 960 bags)
  • We are a member of Ethical Tea Partnership - Rainforest Alliance Certified
  • Seriously refreshing and kind to the people who grow it
  • We've built relationships with some of the top tea estates in Africa and India…
Image of Twinings  tea
Twinings English Breakfast Tea | Golden, Well Rounded & Full Bodied…
  • GOOD VALUES, GREAT TASTE: Empowered by our ethical tea partnership & sourced…
  • BREWING: To ignite a moment of pause, simply brew tea for 2 to 3 minutes & enjoy…
  • TEABAGS: This English Breakfast tea is vegan, sugar free & uses plant-based &…
Image of The Tea Masters OLTMAST01 tea
The Tea Masters Loose Leaf Tea - Breakfast Tea - Premium (1x1kg)
  • The Tea Masters Offer a Full Line of Loose Leaf and Bagged Tea - Our teas are also…
  • Experience a Genuine Loose Leaf English Breakfast Tea - A tell tale sign of quality…
  • A Flavour Profile for the Tea Connoisseur - The flavour of this English Breakfast…
Image of PG Tips 8714100900239 tea
PG Tips One Cup Square Teabags (Pack of 1100)
  • PG Tips, A Fresh Perspective in every sip
  • The UK’s Favourite tea* (You Gov Q4 2023, UK’s Favourite beverage)
  • PG Tips is proud to be the first UK tea brand to achieve Rainforest Alliance Cer…
Image of Tetley 453231 tea
Tetley Tea Bags 240's
  • Rainforest Alliance Certified
  • A drink that delivers fantastic flavour
  • Drink it as black tea or add milk as desired. Add sugar to taste
Image of Tetley 1018K tea
Tetley One Cup Tea Bags, 1100
  • With handle for easy handling
  • Resealable for freshness
  • 1100 tea bags
Image of Yorkshire Tea 111148358 tea
Taylors of Harrogate Yorkshire Tea, 656g
  • Taylors of Harrogate Yorkshire Tea
  • Breakfast tea
  • A carefully balanced blend of over 30 specially selected teas from 3 of the world's…
TOP 10
Image of Twinings  tea
Twinings Soulful Blends Quiet Mind Inspired by Ayurveda - Velvety…
  • At Twinings, Expert herbalists use the finest ingredients in this herbal tea to help…
  • Bring a sense of ease to your day with this Quiet Mind tea
  • Soothe your soul with velvety vanilla, revel in the warming embrace of figs &…
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