How To Choose The Best Black Tea

 Feb 14 2022  Tea Knowledge
best black tea

Please know that we put a lot of care into our recommendations. We love tea and we only want to make sure you’re getting the best. That’s why we only include teas with great reviews and best-selling status on our list.

Black tea is an all-time favorite drink. It’s been around for centuries and it’s no wonder why. It’s delicious, it’s easy to brew, and it’s the perfect way to start the day. Plus, black tea drinkers get to enjoy countless health benefits like:

  • Antioxidant properties
  • Supports heart health
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Enhances gut health
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Decreases risk of stroke
  • Lowers blood sugar levels
  • Cancer prevention
  • Improved focus
  • Diabetes prevention

It’s a healthy beverage that’s easy to make — what else could you ask for? And even though lots of black teas taste different, they’ve usually got a similar flavor profile.

  • Dark
  • Rich
  • Malty
  • Nutty
  • Sometimes sweet, spicy, or both

The way you brew your tea can also change the way it tastes. Things like steep time, temperature, and teapot material can add subtle flavors. You can drink black tea by itself, with cream and sugar, with milk — the world of black tea is your oyster.

*Hey there tea lover! We crafted this list based on ratings, best-sellers, and trusted reviews. We sifted through countless black teas to find the very best selections for you. Start up your kettle and enjoy!

The best caffeinated black teas

Lots of tea lovers are into black tea because of the caffeine levels. Whether you want a morning energy boost or a mid-afternoon pick-me-up, black tea is where it’s at. Here are some great black teas to try if you’re looking to try something new:

High caffeine black teas

When a cup of black tea has 40 mg or more of caffeine, it’s considered high caffeine. It’ll give you lots of energy and you’ll feel it right away.

Vahdam Assam Black Tea 

  • 80 mg of caffeine per 8 oz. cup
  • The strong and sharp taste
  • The brisk and musky flavor profile

Assam is an Indian tea that’s world-famous for its natural beauty and quality. Plus, it’s packed with lots of health benefits like immune system support. If you’ve got a cold or a cough, drink a cup of this brew to help you get better faster!

Twinnings of London Irish Black Tea

  • 60 mg of caffeine per 8 oz. cup
  • Similar to Assam black tea
  • Robust and malty flavor profile

Irish black tea uses Assam as its base. Then it’s blended with other softer teas to bring out its complex flavors. Irish black tea is also known for its signature dark color, strong flavor, and malty aroma.

Vahdam English Breakfast Black Tea

  • 42 mg of caffeine per 8 oz. cup
  • Similar to coffee in taste
  • Roasted, malty, and bitter notes

English Breakfast blends Assam, Ceylon, and Kenya together into a single, signature cup. It’s got plenty of caffeine and a rich, deep flavor profile. It’s an international favorite for most tea lovers.

Ahmad Ceylon Tea

  • 70 mg of caffeine per 8 oz. cup
  • Bold and full taste
  • Notes of citrus, chocolate, and spices

Ceylon black tea comes from Sri Lanka and has a light, gorgeous color. Even though it’s light and sweet, it’s bold and strong — packed with tons of caffeine to keep you going. It also has plenty of health benefits like blood sugar control.

Medium caffeine black teas

Black teas with 20 mg – 40 mg of caffeine per cup fall into the medium caffeine category. You’ll still get to enjoy the jolt, but it’s not as strong.

Golden Yunnan Black Tea

  • 30 mg of caffeine per 8 oz. cup
  • Light and mellow taste
  • Notes of honey and chocolate

Golden Yunnan is a full-bodied tea from the Yunnan region in China. It’s got a nice amount of caffeine to power you through the day, or a drowsy afternoon. And Golden Yunnan is known for its unmistakable copper color.

Artfull China Keemun Black Tea

  • 40 mg of caffeine per 8 oz. cup
  • Light and toasty taste
  • The floral and exotic aroma

True Keemun tea is only produced in the Qimen County of the south Anhui province in China. It’s popular in Western countries because of its woody, floral aromas, and unique taste.

Keemun also undergoes a special withering and oxidation process. This is where the tea gets its signature flavor profile.

The best flavored black teas

If you’re just stepping foot in the wonderful world of black tea, get your feet wet with these flavored brews. Here are our top recommended black teas.

Spiced black teas

Spiced black teas like Chai are made from a blend of black tea and warm spices like:

  • Cardamom
  • Black pepper
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Fennel
  • Star anise
  • Turmeric
  • Nutmeg
  • Saffron
  • And more

Spiced black teas come in bags or in loose-leaf form. And they’re a great way to reap the benefits of black tea and additional, nutritional value from spices. For example, turmeric is known to reduce inflammation. Cinnamon has anti-viral properties. Cardamom may lower your blood pressure. And some spiced teas are great for balancing blood sugar levels.

Here are some great black teas to ease you into the world of warm spice.

Masala Chai Black Tea

  • Helps balance sugar levels
  • Butternut extract notes
  • Perfect with milk and sweeteners

Vahdam India’s Original Masala Chai

  • Fresh and aromatic blend
  • Cardamom, black pepper, and cinnamon
  • Notes of cloves

Rishi Organic Masala Chai

  • Assam black tea and spice blend
  • Guatemalan cardamom
  • Hot and citrusy ginger tones

Sweet black teas

If you’re a sweets person, these black tea brews are going to hit the spot. They’ve got all the health benefits of traditional black tea, but with a little something sweet on the side.

Twinings of London Vanilla Velvet Black Tea

  • Black tea blended with jasmine and calendula petals
  • Natural vanilla flavors
  • Rich and sweet taste

Golden Yunnan Black Tea

  • The strong black tea flavor
  • Softened with notes of honey
  • Great for upset stomachs and nausea

Fruity black teas

Other black teas are blended or scented with natural fruits. This adds in some sweetness, and sometimes floral flavors. They’re perfect for mid-day tea, or a refreshing treat in the warmer months.

Harney&Sons Apricot Black Tea

  • Black tea and apricot pieces
  • Natural brandy flavors
  • Supports immune system function

Stash Orange Spice Black Tea

  • Black tea and dried orange peels
  • Packed with a citrus punch
  • Makes a great summertime iced tea

Bigelow Pomegranate Black Tea

  • Sweet and tart blend
  • Lots of antioxidants for heart health
  • The crisp and tasty flavor profile

The Republic of Tea Ginger Peach Black Tea

  • Mild but zesty brew
  • Hints of ginger and peach
  • Soothes upset stomachs and nausea

Holiday flavored black teas

The holidays are the perfect time of year to cozy up with a black tea brew. They’re similar to spiced black teas. But they’ve usually got some fruity or citrusy flavors packed in, too. So grab your favorite sweater, your favorite book, and one of these holiday black tea blends.

Harney&Sons Holiday Black Tea

  • Iced or hot brews
  • Almond, cinnamon, and citrus notes
  • Strong flavor profile

Twinings of London Apple Cinnamon Black Tea

  • Fruity and spicy flavors
  • Quintessential holiday taste
  • Like a cup of hot apple cider

Final thoughts and top picks

For tea enthusiasts, there are tons of ways to enjoy a cup of fine black tea. Whether you drink it iced, hot, sweetened, or spiced, it’s a delicious drink that’s sure to satisfy.