A QUEST FOR THE BEST LOOSE LEAF TEA ON AMAZON: NOT AS EASY AS IT SEEMS.
If you’re looking for the best loose leaf tea, you’re unlikely to find it at the supermarket. If there is no specialized tea shop in your area, buying tea online is your best shot. The most obvious place on the internet that comes to mind is Amazon. But while it’s indispensable when it comes to shopping for most consumer goods, Amazon might leave you with a rather confusing tea buying experience.
SO MUCH TO CHOOSE FROM!
It seems easy at first. Just type “loose leaf tea” in Amazon’s search bar, and you’ll get over 400 pages of results covering hundreds of tea brands and thousands of products – organic, fine, and budget teas, variety packs, samplers, and even gift sets. Yes, Amazon offers a great assortment of distinctive teas at reasonable prices. But there’s a catch.
THOSE SEARCH RESULTS COULD TOTALLY BAFFLE YOU.
Amazon provides various filters to sort by tea type, packaging, flavor, and so on. Great! But…the options are actually limited, and even if you try to use the filters, some products that show up don’t always match the selected categories. The next issue is that some fine premium teas listed on Amazon show up right next to basic everyday brands. Which is pretty much the same as a wine shop placing ultra-high premium Bordeaux next to two-buck Chuck on the same shelf. Except that no wine store would do it. And the tea buying confusion on Amazon doesn’t end there; tea is sold in all sorts of packaging and you can’t even compare prices very easily.
SHOULD YOU RELY ON AMAZON TEA REVIEWS?
Endless customer reviews are a big reason why Amazon is so popular. But when it comes to shopping for tea, you may not find those reviews as useful as you do for other products. Here’s why:
- Many stores sell multiple tea types and flavors within one listing, and customer reviews for different teas get mixed up! You might read a review and not even realize that it actually describes an absolutely different kind of tea from the same seller. Bummer, right?
- You can attempt to judge the quality of many consumer products by the popularity of their brand – which in turn is indicated by a high count of positive reviews. But this is not the case for teas. Based on our evaluation, some really great teas have very few to no reviews at all. This could happen for many reasons. The product may be new to Amazon, or it may be a fresh blend that just made its first appearance on the market. The tea type may be relatively rare or exclusive. The world of tea is very diverse and ever-changing. As a result, products with very few or no reviews wouldn’t even come up on the first few pages of an Amazon search which is based on popularity.
- Finally, judging a tea taste is very subjective. People rate teas based on their palate, and ratings vary dramatically not because of the tea quality, but because of personal preferences. Some of the reviews are very insightful, but keep in mind that tastes differ!
BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN YOU CAN’T FIND GREAT TEA ON AMAZON
When Amazon offers you a flexible solution to save time and money, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t use it. In fact, there are many reasons why you should.
AMAZON BUYER PROTECTION PROGRAM
It’s safe to shop on Amazon. Their A-to-Z Guarantee is a means of protecting the customer from fraudulent sellers and mishaps during shipping. Amazon offers full refunds on payments (including shipping charges) made on amazon.com (and even on payments made on third-party websites using Amazon Pay). You thus stand to be reimbursed if you don’t receive the item you ordered, receive a defective or incorrect product, and even if a third-party seller doesn’t honor your refund claim.
BUYING TEA FROM OVERSEAS MADE EASY
Amazon’s buyer protection policy is especially helpful when buying from small, unknown tea companies that are based overseas. They offer terrific teas straight from the source at competitive prices, including bulk and wholesale tea orders. A word of advice: do not abuse Amazon’s buyer protection program. If you have an issue, contact your seller first; most of them are willing to work with you. Also, remember that international delivery times may be long, even if the seller ships right away. It’s just a hazard of using Airmail from Asia. After all, good things come to those who wait!
LAST BUT NOT LEAST
And arguably the best reason of all – you can shop in your pajamas! There’s an undeniable sense of luxury in ordering your favorite loose leaf tea from the comfort of your home and getting it delivered straight to your door. For Amazon Prime members, free two-day shipping is available on eligible products.
Top 10 best loose leaf teas to buy on Amazon
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Rishi Tea Organic Sencha Loose Leaf Tea, 2.12 Ounces Tin
Sencha is the most beloved tea of Japan. Developed in the 18th century, the process of making Sencha has evolved into the art and science of preserving the fresh green character and healthy components of tealeaves. Our best-selling sencha profile comes from a special blend of multiple varietals and the expert blending and finishing techniques of Takezawa Seicha.
Ocha & Co. Premium Organic Japanese Genmaicha Matcha Roasted Brown Rice Blend Green Tea
Genmaicha (Organic Sencha blended with Roasted Wholemeal Brown Rice and Matcha powder) is also known as `Popcorn Tea'. It can be enjoyed both hot or chilled. A refreshing drink without the bitterness that can be found in some other Green Teas.
Ti Kuan Yin, Iron Goddess of Mercy, Oolong Loose Leaf Tea, Organic
One of the most popular Chinese oolong teas is the Iron Goddess of Mercy. Tea connoisseurs may have heard of this same tea by the names of Ti Kwan Yin, Tit Kwun Yum, Tie Guan Yin, Iron Buddha, or Iron Goddess of Mercy. Regardless of what you call it, they all have the same distinctive flavor and light floral fragrance that make this oolong tea special.
1st Flush Margaret’s Hope Darjeeling “Limited Edition”
This wonderful Indian Darjeeling is the best first flush that we have ever had the privilege of tasting, and is available in very strictly limited quantities, so don't miss out! We only have limited stock quantity of Darjeeling Margaret's Hope First Flush available, and it is already proving incredibly popular, so be sure not to leave it too late to buy.
The Tao of Tea, Rose Petal Black Tea, Loose Leaf, 4-Ounce Tin
Artisan Quality Pure Leaf Teas Fresh Brews 80 Cups Certified Kosher by EarthKosher Origin: Anhui Province, China. Also known as 'Meigui Hongcha', Rose Petal Black is a blend of the popular Chinese black tea 'Keemun' and fragrant red rose petals.
Golden Moon Tea – Golden Monkey Tea – Organic – Loose Leaf
We want the tips, the whole tips, and nothing but the tips. Because tea tips are the sweetest and most prized part of the tea leaf. And Golden Monkey is made with almost all golden tea tips. This gives you a light-bodied black tea that is full of sweetness with hints of semi-sweet chocolate. Out of all the true black teas, this is the most refined and complex.
Mighty Leaf Organic Dragon Well Green Tea
Contains 180 servings. Certified Organic and Kosher. Packaged in a 1 lb., triple-ply foil bag with a resealable, pressure-zip closure to preserve freshness. Includes a loose tea measuring scoop.with a resealable, pressure-zip closure to preserve freshness. Includes a loose tea measuring scoop.
DECISIONS, DECISIONS…WE’RE HERE TO HELP!
So, how do you make a choice, especially if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for? First, try to answer the question: What’s YOUR cup of tea? What’s your favorite tea type or flavor? Do you prefer teas from any particular tea producing region? We’ve selected the best loose leaf teas of all styles and flavors online and placed them in logically organized niches. Start with our informational articles on all types of tea and find recommended products from the best tea stores online.
Isabelle is a freelance writer, self-taught tea nerd, and tea blending enthusiast. She is a herbalist with a strong interest in Ayurveda. Each year Isabelle travels extensively, returning with tea samples from around the world. She is a big fan of handmade teaware and Japanese green teas.