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Best Black Tea Brands - My Personal Favorite Tea Companies For Loose-Leaf

April 23, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 340

Because they have different tastes, tea lovers rarely agree on which teas are best, and they also do not agree on. This article aims to address the question of what the best brands of black tea are, but rather than offering a global answer to this question, it presents my own personal opinion, of my favorite tea companies from which to buy black tea.

These brands focus on loose-leaf tea. If you came here looking to buy tea bags, you may not be in the right place: I'm a lover of loose-leaf tea, and I think that the best teas are usually only available in loose-leaf form.

Upton Tea Imports:

If I had to pick a single tea company that is my favorite, there is no doubt that it would be Upton. Upton has a massive catalogue, and although it offers many different types of tea (including green, white, oolong, Pu-erh, and even herbals), I think that Upton's true strengths lie in their black teas.

With over 420 varieties of loose-leaf tea, an overwhelming majority of which is pure, single-origin black tea, Upton is one of the best places to find black tea. Although there is a broad range of prices, prices are relatively low across the board. I also like that each tea is offered in small sample sizes, usually large enough to brew 5 or more cups, and that the samples are very affordable.

My favorites from Upton are mostly Darjeelings and Assams, although they also have very good Chinese black teas (which they list as "congou"), as well as selections from Africa (Kenya, Malawi, and Tanzania), and a few from other countries including Vietnam.

Other brands and companies:

Another new company that recently got my attention is TeaVivre. TeaVivre ships directly from China, and, although they carry greens, oolongs, and whites, I found that their black teas were very good. Harney and Sons is a US-based company that sells some very good black teas. For a complete change of pace, I'd also recommend Rishi Tea, which excels in the area of sustainability, with a huge portion of their catalogue both organic and fair-trade certified. Arbor Teas is another company offering black (and other) teas along these lines. And if you want some high-quality tea at an extraordinary low price, I would recommend Ahmad Tea, a London-based company oriented towards the Middle-eastern market, which sells loose-leaf Ceylon and Assam that is rich in flavor and unparalleled in its price range. Yet another company that comes to mind, a new launch owned by Republic of Tea, is Rare Tea Republic, with some unusual offerings, all from the Himalayan region.

These are only a few of the companies that come to mind; I have undoubtedly omitted many top-notch companies from this list.

In summary:

My personal favorite source of black tea is Upton Tea Imports, which I prefer for their consistently fair prices, and the fact that each item in their catalogue is offered in affordable samples. But there are many other companies that I would also recommend as sources of loose-leaf black tea.

Alex Zorach is the founder and editor-in-chief of RateTea, an online community where anyone can rate and review teas, an authoritative source for information about tea. RateTea has a searchable database of teas, classified by brand, style, and region, and articles on tea, health, sustainability, and related topics. Visit RateTea to find black tea reviews and learn more about what to buy.

Source: EzineArticles
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