The Highest Quality Black Teas for Everyday Sipping
We love black tea — the most common form of the ancient beverage made from oxidized leaves of the Camellia sinensis shrub. Of the many varieties, we appreciate the perfumed profile of Earl Grey as much as the (acquired) smoky taste of Lapsang Souchong.
Given the multitude of excellent black teas from all over the world, it would seem too bold to say that GAYOT’s list of Best Black Teas is definitive. Instead, these are favorites that we enjoy. Many of them are organic and sustainable, and all crafted with the utmost care.
If you enjoy a lighter, grassier taste in your brew, check out our list of the Best Green Teas for great-tasting picks chock-full of health benefits.
Celestial Seasonings was founded in 1969 in Boulder, Colorado, and has grown to serve 1.6 billion cups of tea per year.
Morning Thunder is a blend of rich black teas and roasted maté, a traditional South American botanical that rejuvenates without giving you the jitters. This tea is perfect for a morning boost of energy.
Dilmah is the only tea company that owns its whole supply chain, beginning with gardens in some of Ceylon’s finest estates to the packaging and distribution.
This black tea is from the Silver Jubilee Gourmet collection, celebrating Dilmah’s 25 years of making fine teas. It’s from Nuwara Eliya, a high-elevation tea-growing region in Sri Lanka, and combines rich flavor with soft aromas. It is best served with a splash of milk for afternoon tea.
This Chinese black tea is organic and made from golden tea tips, lending a slight sweetness.
Golden Monkey has mellow flavors of chocolate and apricot, and a smooth finish featuring notes of pecan.
Kusmi Tea was founded in 1867 in St. Petersburg, where it was sipped by Russian czars.
Russian Morning No. 24 is a blend of two single origin black teas — a subtly-flavored varietal from China and one from Ceylon that offers a round, chocolate taste from its delicate leaves. This blend creates a balanced, full-bodied tea ideal for breakfast sipping.
Mariage Frères is the oldest tea company in France as well as one of the world’s leading purveyors.
The Darjeeling Princeton is a refined and subtle blend of black teas from various estates. It offers a brisk and flowery palate that is perfect for an afternoon pick-me-up.
San Franciscan husband-and-wife team Gary Shinner and Jill Portman started Mighty Leaf in 1996 with a passion for creating hand-crafted tea blends sourced from around the globe.
The Organic Lapsang Souchong is a rich Chinese black tea that is smoked over natural pine tree roots using age-old methods. It is an intensely smoky tea that stimulates digestion.
Republic of Tea was established in 1992 as a socially and environmentally responsible purveyor of teas.
The British Breakfast is a robust blend of black tea leaves sourced from Assam, Ceylon, Darjeeling and Africa. It is a hearty black tea that is perfect for enjoying the British way — with a splash of milk.
In 1830, Englishman Charles Earl Grey was on a diplomatic mission to China when he was presented with the recipe for a distinctive tea.
Now it is the most famous scented tea in the Western world. Stash Earl Grey is a black tea infused with bergamot, a Mediterranean citrus. When brewed, it displays an amber color with a light floral aroma and subtle orange flavor.
TeaVivre is group of international tea lovers who live in China.
Yun Nan Dian Hong comes from China’s Yunnan province, which lies in the southern part of the country, bordering Burma. It is golden in color and offers a light, round flavor.
Established in 2002, this French company is a global purveyor dedicated to the Parisian art of tea.
Theodor’s goal is “to inject sense, quality and memory, as well as some creative and artistic knowledge” into its offerings. Parisian Breakfast is a blend of black teas from China’s Yunnan province and Darjeeling, India. It is rich and smooth — ideal for a morning cup of tea.