The Best Black Tea

Staffers sipped 141 different bagged blends. These get two pinkies up.


Best Flavored


The Republic of Tea Cinnamon Plum Black Tea
This aromatic pick is well balanced with ground cinnamon, elderberries, and natural plum flavor. The airtight container keeps the tea fresh.

To buy: $9.50 for 50 bags,

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Best Decaf


Mighty Leaf Decaf Breakfast Tea
Silk tea bags and whole organic leaves allow for maximum infusion. Full-bodied and complex, it reminded tasters of butter cookies and toast.

To buy: $9 for 15 bags, at grocery stores.

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Best Irish Breakfast


Harney & Sons Premium Irish Breakfast Tea Bags
Irish breakfast tea is like English breakfast tea, but maltier, thanks to Assam leaves from India. Tasters voted this variety the most potent cup, begging for a splash of cream and sugar.

To buy: $6.50 for 20 bags,

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Best English Breakfast


Twinings English Breakfast
English breakfast tea is typically a blend of astringent teas, especially those from China and Sri Lanka, which stand up well to milk. This classic is bright but not bitter.

To buy: $4.20 for 20 bags,

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Best Chai


Smith Teamaker Masala Chai
Far more fragrant than dusty-tasting competitors, this winner packs a punch with whole pink and black peppercorns, cloves, cardamom, and ginger root. Steep it in hot water or combine it with frothy milk and sugar in the Indian tradition.

To buy: $12 for 15 bags, at grocery stores.

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Best Earl Grey


Celestial Organics Earl Grey
This Fair Trade Certified blend starts out citrusy but finishes with Earl Grey's trademark maltiness. Great for an afternoon snack with sweets. (Try shortbread cookies.)

To buy: $5 for 20 bags, Whole Foods Market and

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