Wednesday, November 25, 2020

12 Best Green Tea Brands On The Market Reviewed For 2020

Green tea has several health-boosting benefits and a long history which makes it an great beverage of choice.

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Green tea is a beverage consumed by millions of people around the globe. Many drink it as a daily habit and for a little energy boost while others are interested in the potential health benefits and they make a cup or two a part of their daily health regime. 

Not all green teas are created equally though, so you want quality products from the best green tea brands. Because, well, if you’re going to drink green tea for the benefits, then you might as well do it right.  

Green tea has shown to have many benefits from heart health, weight loss, brain health, disease prevention, and even bad breath (you’re not seeing things).

Check out these awesome green tea products from the best green tea brands…

  1. Jade Leaf Matcha Organic Japanese Green Tea PowderBuy here Editor’s Choice
  2. Twinings of London Jasmine Green Tea BagsBuy here
  3. Ito En Oi Ocha Koicha Unsweetened Bold Green Tea BottleBuy here
  4. Ito En Traditional Green Tea BagsBuy here
  5. FGO Organic Green Tea BagsBuy here
  6. Bigelow Green Tea BagsBuy here
  7. Pure Leaf Ready-To-Drink Unsweetened Green TeaBuy here
  8. NOW Foods Real Tea Organic Green Kick SenchaBuy here
  9. Uncle Lee’s Tea Organic Green Tea BagsBuy here
  10. Enzo Private Selections 100% Organic Matcha PowderBuy here
  11. Rishi Organic Matcha Super Green Tea BagsBuy here
  12. Tazo Zen Green Tea BagsBuy here
Note: Many green tea products contain natural caffeine although some options are decaffeinated (we did not include decaffeinated). Although the caffeine content is typically low, some people are sensitive to its effects. If you have a medical condition, take medications, or are pregnant, consult with a physician for approval before consuming green tea. 

1. Editor’s Choice – Jade Leaf Matcha Organic Japanese Green Tea Powder

Jade Leaf Matcha Organic Japanese Green Tea Powder
Jade Leaf Matcha Organic Japanese Green Tea Powder

We definitely couldn’t start off our list of best green tea brands without including the editor’s choice in case you were short on time and wanted to see our top pick. 

Jade Leaf Matcha organic Japanese green tea powder is probably the most popular option out there currently. Thousands of users are satisfied with the quality and the fact that its multi-purpose matcha powder. You can use it for baking, smoothies, lattes, you name it!

It’s a single-ingredients product that contains only 100% organic Japanese green tea matcha powder made from green tea leaves that come from Japan. A serving contains 25-35mg naturally-occurring caffeine for a healthy energy boost and improved focus in addition to 6-12mg L-theanine for a calming effect and 130-140mg health-promoting catechins

It’s very potent which means you don’t need much to experience everything it has to offer and is made with the purest quality. There’s a lot to like about this matcha green tea from Jade Leaf Matcha. 

Pros 

  • 100% pure matcha from tea leaves
  • Multi-use
  • USDA organic
  • Authentic Japanese origin
  • Farm direct
  • Whole 30 approved
  • Lab-tested
  • Non-GMO
  • Nothing else added
  • Gluten-free
  • Vegan

Cons

  • Some user complaints about smell and taste 

Buy at Amazon

2. Twinings of London Jasmine Green Tea Bags

Twinings Of London Jasmine Green Tea Bags
Twinings Of London Jasmine Green Tea Bags

For those who prefer the convenience of tea bags, this is a simple, 100% all-natural ingredient product that’s made of green tea scented with real Jasmine flowers. So, not only do you get the green tea from the quality-sourced leaves but you get a pleasant aroma for an even more enjoyable tea time. 

Simply steep it for two minutes and you have tea! 

The history of Twinings goes back to the early 1700s in Strand London and 300 years later, their tea products are still very popular around the world.

Pros

  • All-natural ingredients
  • Convenient tea bags
  • Infused with Jasmine flowers for a pleasant fragrance

Cons

  • Some user complaints about the taste/quality

Buy at Amazon

3. Ito En Oi Ocha Koicha Unsweetened Bold Green Tea Bottle

Ito En Oi Ocha Koicha Unsweetened Bold Green Tea Bottle
Ito En Oi Ocha Koicha Unsweetened Bold Green Tea Bottle

Oi Ocha claims to be Japan’s #1 green tea brand and who are we to argue with that. Ito En is a premium tea company and top-ranked company for its commitment to sustainability and promoting a healthier lifestyle.  

According to the bottle, Oi Ocha “Tea Please!” and Koicha means deep, rich, bold taste (in case you were wondering).

Brewed from premium whole 100% Japanese grown tea leaves, this green tea drink only contains green tea, purified water, and ascorbic acid (Vitamin C). One bottle only has 5 calories with 0 sugars in addition to a healthy dose of Vitamin C which is a key immune and health booster.

Plus, there’s at least 400mg naturally-occurring catechin tea antioxidants.

There are also several other green tea options from this brand although the ingredients will vary. 

Pros

  • Convenient, ready-to-drink bottles
  • Only 5 calories per bottle
  • No sugar
  • No added colors or flavors

Cons

  • Some complaints about unpleasant taste

Buy at Amazon

4. Ito En Traditional Green Tea Bags

Ito En Traditional Matcha Green Tea
Ito En Traditional Matcha Green Tea

Another product from Ito En, these tea bags can be used for hot or cold tea. The bags contain green tea and matcha powder with no added ingredients. It’s a great product for perfectly-dosed steeping and makes for a great beverage at any time of the day. 

Pros

  • All-natural
  • Convenient tea bags

Cons

  • Few concerns with potency

Buy at Amazon

5. FGO Organic Green Tea Bags

Fgo Organic Green Tea Bags
FGO Organic Green Tea Bags

FGO organic green tea is made from quality sourced tea leaves from China but filled and packaged in California US. The bags are premium quality made of eco-friendly abaca hemp fiber paper to ensure the contents remain fresh. The individual bags are also foil-lined after filled.

Each dose supplies a nice amount of antioxidants to state off disease-causing free radicals and with a little caffeine per serving, it’s a great addition to your daily health regime.

Pros

  • USDA organic
  • Non-GMO
  • Eco-friendly bags free of chemicals, strings, or anything else

Cons

  • Few user concerns about taste and quality

Buy at Amazon

6. Bigelow Green Tea Bags

Bigelow Green Tea Bags
Bigelow Green Tea Bags

A household name, Bigelow, an American brand, definitely deserves a spot in our list of best green tea brands. Like many other tea products, you have a nice selection to choose from, therefore, you can choose based on your tastes and preferences. 

They’re all-natural, loaded with antioxidants for optimal health support with a little caffeine and other key ingredients. The company also uses foil pouches to protect the contents from air, moisture, and any other aromas. 

So, you really can’t go wrong with a Bigelow tea as you’ll get the best quality possible. 

Pros

  • Foil packs protect ingredients
  • Convenient bags
  • Calorie-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Certified B (meets highest production standards)

Cons

  • Few packaging quality concerns

Buy at Amazon

7. Pure Leaf Ready-To-Drink Unsweetened Green Tea

Pure Leaf Ready To Drink Unsweetened Green Tea
Pure Leaf Ready To Drink Unsweetened Green Tea

This ready-to-drink (RTD) green tea beverage is just perfect for those days when you’re relaxing around the house or on the go. Not to mention, this green tea from Pure Leaf is brewed from real tea leaves and there are no artificial sweeteners or colors which typically makes for a very pleasant experience if you’re looking for the real deal. 

The bottles come in a 12-pack.

Pros 

  • Convenient RTD bottles
  • No sugar
  • No artificial sweeteners (doesn’t apply to diet versions) or colors
  • Rainforest alliance certified

Cons

  • Few complaints about expiration dates
  • Possible price changes 

Buy at Amazon

8. NOW Foods Real Tea Organic Green Kick Sencha

Now Foods Real Tea Organic Green
Now Foods Real Tea Organic Green

NOW is one of the most recognizable names in food products and a definite household with any crowd. Their products are always top-notch and their green tea is no different. 

Every bag contains a satisfying dose of organic sencha green tea leaves, organic matcha green tea leaves, and organic green tea leaf extract. You get a nice supply of naturally-occurring polyphenols from the tea mix and the bags are unbleached for optimal desirability. 

There are no bad ingredients in this product (like many of the others on this list) which is much appreciated.

Pros

  • USDA organic
  • Non-GMO
  • Quality tea bags with no bleach or staples
  • No artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, or sugars
  • GMP-certified 

Cons

  • Few user complaints of quality

Buy at Amazon

9. Uncle Lee’s Tea Organic Green Tea Bags

Uncle Lee S Tea Organic Green Tea Bags
Uncle Lee S Tea Organic Green Tea Bags

Another great product, these tea bags are filled with organic green tea leaves quality sourced. It’s a no-frills green tea product like many that we’ve chosen and perhaps this is a good thing. 

Although, Uncle Lee’s green tea bags do have an overwhelming majority of positive reviews. Therefore, we wouldn’t hesitate to offer it as a perfect addition to your daily green tea consumption. 

Pros

  • Simple, quality tea bags
  • Certified organic 

Cons

  • Few complaints about the potency

Buy at Amazon

10. Enzo Private Selections 100% Organic Matcha Powder

Enzo Private Selections 100 Organic Matcha Powder
Enzo Private Selections 100 Organic Matcha Powder

Enzo matcha powder has been featured on several major outlets and there’s definitely a reason for that. It’s loaded with beneficial compounds all in a premium 100% matcha powder. It’s a multi-use product that can be used for baking, smoothies, lattes, and even detoxing of which you only need a half tsp for a potent serving. 

You, of course, also get the beneficial ingredients that you expect from a green tea supplement such as the caffeine, polyphenols, fiber for optimal digestion support, and much more.

The package claims that this matcha powder has 137x the antioxidants of brewed green tea with 2x the taste

Pros

  • 100% matcha powder (only ingredient)
  • Very potent 
  • USDA organic
  • Convenient resemble bag
  • Multi-use
  • High fiber 

Cons

  • Few quality concerns

Buy at Amazon

11. Rishi Organic Matcha Super Green Tea Bags

Rishi Organic Matcha Super Green Tea Bags
Rishi Organic Matcha Super Green Tea Bags

Rishi is a sustainable brand that globally sources its ingredients and is committed to producing the best possible products. Their organic Japanese matcha green tea biodegradable bags also contain sencha for vibrance and a “deeply sweet” flavor. 

Lots of users love this green tea product and prefer it over other tea bags and it’s acknowledged for the authenticity and quality. 

Pros

  • Quality Japanese matcha powder
  • USDA organic 
  • Non-GMO

Cons

  • May contain lead which is a health concern  
  • Some complaints about packaging and expiration dates

Buy at Amazon

12. Tazo Zen Green Tea Bags

Tazo Zen Green Tea Bags
Tazo Zen Green Tea Bags

You’ve likely seen this brand either in the market or somewhere in your cupboards at home. Tazo makes some of the best teas and their green tea is definitely no exception. They offer a nice selection and although, we’ve listed one product, feel free to see what other flavors and types they have. 

But the green tea is combined with spearmint, lemongrass, and lemon verbena for a more delectable flavor and improved focus all in one bag. Enjoy it hot or cold.

Pros

  • Nice green tea blend with other beneficial ingredients that boost flavor and aroma
  • Convenient tea bags

Cons

  • Several quality concerns

Buy at Amazon

How We Ranked

We chose the products with the best track records from reputable brands. 

Ingredients – Each product should contain a good amount of the active ingredient and very limited additional ingredients, if any, at all.

Manufacturing Standards – Ideally, products are manufactured with good practices and safely stored for optimal quality and effectiveness.

Side Effects – Products should only contain ingredients that are generally considered safe for most people with little chance of causing discomfort or other undesirable effects. However, sometimes certain ingredients may cause discomfort and that’s one reason why it’s good to know which ones you can or can’t use.

User feedback is also sometimes a good way to determine the overall quality of a product.

Who Should Buy Green Tea Products? 

If you already consume green tea beverages then this doesn’t apply to you. You’re simply here to get some good green tea recommendations and maybe learn about the benefits and ingredients. 

But besides you guys, we recommend only healthy individuals or those with a physician’s approval (if you have/had any medical conditions or take any medications) buy a green tea product to consume regularly. 

Green tea obviously has some great health benefits plus it’s an enjoyable and tasty beverage, in addition to a way of life for many people. 

How Do I Pick A Good Green Tea Product For Me?

There are quite a lot of green tea products out there and so it’s hard to recommend one product. However, you should choose based on your intended use and preferences.

For instance, if you’re just looking to drink a cup of tea every day or frequently, the bags are a great choice. These are conveniently packed in a typically desirable amount and will result in a pleasant texture when brewed.

If you want to add it to your foods (e.g. shakes, smoothies, etc) for additional health benefits, then the powder is going to be your best bet. Although, the powder which is usually matcha is typically a little more potent. But it usually contains more nutrients. This isn’t as good for brewing. 

If you prefer to grab your tea and go or aren’t interested in taking the time to prepare it, then the ready-to-drink products offer the convenience you’re probably looking for. 

Then there are the loose leaves that more experienced tea drinkers may prefer to have to make their teas. 

Some are organic while others are not and this may mean the difference between chemical use to maintain the leaves and organically-produced. Of course, some people are not concerned whether a product is organic or not so it’s definitely preference-based. Non-organic is usually cheaper too which is a factor for many users.

There are also many different flavors that you can choose from so make sure to check out all of the options that one of these best tea brands offers. 

6 Benefits of Green Tea

Green tea has many great benefits that are believed to stem from the polyphenols contained in the tea such as the catechin epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). But most green teas also contain a low dose of caffeine in addition to L-theanine which is a natural amino acid, and a nice dose of antioxidants.

Here are the most notable benefits with scientific research to back it up!

Loaded with antioxidants that protect against disease and cancer

Antioxidants are compounds found in many foods but are also man-made. How antioxidants work is by inhibiting oxidation and as a result, protect cells against free radicals that cause damage to cells in the body. This damage preludes diseases and cancer.

Vitamin C is one example of an antioxidant that is found in foods and we all know how necessary this vitamin is for good health. 

The polyphenols in tea (EGCG) are believed to be responsible for the health and cancer-preventing properties. According to studies, EGCG has anti-atherosclerosis, anti-cardiac hypertrophy, anti-myocardial infarction, anti-diabetes, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant effects. (1)

One piece of research explains that these polyphenols may act as antioxidants or pro-oxidants (induce oxidative stress) for eliciting beneficial effects against cancer. (2)

This same research mentions the potential mechanisms by which this process occurs… “Studies have shown that consumption of green tea can either induce oxidative stress, leading to ROS (reactive oxygen species) mediated cancer cell death, or they can scavenge ROS under conditions of high oxidative stress, preventing cellular damage.”

The antioxidants contained in green tea is a great reason to have a cup or two, or three, on a daily basis. 

Related: 12 Best Green Tea Extract Products Reviewed For 2020

Has positive effects on the brain

The ingredients in green tea can have some immediate effects on cognitive function as does coffee which is a well-known fact. That’s because it contains caffeine which is a nervous system stimulant that is proven to elicit significant cognitive effects

Caffeine is the most potent ingredient for increasing energy and it’s used in a wide variety of items. Although, energy drinks and sodas usually contain a synthetic version of caffeine.

Many studies show that caffeine has beneficial effects on not only giving an energy boost but it’s effectively used for increased alertness, wakefulness, and even memory performance. It’s a particularly useful intervention for those suffering from severe sleep deprivation. And in some cases, high doses are justified in reverse the decline in cognitive performance due to a lack of sleep. (3)

But caffeine isn’t the only beneficial ingredient for improving brain function as green tea also contains L-theanine which is a naturally-occurring amino acid. It doesn’t have an effect on the nervous system so you won’t experience big boosts of energy.

But the calming effect in stressed and anxious individuals can certainly improve energy levels. 

One review of a study that involved 30 individuals (no major psychiatric illness), found that 200mg/day of l-theanine over four weeks improved stress-related symptoms such as depression, anxiety-trait, and sleep, cognitive function, sleep quality, and verbal fluency. (4)

Others in the study were given a placebo however the l-theanine group showed greater improvements. 

It was concluded that “L-theanine may be a suitable nutraceutical ingredient for improving mental conditions in a healthy population.”

More studies back up the efficacy of L-theanine for cognitive function and combined with caffeine, the effects can be even more pronounced. (5)

Aside from the immediate brain-boosting properties of green tea, it could have an effect on the aging brain according to studies. A few examples are neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. (6, 7, 8)

Increased energy

So this one is pretty obvious by now (or at least it should be). Green tea contains caffeine which boosts energy by activating the nervous system and you know the rest… but the green tea is also very hydrating and contains many nutrients that contribute to overall health and improved energy is a side effect. 

Increase life span

Due to the health-improving properties of green tea, it could help to extend life. This is most likely due to its preventative effects on health conditions and diseases such as cardiovascular disease and cancers which are common causes of death worldwide.

One study found an inverse association with all-cause mortality and cardiovascular mortality in those who consumed green tea over a 7 and 11-year period. (9)

While making healthy lifestyle choices is likely going to have the greatest effect on health and preventing mortality from disease, it sure won’t hurt to drink more green tea!

May have fat-burning and antidiabetic effects

The catechins found in green tea may have antiobesity and antidiabetic effects. Research is convincing enough to believe that “EGCG alone has the potential to increase fat oxidation in men and may thereby contribute to the antiobesity effects of green tea”. (10)

This was determined from a study that involved obese men who were given 300mg of EGCG for two consecutive days. 

According to a review on the effects of green tea that included this study, “Fasting and postprandial changes in energy expenditure and substrate oxidation were assessed. Resting energy expenditure did not differ significantly between EGCG and placebo treatments, although during the first postprandial monitoring phase, respiratory quotient values were significantly lower with EGCG treatment compared to the placebo“.

But caffeine is also responsible for some of the thermogenic effects of green tea as it increases energy expenditure and fat oxidation. Scientific literature supports evidence that both catechins and caffeine are likely to work through different pathways to elicit these fat-burning effects. (11)

Can help with bad breath

You might be a little taken back by this one but there’s evidence that the catechins in green tea can help with bad breath. There are studies about it having an effect on bacteria growth in general. (12, 13)

But lab studies have shown that the catechins kill oral bacteria and likely Streptococcus mutans which is a prominent bacterium in the mouth. (14, 15, 16)

Now, while there’s more evidence for the beneficial effects of catechins on oral hygiene, there is less evidence that shows green tea itself will have this same effect. (17)

What Are The Different Types of Green Tea? 

While there are many different types of green teas, the ones included in our list of best green tea brands are the most commonly consumed. We’ve given a little description of each so you can have a basic idea of how each varies. 

Pure green tea

This tea comes from the camellia senesis plant which is what most green tea products are made from. This tea is typically brewed for the end result and contains a healthy dose of catechins with other ingredients such as L-theanine, caffeine, plus antioxidants that help promote good health, in addition to having other attractive benefits. 

Matcha

Matcha is more potent (up to 15x) and versatile when compared to pure green tea as it’s a powdered form. It contains more nutrients (and more caffeine) and has become very popular among health enthusiasts. It also comes in different grades which makes it beneficial for many uses. 

It’s not meant for brewing or infusion but is finely ground so that you’re getting all of the benefits. You also don’t need as much as you would green tea due to its potency. 

Sencha 

Sencha also contains many health benefits including containing more vitamin C and vitamin E compared to matcha if we’re comparing the two. It’s also a more popular type of tea, especially in Japan, and is similar to pure green tea in that it’s leaves are brewed to make the final product. 

It has a more earth-like flavor and is often combined with the other forms of green tea.

Does Green Tea Have Side Effects? 

It can definitely cause unpleasant side effects if too much is consumed in a single day. 

The recommended daily upper limit (adults) for caffeine intake is 400mg per day. Although, some people are able to exceed this by 100-200mg. But these people have also built up a large tolerance to caffeine. However, anything exceeding 500-600mg (equivalent to 4-7 cups coffee per day) dramatically increases the chances of experiencing adverse side effects. (18, 19)

Side effects from overconsumption of caffeine include anxiety, nausea, vomiting, tremor, tachycardia, high blood pressure, etc.

Overdosing on caffeine may even be lethal and is more likely to be the case when in combination with other stimulants, drugs, and alcohol. Although, by itself and in reasonable amounts, death from caffeine consumption appears to be rare. 

Also, people with any form of mental illness have to be very careful with caffeine, especially in higher doses as it can result in detrimental effects. 

Then, of course, if you have heart issues or any medical condition that affects your health, you should definitely be extra cautious and check with your doctor before consuming caffeinated beverages.

How Much Green Tea is Safe To Consume? 

Caffeine is the main ingredient that needs to be monitored when consuming green tea. The other substances that are naturally-occurring in tea can generally be consumed in moderate to higher doses usually without resulting in adverse side effects. 

For healthy adults, the recommended daily limit is 400mg, while it’s 100mg for healthy adolescents (12-18), and 2.5 mg/kg/day for children under 12. (19)

Green tea generally has around 16-50mg of caffeine in an 8-ounce cup though. So, this isn’t going to be an issue for most people. It’s when you consume multiple cups and are sensitive to higher doses of caffeine. 

So, as with anything else, just watch your consumption and you’ll be fine. Also, check the packaging of the products you consume to ensure there’s a safe amount of caffeine. 

Does Green Tea Have As Much Caffeine As Coffee? 

Green tea doesn’t usually contain as much caffeine in a recommended serving as a cup of coffee. But it really depends on the product and for instance, how the coffee is prepared. 

For example, an 8 ounce serving of brewed coffee can contain 96 mg of caffeine. Instant coffee usually has around 62mg in the same 8-ounce serving, while brewed green tea has around 28mg caffeine per 8-ounces. 

So, the same green tea serving will typically have several mg less of caffeine. 

Is Green Tea OK For Pregnant Women? 

Pregnancy means extra care needs to be taken as far as what you eat, drink, or anything else that can be detrimental to you and your baby’s health. That means staying sufficiently hydrated as water is crucial for proper fetus development (amniotic fluid). In addition, it helps to form the placenta. 

High caffeine consumption can cause dehydration due to increased urination and this could affect the processes that require sufficient fluids. Not to mention, caffeine can enter the baby’s bloodstream too. Although, several studies have concluded that consuming a modest amount of caffeine isn’t detrimental to the health of the baby. (20

It appears that less than 200mg a day is generally safe for consumption during pregnancy. This seems to also be a common recommendation from doctors as well. 

That means you won’t likely have an issue drinking a few cups per day. Although, still read the product labels and be aware that caffeine is contained in more foods than coffee and green tea. 

For instance, sodas, chocolates, and energy drinks all have a decent amount of caffeine. That’s why pregnant women have to be extra cautious about what they consume on a daily basis.

But if you suffer from any health issues then it’s probably just best to avoid caffeine altogether. 

Wrapping Up

These are some of the best green tea brands that you can get. The quality is definitely worth the price and you’ll get more of the benefits of green tea without all of the extra added stuff. We hope you learned something about the health benefits of green tea and hopefully, you’ll add it to your daily health regime. 

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Ash, ACE, MSc
Ash, ACE, MSc
Ash is a Certified Personal Trainer through the American Council on Exercise (ACE). She holds B.A. in biology from Rutgers, and M.S. in Exercise Science (Kinesiology) from CBU.

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Fact-checked

This article was written by one of our qualified writers, and fact-checked by our experts. The numbers in parentheses (e.g. 1, 2, 3, etc.) throughout the article, are reference links to peer-reviewed studies.

Our team of experts include a board-certified physician, nutritionists, dietitians, certified personal trainers, strength training experts, and exercise specialists.