15 Popular Bottled Tea Brands, Ranked Worst To Best

Tea is the perfect pick-me-up when you're craving a drink that's not as intense as coffee, lighter than juice, and more flavorful than water. In some cases, it can give you a much-needed caffeine boost, and in others, it can help you wind down after a long day. But sometimes, you just don't feel like brewing it yourself, especially if you plan on drinking it cold — it just takes too much time to boil water, steep your tea, and wait for it to cool down before you're finally able to drink it.

That's where bottled teas come in. These days, there are seemingly countless options on the market, appealing to everyone from those looking for a sweetened beverage that's only slightly lighter than juice to people who want a caffeine boost without drinking any sugar. But with so many different options on the market, you may not know which teas are worth trying and which are better left at the store.

Our tasting and ranking of 15 different bottled tea brands from worst to best can help you identify which brands you want to check out the next time you're at the grocery store. For posterity, I chilled each tea before taste-testing them one by one over the course of a day and a half. Here are the results.

15. Zevia Blood Orange Sweetened Earl Grey Tea

Unsweetened tea can be an acquired taste, and some drinkers want a bit of sweetness in their tea. But for those watching their sugar intake, sweetened tea may work against their health or fitness goals. That's ostensibly why Zevia exists. The brand makes a variety of sugar-free drinks, including a line of teas with fruit flavors. It's a great idea, but the execution isn't great. The Zevia Blood Orange Sweetened Earl Grey Tea looks promising with its well-designed label and sleek can, but the flavor isn't ideal. It tastes vaguely fruity, having a citric acidity that doesn't really read as blood orange. The flavor of the Earl Grey tea itself is subtle — perhaps too subtle. And there's a sweetness there, too, but it has a distinctly artificial taste that's just unappealing enough to put you off from taking another sip.

Zevia's flavor selection is promising, and if you're used to drinking sweeteners like Stevia, then it may be worth a try. But if you're looking for the best tea brand out there, there's a good chance Zevia will fall flat for you.

14. AriZona Green Cucumber Green Tea with Citrus

AriZona tea is perhaps one of the most recognizable prepared tea brands out there, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's your best option if you're looking for supremely flavorful tea. The brand's Green Tea with Ginseng and Honey might be its most recognizable flavor, but the brand carries plenty of other flavors as well, including lemon-flavored and Cold Brew options. Overall, though, the tea's flavor is just okay. And when other flavors are added, like with AriZona's Cucumber Green Tea with Citrus, the effect isn't good. In the case of this particular flavor, the cucumber is overbearing, and the citrus adds way too much acidity to the drink. Because of that bracing acidity, the drink ha a significant amount of sugar, which makes the drink considerably less refreshing than it ought to be.

Maybe you choose to drink AriZona iced tea because it's nostalgic or you just like the way the cans look, and that's fine! But if you're looking for a quality tea beverage, there are so many other brands to explore.

13. Gold Peak Green Tea

Another brand you may see regularly is Gold Peak, as it's a brand that frequently appears in gas stations, convenience stores, and vending machines. These teas tend to be more affordable than some of the higher-end brands on this list, and that accessibility is definitely a good thing. However, you're not going to be getting the absolute best quality when you opt for this brand. Its Green Tea, for example, barely has any flavor — pinpointing those signature green tea notes is difficult. Instead, this drink mostly tastes like sugar with only a hint of a floral note. Is it a bad drink? Not necessarily — it's just not as good as most of the other teas on this list.

The brand also offers several other tea beverages, some of which feature fruit flavors. Most of them are sweetened, although one unsweetened version is available. Overall, these tea flavors are more likely to appeal to regular soda drinkers than to people who typically drink tea (which makes sense considering that Gold Peak is owned by Coca-Cola).

12. Steaz Peach Green Tea

For those looking for more lightly sweetened flavored teas, Steaz is a good brand to check out. The brand sells a selection of green and yerba mate teas, which come in a variety of flavors to appeal to a wide audience. The Peach Green Tea has a distinctly peachy flavor to it, although it might be a bit too intense for people who actually want to taste the flavor of their tea. It's slightly sweetened, but it doesn't have the overwhelming sweetness of some of the other brands in this ranking. That said, the added sugar is still a bit much.

Luckily, though, the brand sells unsweetened versions of its green tea, which is a nice option for those looking for a lighter drink. Ultimately, this tea is best suited for those who want a drink that tastes somewhat juice-adjacent, so hardcore tea enthusiasts might not like it as much.

11. Twrl Plant Based Taiwan Style Black Milk Tea

Twrl Tea offers something undeniably different than other brands out there. The brand sells plant-based milk teas that even vegan folks and those with dairy difficulties can enjoy. These cans look like something you'd find at a trendy café, with their colorful packaging and somewhat steep price tags. If you're someone who loves milk tea but doesn't tolerate milk well, Twrl is certainly a brand worth checking out, whether you're more interested in the Hojicha Roasted Green Milk Tea or Jasmine Pu'erh Milk Tea. You can even get popping boba from the company if you want to give your tea a twist.

However, this milk tea definitely leaves something to be desired for those who prefer dairy, cashew, or oat milk. The Taiwan Style Black Milk Tea, like the other milk teas in the lineup, contains pea milk, which doesn't have the best consistency or flavor. The actual tea is decent, though, so you may not want to write off the brand completely before you try it for yourself.

10. Peace Tea Caddy Shack Tea + Lemonade

Peace Tea, like Gold Peak, is a Coca-Cola-owned brand, which can make its hippie-esque vibe seem a bit disingenuous coming from such a huge corporation. These teas definitely taste like they're designed for the masses, too. With bold, fruity flavors like Razzleberry, Just Peachy, and Mango Green Tea, this tea brand almost feels like it's trying to sell soda, just sans fizz. The result is decent but way too sweet — flavorful yet somehow one-note.

Perhaps the best of the bunch is the Caddy Shack, a mixture of tea and lemonade. As the description suggests, this tea is definitely also on the sweeter end of the spectrum, but because there's so much acidity from the lemon juice, that sugar is somewhat balanced. However, the beverage doesn't exactly taste like tea; rather, it's somewhat juice-like. In fact, it actually contains apple juice from concentrate. This drink contains tea, sure, but it's really more of a tea-based beverage than plain tea. Ultimately, the flavor isn't bad, but if you're looking for quality iced tea and not juice, you may want to avoid this brand.

9. Snapple Lemon Tea

Snapple is another iconic brand you may have seen on store shelves or in vending machines, and it comes in several flavors, ranging from raspberry to peach. In fact, this is a brand that really leans on its flavorings, evidenced by the fruit flavors sometimes taking over the tea.

That's certainly true for what may be one of the most innocuous flavors in the lineup. It's the Snapple Lemon Tea, which does, in fact, have a lovely citrus quality to it. The lemon flavor is intense, and it makes this beverage taste especially refreshing. But, unfortunately, you can't really taste the flavor of the black tea despite the fact that it looks relatively dark, usually a sign you're getting a strong cup of tea. The result isn't a bad beverage, but it's one that probably won't appeal to those looking for the ideal bottled tea because they actually love the flavor of tea itself.

8. Pure Leaf Lemon Tea

It's always a plus when a tea company offers its customers both sweet and unsweetened versions of its teas to appeal to a wider variety of drinkers, and it seems like that's exactly what Pure Leaf's strategy is. Those who prefer unsweetened drinks can opt for the Unsweetened Black Tea, Unsweetened Black Tea with Lemon, and Unsweetened Green Tea. On the other hand, those who love sweeter options can choose the Extra Sweet Tea or the flavored Raspberry Tea.

And if you fall in the middle? One great option is the Pure Leaf Lemon Tea. Is it on the more sugary end of the spectrum? Sure. But that addition of lemon flavor really helps balance the drink, giving sippers a balanced beverage that can both satisfy a sweet tooth and offer a refreshing sip on a hot day. Is it the best tea on this list? No, but it's easy to find at most grocery stores and should sate tea cravings.

7. Just Ice Tea Honey Green Tea

Sometimes, all you want is a simple bottle of tea, and that's exactly what Just Ice Tea offers. This brand isn't trying to wow you with wild, over-the-top flavors, nor does it cover the taste of the actual tea with juice or other flavorings. Rather, Just Ice Tea seems to really care about the quality of its tea, brewing flavorful beverages that taste delicious straight out of the fridge. Some of the brand's flavors are completely unsweetened, allowing drinkers to really appreciate the tea's subtle flavors. Others are categorized as "Just Sweet Enough," which means consumers get a hint of sugar without being overwhelmed by sweetness.

The Honey Green Tea fits into this latter category because it has a bit of sugar in the mix, but the result is deeply flavorful and surprisingly refreshing. The tea's flavor is noticeable, but there's also a distinct honey note that really takes the beverage up a notch. Although it may not nab the top spot, this tea brand definitely deserves a spot in your fridge.

6. Seven Teas Golden Honey Green Tea

If you love a smooth honey flavor in your iced tea, look no further than Seven Teas Golden Honey Green Tea. Sometimes, sweetened teas can contain a cloying amount of sugar, but that's not the case with this exceptionally lightly sweetened variety. Unlike many sweetened teas on the market, you can't even really taste the sugar in this product. Rather, the addition of sugar merely highlights the complexities of the green tea in the can. Add in the delicate, nuanced flavor of the honey, and this is a tea that it's easy to sip on all day long — if you can keep yourself from finishing it in a few swigs, of course.

Seven Teas has plenty of similarly sweetened teas in its lineup, including flavors like Tropical Mango Green Tea, Rojo Raspberry Iced Tea, and Southern Strawberry Lemonade. But if you're looking for something even lighter, you can check out the gently sweetened "traditional" options, like White Oolong Peach Tea, Wildflower Honey Matcha Tea, and Himalayan Rose Tulsi Tea.

5. Saint James Passion Fruit and Peach Flavored Green Tea

Sometimes, beverage companies can be too heavy-handed with their added flavorings, which can be particularly unpleasant when it comes to tea, especially. Many bottled teas tend to have a light, floral flavor that gets easily squashed under too many competing fruit flavors. But for Saint James Teas, that's not a problem. The brand has a light touch when it comes to added flavoring, and the results are delicious. Choose from flavors like Pineapple and Mango, Blueberry and Raspberry, and Blood Orange and Hibiscus. Want to keep things simple? Just opt for the Original Green Tea with its touch of lemon.

For those who want a sip of summery flavor, though, it's hard to beat the brand's Passion Fruit and Peach Flavored Green Tea. Peach can be a tricky flavor to get right, but these fruity flavors come across so gently that you'll want to chug the whole bottle on a hot summer day. The passion fruit adds a mild acidity that makes every drop that much more delicious.

4. Inotea Brown Sugar Bubble Tea with Tapioca Pearls

Bottled and canned bubble tea is often — and unfortunately — bad. The tapioca pearls are typically too small, and the tea itself rarely has the creamy richness you find in fresh bubble tea. But luckily, that's not the case with Inotea's offerings. The brand creates canned bubble tea that tastes almost as good as the stuff you'd get at an actual boba shop. Bubble tea lovers can sip their Inotea in a variety of different flavors, including Taro, Honeydew, Matcha Green Tea, and even Banana.

But for those who want to keep things classic, there's the Brown Sugar flavor. It's incredibly rich, creamy, and mouth-filling — exactly what you want from a good milk tea. The flavor of the tea itself is solid, although it's somewhat masked by the drink's generous amount of sugar. And the tapioca pearls? They have that bouncy — or QQ — texture boba lovers crave, although they're not quite as delicious as fresh. Since it comes with tapioca pearls inside the can, it's a good idea to shake it before opening to ensure the boba isn't stuck to the bottom of the can.

3. Guayakí Yerba Mate Unsweetened Traditional Tereré

Sweetened and flavored tea can be delicious when done right, but sometimes, it's better to keep things pure and simple. That's the philosophy behind Guayakí Yerba Mate's Unsweetened Traditional Tereré. According to the company's website, this tea is designed for the "yerba mate purist" — someone who truly appreciates the flavors of mate (and the flavors are delicious). You might pick up some earthy notes in the bottle, along with a distinct zing of citrusy acidity. The flavor is concentrated, but the drink ultimately tastes like and refreshing. Lightly caffeinated, this is the ideal drink on a hot day when coffee feels like it would be too much.

Looking for something a little less simple? No worries. The brand also carries plenty of flavored products, like bottled Passion, Mint, and Raspberry Tereré. Guayakí's canned options (some of which are sparkling) are also worth checking out for anyone who considers themselves a yerba mate enthusiast.

2. Trader Joe's Unsweetened Golden Oolong Tea

Unsurprisingly, one of the best bottled teas on the market hails from Trader Joe's. The popular grocery chain is known for its high-quality store-brand products, and its teas are no exception. You won't find a ton of options available at Trader Joe's, but one bottled tea that you absolutely have to check out is the store's Unsweetened Golden Oolong Tea. Oolong tea is fuller-bodied and richer than an average green tea, but it's lighter, milder, and more refreshing than your average black tea. When it's chilled, it makes for the perfect summertime refreshment, especially when you need a boost of caffeine. The flavor is quite pronounced and concentrated, but this tea is ultimately very drinkable. It won't take long before you finish the entire bottle. Just don't forget that it's caffeinated!

Although Trader Joe's may not have as many bottled tea options as some of the other brands on this list, its selection is definitely more than solid. Try its unsweetened green tea and black tea plus lemonade options — you won't be disappointed.

1. Minna Lightly Brewed Sparkling Green Tea Pineapple Passion Fruit

If you want to taste a tea that transforms your idea of what tea can be, then you have to turn to Minna. It's a brand that lightly brews teas and then carbonates them for a bubbly, light, and refreshing tea experience you won't find from most tea companies. The impeccably designed labels present shoppers with flavors like Peach Yuzu, Orange Mango Black Tea, and Lime Hibiscus Rooibos Tea.

While every flavor in the lineup is worth a try, the Pineapple Passion Fruit Green Tea stands above the rest. Unlike some other brands on this list, you can actually taste the flavor of this tea despite it being so lightly brewed. The pineapple and passion fruit flavors aren't greatly pronounced, but they offer just the right hint of flavor without any unnecessary sweetness. Add in the fact that these teas are actually bubbly, and it's clear why this brand takes the top spot in this ranking. Although this isn't the cheapest tea brand out there, its beverages are definitely worth the splurge.


I chose which tea brands to rank based on availability at three local stores. When selecting specific types of tea within each brand, I opted for the simplest flavors so I could really focus on the flavor of the tea itself. If plain or unsweetened tea wasn't available from a specific brand, I attempted to find flavors that weren't well-represented by other brands on this list. Then, when it came time to test the teas, I drank all of them chilled. My ranking criteria included overall flavor, mouthfeel, added sugar content, and perceived sweetness and balance of each bottled tea. Packaging design was noted but not a specific criterion in my ranking.