19 Best Tasting Options for Tea Beginners

Today I’m sharing with you the Best Tasting Tea for Beginners: How to Steep Properly. Tea brewing is all about time and temperature!

That being said where does the tea beginner begin with choosing a tea? Often times I hear family and friends say that they don’t like tea. To which I answer, I think you just haven’t found the right tea for you. Other times I hear people say they only drink coffee. Coffee definitely has its place in the world. Moreover, with a wide range of tea choices, there is a tea option for everyone.

Both beverages can be enjoyed. Plus, with the health benefits of drinking tea, tea should be highly considered as a go-to beverage. Most often I hear that people think that tea is bitter. This is where learning the proper steeping method comes in.

white tea cup on table with tea in it
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How I discovered tea!

Several years ago it wouldn’t be a stretch to say I was not a big tea drinker. Neither was my husband. We were aware of tea in bags, and we believed that boiling the water first would yield the best results. We poured the hot water over the tea bags, and the tea became bitter. Ultimately not the flavor we were going for.

One day we stumbled upon a roasted tea, called Genmai Cha. This tea completely changed our minds about tea. Each morning we drank this tea without fail. In our minds, we had arrived because we had discovered loose-leaf tea.

Genmai Cha has a light toastiness and nutty flavor to it. This tea is perfect to transition from coffee to tea. After a few years of drinking the same tea, I told my husband that it was time for us to expand our horizons and try other flavored teas.

We currently have fifteen to twenty types of loose-leaf tea in our home today.

With this post, I hope to inspire you to do your own branching out and explore the wonderful world of tea!

Let’s get started.

ladies hand holding loose tea in her palm

What tea should I drink as a beginner?

Best tasting tea for beginners

Transitioning from coffee to tea

Iced tea is a great way for coffee drinkers to transition from coffee to tea. For those new to tea, I recommend starting with a cold brew of black tea or full-bodied Pu-er tea.

Over time, a taste for other teas may develop. This is a good opportunity to branch out to try more delicate teas: such as white, green, or scented teas.

Several of my favorite robust teas are listed below.

What type of tea is best tasting tea for beginners?

Caffeine or no caffeine?

Let’s look a little deeper into what type of tea is best for beginners. Finding the perfect tea for a beginning tea drinker is a pretty easy task. I’m going to break it down for you in three easy steps.

Step 1. Decide on caffeine level

The first step is to decide if you would like caffeine or no caffeine. With this, you’ve just divided the choices in half. If you are looking for caffeinated tea, I recommend black tea, oolong tea, or green tea. If you are looking for caffeine-free tea, I recommend white tea, herbal tea, or fruit tea.

Step 2. Select your flavor

Second, move on to picking a flavor. Would like fruity tea flavors, sweet, mild, astringent, spiced or zesty, roasted or toasted flavor, smoky or robust tea flavors?

Step 3. Determine the time of day you’ll be drinking your tea

Step 3 is to determine the time of day you will be drinking your tea.

Will you be drinking your tea first thing in the morning, or later in the day? If choosing a morning tea to replace your coffee you will want to start with a rich, robust tea with a good amount of caffeine.

If choosing an evening tea, less caffeine would be a good choice.

For coffee drinkers that are trying tea for the first time, I recommend beginning with black tea. I like a tea that has a stronger flavor and is more robust in the morning.

With these three easy steps out of the way, your choices have been narrowed down enormously and you’re on your way to finding the best tasting tea for beginners.

Something to consider

First, drinking coffee caffeine tends to spike your energy with a big boost. In the middle of the day, you may notice a caffeine crash happens. Next, a second cup is needed to maintain that energy high. With tea drinking, the caffeine is a slow rise and a mild decent. Tea caffeine is a much smoother energy.

ladies hand holding tea strainer over white tea cup

Top 19 Teas for Beginners

Favorite Teas for Beginners

  • English Breakfast Assam Banaspaty – Full-bodied with notes of tobacco, sweet malt, and dried fruit (C)
  • Russian Caravan – Slightly smoky, similar to Irish Breakfast tea (enjoyed both iced or hot) (C)
  • Wood Dragon – Lower in caffeine, primarily from the stems of the tea plant, a personal favorite of mine (Multiple steeps enhance the flavor) (C)
  • Dong Ding – Accents of dry woodiness, with hints of honey, toast, and pineapple (C)
  • Gabacha – Relaxing and uplifting, dried fruit and sweet spice generate calm (C)
  • 2012 Menghai – Smooth and aged, earthy with a bit of spice. Multiple infusions are best (C)
  • Nan Mei Wild Buds – A white afternoon tea with tropical fruit and honey notes combined with citrusy zest and mild pepper (No C) naturally caffeine free
  • Genmai Cha – Light with a lovely sweet toastiness and nuttiness (C)
  • China Green Jade – Popular around the world, light and green (C)
  • Spa City Earl Grey – Organically produced black tea, cornflowers, and natural oil of bergamot with a touch of French vanilla (C)
  • The Canfield in Red – A bright pink blend of white tea, hibiscus flower, lemon peel, rose petals, rose hips, and apple pieces (C)
  • Strawberry Fields – white and green tea with strawberry and red raspberry leaf (C)
  • One Night in Rio – Makes a great iced tea blend of Indian black tea, grated coconut, and pineapple pieces (One Night or one cup of Rio is never enough) (C)
  • Saratoga Wedding – an organic blend of green, oolong, jasmine, and rose petals (C)
  • The Apricot Queen – A rolled oolong, iced or hot with stone fruits and apricots (C)
  • Blood Orange Hibiscus – Bright and citrus enjoyed hot or iced (No caffeine)
  • Crimson Berry – Berry in a cup with currants, hibiscus, rosehips, cranberries, and elderberries (No caffeine)
  • Flu Shot – Spice and citrus blend that ails everything (No caffeine)
  • Field of Dream – The name says it all – organically produced lemongrass, lavender, chamomile, peppermint, and rose petals (No caffeine)

( C denotes Caffeine, No Caffeine – denotes caffeine free )

All teas above may be purchased here at Saratoga Tea & Honey Co.

loose tea on table with teapot and white tea cup

What is a good tea for someone who doesn’t like tea?

Are you not a tea fan? It is recommended to start with iced tea. Popular options are mint tea or a refreshing berry-flavored tea. If you find you don’t like tea, it may be due to the tea not being steeped properly. Tea that has been over-steeped with become bitter and flavorless. Using the proper tea infusers and the correct temperature, along with the correct steep time can make all the difference in the world on the taste.

How do you start drinking tea when you don’t like it?

A great option to give tea another try is to start with a sweet tea with honey or a black tea that is iced. Not a fan of black tea? Herbal teas, mint teas, or a berry tea blend are a refreshing and flavorful top pick. to start.

More importantly, another good idea is to smell the tea before purchasing. Your nose tends to know what your taste buds prefer. Another example of this is masala chai tea, I love the scent and therefore, I love the tea taste and flavor.

overhead of tea in small cup with white tea pot next to cup

How to properly steep tea?

Best Tasting Tea for Beginners (How to Steep Properly)

Tea is all about time, and temperature. Brewing tea correctly can make a huge difference when it comes to enjoying the full flavors of different tea. To create the perfect tea brew, it is important to respect the two key factors: 

  • 1. Steep Time 
  • 2. Temperature (correct water temperature is key)

There is a fallacy regarding using hot boiling water and pouring it over the tea. The reality is that boiling water will damage delicate varietal tea and leave the tea with a bitter taste. For the best tea, boiling water is not recommended.

The exception to this is herbal infusions. Herbal teas are technically not true teas. They are herbs rather than tea leaves. Brewing at a higher temperature with hot water will not ruin the tea flavor.

Black tea leaves follow suit with this as well. Black teas are more robust with how they are processed leaving them a little leeway with temperature.

Temperature guide for brewing tea

Different types of tea steep at different temperatures. To obtain the perfect cup of tea follow these guidelines in order of tea delicacies. Properly monitoring these two elements will help ensure that tea leaves do not become over-extracted or burnt, resulting in a flavorless cup of tea.

  • Silver Needle or White tea – short steep at a low temperature (approximately 160 – 170 degrees) (2 minutes)
  • Green tea – short steep at a lower temperature (160 -170 degrees) (2 to 3 minutes)
  • Oolong tea – proper temperature (180 – 200 degrees) (2 to 3 minutes)
  • Black tea – (190 – 212 degrees) (3 minutes)
  • Aged tea (Pu ‘er) – (212 degrees) (3 minutes)
  • Herbal tea – (205 degrees) (3 minutes)

Shop & Source

shelf of tea at Saratoga Tea and Honey store

Types of tea

Best-tasting tea for beginners (Guide for types of tea)

White tea

The delicate White tea has delicate buds and leaves, being the first bud to appear in Spring. White teas should be brewed at a low temperature for a short amount of time.

Green tea

Widely popular Green teas are green, yellow, or light brown in color, and the flavor ranges from grass-like, to toasted and sweet. If brewed correctly, most green tea should be quite light in color and only mildly astringent.

Pu-er tea

Fermented and aged tea. A favorite of caffeinated teas. Rich and robust.


Oolong tea leaves, made from the Camellia sinensis plant, are dried and fermented longer.

Black tea

Highly oxidized and reddish in color with a good amount of caffeine.

Scented tea

Scented teas are varietal teas (white, green, black, or oolong) with added flowers, fruits, spices, or herbs.

Herbal tea or Tisane

Technically not a true tea, herbal teas are herbs, fruits, roots, and/or flowers that are blended.  

I don’t like wasting my used tea leaves which is why I used them for this.

If you’re not a tea fan, check out my post on cold brewing tea for the best-tasting iced tea.

green thumbtack
pinterest pin for best tasting tea for beginners

Here are some top tips for steeping the best-tasting tea for beginners:

  • Use fresh, filtered water. This will make a big difference in the taste of your tea.
  • Use the right amount of tea leaves. The amount of tea leaves you use will depend on the type of tea and your personal preference. A good rule of thumb is to use 1-2 teaspoons of loose-leaf tea per cup of water.
  • Use the right water temperature. Different types of tea require different water temperatures. As an example, green tea should be steeped in water that is 175-185 degrees. while black tea should be steeped in water that is 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Steep the tea for the correct amount of time. Again, the steeping time will depend on the type of tea.
  • Green tea should be steeped for 1-2 minutes, while black tea should be steeped for 3-5 minutes.
  • Don’t over-steep the tea. Over-steeping will make your tea bitter.
  • Enjoy!

I hope you enjoyed reading about the Best Tasting Tea for Beginners (How to Steep Properly) today.


Whether you decide you like a tea with sweet flavor or floral notes, my hope is that you are inspired to explore the tea world. Brew a cup and come back to let me know which one is your favorite.

Susan Signature with feather pen


  1. Such an informative post-Susan, who knew all of those details about tea and that there were so many different types of tea. You are the tea guru.

    1. Thank you Wendy. The shop has over 100 teas, each one is so so good!

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