We taste-tested dozens of black teas from the grocery store and picked our favorites.


Best Spice

Harney & Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice 

This warming, cinnamon-spiked black tea is so naturally sweet that our tasters assumed we'd added honey before serving. Nope. Besides tea and cinnamon, the only ingredients in the top-selling blend are cloves and orange peel. "Yum -- the perfect calorie-free fix for my sweet tooth!" one panelist gushed. ($8 for 20 tea bags, at specialty grocery stores)

Best Herb

Bigelow Plantation Mint Tea 

Since its introduction half a century ago, this blend has amassed a loyal following -- and it won over our judges, too. Black tea adds depth (plus caffeine) to sweet, invigorating spearmint leaves. "This would be the ultimate morning pick-me-up!" one taster exclaimed. Another noted that it'd be delicious served iced. ($2.99 for 20 tea bags, at most grocery stores)

Best English Breakfast

Choice Organic Teas Whole Leaf English Breakfast Tea 

Full-bodied and fragrant, this brew conjures visions of high tea at Kensington Palace. The organic whole leaves deliver a honeyed aroma and an "excellent balance of malty and bright citrus flavors." All that's missing? Scones, jam and clotted cream. ($6.49 for 15 tea bags, at most natural food stores)

Best Earl Grey

Mighty Leaf Organic Earl Grey 

Earl Grey (black tea flavored with bergamot citrus fruit oil) can sometimes taste bitter or astringent, but this brew is perfectly balanced. "It has a smoky orange flavor -- mmm," one panelist cooed as she savored the complex, earthy blend. After taking a sip, another enthusiastic taster deemed it "pure perfection." ($9.95 for 15 tea bags, at most grocery stores)

Best Decaf

This smooth, mild tea is the ideal after dinner drink.

Infused with dreamy chocolate, vanilla and hazelnut flavors, it smells like a rich dessert. And because it's decaffeinated, it won't leave you tossing and turning all night. "With milk and sugar, it would taste just like a candy bar -- but in tea form!" one taster raved. ($3.39 for 18 tea bags, at most grocery stores)