While specialty teas are delicious, sometimes budgets may be tight and just can’t accommodate the cost, even at sale prices. Luckily, there are plenty of budget-friendly teas available at the grocery store. Not all budget teas are created equal, but if you know where to look, you can brew a high quality cuppa at home — even if you didn't fork over a small fortune for it. Check out the following tried-and-true brands that blend great taste and affordability, and brew yourself a cup today.
Celestial Seasonings may have been your mother's — or even your grandmother's — cuppa, but the house that Wild Berry Zinger built has plenty of options and is well-known for their chill-out roster of herbal teas, also called tisanes. This brand is a great starting point for those who want to experiment with more sophisticated tea blends. For example, if you like the clean, bright sweetness of the classic Peppermint, you might want to try Tension Tamer, a blend featuring mint alongside tangy lemongrass, spicy ginger and eleuthero, also known as Siberian ginseng. While the brand may be more famous for its chamomile tea, you must also give Country Peach Passion a try. It amps up the classic earthy floral tea with juicy peach, orange peel and rosehips for a sweet evening treat.
Trader Joe’s selection of tea is not to be missed. In addition to its signature line, which costs as little as $1.99, you will also find an impressive roster of organic and fair-trade options for a slightly higher price. Organic Mint Mélange is great for those who want an alternative to pure peppermint. There's also the earthy, sweet Organic and Fairtrade Rooibos and Honeybush tea. Be sure to check out all the wonderful green tea options, including the flavorful Coconut Green tea, a loose leaf variety that gives green a twist with coconut, ginger and lemongrass, and a delicious instant Matcha Green Tea Latte mix, which is sweetened with cane sugar and contains matcha tea powder, coconut oil and malted milk powder. Considering sugar is actually the first ingredient listed, this is best as an occasional treat, but if you're craving a green tea latte, this is sure to hit the spot without wreaking havoc on your finances.
Twinings is a brand that specializes in classic, refined teas, and they boast a traditional variety of black teas, such as English Breakfast, Darjeeling and, perhaps the most popular variety of black tea out there, Orange Pekoe. However, if you try just one, do yourself a favor and make it Earl Grey. It is the true standout, with a pronounced, almost smoky citrus note courtesy of bergamot that gives this phenomenal brew its depth. Twinings Earl Grey tea is unapologetically bold yet smooth enough to drink unadorned, but this brilliant brew is transcendent when dressed up with splash of milk and a sprinkling of raw sugar.
These teas come in a variety of delicious blends that definitely do not taste like bargain beverages. Those who want to experiment with interesting flavors have plenty of options. Coconut Mango Oolong is a slightly tart tropical treat with hints of pineapple and is a great choice if you’re making iced tea. Lemon Ginger is the perfect tea to drink with a drizzle of honey when you're feeling out of sorts. Looking for an alternative to your usual chai? Try Licorice Spice, a tisane made with licorice root along with spices typically found in chai such as star anise, cardamom and cinnamon. (Stash warns, “Licorice root is not intended for use during pregnancy and while nursing, or if you have heart disease or high blood pressure,” so always choose your tea with care!)
Tazo has a fantastic selection of teas, including one of the best budget green teas there is: China Green Tips, a clean, grassy variety. Zen, which combines green tea with lemongrass and spearmint, is another great choice. There are plenty of unexpected blends to choose from such as Cucumber White, Organic Baked Cinnamon Apple and Cocoa Mint Maté. Of course, you can also go for what Tazo is best known for: chai tea. Try the classic concentrate, or go for one of the bagged varieties such as the Caramel Vanilla Chai, which gets an additional hit of sweetness from licorice root.
Put the kettle on, settle into your comfiest chair with a book and enjoy your fabulous, frugal cuppa!