- Upton Tea Imports - Upton Tea Imports is certainly a well-known tea company, a major contender in the market, but I also think it is benefiting from the fact that it happens to be my favorite tea company. As a large portion of reviewers on RateTea are people I know personally, and I'm constantly giving people teas to sample, and I tend to have a lot of teas from Upton on hand, it makes sense that this company gets a lot of visibility on the site. My guess though is that, even without my added bias, Upton would probably still make the top 5: it's a major tea company and its teas are heavily reviewed even among users of the site that I did not know before RateTea.
- Adagio Teas - This one makes a lot of sense to me; Adagio is a top online retailer of teas, and is the tea company that has the most extensive online presence.
- Foojoy - Foojoy's presence in this list may surprise you. However, your surprise will likely vanish if I tell you that Foojoy did not have its own website until recently. But now it does...go visit Foojoy's Website if you haven't yet. This page was heavily viewed on RateTea primarily because of search traffic coming directly to the site. But its teas were also fairly heavily reviewed.
- Twinings - Twinings certainly isn't the biggest tea company in the U.S., but it's a major player, and I think its presence here makes sense because it offers a number of different varieties, in contrast to brands like Lipton that mostly sell a single blend of simple black tea.
- Tazo - Tazo is well-known, through being the official tea sold by Starbucks. But I also think that Tazo is viewed so often on here because Tazo has a flash-only website, and as I explain in that post, having a flash-only website causes them to lose search traffic, which instead arrives to RateTea, Steepster, and various tea blogs. And I'm not complaining! It's their choice, and it helps me and hurts them.
I also want to mention the runners up because, in this case, they are all quite close. In order, they are Teavana, Bigelow, Lipton, Republic of Tea, and Bromley. After that, Stash, Rishi, and then Harney and Sons, and then there is a steep drop-off.
You know what I like about this list? The top two are companies with a clear focus on loose-leaf tea. It's nice for things to turn out this way, for a change.