BEST POPPY SEEDS FOR POPPY SEED TEA: INTRO
This is a current list of The Best Poppy Seeds for Poppy Seed Tea. This list also includes in-depth reviews. You can buy the highest quality unwashed poppy seeds straight from the list included below. Poppy seed tea is a popular herbal tea that is made with the seeds of the poppy flower. The seeds included on this list can be used to make the a very tasty batch of poppy seed tea. Unfortunately, a majority of the seeds sold at grocery stores and online taste terrible and are a complete waste of money. Consuming washed seeds will often result in a nasty chemical aftertaste. In addition to the current list of the best poppy seeds, I have created a detailed guide that explains how to find other quality unwashed seeds. It contains instructions on how to purchase seeds in grocery stores & online. You can use this entire post as complete guide to buy quality unwashed poppy seeds.
It is important to remember that this post is for informational purposes only. I do not recommend consuming poppy plants in any form. Consuming the seeds regularly in large amounts can be dangerous and addictive.
Bookmark This Page
I highly suggest that you bookmark this page and check it consistently before ordering poppy seeds for baking or other purposes. I update this list very regularly because quality can change rapidly. Checking this will ensure that you purchase the best poppy seeds for poppy seed tea, and you won’t waste your money or time.
BEST POPPY SEEDS FOR POPPY SEED TEA: THE LIST
This is a list of the top best poppy seeds for poppy seed tea. You can purchase many of these poppy seeds on Amazon. This an unbiased list with unbiased reviews, and I do my best to keep them as accurate as possible. As stated above, I update this list regularly to stay on top of frequent changes in quality.
This is a current list of the best poppy seeds for poppy seed tea. I have updated this post as of April 17, 2019. Good seeds are back, you just have to know where to look!
The Best Poppy Seeds for Poppy Seed Tea
Wow, this year (2019) has been another crazy one! I have been trying out all of the brands these past couple weeks (post shortage) to continue providing current and accurate info. Here is the resulting list of the best poppy seeds for poppy seed tea. I have included lengthy notes to give additional information on each brand/vendor. Many of these products have been reviewed dozens of times in detail, and the information build over time. I have included product links in the appropriate sections.
#1 – Blue Bird Poppy Seeds
I continue to recommend Blue Bird Seeds at the top of my list. Around early Feb 2019, these seeds went from great to even better. I hope this continues through 2019! My most recent 10 pound purchase of their seeds (received 4/15) were the best I’ve had in 2019! I am not just saying that; you need to be prepared. I would rate a 9.5 / 10 in terms of quality and taste. I continue to advise everyone to stock up because you never know when there is going to be another seed shortage. This is an area where I practice what I preach! We all know what happened late last fall, and history is bound to repeat itself.
These Blue Bird seeds are sold by a rapidly growing company named Lone Goose Bakery. I have found that this company is consistently the last to run out of high quality English poppy seeds during shortages, so they likely carry a sizable inventory. Last Fall, I made my last purchase from them a full 2 weeks after SN shut down, and I still received quality BB seeds. I panicked with the rest of you when they sold out, but I was pleasantly surprised when they were the first company that came back to end the shortage.
This company prides itself on offering the best customer service, and I love dealing with their management team. All of my emails are answered within 24 hours (even on weekends). That is unheard of with other poppy seed vendors. They have always been extremely fair with me, and I have no doubt I can trust them. They have continued to improve in other areas, and their turnaround time is the fastest available. If you need seeds in a hurry, buy Blue Birds. They process and ship orders placed before 2 pm the same day, and I always receive my packages 2 days after I purchase. When I pay to upgrade to USPS Express, I get my orders in one day. That is faster than Amazon! Congrats to our neighbors up north, they are now shipping to Canada as well.
Blue Bird Poppy Seeds are still being sold through their own website. When I asked about this, they said that it was to ensure that they had the best ability to take care of customers by controlling the entire buying process. These seeds are a bit more expensive, but they last significantly longer than other seeds. In my experience, the latest seeds have lasted me almost twice as long as other brands (you get what you pay for). If you are new to BB seeds and want to try them, check out their new 1/4 lb Sample ($2 + S&H). You can read more about these seeds on my Blue Bird Poppy Seed Review.
- Top Quality
- Extremely Fast Shipping
- Excellent Customer Service
- Open Saturdays, Reasonably Priced Overnight & International Shipping
- Rising popularity may lead to future seed shortages
- The price may initially appear to be high, but the quality and excellent customer service warrant the current cost, and it keeps me coming back for more.
#2 – Sincerely Nuts Poppy Seeds (UK)
Sincerely Nuts continues to hold down the #2 position. I am glad that they are back to selling quality seeds, even if they have bad customer service. BB seeds are still better and worth the higher price in my opinion. If BB seeds lowered their price, I wouldn’t really need to list any of these other companies. My most recent bag of SN was received 3/9/19, and I rated it a respectable 8 / 10. Once again, this isn’t the best, but it is a solid alternative.
Other than customer service, one of the more recent downsides is the recent price increases. Hopefully this will stop and we won’t have to worry about it getting any worse. Make sure to remember that this ranking is for their United Kingdom seeds; the other varieties (Spain, Holland, etc.) are not good at all. I am still very hopeful that they will boost their supply on Amazon and continue supplying decent seeds. This is another brand that sold quality seeds through mid 2017, and then became inconsistent. This was common for many of the big brands.
I will continue to recommend Sincerely Nuts, as long as they continue to sell good seeds. The key is to find them in stock! The Amazon link I included above was for the 4.5 pound bag, which is currently the most popular and economical size option available. Once again, make sure to purchase the UK or English seeds and stay away from the Spanish and Dutch seeds! You can read more about these seeds on my Sincerely Nuts (UK) Poppy Seed Review.
- Reasonable Price Point
- Sturdy Packaging
- User-friendly Website
- Recent Price Increases – same quality
- Inconsistent Quality – Quality has varied over the past several months.
- Customer Service – I consistently receive complaints about poor communication & customer service.
- Slow & Expensive Shipping
#3 – Nut Cravings (England)
Click Link Above to Purchase
Nut Cravings has definitely closed the gap with SN over the past few weeks. I was pleased to discover that my most recent bag (opened 3/12) looked and smelled like English Seeds. I would rate this batch of seeds at 7 / 10, definitely respectable. The last time that I posted a review of these seeds in late 2018, they earned a score of 5. Amazingly, that previous mediocre score made them the best at the time, which shows how bad the situation was and how far they have come. This brand is fairly close to SN, but it lacks some of the strong bitter flavor profile that signifies really great seeds (like Blue Bird).
I still owe NC my gratitude for helping during the 2018 terrible seed shortage. When all of the other brands were sold out of quality English Poppy Seeds, there were very few options. None of those options were excellent. Nut Cravings was one of the rare companies that filled this void. I purchased several pounds of these NC seeds during the drought, and I am extremely thankful that I had them. I will never forget it.
With all of that being said, it is nice to know that when S*** hits the fan, there are other options out there to supply all of us. During the next shortage, I will do a better job of identifying these companies faster and passing the info on to all of you ASAP.
I realize that many members of this community are not able to afford the price point of the Blue Bird seeds. If you don’t mind a lower quality product, and/or you are on a budget, I recommend these Nut Cravings Poppy Seeds. They have done an excellent job of staying in stock on Amazon.
- Reasonable Price Point
- Stay in Stock on Amazon
- Reliable Brand Selling English Seeds (during the recent shortage)
- Average Quality
- Occasionally Inconsistent
#4 – Food to Live Poppy Seeds (England)
Click Link Above to Purchase
Frankly, there is a large gap between #3 and #4 on this list. Food to Live has become comfortable in this position, and I don’t anticipate any improvement anytime soon. Food to Live had shown some promise long ago, but it is quickly becoming a distant memory. I don’t review these seeds as regularly, and my last April package earned a score of 4/10. That is a small (but possibly significant) improvement over the last review I posted here. I guess the best way to describe these seeds is “meh.” If you lived in a country that only had this option, it would give you the possibility of having unwashed seeds (with a weird aftertaste).
The only bright spot is that they were available during the great seed shortage of October. They have continued doing a better job of staying in stock on Amazon. This is likely due to the drop in demand; it makes it much easier to avoid selling out when customer numbers drop. I am disappointed in the quality, but I continue to have a glimmer of hope, even after all of the previous let downs. I previously wrote that I hoped “they are back on the road to providing consistent and delicious poppy seeds.” Not this time.
For those of you that are new to poppy seeds, FTL used to be known as the most reliable brand of poppy seeds. The last time they provided consistent quality was mid 2017. The new FTL is inconsistent and expensive, which is not a good combination. It would be great if Food to Live’s English Poppy Seeds would start maintaining consistency and excellent quality,but I am not holding my breath. I would only purchase these seeds if you are in a pinch. I know of several people that survived with these seeds during the shortage. If you decide to purchase, make sure to buy their English poppy seeds, and stay away from the other Spanish and Australian options. You can read more about these seeds on my recently updated Food to Live (England) Poppy Seed Review.
- Occasionally High Quality
- Stay in Stock on Amazon
- Historically Strong Brand – Back in the day, this brand was known as a top brand.
- Lower Quality
- Very Inconsistent
These brands have been previously mentioned on this list, but I do not recommend them, even in a desperate situation. I do my best to explain why you should avoid these brands at this time.
SunBest Poppy Seeds
SunBest previously held down the #5 spot on this list, and they were regularly listed in the Top 5 throughout most of 2018. Things have definitely gone from bad to worse. Early in 2018, SB supplied quality seeds and most people were happy with the quality at the given price point. As the year progressed, the dreaded quality control issue began to rear its ugly head. By late Summer, you had a 50/50 shot at getting good (or bad) seeds. Unfortunately, the slide has continued.
My recent purchase arrived on March 1. I maintained an open mind as I started analyzing the seeds for quality & taste. I quickly realized that these seeds were not worthy of being listed as an option I recommend. I am not even going to list a score, because it would be very low.
Now, it has gotten to the point where I have a hard time believing that these are seeds obtained from England. If they are, they somehow contain the nasty peppery taste that signifies low quality non English seeds. Either way, it is best to stay away from SunBest. If anything changes, I will update this review accordingly and include them back on the list in their appropriate position. Until then, choose Blue Bird or one of the other brands mentioned above.
In the near future, I will be updating my detailed SunBest Poppy Seed Review.
#5 – Anna and Sarah Poppy Seeds (England)
These seeds have been nearly impossible to find for the past 2 years. If this continues, I will be removing them from this list. Several of you have been lucky enough to have try Anna and Sarah (A & S) Poppy Seeds (England). These poppy seeds were at the top of this list for a long time. They have been out of stock for so long, I was forced to drop them to this position. Anna and Sarah has continued to supply great unwashed poppy seeds, but it has been extremely difficult to find them in stock on Amazon. As demand grew for their product, they decided to raise prices, and they have still not come back down. Since this brand is excellent, I would stock up on Anna & Sarah Poppy Seeds if you ever find them back in stock. If you join my newsletter, I will try to update everyone when excellent brands such as this one are back in stock. Always remember to purchase the England option and stay away from the seeds sourced from other countries.
BEST POPPY SEEDS FOR POPPY SEED TEA: GUIDE
Unwashed Poppy Seeds from the Poppy Flower
The main two things to remember when searching for the best poppy seeds for poppy seed tea are to verify that the seeds are unwashed and obtained from the correct poppy plant. I include this as the first and most important step in my detailed list on how to make poppy seed tea. Purchasing one pound of seeds is plenty for your first time, but it might be best to consider buying a larger amount to get a better price. This is especially true if you’re planning on brewing poppy seed tea more than once or sharing with others. You will need to purchase a good brand of unwashed seeds, or the tea may taste disgusting. Some brands are tastier than others and many of the brands are inconsistent. Consuming unwashed seeds also has the benefit of avoiding some of the chemicals that are present in washed or radiated seeds. Unwashed seeds also taste better to the average consumer.
BEST POPPY SEED PROPERTIES
The seeds for poppy seed tea need to be unwashed and should be dark in appearance. The color should be similar to the picture above; they should be dark blue, navy, or almost black. Make sure the poppy seeds are actually labeled as unwashed. You can also look for crushed up bits of the pods or stems in the bag. These small pieces are usually brown and are extremely little. The seeds should have a rich earthy smell; they should smell like the outdoors. They should not smell like chemicals. I’ve even had some terrible seeds before that smelled like an air freshener. Do not consume seeds that smell like that!
Best Poppy Seeds in Grocery Stores
I highly suggest purchasing the best poppy seeds for poppy seed tea online, but I still wanted to provide info for an alternative method for people who would like to buy them locally. If you attempt to purchase the poppy seeds locally, the key is still to remember that they must be unwashed seeds. Most of the “name brand” spice companies have washed seeds that are almost completely worthless for tea purposes. A good example of that is McCormick’s. Also, most large retailers do not carry unwashed poppy seeds. Many of these national stores have already stopped selling bulk/unwashed poppy seeds because they have lost money from people stealing the product or they are worried about liability. As a result, it is usually easiest to check the natural or health food stores first. You may run into another common problem. Local stores may carry the seeds, but they don’t have the item in stock. Chances are that you won’t be the only person in your town/city looking for unwashed poppy seeds. The stores also may carry unwashed seeds that are not very good, and you can end up wasting your money. You could spend hours looking. These potential issues are a few of the reasons why I suggest purchasing the seeds online.
Purchasing Seeds Online
As stated above, I highly suggest that you purchase the seeds online for several reasons. It is usually easier, cheaper, quicker, and more discreet to purchase the seeds over the internet. The list below will be a huge help in determining which seeds are currently the best. If you follow this guide and order your seeds online, it may take a few days to arrive. I have included the Amazon links below in order to ensure quick delivery. All of the top seeds that I list are all available on Amazon. You can purchase them by clicking on the links I provide on right side of this page or the links in the list section below.
Best Poppy Seeds for Poppy Seed Tea: Conclusion
Poppy seed tea continues to increase in popularity, and some of the poppy seed brands have become inconsistent. This post has listed 6 of the Best Poppy Seeds for Poppy Seed Tea. The top two brands mentioned above have set themselves apart from the rest. Hopefully this post has helped you learn more about unwashed poppy seeds and where to find them. If you have any questions about the best poppy seeds for poppy seed tea, feel free to send me a message.
Best Poppy Seeds for Poppy Seed Tea: Further Reading
If you are an experienced tea consumer, you can check out my simple guide, Poppy Seed Tea Recipe.
Check out my Complete Overview of Poppy Seed Tea.
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