Seven grades of black tea [high-quality black tea (grades 1-3) and low-quality black tea (grades 4-7)] processed by CAYKUR Tea Processing Plant (Rize, Turkey), were examined for their proximate composition, dietary fiber, minerals, and water-soluble vitamins as well as total phenolic content, various antioxidant assays, phenolics (flavanols, alkoloids, condensed phenolics, and phenolic acids), chlorophylls, and carotenoids. Some variations, albeit to different extents, were observed (p < 0.05) among these parameters in seven grades of black tea. With respect to proximate composition, dietary fiber was the predominant compound (ranging from 49.68 to 54.31 g/100 g), followed by protein, carbohydrate, and, to a lesser extent, ash, moisture, and fat. Thirteen minerals, four water-soluble vitamins, six flavanols, two alkoloids, three condensed phenolics, one phenolic acid, two chlorophylls, and two carotenoids were identified in the seven grades of black tea. Total phenol content ranged from 7.52 to 8.29 g of gallic acid equivalents (GAE)/100 g, being lowest in grade 6 and highest in grade 1. With regard to antioxidant activities, a large variation in oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) values was observed among all grades of black tea (ranging from 777 mu mol of trolox equivalents (TE)/g in grade 7 to 1210 mu mol of TE/g in grade 3). The present work suggests that high- and low-quality black teas should not be distinguished on the basis of their nutritional and functional characteristics. The combination of nutritional compounds together with functional characteristics renders combination effects that provide the characteristic quality of each grade of black tea.