Best Tea Strainers

A tea strainer is a must when drinking loose tea. Placed over the teacup to catch loose tea leaves, the best tea strainers are not only functional but look great. See my picks!

Tea Strainers for Loose Tea

I love tea strainers. Yes, tea strainers. 

When I go for afternoon tea and see it on the table next to the teapot, my eyes light up. Tea strainers mean they’re serving loose tea, not tea bags. And loose tea means better quality tea.

Tea strainers filter out tea leaves. Place a tea strainer on top of your teacup and pour your tea. The strainer will catch the tea leaves from going into your teacup.

What to Look for When Buying a Tea Strainer

  • Easy to clean
    Since the tea strainer will catch tea leaves, I look for one that’s easy to clean. There are basket weaves that look so pretty but I rarely use it since it’s so hard to clean out the tea leaves from all the crevices.
  • Size of holes in strainer
    The smaller the holes, the fewer tea leaves will flow into your cup. I don’t mind if tiny bits of tea leaves fall through into my cup, but if you do, then get a mesh strainer over one with holes.
  • Has a deep indent
    A good tea strainer should be indented, like a little bowl, so that tea won’t spill over at all when pouring from a teapot. Avoid flat or small-indented strainers since the tea will flow out of the strainer and make a mess.

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My Pick for Best Tea Strainer:

Other Recommended Tea Strainers:

When Do I Need a Tea Strainer?

A tea strainer is to be used for loose tea only. If you’re using tea bags, a strainer isn’t needed since the tea leaves are already contained in the bag. 

If you’re using a teapot with a tea infuser, you don’t need a tea strainer either since the tea infuser will keep the loose tea from pouring out of the teapot into your teacup. 

Some teapots come with a strainer or filter in the spout, so a separate tea strainer isn’t necessary.

The only time you need a tea strainer is when you’re brewing loose tea in a teapot and have no other way of preventing the tea leaves from going into your cup when pouring.

How to Make Tea Properly Cheat Sheet

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How Do You Use a Tea Strainer?

A tea strainer is used to filter out loose tea leaves when pouring tea into a cup from a teapot.

After brewing a pot of tea in a teapot, place the tea strainer on top of your cup. Pour the tea into the cup, with the strainer acting as a filter. Once you have poured the tea, take the strainer off the cup. Repeat every time you pour tea from the teapot.

The tea will flow through the strainer but any tea leaf bits will be caught by the strainer.

What is the Difference Between a Tea Strainer and a Tea Infuser?

A tea strainer is used after the tea has brewed to separate the tea leaves and the tea. A tea infuser is a tool used to brew, or infuse, tea in water.



Three tea strainers


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  • 7 years ago

    Thanks for including the Bird & Leaf Tea Strainer from Iron Accents in your post. You have such a great blog and we are thrilled to be a small part of it now. I know I don't have to tell you this, but tea strainers are a must-have accessory for any avid tea drinker and the prettier, the better!

    Thanks again!

  • 7 years ago

    These are so pretty! I love them. I have a collection of strainers and now I want more.

  • Michele P
    7 years ago

    These are really precious! So much prettier than the ones I currently have. Thanks for giving me inspiration to replace my most-used strainer for one of these.

  • Jee (Oh, How Civilized)
    7 years ago

    Hi Valerie, pretty tea strainers are hard to find, especially one with a drip tray, so I was happy to find one through your shop!

    Hi Winnie, ha, I'm a bad influence.

    Hi Michele, that Queen Anne's lace strainer is totally you!

  • Gee
    2 months ago

    The first strainer you feature is my fave too, thankfully, because that regal Royal Peony is a splurge!

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