Best Tea Strainers Handpicked by a Tea Sommelier

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Placed over the teacup to catch loose tea leaves, the best tea strainers are not only functional but look great. See my picks.

Three tea strainers

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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 instead of 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.

My Pick for Best Tea Strainer:

Silver Plated Tea Strainer

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My pick for best tea strainer. It’s elegant, with some weight so it’s not flimsy, and elevates the look of your tea service.
Place the tea strainer on top of your teacup and use it to filter out the tea leaves from the teapot.
Stainless Steel Tea Strainers with Drip Bowl

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The strainer is mesh so it’ll do a good job of catching small tea leaves.
Golden Angel Tea Strainer

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I’m a sucker for any teaware made in Japan so it’s not a surprise this gold-plated stainless steep tea strainer made it on this list. The mesh strainer will catch all the tiny tea leaves from getting into your teacup.
Royal Albert Tea Strainer

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Made of fine bone china, this tea strainer has a wide edge that sits on top of your teacup, covering it completely. Very pretty when used with the matching teacup sets from Royal Albert.

Questions You May Have

When do I need a tea strainer?

A tea strainer is needed when you’re filtering loose tea leaves from a teapot so that your teacup isn’t filled with tea leaves.

How do you use a tea strainer?

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.

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.

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    1. Hi Sam, I usually use steel strainers just because they tend to last longer. With plastic, you never know how much it’ll interact with the hot water and how safe it is, so I like to stick with stainless steel.

  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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!