Where to Buy Tea Online
Don’t know where to go to buy tea online? I’m sharing my list of tea sellers you can feel safe purchasing quality tea from plus my favorite teas from their shop.
Ok, you’re ready to take the plunge and go beyond Lipton tea bags. Where should you go to buy better tea? Here are the best tea companies online. They all provide great customer service, high quality tea, and are trustworthy.
Best Places to Buy Tea Online
A tea school and a tea house, Camellia Sinensis is the only company on this list that’s not in the US. Based in Montreal, Canada, they’re a reputable tea shop that sources and sells high quality tea. Worrying about shipping cost? Shipping is FREE to anywhere in the US. (Although shipping time may take a bit longer since it can get stuck in customs past the delivery date.)
What to get: Their tea book which I used as a textbook for my Tea Sommelier course. All their teas are excellent so feel safe ordering from them.
In Pursuit of Tea
I took notice of In Pursuit of Tea years ago when I would see their name on tea menus all over the city from fine dining to small cafes. They directly source their loose leaf tea from tea farms and having been in the tea business since 1999, they’re one of the most established. They know tea. I get most of my tea from them since the quality is very very high.
What to get: They’re my source for black tea (Mao Feng Black) but everything they carry is fantastic.
Ippodo is a Japanese tea company that only sells high quality green tea and have been in the green tea business for nearly three CENTURIES.
What to get: Matcha, matcha, matcha. I got my matcha starter set from Ippodo.
Palais des Thes
Palais des Thes is a French tea company with a focus on tea education, I like their tea blends in cotton tea bags — perfect for tea on the go and as gifts.
What to get: My Tea for the Office box set of an assortment.
If you’re looking for organic tea, look no further than Rishi. Over 95% of their tea is certified organic and they’re really at the forefront of creating interesting blends with ingredients like tumeric and organic maqui berries.
What to get: Their caffeinie-free blends like Tumeric Ginger and Patagonia Wild Guava.
Silver Needle Tea Co.
I’m a big fan of Silver Needle Tea Co’s highly curated selection of tea that are sourced directly from tea farms. They only have single estate teas meaning they only do pure tea, no blends. By the way, the packaging is gorgeous.
What to get: Their white tea is exceptional, like the *ahem* Silver Needle.
Song Tea & Ceramics
If you’re ever in San Francisco, a visit to Song Tea & Ceramics is a MUST. Gorgeous tranquil space where you can have a tea tasting before giving away your month’s rent for bags and bags of tea, happily.
What to get: Shan Lin Xi Winter Sprout. It LEGIT tastes like cotton candy. The sweetest tea I’ve ever had and it was amazing.
A small tea shop, T Shop is NYC hidden in the back of a building accessible by a hallway from the main entrance. All their tea is pure (no blends) and sourced directly.
What to get: I really like their puerh (they have a nice selection).
Te Company is where I get most of my oolong teas from and the roasted oolongs are my favorite at the moment — they’re good both iced and hot.
What to get: My favorite? The Frozen Summit Reserve, a roasted oolong. Love it.
I have a soft spot for Tea Dealers since they carry a nice selection of Korea tea and tisanes. This is where I think of first when I want Korean tea and they don’t disappoint.
What to get: Wild Persimmon, Wild Pear, and their Korean Woojeon green tea.
Another source for Taiwanese oolong that I trust and like is Tillerman Tea. They have a small selection but it’s very well curated.
What to get: Muzha Tieguanyin and their Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Oolong
How to Buy Loose Tea Online
Loose tea is sold by ounces or grams. When buying online, they’ll have set minimum amounts that come packaged in opaque bags or canisters.
To figure out how many cups of tea you can get out of each package, you will probably use about 5 grams of tea for each cup. So for a 50 gram package of tea, you’ll get around 10 servings.
For ounces, the minimum I usually see is 2 oz. being sold online. 2 ounces gets you 56.7 grams of tea, so you’ll get roughly 11 servings.
Tea Buying Tips
- For the best quality tea, buy from specialty tea sellers that purchase directly from tea farms. The huge chains tend to buy from brokers and the tea quality is not the best.
- Get tea from vendors that specialize in a certain type of tea. I’ll get Taiwanese oolong teas from Te Company and Korean teas from Tea Dealers.
- Loose tea is the best quality. Blends (Earl Grey, English Breakfast) and tea bags use tea that are of lower quality.
- Store tea properly by keeping it away from moisture, heat, odor, air, and light.
- You want to drink most teas within a year so get it in small quantities to ensure freshness in each cup.