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.
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Best Tea Brands with Free Shipping
Harney & Sons
Harney & Sons (I always thought they were a tea brand based in England but they’re a US brand) is great for tea blends in loose tea or in sachets like Tower of London Blend or their Paris tea.
They’re my go-to brand when looking for tea for recipes or lattes.
I like to get their tea direct from their site instead of Amazon since it costs way less to do so. I’ve noticed that Amazon sometimes charges about 40% more.
WHAT TO GET: I really like their Earl Grey Supreme and have used it here and here.
THE GOOD: Ground shipping is free no matter how small or large your order.
THE BAD: Harney is more known for their tea blends than whole loose tea so sometimes those are not as well stocked.
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 highly reputable tea shop that sources and sells high quality tea.
Worried 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.
THE GOOD: Aside from the free shipping, they have a fantastic selection of teas that are all high quality.
THE BAD: Shipping can take longer than expected since it has to cross the border. My order once arrived about a week later than stated due to customs.
Best Tea Brands for Loose Leaf Tea/Whole Leaf Tea
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.
If you are looking for high quality tea, get it from In Pursuit of Tea. They know tea.
WHAT TO GET: They’re my source for matcha but everything they carry is fantastic. Get their book!
THE GOOD: Super high quality tea — you can’t go wrong with anything they carry. They’re super friendly so if you have any question about your order or any of the teas they carry, don’t be afraid to email them!
THE BAD: I only wish they had a store in NYC so I can try all their teas.
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.
WHAT TO GET: Their white tea is exceptional, like the *ahem* Silver Needle.
THE GOOD: The tea is great but the packaging is exceptional. Ugh, it’s so pretty.
THE BAD: They have a very small collection of teas (just 11) so it’s not a one-stop-tea-shop.
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.
THE GOOD: Gorgeous shop, gorgeous tea, gorgeous teaware.
THE BAD: The price points for their tea and teaware are on the higher end so you may experience some sticker shock.
A small tea shop, T Shop in 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).
THE GOOD: If you’re ever in NYC, you should definitely visit the shop and have Theresa expertly brew you a cup of tea.
THE BAD: The teaware sold are ones directly from Theresa’s tea travels so once they sell out, they’re gone.
Best Tea Brands for Oolong Tea
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. I LOVE it.
THE GOOD: I love this place. I go about once or twice a week. (Yes, I’m aware I have an obsession.) Have you tried their amazing and famous linzer cookie?
THE BAD: Um, I can’t think of one.
Liquid Gold Tea
Based in Hudson Valley, Liquid Gold Tea has a fantastic curated collection of teas. The tea collection is small but mighty.
WHAT TO GET: Prize winning Imperial Jin Jun Mei if you’re up for the splurge.
THE GOOD: Lots of interesting tea you may not have tried yet.
THE BAD: Due to its small selection, teas can sell out quick.
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
THE GOOD: Love their customer service — very accessible by email if you have any questions.
THE BAD: Limited photos on their site so you have to go by the description when selecting your teas. (Their descriptions are pretty helpful though.)
Best Tea Brand for Green Tea
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.
The only drawback is that the site is hard to purchase from and delivery charges can be on the higher end. If you’re in NYC, you MUST go to the shop for all your green tea needs.
WHAT TO GET: Matcha, matcha, matcha. I got my matcha starter set from Ippodo years ago and I use it all the time.
THE GOOD: They’re my source for most green teas.
THE BAD: Shipping can be on the higher end since it’s coming from Japan.
Best Tea Brand for Rare Herbal Teas
I have a soft spot for Tea Dealers since they carry a nice selection of Korean 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 or their Wild Pear
THE GOOD: They have some of the most gorgeous teaware.
THE BAD: The gorgeous teaware comes with a $$$ price.
Best Tea Brands on Amazon
Taylors of Harrogate
If I’m looking for basic tea blends like Earl Grey and English Breakfast, Taylors of Harrogate is the brand I usually get on Amazon.com.
WHAT TO GET: The basics blends like Earl Grey are good.
THE GOOD: One of the tea brands I’ll buy from on Amazon.
THE BAD: It’s not the highest quality tea but it’s good for making tea lattes.
Rishi is great when you’re looking for interesting blends like Tumeric Ginger Tea.
WHAT TO GET: Not tea but I’ve been using the Simple Brew Loose Leaf Teapot like no one’s business. I love it and use it all the time. (I have 4!)
THE GOOD: Rishi has a good selection of organic and herbal teas.
THE BAD: Their entire tea collection isn’t on Amazon so the selection is limited.
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.