10 Best Online Tea Shops
In my search for the best online tea shops, I’ve discovered over 600 online tea shops! So how do you know which ones are reputable? I narrowed my selection by including those that carry loose leaf and some organic teas. I surveyed other tea aficionados for their recommendations and I’ve included some personal favorites. I’ve narrowed them down to just ten shops and I’ve tried to give you a wide variety from those that ship internationally.
Every tea shop specializes in something different, whether it be single estate tea, flavored tea, herbal tea, green tea, black tea, Pu erh tea, matcha or origin specific tea. They are listed here in alphabetical order. I think this is a good place for you to get started in specialty tea. As you refine your tea palate, you might become a little fussier! Fortunately, there are many shops to choose from.
Adagio Teas: Specializes in an expansive variety of loose leaf teas and tea ware. They source directly from the artisan grower. The teas I have tried are always fresh and have a superb flavor. You can find almost any type of tea from herbals to masters’ collections, which I do recommend. They depend heavily on reviews, which are very helpful when buying their teas. They also include information about the origin of the tea and brewing guides. A New Jersey based company owned by a mother and sons team. Samples are available and they ship internationally.
MatchaSource: Matcha tea comes in different grades. Alissa White is the Founder of Matcha Source, an online retailer of premium matcha tea and specialty utensils for preparing and enjoying matcha. This shop focuses strictly on matcha, from ceremony grade to kitchen grade and everything in-between. What you pay for is flavor profile, not nutrients. Young leaves, plucked early in the harvest, produce delicate and vegetal flavors. Mature leaves contain coarser matter from stems and veins and taste more astringent. MatchSource teas are hand-picked by the Yahagi River in Japan. International shipping.
Palais des Thés: Specializes in single estate, flavored teas and herbal teas. They have quite a wide variety of quality fresh teas from tea estates around the world. François-Xavier Delmas is the founder and has been touring the world’s tea plantations for more than 20 years in search of the finest teas. They feature teas from Darjeeling to Shizuoka, from Taiwan to the Golden Triangle. This is a great place to start trying out different teas. It is a boutique style tea shop. They have sample sets available and ship internationally. They also have boutiques all around France, Belgium and Japan. In the US they have a boutique in New York City along with a Tea School. Ships internationally.
TeaBox: Indian based tea company specializing in high quality single estate Indian grown loose leaf teas. Sourcing the freshest teas from Indian tea estates in Darjeeling, Assam, and the Nilgiris as well as freshest teas from Nepal. Darjeeling and Nilgiri black teas are some of my personal favorites. And you can’t make a good English Breakfast tea without a good Assam. I want to try the Margaret’s Hope Moonlight Spring White Tea! Ships internationally.
Teatulia: Specializes in Indian teas. A Denver based company co-founded by Dr. Kazi Anis and Linda Appel Lipsius, they focus on sustainability, 100% organic fresh tea and the women of Bangladesh. Teatulia teas are single garden teas, grown and hand plucked in the beautiful tea gardens of the Kazi & Kazi Tea Estate in Northern Bangladesh, then delivered direct to the consumer. As tea gardens go, this one is fairly new. It was cultivated from virgin land nestled against the Himalayas to the North and the Brahmaputra and Ganges Rivers to the South in 2,000. They offer a wide variety of teas and have won many awards at the North American Tea Championships. You should definitely go to their website to check out the co-operative programs they have developed for economic prosperity of the people in the region. International shipping.
TeaVivre: Specializes in authentic Chinese teas. 100% natural. TeaVivre means Tea for Life. They carry a wide variety of unflavored teas and tea ware. TeaVivre is a group of tea lovers and aficionados from China, Canada and France. All living in China, they frequently visit China’s tea plantations tracking down only truly exceptional teas. Known for their green teas, some rare green teas such as Ming Qian Long Jing. China also produces some of the best black teas of which you will find many here. Samples are available. Compliant with European Union, which has much more stringent allowances for residues than does the United States. Really high quality teas – ship from China internationally.
The Tea Spot: Handcrafted teas. They specialize in gourmet loose tea with handcrafted, signature blends, and single-estate full leaf teas. You will find a large variety of health focused blends. The company was founded in 2004 by Maria Uspenski, a cancer survivor drawn to the health benefits of whole leaf tea during her recovery. Her message is simple and powerful: tea in its freshest form renders premium flavor and unmatched health benefits. With a steadfast mission to foster health and wellness through tea, The Tea Spot donates ten percent of all sales in-kind to cancer and community wellness programs. The Tea Spot is a Colorado-based Certified B Corp, woman-owned and operated philanthropic business.
TeaTrekker: Mary Lou Heiss & Bob Heiss, dubbed the Professors of Tea by the New York Times, are the co-owners and founders of Tea Trekker. Indeed they are, having written one of the most recognized books on tea, the bible on tea – The Story of Tea: A Cultural History and Drinking Guide. They are an honest business and always mention the tea estate and season their teas were picked. They taste every tea they buy. I’ve had some excellent teas from them over the years. They sell a wide variety of single estate loose leaf teas from many of the major tea producing countries. International shipping.
VerdantTea: A marketplace for small family tea farmers, directly from their farm to your cup. This Minnesota tea shop has a unique approach to tea shopping. You don’t shop by the tea type or by the country – you shop by the farmer. The estates are listed and you virtually meet the family growing the tea. They specialize in a variety Chinese teas black, green, white, Pu erh and herbals. Their teas have gotten some very good ratings. Verdant Tea always provides steeping instructions for both western brewing and gong fu style. They have some beautiful gaiwan teaware. International shipping.
Yunnan Sourcing: Most people shop here for the Pu erh tea. Excellent selection of ripe and raw Pu erh, oolongs tea, black tea and white tea. They also sell some unusual teas like purple tea and yak butter tea. Pu erh samples are available. Their raw Pu erh teas are produced mostly from single village or mountain sources in small batches. All raw cakes are processed at every stage in the traditional method to ensure the best possible long term aging outcome. Their ripe pu-erhs are selected based on their taste profile, fermentation degree, leaf quality and future aging potential. Ships internationally from China and the US.
Bonus Best Online Tea Shop
MaryAnna’s Tea: I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my own site. However, my specialty is artisan brewed bottled tea from a premium blend of loose leaf teas. MaryAnna’s Tea has won several top awards at the North American Tea Championship for best bottled tea. I use the direct-brew method to naturally infuse the tea and bottle immediately afterwards. This is the least processed method available to bottle tea. The more a food or beverage is processed the more nutrients are lost. The direct brew method helps preserve the natural tea flavor, nutrients and antioxidants inherent in freshly brewed tea. All MaryAnna’s iced teas are made from 100% natural and non-GMO ingredients. Free shipping continental US only.
Thanks for Reading
So that’s my summary of the best online tea shops. This is purely a suggestive list, mind you. I hope you find this list helpful and enjoy your tea shopping. If so, please share with your tea friends.
Have you tried the shops I mentioned? What’s your favorite online teashop? Share in the comments. I’d love to hear from you!