Online tea shops can be found by the thousands. Nobody knows them all. I’ve narrowed down the list to ten of the best online tea stores that deserve your attention.
Over 700 specialty tea shops sell tea online. Personal recommendations are the best way to separate the good from the bad so you know where to buy quality loose leaf tea. Here are my top ten recommendations…
Where to Buy Tea Online
I’ve narrowed down the list to the ten best tea stores based on the following criteria:
- Every tea shop specializes in something different, whether it be single estate tea, flavored, herbal, green, black, Puerh, matcha, or origin-specific tea. The types of tea available are quite varied and well represented on this list.
- The websites listed here all sell premium tea. I’ve categorized them by specialty so you can get to know each shop.
- The shops I’ve listed carry the best loose leaf tea, sell at the retail level plus ship internationally. They are all trustworthy tea brands that I personally shop when I buy tea online.
This is a good place to get acquainted with the world of specialty tea. As you refine your tea palate, you might become a little fussier! Fortunately, there are many choices in online tea stores.
Best All-Around Tea Online
Adagio Teas: Specializes in an expansive variety of loose leaf teas and teaware. 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 herbal tea blends to Masters’ Collections for the best loose leaf tea – which I highly recommend. Adagio depends 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 son team. Ships internationally.
Palais des Thés: A popular European tea store specializing 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.
The Tea Spot: Online tea shop and retail store selling handcrafted teas and innovative Steepware. The Tea Spot offers some of the best tea online specializing in gourmet loose tea with handcrafted, signature blends, and single-estate full leaf teas. You will find a large variety of health-focused tea special blends on their tea website. Every order comes with a loose tea sampler. 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 as a philanthropic business.
Best Matcha Tea
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 special tea shop focuses strictly on matcha, from ceremony grade to kitchen grade and everything in-between. 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.
Material Matcha Uji: Material Matcha Uji crafts the highest quality matcha green tea in the world with a simple idea: aim for the purity of the material. If you love matcha, this is one of the best shops to buy matcha tea online. Material Matcha works directly with local farmers, pushing them to always favor quality over quantity, and keep using little-known, ancient techniques. Their teas are one-of-a-kind, and extremely rare: less than 100kg are produced every year, a grade of loose green tea that has never been brought outside of Japan before.
Their product range contains 24 products that meet all needs, from beginner to expert. They have Matcha starter kits, accessories, and matcha packs.
Best Indian Tea
TeaBox: Indian based online tea company specializing in high-quality single estate Indian grown loose leaf black tea. 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 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. Teatulia is one of the few 100% organic tea brands produced by 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 directly 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 the economic prosperity of the people in the region. International shipping.
Vahdam Tea: Vahdam tea specializes in garden-fresh Indian teas. Vahdam is another one of my favorite places to buy tea online. All their teas are procured directly from plantations and tea growers within 24-48 hours of production, packaged garden fresh, and shipped directly from the source in India. By eliminating all middlemen, they make available fresh high-quality teas. This makes sure that the growers are able to retain all earnings in the region where these divine teas are grown. This process helps every farmer get a better price for their produce. A truly ethical, fair-trade tea.
Best Chinese Tea
TeaVivre: Specializes in authentic Chinese teas. TeaVivre means Tea for Life. They carry a wide variety of unflavored teas, loose leaf green tea, and teaware. 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. I buy a lot of my Chinese tea online from TeaVivre. Known for their green teas, some rare green teas such as Ming Qian Long Jing. TeaVivre is an excellent source if you want to buy green tea online. China also produces some of the best black teas of which you will find many here. Samples are available. Compliant with the European Union, which has much more stringent allowances for residues than does the United States. Really high-quality teas – ship from China internationally.
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 Chinese oolong tea, black, green, white, Puerh 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.
Best Pu Erh Tea
Yunnan Sourcing: A top online tea store for Puerh tea. Excellent selection of ripe and raw Puerh, oolongs tea, black tea, and white tea. They also sell some unusual teas like purple tea and yak butter tea. Puerh samples are available. Their raw Puerh teas are produced mostly from a 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 Puerh is selected based on their taste profile, fermentation degree, leaf quality, and future aging potential. Ships internationally from China and the United States.
Bonus: Best Bottled Tea
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 afterward. This is the least processed method available for a bottled tea. All MaryAnna’s iced teas are made from 100% natural and non-GMO ingredients. Shipping continental US only.
Online Tea Shops
Of course, this is purely a suggestive list. I hope you find it helpful and enjoy some of the best tea brands I’ve recommended. If so, please share this list with your tea-loving friends.
Have you tried to buy tea online? What are your favorite loose leaf tea brands? Share in the comments. I’d love to hear from you!