From the selection of your favorite varieties to the sharing of a hot cuppa with a friend, tea drinking is an enjoyable pastime that rewards us with a feeling of well-being and satisfaction.
“Tea-totaling” is enjoying a surge in popularity, and we’ve reviewed some popular containers that will help you to keep your favorite kinds at their peak of freshness.
To properly store your tea, it’s important to consider how much you typically keep on hand, where you plan to keep your canisters or containers, and what your usual drinking habits are.
Will you provide a broad selection for brunch guests, brew a quick caffeinated cup to fill your travel mug before heading out in the morning, and then prepare a soothing herbal brew to sip before bed?
Heat, temperature, and light exposure are all important factors to consider as well, to keep your precious leaves as the peak of freshness.
Read more about how to organize and store your tea collection.
We’ve looked at bamboo, wood, metal, glass, ceramic, and plastic containers for storing both bagged and loose varieties. Read on and see which one is right for you!
Tea Storage Containers
Our Top Pick Up Front: Tightvac
Made by Tightpac America, the TV2-SBK is made from plastic and holds 3 ounces of coffee or tea, making it a great travel container that fits conveniently into purses or backpacks.
It boasts a patented vacuum seal system that the manufacturer says helps to keep dry goods fresh three times longer than without use of this product, for a year or more.
Though most foods that may be stored in this are “smell-proof” (like 4 ounces of corn nuts, or 4.5 ounces of gummy bears), some – such as coffee– may breathe and give off gas, creating a noticeable odor.
This product is roughly 3.75 inches tall with a 3-inch diameter. Overall dimensions are 3 x 3 x 3.8 inches, and its weight is 2.4 ounces.
This Tightvac is NSF Tested and Certified, FDA Approved with food grade materials, moisture-free, and recyclable.
While this canister is described as airtight, the manufacturer clearly states that their products create a partial vacuum.
This is achieved by pressing the button and pushing the cap down onto the body to close it. To open, press the button on the cap again and pull the cap off.
Depressing the button on the side of the lid eliminates air and creates a vacuum seal with no need to pump. The product’s two-way valve allows built-up gas to escape slowly without admitting oxygen.
The Tightvac is available in a variety of sizes including the 3-ounce (pictured above), 1 to 6-ounce, 12-ounce, and 1.5-pound containers, plus the whopping Tightvac Kilovac, which can hold up to 2.5 pounds.
All of these are available in a variety of opaque or clear colors and tints, from black with a forest green cap to black pearl or solid white, clear with a blue or black lid to solid rose, mocha, cobalt, or emerald.
Tightpac America also offers a 1/2-ounce Vitavac, a 1-ounce MiniVac, and a 1/2-pound or 1-pound Coffeevac in the same broad array of colors.
You can take a look at all of the Tightpac products listed above (and much more!) on Amazon.com.
The clear models of the Tightpac products have the tightest fitting lid, and the solid and tinted styles are looser.
The manufacturer states that “it is a misconception that a tighter fitting cap is working better or holding more of a seal. Loose caps function just as well and will tighten with time and use.”
This is debatable, and many tea lovers and connoisseurs do expect and prefer an airtight seal, with a tight lid.
The manufacturer recommends that the interior of the cap and container top be kept clean for easy opening and closing.
Hand wash with mild cleaner. These are not intended for microwave use.
If a product arrives damaged, the manufacturer will provide a partial or full replacement if notified immediately upon receipt.
Tightpac also offers a product marketed specifically for tea storage, in a variety of decorative patterns.
The Teavac is a 6-ounce storage container that offers the same features as other Tightpac products, touting the benefits of using this type of canister specifically for loose or bagged tea storage in their descriptions of the item.
Able to hold 6 ounces of loose tea or about 30 bags, depending on the manufacturer, the opaque canister protects tea from light and preserves flavor and aroma.
All of the available Teavacs have a white body and lid printed with a colorful pattern (green, blue or red mountains, or a dark blue floral pattern), with the exception of a second dark blue floral patterned canister that sports a dark blue lid.
Verified buyers have reported being highly satisfied with this tea storage solution.
Our Bargain Pick: Portmeirion
Our bargain pick is a versatile set of nesting tins that keep air and light out. Use them for storing both bagged products and plastic zipper-bagged loose leaf varieties.
This set of three well-made tin containers offers the type of storage that’s best for tea – dark with a tight-fitting lid – and they’re decorative as well.
This set of three “cake” tins of different sizes is perfect for storing tea because they have tight-fitting lids that admit no light. They measure 8.5 x 3 inches, 7.5 x 2.6 inches, 6.5 x 1.9 inches and have a combined weight of 1.8 pounds.
Pretty enough to leave on a counter or store in a cabinet, think outside the box and choose these as an excellent storage option.
I like to store tea bag envelopes as well as zippered plastic bags of loose tea in what I always called “cookie” tins.
They keep my tea fresh and organized, and are attractive to bring out for guests who drop by my kitchen for a friendly cup.
Patterns vary. Hand wash the tins and dry them thoroughly with a soft cloth. Made in China.
Most of the verified customers who have provided feedback are highly satisfied with their purchase of these tins. Comments are overwhelmingly positive, citing quality, attractiveness, and affordable price.
Bamboo organizers are attractive and fun to present to guests for selection of their favorite variety.
Boxes like this are available in different sizes and designs. Choose between transparent and wooden top covers to store your assortment.
This durable and sustainable “wood” is technically grass that is water and bacteria resistant, making it great for contact with food. It is affordable and harder than some hardwoods, but it has no natural oils and may produce splinters.
This classic and stylish box is created from 100% bamboo.
It measures 12 x 7.5 x 3.8 inches, weighs a little over 2 pounds, and has 8 compartments with stationary dividers. Each holds approximately 15 stacked standard-sized envelopes.
A clear acrylic glass bamboo-framed lid lets you view your collection at a glance. The lid is hinged with an easy-open groove and closure magnet. Materials are glued together, with the exception of the hinges, which are nailed.
The manufacturer offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee on this product. Wipe clean with a damp cloth. Note that tea is NOT included.
Note that standard bags fit horizontally, not vertically, and large bags may fit if envelopes are trimmed.
To place bags vertically, you must angle them so the lid closes. Customers find it better to lay them horizontally, and note that they have been able to store up to 120 standard bags in this fashion.
Some users have reported complaints about the product’s quality, namely bent hinges, protruding hinge nails, splinters, and rough edges. Also noted are an odor and an easily scratched acrylic lid.
But several customers who really like the product have aired it out and reinforced it with nails and wood glue, despite these complaints.
Lipper International offers two bamboo tea boxes with clear acrylic lids, in two different styles to satisfy varying tastes in terms of design and storage needs.
Both of these allow for convenient viewing of the teabags inside, providing an attractive option that’s perfect for presenting to brunch guests or visitors who stop by for a late afternoon cuppa.
Lipper International sells a tea box with 5 sections.
Its dimensions are (W x D x H) 14 x 5 x 3.75 inches. The long, yet narrow, size and beautiful bamboo is ideal for displaying out in your kitchen or dining area without taking up too much space.
Each section is evenly divided in rectangles that can accommodate the size of individual tea bags.
The transparent acrylic lid makes up both the top and front sides of the entire box, with the bamboo material on the bottom and the back side.
You open the lid by a small, bamboo knob on the front part of the lid. The lid hinges at the top, so you can access your tea from both the front and top of the box once the lid is fully opened.
If just 5 sections isn’t enough for the truly tea obsessed, Lipper International also sells a tea box with 8 separate sections.
It measures (W x D x H) 12.5 x 7.5 x 3.625 inches, weighs 2.5 pounds, and has a warm, neutral-colored finish.
The transparent lid hinges and closes only on the top of the box, so you will need to look directly down to see the contents inside.
The company advises to hand wash and thoroughly dry the boxes, and to use mineral oil in order to maintain its luster.
Users report being thrilled that they can keep their teas organized in 5 or 8 compartments, while being able to display the beautiful bamboo storage unit on their tables and countertops.
Many customers also love that the acrylic is completely transparent, so they can see directly through the lid.
The compartments may be a tight fit for bigger tea bags, and you may need to squeeze them in to get the lid to close the whole way.
It’s also worth noting that the lids do not stay open on their own, but will immediately fall back down once you let go.
Other Types of Wood
Wood tea chests afford you the opportunity to store bagged tea in an attractive and organized fashion to present to guests at tea time. With clear lids hinged in the back and a magnetic closure, the design of these traditional boxes is consistent.
What varies is the wood itself, and the quality of construction.
In our guide to choosing a wooden salad bowl, we discussed different kinds of wood. This information applies equally well to selecting a tea box.
In addition to the many bamboo items described above, another popular wood for tea boxes is acacia. This is sturdy non-endangered hardwood that resists decay and moisture.
Affordable and rich with natural oils, it is a beautiful wood that is less likely to splinter than bamboo. Acacia wood is harvested young; it is plentiful and sustainable.
There are some boxes made of beech on the market, but this wood is not as durable as bamboo and acacia, and will fade with age.
Cherry is a hardwood that is used in the making of quality furniture. It is expensive, long lasting, and beautiful. Beware of imitations with a “cherry finish.”
Rosewood is a fragrant and beautiful wood used in the making of furniture, musical instruments, and objets d’art. Genuine rosewood is endangered.
There are also many products that claim simply to be made of natural wood.
These may not offer the durability of the materials above, but they are real wood and are often finished beautifully in shades like mahogany or cherry.
However, their resistance to moisture and decay, and the hardness and durability of the wood used, is unspecified.
Other products are classified only as “wood.” These may be made with wood pieces that were glued together to form composite material, and there may be toxins present.
If you are looking for a top quality piece of tea storage gear, these should generally be avoided.
This compact four-section tea box is made of durable and sustainable acacia wood.
It holds approximately 25 tea bags and measures 12.5 x 4.125 x 3.875 inches and has a hinged lid. The dividers are stationary.
Stock this stylish tea chest with your guests’ favorites and present it to them proudly at your next get-together.
Users love the quality of construction, appearance, and function of this tea box.
A cookie tin isn’t just for Grandma’s gingerbread boys (though we are fans of those as well).
With tight-fitting lids, these storage bins of old are great for storing tea bags with or without envelopes, as well as loose tea that you have put into zippered plastic bags.
I’m able to store the contents of entire boxes of tea by standing the bags up.
With teas like Lipton, I place the foil-wrapped inner boxes straight out of the package into my tin, to be opened as needed.
In addition, stainless steel canisters with locking lids make great airtight storage solutions for loose leaf varieties.
Welcome to loose tea central! This metal and plastic 10-piece canister set is an attractive and functional way to keep your favorites organized and fresh.
Everything you need for making tea is at your fingertips with this organizer.
It has six silicone lidded canisters for airtight storage, a fine mesh stainless steel tea infuser, and a matching infuser lid to maintain brewing temperature.
The lid doubles as an infuser rest after tea is brewed.
There’s also a spoon and a shallow drawer to keep it in, with quality sliding drawer construction. The glossy black tray keeps it all together, completing this attractive, compact system.
This unit measures 8.3 x 7.1 x 8.3 inches overall. The canisters are 3.25 x 2.5 inches, the drawer is 8 x 8 x 3 inches, and the weight is 3.4 pounds.
The manufacturer offers a 30-day return policy on its products. Hand wash. Tea NOT included.
Consumers comment that they have not been able to find another product like this on the market. They especially like the infuser, and how compactly the canisters stack.
It’s also a great option for storing coffee beans.
Note that label holders are not included as pictured, and the spoon is not the highest quality item. But, you are here for the storage canisters, after all!
Read customer reviews and check current prices on Amazon.com now!
This is a versatile 16-ounce airtight stainless steel container with a black BPA-free polymer lid, available in black, red, or silver. It measures 7.5 x 5 inches and weighs about one pound.
A 12-ounce container is also available, in the plain stainless silver color. It measures 5.5 x 8.2 inches and weighs one pound.
Not only is this canister great for storing ground or whole bean coffee, it’s excellent for holding your loose leaf tea as well.
A container that blocks out light is great, but what makes this product truly unique is its freshness valve. A remarkable airtight seal is achieved when the valve releases CO2 to keep your coffee or tea at its peak of flavor.
Six months’ worth of valves and instructions are included with your purchase.
The Friis Coffee Vault requires valves that vent CO2 to maintain freshness. This is where the Freshness Valve Replacement Kit from Friis comes in.
This handy kit, available on Amazon, has everything you need. It includes 6 valves, or a 1-year supply, to keep your leaves fresh and and at their peak of flavor.
Replacement is simple – just pop the old valve out of the lid, press in the new one, and you’re ready to go for the next two months.
The Japanese Ryu Mei line offers a colorful selection of gorgeously decorated tin metal canisters to store your tea in style.
While metal bodies are typical of many kinds of tea canisters, Ryu Mei transforms the metal tins into delicate works of art, covered with elegant printed decorations inspired traditional Japanese designs.
The company states that their canisters can bring style to any room, in addition to effectively keeping your tea fresh.
The snap-on plastic seal keeps the tin airtight, maintaining the freshness of your loose tea leaves.
With dimensions of 6.2 x 3.2 x 2.9 inches, this canister has a capacity of up to 7 ounces of tea.
Note: The items available for buying on the company website are sold on an “as is” and “as available” basis without warranties of any kind.
You will adore the intricate designs on the canisters, suitable for display like a vase or other art piece.
And the airtight plastic seal combined with a dark interior help to keep teas fresh.
Glass containers are sturdy and functional… however, they have one negative weakness:
Most models do let light in. And this is not optimal for tea that may be stored in direct light.
While some do allow light to transfer through the container, we have chosen a great option that blocks a maximum amount of light.
And there are so many great advantages to glass products. This type is quite convenient for cabinet storage, especially when the canisters have tight-fitting lids.
The UltravioLeaf Premium Storage Container is a state-of-the-art glass storage unit that blocks light, odors, and air for expertly stored tea.
This canister measures 8.5 x 5 x 6.5 inches, weighs 1.2 pounds, and holds 16.9 fluid ounces, or 1 dry ounce.
Its laboratory-tested premium European Miron UltraViolet Glass (UV-A) prevents penetration by harmful visible light rays, while allowing beneficial UV and infrared wavelengths that may kill molds, algae, and bacteria to enter.
It’s smell-proof, airtight, and has a screw-on lid of BPA-free heavy-duty plastic to maintain freshness for six months or longer.
The manufacturer also offers a hassle-free money-back guarantee – if customers are not 100% satisfied within 30 days, simply notify manufacturer and return your ultravioLeaf product(s) for a full refund with no questions asked.
You’ll love the sleek, modern design, paired with the ability to keep your precious leaves fresher for longer.
Customers also report excellent customer service, if you have any issues.
Read customer reviews and check prices on Amazon now.
Ceramic, stoneware, porcelain, earthenware, and pottery all have two characteristics in common: they are made of clay and they are opaque.
Styles vary widely, and finishes range from bisque to high luster for a decorative accent to any counter space.
What do you look for in a pottery canister?
A tight-fitting lid, and a silicone gasket to keep air out. With air and light at bay, tea will stay fresh and delicious.
Loose or bagged tea may be stored equally well in a container of this type.
This loose tea canister is a durable, high-fired stoneware model with a glossy nonporous enamel glaze that resists odors, staining, chipping, and cracking. It closes tightly with a silicone gasket seal.
Dimensions are 8.2 x 5 x 10.8 inches and weighs 1.5 pounds.
Le Creuset products are dishwasher safe and have a lifetime warranty.
The manufacturer offers a varied color palette of bold, consistent shades that may be mixed and match to suit any décor. This storage product is currently available in Cerise (cherry red), Marseille (colonial blue), Palm (lime green), Truffle (chocolate brown), and Flame (red-orange).
That the lid is designed to fit tightly, but it is not airtight. Some users also note that this product was not as well-made as other Le Creuset products they had, and that the color was not an exact match to their other items.
The company that makes this product is Le Creuset of America. Le Creuset is a manufacturer well known for its high-quality cast iron products made in France.
What many may not know is that this company manufactures its non-cast iron products in other countries, like China.
Read reviews and check current prices on Amazon.com now.
Practical and functional for those who are fans of bags rather than the loose variety, this kind of holder is a handy choice. It’s best for individually packaged bags.
Store it in a dedicated drawer or cabinet away from direct light to protect the flavor of your teabags.
This lightweight, durable plastic model makes an attractive and functional addition to any tea drinker’s kitchen.
It measures 4.3 x 10.2 x 13.1 inches and weighs 2.9 pounds. With nine drawers that each hold up to 15 bags, you can expect to store about 135 bags in this unit.
Plus, it’s available in red, black, or white to match any decor.
With a removable shallow drawer for accessories, you’ll have everything handy for that perfect cup with a good friend. And the drawer may be removed for easy access and cleaning.
Note that this product is intended for use in an upright standing position on a flat surface like a countertop or table. It is not for stacking or wall mounting.
Users are pleased with the quality of the plastic, and the convenience of the 2.5 x 2.5 inch drawers that slide in and out with ease. The unit is attractive and stands well without wobbling.
Its appearance is a bit commercial (i.e. perhaps more of a design for office use) and the unit is a bit too tall for storage in standard kitchen cabinets, so this may not be your top pick if you’re looking for a stylish showpiece. Extra-large tea envelopes also take up too much room for optimal storage, a common problem.
Read reviews on Amazon.com and check current prices now.
The MetroDecor Unit puts function over form.
Its clear durable plastic construction and stackability make it a great in-cabinet organizer. What it lacks in decoration it more than makes up for in usefulness, with eight storage compartments.
This useful organizer has a hinged lid, measures 10.75 x 7.25 x 3.75 inches, weighs approximately one pound, and has eight compartments with stationary dividers for storing up to 100 bags. Rather than snapping shut, the lid fits into a groove to close.
There is a 60-day warranty on this product. It is recommended by the company to hand wash this item. The teas featured in the photos are NOT included.
Note: This product measures 10.75 x 7.25 x 3.75 inches, as stated in the product description. Farther down the page on Amazon.com in the specifications portion the dimensions are listed as 14.8 x 11.8 x 8.2 inches. This is an error.
Being able to see the contents of this box at a glance is a time saver, and many find it useful at the office as well as in the home kitchen.
The compartments may be a tight squeeze for some, but it is interesting to note that other customers found this piece it to be larger than they had expected. Be sure to measure first and purchase a storage unit in whatever size meets your needs.
Visit Amazon.com now to read more customer reviews and check current prices.
This compact, upright caddy is a real space saver that keeps your assortment visible.
Suitable for bags that are individually wrapped, it makes it easy to grab and brew a quick cup before you head out for the day. In the cabinet or on the counter, any flat surface is a great place for this model.
Made of durable plastic, this two-sided bright white model stands on any flat surface. It measures 10.8 x 4.9 x 8.6 inches and weighs 1.8 pounds. There are 12 removable clear plastic bins, six on each side, that hold approximately 100 bags.
No assembly required. Clean with a soft damp cloth. Tea NOT included.
The design of this product is sturdy and functional.
One customer described pulling it out of her cabinet with ease, like a book off a shelf.
Another recommends standing some bags right side up and others upside down to fit the maximum volume per bin.
One even went into great detail, reporting a bin storage capacity of 10 Stash, 10 Lipton, 11 Bigelow, 8 Yogi, or 6 Mighty Leaf bags. Reviews from verified customers that outline specifics such as this are very useful in determining which caddy is right for you!
Read more customer reviews and check current prices on Amazon.com now!
A Container to Suit Your Needs, and Your Style
Whether your collection is large or small, no frills or gourmet, you want to keep your tea at the peak of flavor and handy when you need it.
Select a storage solution that will add to your tea-drinking experience, and reflect on the unique role tea plays in your daily life.
What’s your favorite tea storage solution? Do you use any of these products at home? Share your stories in the comments!
Product photos via var. manufacturers: Portmeirion, Oceanstar, Lipper International, Friis, UltravioLeaf, Le Creuset, Mind Reader, MetroDecor, and YouCopia. Uncredited photos: Shutterstock. Additional writing and editing by Nikki Cervone.
About Nan Schiller
Nan Schiller is a writer from southeastern Pennsylvania. When she’s not in the garden, she’s in the kitchen preparing imaginative gluten- and dairy-free meals. With a background in business, writing, editing, and photography, Nan writes humorous and informative articles on gardening, food, parenting, and real estate topics. Having celiac disease has only served to inspire her to continue to explore creative ways to provide her family with nutritious locally-sourced food.