Buyer's Guides

Best Chinese Porcelain Tea Caddy by Dahlia- Ultimate Guide

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Storing your tea is not something the average tea drinker has thought much about. Most people think you should just take your loose leaf tea and place it in a mason jar, or some other random container and it will be fine. This is not the case! Tea is sensitive, especially in its loose-leaf form, and improper storage can ruin your tea, or at the very least, make it taste boring and stale. There are lots of ways to store your tea, but by far our favorite way is to store it in interesting little Asian-themed tea caddies. The Dahlia company makes a handful of these small tea caddies specifically designed for loose tea, and we liked them a whole lot. Here we check out the best porcelain tea caddy and compare them to help you make the best choice.

These tea caddies meet the requirements for keeping your precious tea fresh and ready to brew when the time comes. You will notice none of these are big, but that is a common thing in the tea storage world. The idea is that you do not want to buy loose tea in bulk because it will go bad and become stale. So, most people buy smaller amounts of loose tea and these little containers are perfect for the job.

Dahlia Perching Birds Airtight Porcelain Tea Tin/Tea Storage/Tea Caddy/Tea Canister

The Perching Birds Tea Container is a small attractive porcelain container designed to hold about 4oz of tea.  It is about 5” tall and nearly 5” wide as well. There are much bigger containers out there, but this is big enough to do the job.

The container has two cute birds perched on a branch painted on the front, with some gold leaf style design that goes around the outside of the lid. There are some Asian letters embossed on the back as well, which looks nice!

The lid is airtight, which is important for storing tea, especially for long periods of time. It is made of high-quality porcelain which is glazed and smooth inside and out.

This is not the case with all-porcelain containers, many times there is no glazing on the inside which leaves a semi-porous surface that can absorb the smell of your tea. This is only an issue when you switch flavors and now your green tea smells like Earl Gray! So, the fact that this container is glazed inside and out is a nice touch.

Pros

  • Airtight lid
  • Hight quality porcelain blocks the light
  • Can be used as a tea container or decoratively

Cons

  • Could be a little bigger
  • Not the cheapest

Conclusion

This is a unique tea caddy that is well made and has an airtight lid that will keep out damaging oxygen. It has an Asian feel in the design which we really love. It is not the cheapest option out there (none of these are the cheapest) but it is a solid canister that will last for a long time if you take care of it. The best part is that it looks so interesting you could use it for anything you want!

Dahlia Blue and White Royal Dragon Airtight Porcelain Tea Storage/Tea Caddy/Tea Canister, Small

There is just something about the blue dragon on the stark white background that really grabs the eye of this piece. It is a little smaller in height than the first canister we looked at. The Royal Dragon canister stands just over 4” high and is about 3.5” wide.

It also has an airtight lid which will keep out any external air and keep in the fragrant smell of your tea. This small canister also has a glossy interior, which helps keep the fragrances from transferring permanently to the inside of the canister.

The Royal Dragon has a striking blue Asian dragon painted on the front, and an interesting architectural design going around the bottom. On the lid, it has a geometric design going around the outside and a floral pattern just above the geometric pattern circling the entire lid. This canister is a bright white, unlike the perching birds version which is more of a beige or natural off-white background color.

Normally I am not a fan of anything that is pure white due to the difficulty in keeping it clean. In this case, however, it is not an issue because the canister is glossy and can be fully cleaned off with just a wet rag, and dirt or dust will not stick to it.

Pros

  • Stunning design with blue dragon
  • Airtight lid keeps contents fresh
  • Glossy inside and out
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Smaller than I would like for the money spent

Conclusion

The Royal Dragon canister is a smaller tea canister, but it is also very pretty. It is not going to appeal to everyone, but if you are a fan of the Asian dragon design and stark white porcelain, this could be your jam. It has an airtight lid and will competently store tea while looking wonderful the whole time.

Dahlia Vintage Crackle Glaze Celadon Handcrafted Porcelain Tea Storage/Tea Caddy with Tassel, Lotus

The Vintage Crackle Glaze Celadon container is a unique-looking little tea caddy. At first glance, it does not seem to have much of an Asian design to it. However, upon closer inspection, the green color is quite common among other Asian pottery. It has a small tassel that is tied to the small handle on the lid which helps to give it more of an Asian flair.

It is bigger than the previous 2 containers reviewed. It stands about 5.7” high and is 4.5” wide. This tea caddy can hold about 5.3oz of tea. This is still not considered a large container, but it is a bit larger than the average Dahlia tea caddy.

Like the others in this list, it has an airtight lid which is a necessity for a tea container if it is to be effective. It has an attractive 3-dimensional quality to it, as the floral pattern on it is embossed with porcelain and not just painted on. This is a nice touch and gives it an attractive tactile feel. There is one floral design on the front, and what appears to be a lily of some kind on the back.

It has a very earthy vibe, being green and brown. The crackle effect on the porcelain is a popular technique that is used to help new items appear to be vintage, or at the very least, aged. This one is also smooth inside and out, helping it to be more effective at keeping the fragrances of your teas fresh.

Pros

  • The 3-dimensional embossed design is quite attractive
  • Airtight lid keeps contents fresh
  • Glazed on inside and out
  • Larger than some others

Cons

  • Like the others, it could be a bit less expensive

Conclusion

The Vintage Crackle container is a little bigger than some of the others which may suit your needs if you are a big tea drinker (like we are). It has a 3-dimensional embossed design that pops out from across the room. It will hold a fair amount of tea and has an earthy feel to it that will fit well in many kitchens.

 

Dahlia Flowers Blue and White Porcelain Loose Tea Tin/Tea Storage/Tea Caddy/Tea Canister, Wisteria

The Flowers / Wisteria Tea Caddy is one of the most popular of their line of tea storage containers. This tea canister is a little bit smaller than the others, standing just under 3.4” high and almost 4” wide.

It has a wonderful blue wisteria flower design with a small bird perched on the branch adorning the front of the canister. On the back, it has some Asian writing characters which help it to have an extra authentic Asian vibe.

The lid on this one does not have a little handle like some of the other ones do, which makes a little bit harder to take the lid off. This is not a big deal since the canister is so small it is easy to take off the lid even without the handle. The handles are also a nice little design touch as well.

Like the others in this collection, the Wisteria flowers container is made of high-quality porcelain and is glazed and smooth inside and outside, which helps keep the tea from seeping into the porcelain. The wisteria flowers are used to symbolize devotion in Asian culture, so seeing them here on this adorable little tea caddy was a nice surprise.

Pros

  • Will keep tea fresh for a long time
  • Attractive Asian design on front and back
  • Less expensive than the others so far

Cons

  • Very small will not hold much tea

Conclusion

If you are a fan of the wisteria flower like we are, this tiny little canister is going to be right up your alley. It is just over half the size of a coke can so it will not hold much tea, but it sure will look nice doing it. Because it is significantly smaller than the others, it is a little less expensive as well, which is certainly a nice bonus.

 

Dahlia Oriental Ink Painting Porcelain Tea Tin/Tea Storage/Tea Caddy/Tea Canister, Orchid

The Oriental Ink Painting Canister reminds me of some of those Asian calendar scrolls you could get at fairs back in the day. We had some of those hanging in our kitchen and they looked remarkably like this design. This tea caddy features bamboo branches and leaves painted with dark paint on the front and some chutes of grass on the back with some Asian writing characters.

This tea caddy is slightly bigger than the last one, but not by much. It will hold enough loose leaf tea for about 25 servings. It stands just over 4 inches high and is 3 inches wide. Like the other Dahlia tea canisters here, it has an airtight lid and is glazed on both sides. This means it has a glossy interior as well as exterior.

This has a retro 1970s vibe for me, but that may be because I saw this bamboo design on many things in my house growing up. Like the other options here, it is made of high-quality porcelain and will keep your tea fresh for a long time.

Pros

  • Airtight lid
  • Glossy inside
  • Bamboo design
  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • Could be considered plain to look at due to lack of colors

Conclusion

The Dahlia Oriental Ink Painting Porcelain Tea Caddy is an interesting looking unique little tea canister. It can be used to store whatever you like, but we recommend some nice green tea. It has the airtight lid as the other Dahlia caddies do, and it blocks the light from getting in by being constructed of porcelain. Overall, for the price, this is the least expensive option here, and a good starting point if you are on a limited budget.

What Qualities to Look for in a Tea Storage Container?

Tea storage can be an involved topic if you want to do it to the highest degree of skill. Since tea is a plant-based substance, it deteriorates over time with exposure to the elements, mainly oxygen, light, heat, and humidity. Because tea is sensitive and the flavor is susceptible to being ruined by improper storage, this idea of storing tea becomes extremely important (if you love your tea as we do.)

So, now you know why it is important, but what should you be looking for in a tea storage container?

Light Blocking

The first and easiest quality to check it light blocking. Because UV light will destroy tea just like it will destroy wine or olive oil, you want to block out all light in your tea storage container.

This means the best containers will be constructed of solid material that is not transparent. Porcelain is a great material because it blocks light and maintains a steady internal temperature naturally. There are also some good tea storage containers made of metal. In a pinch, you can use a glass container provided it is very dark glass.

It is not difficult to tell if a container blocks light, so this one is an easy one to remember.

Airtight

Because tea is so sensitive to oxidation over time, getting a container with an airtight lid is essential. They have containers that appear to have a tight lid but sometimes the screw-on lids are not truly airtight, so you want to be sure.

The best lids either have a silicone or rubber seal or are solid material resting on solid material with no space between (like these Dahlia ones). If you want to be sure that a container is truly airtight you can point a flashlight at it from one side and look at the other side to see if there is any light coming through.

Wide Mouth

This is important because many loose leaf teas use full or almost full leaves, not chopped. It can be hard to pull the leaves out of the canister without breaking them. For some teas, having the leaves intact is preferred. Besides that nerdy reason, it is just annoying trying to get anything out of a jar with a tiny opening!

Attractive Design

Of course, you need to be aware of the functional attributes above like an airtight seal, but you cannot forget about the design element. In addition to being functional, tea caddies also have a reputation as being interesting little objects that people tend to use for random placements. They do this just because some of them look so pretty!

Part of the reason you buy anything is that it has an aesthetic appeal to you. You are not always sure why something (especially pieces of art) seems to speak to you, but you know it when you feel it. It is important when choosing a tea caddy that the design really fits with your personality and home décor. After all, if you choose one just for the functionality of it, where is the fun in that? In the end, you want to enjoy using your new container and you want to be able to proudly show it off to any visitors who come to your place.

For these reasons, make sure you take some time to choose a container that you enjoy looking at!

Tea Storage Container FAQ

Q- How big does a tea caddy need to be?

Most people agree that a small tea container is better than a large one. This is because when you buy loose leaf tea you should not purchase very much at one time. Tea is delicate and when it ages it can lose its magic. So, it does not make good sense to have a lot of tea stored in a big container, because even if the container is particularly good, the tea will still age inside and will not be as good as fresh tea.

A tea storage container should be small enough to hold with one hand, most are between 4-10 oz capacity.

Q- Can I store tea bags in a tea container or just loose leaf tea?

Most tea bags come in boxes and most of them are also in a sealed bag individually wrapped. The better teas will have foil-lined wrapping paper. If you are going to store your tea bags in a tea container you should leave them inside the bags that they came in. This will make them last much longer than if you opened the bags and then put them in the storage container.

Q- How much do tea containers cost?

Like anything else, there is a variety of options from cheap to awfully expensive. Some of the more expensive ones can cost over 50 dollars but most tea containers will be under 50 bucks, the vast majority will be much less than that. If it meets the criteria described earlier, you do not have to spend too much money on a good tea container.

Q- Do I need multiple containers for multiple flavors of tea?

You do not have to have multiple containers for multiple flavors, but it is recommended. The reason for this is that most containers will be used for loose leaf tea and having different flavors in the same container will make them smell and taste like each other. As the leaves touch each other and rest on each other over time in a closed container, they will start to inherit some of the traits of the other leaves.

If you like your tea to taste only like the flavor it is, do not have multiple kinds of teas in the same container. The good news is that if you do this, you can have neat matching sets or an interesting collection of containers for all your teas.

Q- What should the container be made of?

It comes down to your personal taste. Most people agree that plastic containers are not the best material because plastic can be porous and will keep the smell and taste of the tea on the inside of the container so when you fill it with a different tea, the old tea smell and taste remains.
Metal containers can be good and porcelain containers are great, too! There are also some good containers made of glass, provided the glass is very dark and will not let too much light in. Personally, I prefer the porcelain tea caddies.

Does a tea container need to have a vacuum seal?

Most tea containers are simply airtight, meaning no new air comes in or escapes. This is good enough for tea that will be consumed within a week or two. However, there are some vacuum-sealed containers that can be purchased which will allow all the air inside to be sucked out before the container is sealed. This makes for a longer-term storage solution because it removes all the oxygen from inside, and oxygen is part of the reason that teas lose their flavor over time.

Q- How long can I store my tea in a container?

Tea will not go bad like many other things, but it will lose its flavor and all the terpenes in it will be dead. It will not smell good or taste good. It is best to drink tea as soon as you can to get the best flavor but in the right container you can store loose leaf tea for a couple of months and still have a good cup of tea, but it is recommended to drink as soon as you can.

if you enjoyed this guide, take a look at the best gongfu tea sets!