by Emeric Harney February 23, 2023 4 min read 2 Comments
Does your household have a tea chest? Tea chests have been around for hundreds of years, and many of them are family heirlooms passed down from one generation to the next. Ever wonder why tea chests exist in the first place? Besides the fact that many of them are extremely elegant and make lovely additions to a home’s decor, there is another reason.
As you may know or recall, tea was once a costly and valuable commodity, available only at first to wealthy families and individuals. The old saying “I wouldn’t do that for all the tea in China” came about because tea was so precious, the meaning of that phrase is equal to “I wouldn’t do that for all the money in the world.”
Because tea was so valuable, much like we do with jewelry, the tea leaves or tea bags were often stored in specially made chests (sometimes called “tea caddies”) that had locks on them to keep the tea safe. One can only imagine the penaltea for stealing such a cherished possession!
While tea has become much more affordable over time, the tradition of the tea chest remains. Often as beautiful as they are functional, they are a staple of many tea lovers. There’s just something special about bringing a tea chest to the table for afternoon tea, opening it, and letting your guests peruse the options and make their selections. It’s another element that makes preparing tea such a special ritual.
We offer a variety of tea chests, from the more traditional wooden boxes to linen and bamboo, as well as smaller tea “chests,” if you will, that come with our sampler sets. One of the best things about tea chests is that they can be restocked with the teas of your choice and will last for years to come…perhaps your tea chest is a family heirloom in the making!
Heirloom Tea Chest Featuring Nine Teas. This sophisticated bamboo tea chest with accentuating black top comes with nine different teas (10 of each) and is inscribed with these words from our founder, John Harney: “We personally source our teas from the most reputable gardens worldwide. Accepting only the exceptional, from tea garden to tea cup.” Now that’s a cuppa you can feel good about!
Taupe Wooden Heirloom Tea Chest. This sleek chest is a taupe and wood version of the black bamboo Heirloom Tea Chest above. It also comes with nine varieties of tea bags (10 of each) and has the same inspiring inscription and quality guarantee from my grandfather.
Harney Heritage Wrapped Sachet Tea Chest. A wonderful host/hostess gift for any tea fan, this little beauty has an old-world style tea map inside the lid – tea and education all in one box! We’ve filled this with six varieties of sachets for you to explore. Drink, refill, and repeat!
Harney & Sons Tea Chest - Loose Teas Signature Gift. Add some class to your everyday tea routines with this beautiful black tea chest embossed in gold. Inside, discover a gleaming silver-plated strainer and four of our most popular teas: Hot Cinnamon Spice, English Breakfast, Earl Grey Supreme, and Paris.
Linen Tea Chest in Grey. Our linen tea chest is elegance understated. A timelessly classy grey, this piece will feel instantly at home in any decor, whether it’s in your dining room, living room or kitchen. And oh yes – there’s also tea inside! We’ve filled it with eight varieties (4 of each) of wrapped sachets.
Bamboo Heirloom Tea Chest Featuring Eight Teas. Customers have fallen in love with this unique bamboo tea chest. Trimmed in black, it has a trim design for a more modern feel. Explore the eight varieties of teas (4 of each), all in individually wrapped sachets. Your tea parties will be elevated to new levels when you put this at the center of your table.
Tea Bag & Honey Sampler. For those of you who take honey in your tea, we’ve put together this sweet best-selling sampler loaded with 20 different types of teas (two of each) along with 10 honey straws, all packed in a honey of a black box adorned with the Harney & Sons logo. Prefer sachets? We’ve got you covered, too, with our Wrapped Sachet & Honey Sampler.
Harney Heritage Individually Wrapped Sachet Sampler. Can’t you just see this sitting at your desk or conveniently placed next to your favorite reading chair? We can! Enjoy the assortment of 20 individually wrapped sachets – when they’re gone, refill with your favorites! For diehard tea bag fans, choose our Harney Heritage Individual Tea Bags Sampler loaded with 15 delicious tea bags for your sipping pleasure.
Herbal & Decaf Tea Bag Sampler. Looking for the perfect gift for tea lovers who prefer to sip theirs without caffeine? This is it! Filled with two teabags of each of these herbal and decaf teas: Chamomile, Decaf Ceylon, Decaf Earl Grey, Lemon Herbal, Organic Rooibos, Organic Turmeric Ginger, Peppermint, and Raspberry. Prefer sachets to teabags? Check out our Herbal & Decaf Sachet Sampler with three each of our Chamomile, Decaf Ceylon, Organic Rooibos Chai, Organic Turmeric Ginger, Mint Verbena, and Raspberry teas.
Harney & Sons Organic Sampler Black Box With Premium Teabags. If certified organic tea is your thing, this sampler box is for you. Contains eight varieties of organic teas (Organic Black, Organic Citron Green, Organic Earl Grey Supreme, Organic Ginger Turmeric, Organic Green, Organic Green with Citrus & Ginkgo, Organic Peppermint, and Organic Rooibos Chai), along with a handy steeping water temps and time chart inside the lid.
Do you have a favorite tea chest at home? Does it have a story? Tell us about it in the comments!
March 16, 2023
I am a tea lover, “converted” about twenty years ago when I received a gift of several small tins of Harney & Sons tea. From that time, and over the last twenty or so years, I have not purchased any other brand of tea. And I enjoy reading about tea—the Harneys have a wonderful way of writing about tea.
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March 16, 2023
I have a lovely late 18th century English tea chest with marquetry shell medallions and the original glass mixing bowl. No story; I just fell in love with it, and since my birthday was approaching…