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Bringing tea as a carry on?

I’m going to visit my friend in the United States on Friday, and want to make sure I am going to be able to get her birthday present across the border/not have it confiscated in the airport.

I have the DavidsTea Chai sampler and will probably have a number of others packed in tins. Has anyone ever brought tea as a carry on? Did you have any problems?

I had some in the airport when we were flying within Canada over Christmas and they looked at it through security but it was fine.

21 Replies
Sil select said

sealed I’ve never had problems but my friend who had opened her ran into issues. at the end of the day it’s not a liquid so they shouldn’t be concerned with it

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Fiddling said

I have flown with tea both checked and in a carry-on within the U.S. without problems. While I have not personally flown with tea internationally, I have several friends who have brought tea as well as food goods (dried herbs, candy, pistachios) from Iran to the U.S. without any problems. I highly doubt you’ll have much trouble brining tea from Canada. At worst they may open up your bag to see what it is.

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Novi said

I had issues, but then again, mine was green tea in an unmarked ziplock baggy… even then, they checked it, but let me through. With them sealed, I doubt they’ll give you a problem.

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I have not tried loose leaf, bagged I have not had any issues, but it was a flight within the US.

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Fiddling said

The tea I’ve flown with domestically has been both loose leaf and bagged. I’ve stored the loose leaf tea in paper bags, tins, and sealed packages all without any problems.

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That’s great to hear everyone! I am rethinking my sample packaging (I’m going to use small tins from the davids advent calendar rather than plastic ziplock baggies) but I wanted to see if anyone else had problems at customs. On their website it is very unclear what is ok/no ok.

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My husband brought over a pound of tea in his carryon but he got a little harassed for not claiming it correctly on the customs forms, but was no issues other than that.

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momo said

I had a problem with having tea in tins leaving the Fort Lauderdale airport, they didn’t take it away or anything but the tins had to go through the x-ray again on their own. It all depends on the airport and how obnoxious that security person wants to be that day.

Dustin said

^Or how dumb the security person is. I swear they just make up the rules as they go!

momo said

Probably, I had a total of 4 tins in my suitcase. I left Atlanta with 2, no problems, buy a couple tins down there, and have problems. At least she was nice about it at the end when you know, it was clear it was tea and not drugs or bombs or whatever and offered to pack it back in my bag for me.

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darby select said

I recently flew to Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Traveling by place between each and purchasing tea in each country and then flew home to USA with my bag packed all with tea. No problems!

That sounds like fun!!!

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Lala said

I purchased bagged tea in Hawaii and flew back to Canada (with it in my carry on) with no problems. That was 2006.

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