Best place to get tea tins

48 Replies

I recently ordered a set of 3 tea tins with my tea order from Adagio. They’re a bit more expensive than some others listed here, but I like them:

I like the clear lid (purportedly UV blocking, but I keep my tea away from light anyway, so even if it is not…) that has a handy latch for keeping it well sealed.

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I looked in a lot of places this weekend: dollar stores, Walmart, Target, Michael’s (arts and crafts store), Winners…. and nothing. But I did manage to find some tins in an unexpected place: my mother-in-law’s basement!

I visited my in-laws over the weekend, and my MIL had a few old tins that were just what I was looking for. A bit bigger than I expected, but not too big. I washed them out and now they’re drying with a little pack of silica gel in each tin to absorb the excess moisture from the cracks.

Ubacat said

Christina, I too found some old tins I had stored away. I thought I threw them out when I had a kitchen reno but it appears I did save them after all. So funny we both found some old tins.

That reminds me: when I visited Michael’s, the arts and crafts store, I learned something very important. Even if they do have tins on sale there, you have to make sure that they’re food-safe first. I asked one of the sales assistants at Michael’s where they kept tins (“the kind used for tea or spices”) and they said they didn’t have anything safe for food storage in stock.

So, good tip: even if you find them, make sure they’re safe to use.

Ubacat said

Good point. For some I have that are in question, I just line them or put the tea in a bag inside the tin so it doesn’t come in contact with the tin.

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Try Doehi Tea Company for Tea Tins.

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This is where I get my tins:

I like them, and they stack.

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I can attest to the TW6 from I have… oh… fifty or so.

I actually buy them, and then buy scrapbooking paper with which to decorate them.

Ubacat said

That’s exactly what I want to do but the shipping to Canada from is so high. Yours look great! If I could get some tins like that I wanted to do some with Japanese paper.

Looked at the site, and doesn’t look too bad, but the shipping even in the US is pretty bad. Shipping costs more than the tins (I put in 5 tins, just to try it). The scrapbooking paper idea…that’d be nice.

I agree about shipping costs! I looked at them too, but when shipping costs outdo the product it’s hard to do it.

Dinosara said

I’ve gone back and forth on this but I ultimately come back to specialty bottle. I’ve priced out similar tins at other stores and often the cheaper shipping is balanced out by more expensive tins.

Try varying the amount of tins; they ship at discrete box sizes and the price goes up by a good deal at each changeover, so 4 tins may be substanitally cheaper than 5, but 5 will be the same price to ship as 8 (just making up numbers here, it depends on the size of the tins you order).

I agree with Dinosara’s agreement with me :)

There is a sweet spot with specialtybottle at 6 bottles. Past that, it doesn’t become as cost-effective until you order 12 or more.

And at $2.25 a tin, including shipping, I can’t really complain.

Dylan, could you by chance make up a tutorial on how you decorate yours? Do you use modge podge? =D

Ubacat said

I’ve tried varying the amounts and even with a tiny amount the shipping is around 24.00. I have to go up to 15 at least to make it cost effective. At that price + exchange , it comes in around 50.00 which is about 3.33 per tin. Still not bad but not sure right now I want to spend $50.00 on tins alone….

Uba – I tried looking around at other places… you’re right, the shipping to Canada is kind of ridiculous :(

Sil select said

yep. To Canada, it’s hard to get tins cheaply. I have pretty much resigned myself to waiting until i can visit the US again and will just bring some home in my suitcase. I’m so happy i spent 5$ on the little ugly orange ones i have when teaopia was bought out by teavana…lifesavers!

Ubacat said

I think the price would be better if the exchange was a bit better right now . For a long time the Cdn dollar and US were pretty much on par but it’s taken a change lately and that makes buying anything US a bit costly right now. Hope it changes back again. Sil, where do you buy tins in the US? I had a US vacation last year but never thought of looking for tins.

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Flyawaybirdie – Here’s kind of how it works for me

1) Cut the scrapbooking paper to about 5 3/8" (H) by 9" (W). The width can be lengthened or shortened depending on your adhesive needs. I settled on 9" because it gave me just enough overlap for the cover, and was easier to remember :).

2) For cutting the scrapbooking paper, I bought a 12" paper trimmer for like $15 at the store. Prior to that though, I had actually cut a template out of cardstock that I was using to then trace onto the piece of paper I was using. It worked okay… but I get much better lines with the paper trimmer.

3) At this point, I wrap the piece of paper around the tin so I can eyeball the amount of overlap I have. You can do this “backwards”, so that you can make a mark in pencil on the inside of the label, to know the limit of your overlap.

4) I then set out a piece of paper on my desk (usually the back of a piece of old mail) to use as a glue mat.

4) For the adhesive, I actually use a fancy gluestick. I lay the cut piece of paper upside-down on my glue mat, and lightly cover the overlap with a layer of glue. If you want the covers to be removeable, make sure not to get any glue past your lip mark.

I thought about using mod podge when my original plan was to adhere the paper directly onto the tin. However, I really like that I can slip the covers off and wash the tin if needed. I also tried those weird scrapbooking photo strip things… yeah, that was really awkward.

5) When I’m done applying the glue… I usually run my finger along the edge to make sure none of the glue is over the edge.

6) Next, you carefully put the paper on the tin, and pull it tight until the gluey lip is overlapping the not-gluey part. Be careful here so that your line ends up straight as you’re laying the gluey part down. It’s not terrible if it’s off, but you’ll notice.

7) Smoosh the lip down so it gets a nice, flat look to it. A little bit of glue may try to peek out along the edge. I’m not bashful, so I usually just rub my thumb against it to try to get it off the paper before it dries.

8) You’re pretty much done at this point. I’ll usually do a few more neurotic smooshings over the next 10-15 minutes, to make sure the seam is gluing together solidly. I have no idea whether it helps, but it makes me feel better!

One note about paper selection -

I was really enamored with the oriental themed textured scrapbooking paper for a fair few of my original tins. It’s an absolutely terrible idea. The textured paper is, of course, textured, and doesn’t hold the glue bond as well as non-textured paper. It’s also a little bit stiffer, so it fights back on being curved. I’ve had a few of these spring apart on me after a few months, I’m guessing just because of the constant rebellion of being stuck on a curve. Can’t say I blame them, but it’s still annoying. I stick to thinner weighted paper now.

Ubacat said

Thanks for posting that Dylan. I’m going to save a copy of that for when I do some tins down the road. I wonder if the oriental paper would work better if using a glue gun? That stuff really sticks but I bet it would be bit tricky not getting any glue on the can or trying to keep any bumps out.

Thanks Dylan! I was thinking Mod podge/ some type of water resistant glue/paint that would work both on top and beneath the paper, but I can see the attraction of being able to take the covers off. I’ve been sticking things to tins using that transparent plasticy stuff you can cut up and stick down-marketed for bookcovers, but I imagine the paper is a nicer texture.

Have you tried pre-rolling your textured/thicker paper? I find that rolling it up on it’s own, or enclosed in a paper towel holder then blasting it with a little bit of heat like from a hair dryer helps alot. Or even just keep it rolled up for awhile, at least a few days.

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Pyroxy select said

I can’t find pictures to save my life, but Michael’s – at least here in Indy – have little metal tins with a plastic window in the top for $1 near the checkout lane. They seem decently built and hold at least an oz (maybe up to 2.5) of tea, depending on type.

And they fit really nicely on my shelf, so for now they’re my go-to for all my smaller amounts of tea.

Ubacat said

I saw those the other day when at Michael’s. They are higher priced in Canada – 2.50 and they are to put Michael’s gift cards in. I thought they were pretty cute. Christina does have a point in her post above about not all tins being food safe but I think you could line them with wax paper or something to protect the tea. I might buy some of those next time I’m back. They are good for the sample teas.

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Am I the only one who reuses emptied tins??? Seriously, I have to say that the idea of buying an empty tin never crossed my mind!

Hehe, I see where you’re going with that (and the answer is yes), but most of the teas I buy don’t come in tins, but in little baggies. So I need somewhere to put those :)

Cheri select said

I have some tins that came with tea, and I reuse them, but a lot don’t have tins, so I also need to get some more.

What Cheri said.

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Faith said

I really like the one’s from DAVIDsTEA:

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Manda Dawn said

Teavana (owned by Starbucks) often has gorgeous tins for their teas, but they come at a premium price (approx $10 and up EACH), although after Christmas they were clearing them out and priced them super cheap (around $3 ea).

Ubacat said

Are they still selling them at that price?

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