A tool using mesh to strain or sift single servings of teas.

  • Designed to rest on a tea cup.
  • Tea is poured into strainer as it is poured into cup.
  • Sometimes called "matcha sifter" because it is also used to sift powder tea
  • One of many matcha tools.
tea strainer parts are noted as follows - handle, spring, fine mesh and ledge for resting on a cup

This tool serves two very different purposes in the world of tea.

  • It is used (and the tool was initially created) to strain tea so that only liquid would enter a tea cup.
  • It is also used to sift matcha tea powder.
strainer shown both sifting and straining tea

Many traditional methods of tea preperation use the leaves directly in the water of the tea kettle, not separrated by a bag or infuser. In order to make a "clean" cup of tea using these methods requires a tea strainer to keep the used leaves and herbs from entering the tea cup.

Size and Characteristics

The tea strainer is much like any type of strainer but is designed specifically for resting on top of a teacup. This means it is much smaller than other kitchen strainers.

small tea strainer next to a larger kitchen strainer

The rim of the tea strainer is strong, the mesh is fine and a notch or extension is present which in combination with the handle allows the tool to stay ontop of a tea cup without being supported or held (hands free).

How to use a Tea Strainer

Using for straining tea

four stages of use are shown
  1. Place strainer ontop of cup.
  2. Slowly begin pouring tea through strainer.
  3. Pour until cup is full of the amount of tea you desire.
  4. Remove the strainer from the cup and enjoy tea.

Using for sifting matcha tea powder

four stages of use are shown
  1. Place strainer on top of chawan (tea bowl).
  2. Put some matcha powder into strainer to sift and tap against bowl to sift.
  3. Use chashaku to further sift clumps.
  4. Remove strainer from bowl.

What to look for when you buy:

What to look for depends on what you will be using it for (straining or sifting).

If you are using this as a sifter for matcha powder then we suggest you look for a spring type handle like the one we show in the images on this page.

The spring is handy for when you have the tool on a matcha bowl with the powder in it. When the handle has a spring, you hold the tool on the cup and pick up one side just a little and then let it spring back down. This action will help the sifting process. Just do not pull too hard!

Brands / Products

HIC Import - Fine Tea Strainer


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This is a standard tea strainer with a firm handle.

Tea Strainers at Amazon

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