Serving anything is all about the presentation. Whether you’re enjoying it on your own or offering a cup to guests, tea serving has traditionally been done on trays. Some people prefer to stick to the traditional ones from the past, while others might enjoy something more modern that fits with their decor. Either way, these are the best tea trays for all the areas of your life.
See also: Tired of forgetting your tea on the counter? We’ve reviewed some tea timers so you can serve up fresh, perfectly brewed tea every time!
The best tea trays for…
If you don’t already have a great serving tray for tea seriously consider it. Not only does it look great, it’s also practical for holding your tea pot, cups, and anything else you might need without needing to make multiple trips. When entertaining, especially in small groups, this is really convenient.
Although you can pick based on your personal preference, the type of tea tray you buy might also depend on your situation or lifestyle. Some people like the traditional Chinese style tea trays while others want a general purpose serving tray they can use everyday.
Last update on 2024-02-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
The best traditional tea trays
Tea trays are integral parts of certain ancient tea Chinese Gongfu (or Kung Fu) ceremonies. Not only do they help with presentation, they also have a practical element to help with the ceremony. During these ceremonies the first two cups of brewed tea are actually poured out.
Tea trays made for Gongfu ceremonies have a drain built in with some kind of method (either drainage or reservoir) to capture tea and avoid mess.
Here’s some of the best tea trays for traditional use:
Bamboo GongFu Tea Serving Tray
Made from Chinese Moso bamboo, this traditional style tea tray is ready for a Gongfu ceremony. When poured out, water falls through the tray and into a basin below. Chinese lettering on top also adds a nice, traditional touch to this bamboo tea tray.
- Has drainage for traditional Gongfu tea preparation
- Plenty of space to serve your traditional tea pot and cups
- Doesn’t leak and keeps areas clean
- Not multi-purpose
- Drainage could be better
- More of a tea server than a tea tray
Tea Talent Reservoir & Drainage Type Solid Wood Tea Tray
Underneath this traditional Gongfu tea is a large capacity storage tank. That way you can pour your initial tea out right into the tea tray during the Gongfu brewing process. The design itself offers enough room for traditional tea pots, cups, and brewing accessories.
- Two ways to release the water
- Looks great as a display item when not in use
- Good size
- Reservoir is removed from the back so the tray only looks great from the front
- Has a bit of an odor out of the box (presumably from the laqueur)
- Not practical for serving other things
The Best Tea Tray With Handles
If you want something that’s easy to carry and serve with, a tea tray with great handles makes it easier. These usually can be multi function so they’re a solid investment for your home. Although most tea trays have handles, these ones have ones that are more stylish and pronounced than other styles.
Here’s the best tea trays with handles for your home:
Esther Decorative Coffee Table Tray
This stylish tea tray would compliment any modernly designed kitchen, living room, or dining area. It comes in multiple color options, too. The high sides make it easier to carry anything you need without them falling out. The only downside is that this tea tray is on the smaller side so you still might need to make multiple trips.
- Great design
- Sturdy and easy to hold raised handles
- On the smaller size
- Made from wood so it’s not well protected from spills with extended use
Besti Rustic Vintage Food Serving Trays (Set of 2)
If you want a more rustic or vintage design for your tea tray this set is a perfect choice. I love that it comes in a pack of two sizes! You can use one to hold your tea drinking supplies and the other for serving snacks. There’s also multiple color options so you can find one that fits in your home. The raised iron handles make it easy to carry from room to room, too.
- Stylish and decorate
- Trays are lightweight and easy to carry
- Well sized
- Paint isn’t sealed properly for liquids
- Stains easily
- Quality could be better
The best tea trays with legs
If you frequently serve tea in bed then you should add the best tea trays with legs to your collection. After all, they’re great multi-purpose items. You’ll have a great excuse to eat breakfast in bed! Tea trays with legs are also handy when you need to raise the tray off the table a bit during serving.
These are a couple of the best tea trays with legs:
Lap Desk Bed Tray Table
This is a standard tray table for serving in bed. The legs fold out which makes it easy to carry and store when not in use. Slightly raised sides make bringing the tea to your bedroom easier, too. The only downside is the legs don’t lock so they might slip when you’re trying to set it up or move.
- Legs are supportive
- You can fold the legs in and use it as a regular tray
- Can be used for other things besides tea
- Might not be comfortable for everyone to use (one size)
- Legs don’t lock into place
MyGift Vintage White Wood Breakfast Tray with Foldable Legs
This is the kind of fold-able tea tray you want to keep in your bedroom because it just looks so great. Raised sides keep everything in place while moving between rooms. Since it’s made of wood, though, it might stain or be difficult to clean when you spill. Being on the smaller size it’s not well suited to serving tea to a crowd.
- Cutout handles make it easy to carry
- Stylish and decorative
- Great option for if you want a small tray
- Not a lot of wiggle room when using
- Wood can easily stain
- Better for snacks and holding your tea cup than serving tea
The Best Tea Trays on Wheels
These are more like tea carts than tea trays. But they definitely get the job done when serving a crowd! If you entertain frequently or have a large family, having a rolling serving cart on hand is really nice. These ones could be used for more than just tea, too.
If you want some great trea trays on wheels consider these options:
Jeco Outdoor Resin Wicker Serving Cart
I like that this rolling serving cart is made for the outdoors. If you’re serving tea in your kitchen you don’t need something to transport things the same way as entertaining outdoors. With this cart you can load everything up and take it outside in one trip. Or leave it outside year round; it’s weatherproof!
- Made for the outdoors and weatherproof
- Large surface area holds a lot
- Wheels well
- Made of plastic
- Lightweight and might move in the wind
- Could be more heavy duty for the price
Kate and Laurel Ketia Metal 3 Tiered Mirror Tray Bar Cart
This super stylish cart is one of the best tea trays on wheels because it’s so multi-use. Use it for serving coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon, and drinks in the evening. It will fit into most modern decor so you won’t mind having it tucked into your serving area.
- Sturdy and well made
- Compact yet holds a lot
- Almost no assembly required
- Wheels get stuck sometimes
- Gold could be brighter
The best tea trays for hotel rooms
If you travel a lot or you run a hotel or bed and breakfast you might need the best tea trays for hotel rooms. These ones are practical for hotel guests to enjoy a cup of tea. They were chosen for both durability and price.
They’re not super portable (although they could fit into luggage) but these tea trays would be some of the best options for hotel owners:
SplashSoup 2 Bamboo Nesting Trays
The trays in this set of 2 are two different sizes. Made from bamboo, they’re super durable yet lightweight. The solid handles are durable and won’t break easily with repeated use. They might not be the prettiest trays on the market but these tea trays are definitely functional.
- Great quality and durable
- Can be used for serving tea or breakfast
- They nest well when not in use
- Two different sized trays means you can’t separate the set
- Wood is difficult to sanitize
Zak Designs MeeMe Serving Tray
I love the size of this serving tray! The style is also great and would fit in with a hotel that’s opting for a more modern, elegant design scheme. It’s made of melamine instead of wood or bamboo which not only makes it super durable but also easy to clean and disinfect.
- Multiple color options to fit with your decor
- Easy to clean
- Durable and lightweight
- Long and narrow (which is fine for tea but not other dishes)
- Not all that big
- Sides aren’t very high
What are the best tea trays for serving tea?
It’s impossible to narrow down the very best tea tray because everyone has different serving needs. All of these trays are great options in their category. Hopefully this guide will help you take your own needs into consideration and help you find the best tea trays for your life.