What is a little plate used for disposal of a tea bag called?

I find myself in a real conundrum here. Tea drinker problems.

Typical scenario: I order a cup of tea at a diner. I'm given a cup of hot water and a teabag. Said teabag is steeped for a few minutes until the tea is just how I like it: not too thin, but not too thick.

Now, said teabag must be removed, or the tea will be too strong! A small plate or saucer is immediately needed for disposal.

Establishments are often hesitant to give out these little plates, because it adds a lot of dishwashing/waste for something they seem to think is a luxury item. So, I'm left "holding the bag" as they say... and, sadly, nowhere to put it.

I must then resort to barbaric acts, such as placing the used bag:

  1. Directly on the counter, where it leaks all over.
  2. On my paper placemat, where it makes a big wet spot.
  3. On my teaspoon, which is just rude.
  4. Wrapping it in a napkin, which promptly turns into a soppy brown mess
  5. Using the paper tea bag wrapper for disposal, which really doesn't work very well.
  6. Into an empty water glass, which is obscene.
  7. Rock-bottom has to be eating a single-serve jelly, directly out of the packet with my teaspoon, and putting the used bag into the little empty plastic container.

Don't even think about putting that nasty teabag on the side of my food plate.

So I need to ask, "May I please have a little plate for my used teabag?

English SE, please tell me, what is the name of this little saucer thingy?


  • 1
    @Decapitated Soul: I don't think that saucers are for garbage; they're for holding and placing the tea cup.
    – kmiklas
    Commented Mar 6, 2021 at 17:40
  • 1
    On sale right now on eBay - Brand new Bee Happy Small Tray & Teabag Holder (their teabag holder is shaped like a teapot, but obviously most aren't). Commented Mar 6, 2021 at 17:55
  • 1
    'Receptacle' is correct if formal. 'Tea bag saucer' is used in the trade [etsy.com/market/] Commented Mar 6, 2021 at 18:24
  • 1
    Used tea bag rest, just like for cooking utensils on top of a stove: spoon rest. [The tea is how you like it: thick or thin? Do you mean: weak or strong...]
    – Lambie
    Commented Mar 6, 2021 at 18:47
  • 1
    When they bring the tea and cup and you see that they haven’t brought a saucer you should immediately ask the server for a saucer before they walk away.
    – Jim
    Commented Mar 6, 2021 at 19:52

4 Answers 4


Amazon has the following that meet your requirements; and perhaps more that I haven't yet seen.

Tea Bag ...

  • Dish
  • Tidy
  • Coaster
  • Holder
  • Rest
  • I really like "Tidy." I think it captures the spirit of tea.
    – kmiklas
    Commented Mar 8, 2021 at 15:32
  • Bad translation, like many Brazilian sites.
    – Lambie
    Commented Mar 30, 2021 at 18:05
  • @Lambie I was trying to refer, euphemistically, to Amazon. Commented Mar 31, 2021 at 21:45

[Lakeland White Porcelain] Tea Bag Rest "Where do you put your tea bag after you’ve fished it out of your mug, or taken it out of your teapot so your brew doesn’t stew? On our pretty little White Porcelain Tea Bag Rest, of course".

Brought to you straight from the UK. [ha ha]

tea bag rest

Also, for spoons and other utensils when cooking:

Here is a spoon rest (which I am going to buy as the one I had for 30 years broke) from William Sonoma:

William Sonoma, spoon rest

  • 1
    Oh I love the teapot shaped one! That elevates it! Cute!
    – Jelila
    Commented Mar 6, 2021 at 21:55
  • 1
    @Jelila I'd expect nothing less from Brit tea ware. :)
    – Lambie
    Commented Mar 6, 2021 at 21:57
  • 1
    Yes, tea-ware or indeed any kind of china, is one of my enthusiasms! I collect them and I'm enjoying sharing them so much, in my cafe. Drinking tea from a beautiful translucent bone-china cup, decorated inside as well as out, is just... uplifting! A moment of beauty! (Trying to keep the little finger down!:)
    – Jelila
    Commented Mar 6, 2021 at 22:06
  • I think I'm going to buy a few of those 🥰
    – Jelila
    Commented Mar 6, 2021 at 22:10
  • @Jelila Be warned, if you start a collection of 'tea bag rests' or whatever anyone else calls them you'll need a lot of wall space to display them. Each item is small but there's a near-infinite variety of them, mostly teapot-shaped.
    – BoldBen
    Commented Mar 7, 2021 at 6:40

As has been pointed out by FumbleFingers, in a comment, some merchants who sell such things refer to them as teabag holders.

While that term is adequate in the context of a website on which it is accompanied by pictures and descriptions, it is debatable whether it would be readily understood to have this meaning in the absence of such clues; upon encountering it in isolation, some people could think that it stands for something that holds teabags before use.

  • This answer is posted as wiki because it merely elevates a comment by FumbleFingers into an answer. Its being posted as an answer will make it easier for future visitors to this page to compare different possible ways of referring to such objects.
    – jsw29
    Commented Mar 7, 2021 at 22:30

Small Sauce Plate.

If you look up 'small sauce plate' or 'small dipping plate' online, and click 'images', you'll see lots of these kinds of tiny dishes, so I think if you ask for one of those, the waiter will understand what you mean:


I don't think there is really a name for that small-plate thingy as a specific 'tea-bag plate' per se. Instead of asking 'may I have a small plate for my tea-bag, please' which as you say, is quite annoying, I suggest you ask for 'a small sauce plate'.

An Alternate Answer.


A teapot is really the correct place for the teabag. How about ordering tea by the pot?

The teabag stays in the pot - and you can request extra hot water to top up, giving you even more tea, for free!

I'm English, and a lover of tea, the teapot avoids the inelegance of this 'tea-bag problem'.

I get your little plate idea, though as I say, tea is better in a pot - however I do have a tiny, shell-shaped, white porcelain plate, only about 4-5 cm across, and quite flat. Could something like that fit in your bag? Then at the end, the used tea-bag goes in the tea-cup and the shell plate is dried with a tissue and goes back in your bag. It is really, a small sauce plate. And that's what we use it for, in my cafe.

Tea-time, for English people is a peaceful little moment around the tea-pot, where we can connect with another and share what's really important to us. So that's another lovely thing about the tea-pot - to share your tea-time with a friend!

  • Sure, any little plate will do the trick for a used teabag. And, of course, if you are using a teapot, you generally use loose tea.
    – Lambie
    Commented Mar 6, 2021 at 21:54
  • Sure, 'any little plate' will do. The question is 'what to call it'. She could ask for 'any little plate' as you suggest, but then I think she'll get a saucer. I don't use leaf tea. It's too messy and tends to make over-strong tea. I think most people use tea-bags now, even in a tea-pot.
    – Jelila
    Commented Mar 6, 2021 at 22:01
  • Its better to use a dish as a plate is usually flat
    – user414952
    Commented Mar 7, 2021 at 0:26
  • 1
    @kmiklas - Ok, but do you expect someone who doesn’t work somewhere where those things are a matter of course to know what it is let alone have one available? You’re contemplating sucking the jelly out of a jelly pack just to have a place to put it, Surely a saucer is infinitely more acceptable. As posh as you are, you don’t even know what they’re called.
    – Jim
    Commented Mar 7, 2021 at 19:46
  • 2
    I imagine the conversation going like this: “Would you be so kind as to bring me a flimbagaroo? A flimbagaroo? What’s that? It’s a little holder on which to place one’s tea bag after it’s removed from the cup. Oh, we don’t have any of those. Would you like a saucer?
    – Jim
    Commented Mar 7, 2021 at 19:50

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