History of Tea Bags

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The History of Tea Bags is quite a tale! Very interesting how many of todays conveniences came about unintentionally.



Tea bags were actually invented by mistake! Sir Thomas Sullivan a tea merchant in New York City was trying to reduce the cost of sending tea samples to prospective purchasers. He thought that by eliminating traditional tea tins when sending his samples, his costs would be greatly reduced.

So he sent his tea samples to his potential customers in hand sewn silk muslin bags. He thought he was very clever! His customers were some what confused when the samples arrived and after contemplating, threw the tea into a pot of hot water bag and all!

Sir Sullivan was stunned when customers started asking for the tea in the silk muslin bags with their orders, and he realized he had inadvertently created the first tea bag and a sensation amongst tea drinkers!

In 1904 the first tea bags started to appear commercially. It caught on very quickly and the bags were soon being shipped around the world. Convenience had entered the age old world of tea.

Soon after this convenience caught on, expansion of the leaves within the silk muslin bags became a problem. To solve the expansion issue, smaller leaves and particles were used. This went mostly unnoticed as consumers could not see what was in the bag, but the flavour was greatly diminished.

And so began the slide of the quality of tea in the west. Norht Amercia drinks more tea made from tea bags than the rest of the world combined!

Merchants quickly realized that they could use the lowest grade of tea, the dust and particles from the bottom of the barrel, and it would pass in a tea bag. When brewed the color was still rich and warm, but the taste compromised. The west accepted the ‘tea bag’ and even today, those low quality tea bags are still sold, and drank everyday, by a consumer that does not realize the poor quality of the product they are drinking.

Solution? With today’s modern world, the easiest way to have the convenience of a high quality tea in a bag is to make your own. Over sized reusable tea bags are available at most tea merchants or online, and you can choose your own high quality tea for your bags!

Hope you enjoyed the story of the History of Tea Bags!

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