Tea bags are small bags containing tea leaves or herbal tea infusions. Tea bags usually contain enough tea for a single cup of tea, although there are also larger tea bags that are suitable for a whole teapot.
The tea bag is brewed while still inside the bag, making the tea easy to dispose without a tea strainer. Some tea bags feature a drawstring, which allows the drinker wring the tea in a clean, efficient manner.
Amongst the largest tea bag companies in the world is Tetley Tea. Drinking tea using tea bags has become a very popular method of drinking tea, with over 85% of tea drinkers using tea bags in the United Kingdom alone.
Tea bags are also a term for the paper or foil wrapping for the actual tea bag itself. These bags are usually emblazoned with the brand name and flavor, and are square or rectangular in shape. Some of these tea bags are collectible items.
History of the tea bag
The tea bag was accidentally invented by a tea importer named Thomas Sullivan in 1908. To minimize the cost of transporting tea samples to customers, Sullivan sent the tea in small silk bags instead of the more expensive tin cans. Believing that Sullivan intended the silk bag to be used, customers would place the entire bag into pots.
This method of brewing tea soon became popular, and by the 1920s, tea bags were being mass produced in the United States. Silk was replaced with gauze, then later paper.
Appearance of a tea bag
Tea bags ave traditionally come in square or rectangular shapes, although recently circular and pyramid tea bags have also been designed. It is claimed that these newer designs improve the quality of the brew, although this claim has not been verified.
A well-designed tea bag will usually leave enough space for the tea to infuse properly. Ideally a tea bag should make an ideal substitute to loose leaf tea. Unfortunately, it is common for tea bag manufacturers to use lower-quality tea from several sources. Tea from these tea bags has a harsh taste.