A tea bag is a small, porous, sealed bag containing tea leaves that is used with water for brewing the beverage called tea.
Some tea bags have an attached piece of string with a paper label at the top that assists in removing the bag while also displaying the brand and variety of tea.
The first tea bags were hand-sewn fabric bags. First appearing commercially around 1904, tea bags were successfully marketed by the tea and coffee shop merchant Thomas Sullivan from New York, who shipped his tea bags around the world. The loose tea was intended to be removed from the sample bags by customers, but they found it easier to brew the tea with the tea still enclosed in the porous bags. Modern tea bags are usually made of paper fiber. The heat-sealed paper fiber tea bag was invented by William Hermanson, one of the founders of Technical Papers Corporation of Boston. The rectangular tea bag was not invented until 1944. Prior to this, tea bags resembled small sacks.
Most tea bags today contain fannings, the leftovers after whole tea leaves have been sorted and selected for loose tea packaging. There are, however, a few premium companies today, who use whole tea leaves in their tea bags providing optimal flavor.
Wouldn’t it be fun to make your own tea bags? Here is a wonderful tutorial by Yours Truly, G.