PNG images: Tea bag
A tea bag is a small, porous, sealed bag containing dried plant material, which is immersed in boiling water to make a tea or an infusion. Classically these are tea leaves (Camellia sinensis), but the term is also used for herbal teas(tisanes) made of herbs or spices. Tea bags are commonly made of filter paper or food-grade plastic, or occasionally of silk. The bag contains the tea leaves while the tea is steeped, making it easier to dispose of the leaves, and performs the same function as a tea infuser. 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 or variety of tea.
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Packing tea in paper goes back to medieval 8th century China, during the Tang Dynasty when paper was folded and sewn into square bags to preserve tea flavoring and aromas. Then the paper tea bags were stitched from all sides to create protective casings for the tea leaves.
The first modern tea bags in the Western World were hand-sewn fabric bags; tea bag patents date as early as 1903. First appearing commercially around 1904, tea bags were successfully marketed about 1908 by the tea and coffee importer Thomas Sullivan from New York, who shipped his silk tea bags around the world. The loose tea was intended to be removed from the bags by customers, but they found it easier to brew the tea with the tea still enclosed in the porous bags. The first tea bag packing machine was invented 1929 by Adolf Rambold for the German company Teekanne.
Modern tea bags are usually made of paper fiber. The heat-sealed paper fiber tea bag was patented in 1930 by William Hermanson, one of the founders of Technical Papers Corporation of Boston, who sold his patent to the Salada Tea Company.
The rectangular tea bag was not invented until 1944. Prior to this, tea bags resembled small sacks.