A Brief History Of The Use Of Teabags October 11 2017
In 1901, Roberta C. Lawson and Mary Molaren applied to the U.S. government for a patent on what they called a 'tea folder', claiming it simplified the tea-drinking process. The invention, they declared, would allow drinkers to use a specified amount of tea leaves for a consistent drink every time, and would make clean-up much easier, since leaves would not have to be scraped out of a brewing pot.
The tea folder itself was made of stitched mesh, which served two purposes: it contained the leaves so they wouldn't be floating freely inside the drinker's mouth, and allowed the water to swirl in among the leaves to diffuse the flavors of the tea leaves into the drink. From this humble beginning, was born a practice which has been adopted by virtually every household in America, as well as in restaurants, cafes, and other food service establishments.
How teabags became popular
In 1908, an American tea importer named Thomas Sullivan began sending out samples of his loose leaf tea in pouches to prospective customers, and some of them brewed their tea right inside those pouches, thinking that was the intention. When he learned about this different usage, Sullivan went right along with it, and upgraded the silk pouch to a gauze fabric, after noting that the silk was too fine-meshed to permit optimal infusing.
While there is some debate over whether Sullivan's idea or the Lawson/Molaren patent should be credited with being the main springboard to teabag popularity, there's no doubt that both played a role in developing the popularity of the teabag. It wasn't long after this that the Lipton Tea Company began packaging its tea products into teabags, and as the largest tea company in the world, it was only natural that a huge boost would be given to teabag usage.
Since its introduction, the teabag has provided a perfect solution to tea drinking. Since all that's really required is boiling water and about five minutes of steeping time, the process could hardly be improved upon, and after drinking, it's only necessary to throw away the bag and wash the cup. Few pleasures in life are obtained so simply, and enjoyed so thoroughly.