Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Tea Time: History of Tea Bags and Some Really Unique Ones

Welcome to Tea Time Tuesday!
This is a new series of blog posts to share my love of tea and some discoveries I am making as I dive more into that love. (And honestly, what goes better with books than a nice cup of tea?)
Enjoying Good Earth's Sweet & Spicy. It tastes like a melted Red Hot candy with orange flavors too. I love the little tag with the quote " Always wear a smile - it's the best accessory!" Dana Pugsley. Those little surprises with the tea are a wonderful touch. Only down fall of this tea is that it is caffeine free and I need that kick!
Like so many others, I started out drinking tea using the tea bags you can find in just about any grocery store. For the longest time I believed that was pretty much the only way you could get tea, until about 10 or so years ago when I received my first loose tea as a gift. While I do enjoy loose tea now too, I still have an overwhelming number of pre-packaged teabags. They are so simple and convenient, I keep a few in my purse, some in my desk at work and of course a whole cupboard shelf full at home.
Now as I have been diving deeper into the world of tea, I have been learning a lot of new things (like the fact that tea has possibly been being consumed longer than written history). One of the things I was curious about was the tea bag.
Apparently there is evidence that little pouches of paper were sewn to keep the tea around the 8th century or so in China.  But they were not sold commercially until 1904. So keep an eye on those historical novels you read for historical inaccuracies, before 1904 they would have had to use loose leaf tea with either an infuser/strainer or made their own tea bags.
Most tea bags are made with a thin paper made with both wood and vegetable fibers. It is similar to coffee filters (and you can make your own teabags using coffee filters which I will share with you some time). Though there are also tea bags made with nylon, silk and a mesh made from corn starch to be completely biodegradable.
The common form of a teabag is the square shape that you see so often in the stores, but there are also round tea bags (often without strings), and I even have some really nice lavender tea in pyramid shape. I have also come across some other really unique tea bags in my online browsing . . .
While this is a little creepy, I still want a little fish swimming in my tea. I need to track these down! (image from pinterest)
On the same idea, Origami Tea (from Emily Chang) I really want to find this too, I love the idea of it unfolding as it brews, that would be really pretty as a butterfly.
In the mean time I will continue enjoying the ease of my bagged tea!


  1. Yeah, I'm not so sure about those fish. Cool but creepy.

    1. haha, it is a little odd, I think I would have to remove it before drinking but it is really cool to look at.