First Published: 1st August 2008
©2006 Tea Concepts Ltd.
The Teabag is 100 Years Old

Love it or hate it, the teabag is 100 years old this year. Invented by accident in 1908, it is now being reinvented by premium tea companies to provide a high quality tea experience with the convenience of the bag.

An Accidental Invention
At the turn of the 20th century, tea was much more expensive than today, highly prized by those that could afford it. In New York, each new cargo from India and China was eagerly awaited by tea traders and their customers, much as the latest wine vintages are snapped up today. When the latest tea shipment arrived in port, the tea traders would send samples of the new tea to their customers, using small metal tins to hold the tea. Legend has it that one of these tea importers, Thomas Sullivan, was unhappy at the high cost of the tin boxes. So in 1908 he switched to small hand-sown silk bags. Some of his customers just dropped the bag into hot water and found it brewed a very acceptable cup of tea. Realising how convenient a simple disposable bag could be, his customers started requesting the tea in this packaging, much to Mr Sullivan's surprise.

Worst Invention of the 20th Century?
It may be convenient but many tea lovers consider the teabag one of the worst inventions of the 20th century. The problem is that the large tea companies have resorted to hiding cheap poor quality tea inside the bags. Of course the taste is not as good as quality full leaf tea.

The Tea Bag Comes of Age at H-TEA-O


Tea Forte - the Best Tea in Bag

Most modern teabags contain lower quality tea crushed to a dust to aid fast infusion.  This may be cheaper but the brew lacks much of the subtle flavour of full leaf tea. But it doesn't have to be like this. We sell Tea Forte tea infusers (large teabags) that contain full leaf tea and taste just as wonderful as loose tea. And not only is it as convenient, it looks far more elegant than a soggy teabag.

Tea Forte have a range of beautiful accessories designed around their pyramid bag that make the whole experience really memorable.


Ticolino - the Better Teabag

You could also try our Ticolino tea sticks. If you wanted to design out all the things that are wrong with a teabag but keep the convenience, you might well end up with the Ticolino tea stick. A Ticolino is a foil tube that looks smart and stylish, and is designed so that doesn't drip when you remove the infuser from the brew - what a great idea!

After one hundred years, I think the humble teabag was due a modern makeover, and now Tea Forte and Ticolino really show the potential of Mr Sullivan's invention.