Tea bag to celebrate its century

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A quintessentially British item accidentally invented by New York merchant Thomas Sullivan celebrates its centenary this month.

In June 1908, tea dealer Mr Sullivan was sending samples to potential customers when, to cut costs, he put a few pinches of loose leaves in several small silk pouches.

The confused clients received the samples and, unsure of the instructions, reputedly dunked them into hot water, and the tea bag was born.

Previously, all tea had to be painstakingly strained before it could comfortably be drunk.

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Lorraine Paul - 6/18/2008

Tea did not, and does not need to be 'painstakingly strained' before one drank it. Admittedly there are some sissies who do not like picking the tealeaves from between their teeth. However, this can be avoided by leaving the last mouthful in the cup!

I have been drinking tea for over 50 years and before the advent of teabags never strained it. Where do Americans get these falsely ludicrous ideas? Perhaps from Bush, Rumsfeld and Cheney. These men are experts in such matters!

One American actually told me tea could not be drunk with milk as milk made the tea poisonous. Again, I, and many others, have been drinking tea with milk for many, many years.

Perhaps it would be accurate to say that I know as much about coffee drinking as this author knows about tea drinking LOL.