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History of the Tea Bag

History of the Tea Bag

The tea bag, something that most people don’t think much about. But have you ever wondered how the tea bag came to be? Over 100 years ago the tea bag came into existence, but we have no exact source on how it came to be. There are two main stories in the world of tea that claim to be the origin story of the tea bag. We have shared them below, you be the judge of them and let us know which one you are more likely to believe!

Lawon and Molaren

In 1901 two women by the name of Roberta C Lawson and Mary Molaren of Milwaukee filed for a patent. This patent went by the name of “tea leaf holder”. Their main goal was to create an item that was to allow the user to fit enough tea into it as is required for a single cup of tea. This new way of brewing tea was to help eliminate waste and for easier clean up. Lawson and Molaren had two other goals in the creation of the bag. The first was that the bag needed to hold the tea leaves together so that the leaves wouldn’t float into the drinker’s mouth and the second, was that the bag be tight but also loose enough that water could flow through to steep the tea. Their final product was a bag made out of stitched mesh fabric that did just that, allowing a single steeping of tea.


Our second story takes place seven years later in 1908. An American tea importer by the name of Thomas Sullivan created an accidental tea bag. Sullivan began to ship out samples of his teas in silk pouches, but did not intend for his customers to steep the tea in them. His customers took it upon themselves to begin steeping their tea samples directly in the hot water this way and started to request that all their tea be sent this way. Sullivan began to fulfill his customer’s requests and eventually switched to sending the tea in a stitched gauze fabric. He found that silk was too fine for optimal steeping.

Chado Tea Pyramid Tea Bags

While there are no records on whose version of the tea bag sold better or was the one we use today, the two stories above are part of tea lore nonetheless. Whether you believe one over the other or both, we at Chado Tea have the perfect tea bag collection for you.

Below you can find a list of our full leaf teas that you can also drink in Pyramid tea bag form, or as we like to call them PTB.

Let Us Know What You Think!

Share with us your favorite way to enjoy our Pyramid Tea Bags! Available for purchase in store and online.