The Origin Of The Tea Bag

Tea Bags Were Invented On Accident?

Although cultivated tea has been around for thousands of years, the tea bag is a relatively recent invention. The venerable teapot and infuser, and other simpler tea ware such as the gaiwan were used to prepare tea for centuries.

It wasn’t until 1903 that the concept of a tea bag was patented. Roberta C. Lawson and Mary Molaren of Milwaukee, WI came up with the idea of a ‘tea-leaf holder,’ for the purpose of brewing a single serving of tea, instead of brewing a large quantity of tea in a tea pot.

As eloquently stated from the patent: “…the leaves shall be held together against separating and being dispersed through the infusion to be drunk up, which would spoil the pleasure of the drink, and yet the leaves must be so held together as to be exposed fully to the water poured thereon in the cup, so that their qualities shall be freely given off and taken up by the water to produce the desired infusion.”

The Origin Of The Tea Bag

However, tea bags were popularized in 1908 as a happy accident. Thomas Sullivan, a New York tea merchant, sent samples of tea to his customers in small silken bags. Some recipients mistakenly placed the silken bags directly into a teapot instead of emptying out the contents.

It wasn’t until Sullivan started receiving feedback from customers complaining about the fineness of the silk that he realized what happened, and started making gauze tea bags with a more porous weave for the intent of infusing.

Due to their ease of use, tea bags became popular in the US, with commercial production beginning in the 1920’s. In 1930, the heat sealed paper fiber tea bag was patented, resembling the tea bag we are familiar with today. Post WWII, tea bag production ramped up globally.

Today, tea bags are a mixed blessing. It’s easy to find a dizzying array of tea bags in grocery stores, making tea widely accessible to the public. However, the tea that most people are familiar with, at least in the US, is of a considerably low quality.

Tea bags allow for the use of fannings, or dust, which is what is left over from processing higher quality teas. Typically, teas found at the grocery store are of this grade, leaving many with a false perception of what good tea tastes like.

However, a quality tea experience can still be obtained with open ended tea bags. These disposable paper filters offer the convenience of single use and can be filled with any loose leaf tea. Even in the era of modern conveniences, you can still have a quality cup of tea.

Resources

Organic Golden Milk Iced Tea

New Tea – Golden Milk

Organic Golden Milk Bulk Tea​We’ve been fielding a lot of requests for turmeric as of late. We’ve especially had a lot of interest in Golden Milk. So much so that we’ve decided to offer our own certified organic Golden Milk blend.

Golden milk has a satisfyingly complex flavor of chai spices and turmeric. Simmer with milk for a rich creamy texture and a vibrant golden infusion. Naturally caffeine free, Golden Milk can be served at any time of day. This sweet, spicy, robust beverage will become your new revered tradition.

Traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine for its anti-inflammatory properties, it is also promoted for liver health, as a digestive aid, for improved immunity, and for healthier skin.

And great news for summer – you can have Golden Milk hot or iced! Golden milk makes a very refreshing latte!

Certified Organic Pineapple Jasmine Green Tea, Divinitea. Available in bulk. Free shipping.

New Tea – Pineapple Jasmine Green Tea

Certified Organic Pineapple Jasmine Green Tea, Divinitea. Available in bulk. Free shipping.​We’re excited to introduce a new blend to our summer lineup: Organic Pineapple Jasmine Green Tea. This is a flavorful organic green tea with sweet notes of pineapple and a floral finish of jasmine. Makes a delicious iced tea. Take advantage of our weekend sale to stock up.

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Happy Father’s Day!
Divinitea

Mother’s Day Tea Sale

Mother’s Day is almost here. Surprise mom with a flavorful tea blend! We’re featuring our floral tea blends this weekend at 10% off. Browse our Mother’s Day Tea category. Add any tea from this selection to your shopping cart and enter the following coupon code:

MOTHERS-TEA

Browse our Mother’s Day Tea Collection Here: https://www.divinitea.com/product-category/teas/mothers-day-teas/

In addition to 10% off, logged in users earn rewards points. Be sure to log into your customer account before you place your order! And as usual, all tea orders receive free shipping.

Teaware For Mother’s Day

Not sure mom has what she needs to brew loose leaf tea? There are a few easy tea ware options:

  • T-Sac: These inexpensive paper tea filters are single use, great for people who are used to tea bags, or just want minimal cleanup. Made from chlorine free paper. Available in different sizes: for cups, mugs, and teapots.
  • Permanent Tea Basket: These basket style infusers nest perfectly inside a mug or tea pot. As their name suggests, they are reusable indefinitely. Great for serious tea drinkers.

Divinitea Hack: Here’s a little trick to optimize your shipping costs. If you’re order is below $100 and has tea ware in it, order the tea and tea ware separately. You’ll get your free shipping on tea, and pay for shipping only on the tea ware.

Gift Message?

We’ve updated a feature on our website. When you checkout, you’ll notice that the spot to enter order notes now includes the option to enter gift message. If you want to ship your order directly to mom, you can enter a gift message at checkout. Please note that you can only enter order notes OR gift message. If you want to enter both order notes AND gift message, just email us after you order, we can print out a separate gift message with the order.

Happy Mother’s Day!
Divinitea

How To Make Iced Tea from Loose Leaf Tea

What Is That Red Tea I Had On Vacation?

 

How To Make Iced Tea from Loose Leaf TeaWe often have customers asking for a “red tea they had on vacation.” Typically, these vacationers have been to the Caribbean, Jamaica, Mexico, Central, or South America, where they were served a deep red tart iced tea in copious quantities, and found themselves craving more. In the vast majority of cases, these vacationers have enjoyed hibiscus tea.

Hibiscus is an herbal tisane made from the roselle flower (hibiscus sabdariffa). It goes by many names, such as roselle, sorrel, and agua de Jamaica. The color is deep red with an unmistakably tart flavor. It is often sweetened to balance out the tart flavor and served iced. It is sometimes blended with ginger, cinnamon, or clove and a little rum.

The herbal tisane is high in vitamin C, and makes a great caffeine-free beverage, both hot and iced. Because of it’s strong flavor, it tastes best when blended with other ingredients. Here are some hibiscus blends for you to get your Caribbean red tea fix:

  • Organic Hibiscus Cooler: Sweet citrus notes of organic lemon verbena mingle with tart flavors of organic hibiscus.
  • Organic Cherry Hibiscus: A wonderfully tasty hibiscus tisane with flavors of cherry, and slight notes of orange and apple.
  • Organic Hibiscus Lime Cooler: A smooth and sweet organic rooibos blend with tart flavors of lime and hibiscus.
  • Organic Lemon Dandy: Tart and fruity hibiscus accentuated by citrus notes of lemon verbena and lemon myrtle, with the smallest hint of spice from purple tulsi.
  • Organic Cranberry Apple: Addictive tart fruity notes of cranberry and apple with piquant flavors of hibiscus.
  • Organic Cranberry Raspberry: Addictive tart fruity notes of cranberry and raspberry with piquant flavors of hibiscus.
  • Organic Raspberry Apple: A deliciously fruity and tart organic herbal infusion, with rich flavors of raspberry, apple, tart notes of hibiscus, and balanced with flavors of rose hips and blackberry leaf.

Need help making iced tea with loose leaf tea? Check out our iced tea guide!

Organic Winterberry Spice Tea

How To Clear Out Winter Teas

With Spring officially here, it’s a great time to phase out your winter teas to get ready for your spring seasonal teas. Here are some tips to get through your tea inventory.

Have friends over for a tea clearing

Have friends and family over for tea. This may be an afternoon tea party or it could just simply be a cuppa and conversation. Keep the tea flowing!

Serve your winter teas iced:

Warming, spicy teas traditionally thought of as winter teas may be served iced. Iced teas with clove, cinnamon, and ginger pair pleasantly well with heavier meals. Try your winter teas iced, you may be pleasantly surprised.

Need help brewing iced tea, check out this guide.

Cooking with tea:

Tea is a culinary ingredient. While traditionally thought of as an infused beverage, it has its uses in cooking. Here are a few ideas to get you started. Please keep in mind that caffeinated teas will indeed caffeinate your food, perhaps not as concentrated as full on cup of tea, but enough to exercise caution when eating tea infused foods later in the day.

  1. Use in soup stocks: A good smoky tea like lapsang souchong is a popular addition to soup stocks, but any robust black or green tea can compliment a soup. To add to soup, brew your tea according to instructions, but double up on tea leaves. Set aside some soup and add a little bit of the concentrated tea infusion. Test taste.
  2. Add tea to poaching liquid: Add brewed tea concentrate to poaching liquid to impart a subtle flavor.
  3. Rice & Tea: Infuse fragrant notes and flavors of tea in your next batch of rice. Substitute some of the water for a concentrated tea infusion before cooking. Try a small test batch of rice first to get your infused tea ratio to your liking.

Looking for inspiration? You can view our tea recipe collection for ideas. https://www.divinitea.com/category/tea-recipes/

Popsicles

Some winter teas make for unique and exciting popsicles. Check out this guide to making popsicles using tea: https://www.divinitea.com/iced-tea-and-fruit-popsicle-recipe/

How To Serve Afternoon Tea

What is afternoon tea

Afternoon Tea, or low tea, is a small meal of tea sandwiches, scones, pastries, cakes, and other delectable treats piled up on plates and served with tea between lunch and dinner. Afternoon tea may be enjoyed as an informal social gathering at the coffee table. It may also be a more formal affair at the dining table, either at home, or at a restaurant offering afternoon tea service.

Afternoon tea originated in 1840’s Britain as a private social event. Traditionally served at 4pm, this small meal was intended to fill the long gap between lunch and dinner, which could be served as late as 8pm. Like tea itself, afternoon tea has gained popularity over the years, and has become an anticipated experience in hotels, tea rooms, and spas throughout the world.

How to serve afternoon tea

Afternoon tea may be served in the afternoon (go figure), between lunch and dinnertime. All you need is some tea, food, and friends.

What tea to serve

As for tea, the sky is the limit. Tea should pair well with food. The safe play is a good strong pot of black tea, like a breakfast tea, or a single estate black tea. When serving guests with limited tea exposure, this is often what they imagine when they think ‘tea.’

To spruce up the experience, try serving a seasonal blend. This can go well with a seasonal themed afternoon tea service.

For a caffeine-free experience, try a robust rooibos blend, or explore herbal tisanes. Herbal tisanes have a good potential for interesting food pairings.

Green teas and certain oolongs may be paired with lighter flavor foods. An amber oolong, such as Wu Yi has a more robust and toasty flavor that goes well savory foods, and compliments sweets very well. Pu-erh blends are very rich with a distinct earthy flavor, and may be better suited for heavier meals.

On a sweltering day, flip the script; try a tall glass of iced tea. It’s afternoon, it’s tea, why not?

Afternoon tea food

Fresh scones with preserves and cream or butter, tea cakes, tea sandwiches, tarts, biscuits, and french pastries piled up on plates. And plates piled up on tiered trays. Small dainties in abundance for your guests to pluck to their heart’s content. That is the afternoon tea experience.

The recipe ideas are endless. Some are very simple. If it’s small and beautiful, and pairs well with tea, put it on a plate!

Check out The Spruce for afternoon tea recipe ideas.

Afternoon tea tableware

The standard tea service tableware will do. You’ll need a large teapot and infuser, tea cups and saucers. If serving with milk and sugar, you’ll need a cream pitcher and sugar bowl.

Aside from small plates for serving and silverware, you may need ramekins for individual portions of preserves and cream if you are serving scones or other pastries that require spreads. While afternoon tea is typically served on tiered trays, they are not essential.

How To Serve Tea To Children

Tea Time with Children

How To Serve Tea To Children

 

Did you know that you could have a real tea party with your little ones? Children as young as a year old can appreciate a good cuppa—with treats of course! A tea party is an enjoyable bonding experience to have with your children, and provides a great opportunity for children to learn lots of skills, like handling a warm beverage and table manners. You’ll be surprised how quickly your child will pick it up!

The key is selecting the proper tea. Any tea with caffeine is not recommended. Caffeine is a stimulant, which can affect a child’s sleep patterns, increase anxiety, and generally drive them up a wall. Fortunately, there are many teas that don’t have caffeine.

Technically speaking, tea is from the camellia sinensis plant, which is naturally caffeinated. What we recommend is something called an herbal tisane, or an herbal tea. There are many kid-safe herbal teas.

Recommended Teas

A quick note, we recommend serving tea without sugar. If your child has never had sugar with their tea, they won’t expect it, and they will be happy enough just playing grown up. Milk is optional, and not a necessity. Rooibos teas may benefit from a splash of milk. Certain fruit tisanes may actually curdle milk due to the acidic content, so please test first.

We also recommend certified organic blends. Due to the nature of tea production, synthetic pesticides and fertilizers can become concentrated in teas. When your tea is certified organic, it ensures that it is free from these chemical contaminates.

How To Serve Tea

When serving, we recommend a few important tips. First, this is a supervised activity. After all, you are brewing piping hot tea! Your child should not have access to extremely hot tea at any time! That means your teapot should be well out of reach unless it has cooled down sufficiently.

In the beginning, your child will need a lot of help, there are so many skills to master. If possible, have your child stay at the table. This means an age appropriate table and possibly chair. Help your child with proper handling of their tea mug. Expect spills, be ready with a hand towel and plenty of patience. And yes, that means spilt tea on clothing! Be patient and calm, it’s all about building a positive experience.

It’s also a great time to put the phone away and turn off the TV. Let your tea time be a distraction-free time. Keep your electronics in a separate room with the sound off if temptation is too great.

Tea Ware

We recommend not breaking out the fine china for this activity. Especially for toddlers, because, well, they’re toddlers. We have found that Japanese style ceramic tea tumblers work very well, and are just durable enough for the purpose. Small tumblers allow for easy handling, and the small vessel allows tea to cool faster. The ones without handles reduce complications.

Older children may be able to handle more traditional tea cups (again, not the fine china), however, children should always be supervised and instructed, especially in the beginning.

Tea should be served warm, not hot of course. Always test tea before serving. To cool down tea quickly, try keeping an empty teapot or any non-plastic vessel with a spout at hand. Instead of serving brewed tea directly in your child’s cup, pour a serving size in the empty teapot and swirl. The vessel will absorb the heat of the serving. Then transfer to your child’s mug and test to make sure it is a good temperature.

If you have a play tea set, please check with the manufacturer to ensure it is food safe and also durable enough for actual use. Play tea sets are not always intended for actual use.

Food

Feel free to serve snacks with tea. This could be a simple as cut up fruit, or a special treat, such as a scone with cream and preserves, a cookie, and other hand-sized dainties. For a traditional afternoon tea experience add tea sandwiches.

Just in case you are wondering, you can make any sandwich a tea sandwich really, just remove the crust and cut it into triangles, as long as it holds well together, you have yourself a tea sandwich! Optionally, you can use a sandwich cutter for all sorts of fun shapes, or experiment with a cookie cutter.

Shot & A Spot: Irish Breakfast with Irish Whiskey

Enjoy a little caffeine kick with your Irish whiskey, to leave you feeling all warm and charged. All you need is a shot of Irish whiskey and a spot of tea! A great drink at last call.

Recipe:

  • One Pot Irish Breakfast (Any breakfast tea will do in a pinch)
  • One shot Irish whiskey
  • Whipped Cream (Optional)

Preparation:

Make a pot of Irish Breakfast (click here for brewing instructions). Add a shot of Irish whiskey. Serve. Optionally, add a dollop of whipped cream to your serving. Enjoy!

Find a substitute to your favorite Teavana Tea

Finding a substitute for your favorite Teavana Tea

Find a substitute to your favorite Teavana Tea

With Teavana shuttering all of its stores, including it’s location at Crossgates Mall in Albany, many tea drinkers are looking for a local alternative Albany NY tea store. Fortunately, there is a nearby location that serves as an ideal Teavana alternative tea shop.

“I’ve done a lot of research on their teas,” Linda Smith, owner of Divinitea, remarked. “We’ve been able to find a good replacement for Teavana customer’s favorite teas, whether it’s something we already blend, or it’s something we make just for them. It’s a personalized service.

“We’ve had a lot of customers come over from Teavana; our Clifton Park location is just 15 minutes away from the closed Teavana shop at Crossgates Mall. They will come in with a tea or describe it to us, and we’ve been able to help them out.”

When asked how closely she was able to come to a substitute: “While Teavana had many varieties, we have over 300 blends in house. We’ve come up with similar or even better tea blends customers enjoy.

“However, we don’t copy Teavana teas. We can’t, nor would we want to.” Linda added. “First of all, Teavana teas are not certified organic, meaning their ingredients can be treated with pesticides or chemical fertilizers. We source only certified organic ingredients, to ensure they are safe and healthy.”

“Certain ingredients are very expensive to source organically. We don’t recommend including these ingredients in a Teavana substitute tea if they don’t affect flavor. A lot of the blends are overly complicated anyway, with something like 14 ingredients. Some of these ingredients are in there just for the names, to make the tea sound exotic. They are there in such small quantities that you can’t taste it and you aren’t really getting the health benefits.

“When we add an ingredient, it is there for a reason. It’s there for a flavor profile or a health benefit. There are no added sugars or sweeteners in our blends. I’ve actually eaten pieces of fruit out of Teavana tea. They’re sugared fruits,” Linda observed as she sifted through a Teavana blend, picking out fruit pieces.

“Another important note,” Linda continued, “we are a nut-free facility. None of our blends contain any nut products, so we’re safe for people with nut allergies. ”

When asked what customers should do if they want to replace their Teavana teas. Linda replied: “If you’re local, you can stop by our Clifton Park tea shop. It helps if you can bring the tea you want to replace, especially if you have a list of ingredients. But even if you don’t have that, we can make a recommendation.

“The best time to stop in is on Saturdays from 9:30-12. We have a free tea tasting. You can try any tea we have. It’s a great opportunity to discover something new.”

“If you’re not local, or can’t make the trip, you can always call or email us. We can help you find what you’re looking for. Our website, Divinitea.com, has a wide selection of our teas, and we offer free shipping, so you can have your tea delivered to your door at no extra charge.”

 

Need A Teavana Tea Alternative? We’re On The Case!

Feel free to shop on our website for a replacement for your Teavana tea. If you would like help, call us at 518.347.0689 or fill out the form below to consult a tea blending specialist: