The first teas brought into this country were whole leaf teas and we continued to consume it until 1904. This is when Thomas Sullivan, a thrifty tea merchant, created the tea bag as a means to send smaller samples of loose tea to his customers. It was intended for the customer to take the tea out of the bag to steep it, but they found it easier to steep it in the bag; therefore, it was an accidental discovery by Thomas! Today, poorer quality, machine harvested tea is used for the tea bags. In addition, the paper used for the bags is bleached and chlorinated which reduces the shelf life and health benefits of the tea. In the past 20 years, this has lead to consumers wanting to go back to the whole leaf tea for its health benefits and twice-longer shelf life. But this was not without hesitation. Since Americans are so used to the bag, steeping loose tea is somewhat of a mystery. Following are answers to your most frequently asked questions.
1. Where does tea come from?
All tea, whether white, green, oolong, or black tea, comes from the Camellia sinensis bush. Some of the major countries of origin for whole leaf tea are China, Japan, Taiwan, India, and Sri Lanka. It is in the factory, where the leaf is processed into the different categories of tea.
Read the complete article that appeared in Applaud Women Magazine here.