The story of tea is as old as nature itself. But we like to think it took its most exciting turn in 1837 when the Tetley brothers went into business in Yorkshire, England. Click on the images above for a brief history of tea, Tetley and the tea bag.
In the 1600s, the British East India Company has a monopoly on
importing goods from outside Europe. Tea’s popularity is spread by
sailors bringing home tea as gifts.
The Tetley brothers move to Cullum Street, London, just yards
from the tea auction rooms. By 1888 they have an office in America too.
A happy accident. A New York tea merchant called Thomas
Sullivan sends out samples of tea in small silken bags. Some customers
assume they should put the whole bag in the pot – and it works.
The first Tetley teabag machines are known as the ‘grey ladies’ and stitch 40 tea bags a minute for export.
By now Tetley offers fruit & herbal infusions, green teas and speciality teas in addition to its classic blend teabags.
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