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Tea leafs, these days often of lower quality, enclosed in user-friendly individual thin paper parcels.
They were originally invented in New York, by Thomas Sullivan, during 1903, then commercially launched in 1904 - he contained the tea in hand-sewn silk. A machine was soon invented to speed production.
The first commercially-successful tea bags were made by Thomas Lipton in 1915 - and, with the help of the First World War, soon sold worldwide.