Unbleached Bags

Unbleached Bags: What You Need to Know

If you’ve never heard of unbleached bags then you’re not alone! Many tea-drinkers are unaware that the standard tea bag is put through the process of bleaching to achieve its pearly-white exterior. But if you drink Clipper Teas, you’ll notice that our bags are a slightly different colour to the rest. That’s because our bags are unbleached. So what exactly are unbleached bags? And why are many tea bags bleached today? Read on to find out…

Why Clipper Uses
Unbleached Bags

At Clipper Teas, we have a proud history of being pioneers and we pride ourselves on our innovation. We were the first brand to launch green tea into supermarkets, and in 1994 we became the UK’s first Fairtrade tea company. We have a strong focus on creating natural, fair and delicious drinks, so using unbleached bags just seemed natural for us, and it’s just another reason why we’re different. We’re so natural, even our bags are unbleached!

fairtrade-unbleached

 

What Are
Unbleached Bags?

So, what’s the difference between bleached and unbleached bags? When tea bags went into mass production, paper became the main choice of material to make them. Tea bags today are made from paper, which is a blend of wood and vegetable fibres. Over the years, many companies have experimented with different tea bag designs to make their bags more appealing. During this time the process of ‘bleaching’ was introduced as many companies felt that consumers would find white tea bags more visually appealing than their natural colour. Because of its popularity this process was adopted by many companies and many of them continue to make their tea bags using bleached paper today. So what difference does that make to you if you’re brewing a cup of your favourite blend? Well, tea bags that go through the bleaching process contain a mixture of chemicals whereas unbleached bags don’t undergo this unnecessary process. So if you’re sipping a cup of tea made from an unbleached bag, you know that you’re not only drinking something that tastes good, but something that’s just a little bit less interfered with!

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The History of Tea

Although we’ve been drinking tea in Britain since the 1660s, it’s been around for a lot longer. It’s been said that tea first originated in China around 2740 BC. Ancient stories suggest that the Emperor Shen Nung was sat under a Camellia Sinensis tree when a leaf broke off and blew into his cup of boiling water. The Emperor decided to taste the infusion and that’s (apparently) when tea was born! Flash forward to the 17th century and tea was becoming increasingly popular throughout Europe. But it was the marriage of Charles II in 1662 that made the beverage especially fashionable in Britain. He married a Portuguese princess whose love of tea helped make it a trendy (and sought after) drink. Fast-forward to today, and Brits are consuming around 130,000 tonnes of tea a year!

The Evolution of the Tea Bag

It’s tough to imagine a brew without one nowadays, but once upon a time tea bags were unheard of. In fact, tea bags only started to become popular in the UK during the 1970s. The tea bag was invented around 100 years ago by Thomas Sullivan, an American Tea Merchant. At the time, most tea lovers used a metal tea infuser to make their brews, a device that could be filled with loose tea leaves and placed inside a pot of boiling water. When Sullivan began to give his samples to customers he used a slightly different approach, and sent his tea out in small silken bags. But when his clients received them, they assumed they could use the bags in the same way as a tea infuser and dunked them into the pot. Apparently, this didn’t taste that great! That’s when Sullivan decided to create another type of bag to house his tea leaves… and voila, the tea bag was born!

During the early 20th century tea began to become ever more loved and tea bags grew in popularity too. Tea bags became manufactured on a wider scale and the first tea bags ever sold looked pretty similar to those you see in shops today. Because of their convenience, tea bags were bought regularly by consumers and in the 1950s they really took off; today, 96% of tea comes in tea bags and in Britain, we enjoy 60 billion cups of it a year.

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With love from Clipper!

We've gone a bit bonkers at Clipper HQ and decided we wanted to share the love with our lovely Clipper tea drinkers out there! We’ve created 3 Limited Edition tea caddies and each comes FREE with our special packs of Fairtrade Everyday Tea, Organic Everyday Tea and Pure Green tea (80 tea bags).

We’ve also made thousands of unbleached Clipper tea-towels and popped them into other packs of our Fairtrade Everyday Tea (80 bags). There are 4 different designs to look out for. And if that wasn’t enough, we’ve only gone and put 100% more tea bags into boxes of our Pure Green Tea 26  Bags – yes we’ve squeezed 52 bags in there!

Read more about which gifts we’ll be bestowing by clicking on the images below.

All this Clipper loveliness will be in supermarkets from the end of October.