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The Whole Nation is Talking Tea

Tea has been making UK headlines over the last week, and given that a nice cuppa is the nation's favourite drink, it's no wonder we're all getting a bit het up.

The debate kicked off when the Daily Mail reported the humble tea bag had been criticised as a waste of paper. However the claim was quickly citied as a storm in a teacup, which ranked far down the list of priorities of any environmental group.

It did though, create an opportunity for newspaper readers, radio DJs, bloggers and office workers across the country to start talking about the much-loved tea bag, celebrating the role it has played in the world economy, history and, quite simply, in making our lives a lot easier.

The Daily Mail quotes Bill Gorman from the UK Tea Council as crediting the tea bag from saving the tea industry. He says, 'We would not be drinking the volume of tea we do now without them,' and continues, 'The UK is the second-largest tea market per person in the world. Ireland is first. Without tea bags, the industry would be on its knees.'

BBC Radio 2 seemed to spend much of the day focusing on the topic, with debate ranging from composting tea bags to water quality, as well as touching upon the origins of tea and subsequently the tea bag.

Here at the Tea Academy, we're delighted that people are not only discussing tea but actually learning too – that can only help in our pledge to educate and inspire operators to serve a top cuppa.

So, as confirmed by many in the great tea debate, the tea bag was actually invented more than 100 years ago, by accident, when American tea merchant Thomas Sullivan used silk pouches to transport tea samples to his customers. They mistakenly thought the pouches were meant to be brewed in hot water – and so the tea bag was born.

In 1953, Tetley introduced the first tea bag into Britain, and now, staggeringly,
96% of tea consumed here is made with a tea bag.

As tea talk turned to how to make the perfect cup, another news story made the headlines with The Government's Energy Saving Trust discussing the amount of energy and money we could save simply by not overfilling the kettle.

Water is certainly key to your cup of tea, and we always recommend using freshly boiled water that contains oxygen that allows you to gain the best flavour from your tea bag. But of course, only fill the kettle with as much as you need.

Just like the weather, tea is clearly one of our favourite topics, and once we get started there's no stopping us!

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