Thomas Sullivan, a New York tea dealer, often sends samples of tea to a potential customer base Thomas Shaliven. To reduce costs, he thought of a way to put a little loose tea in a few silk bags. At that time, some customers who did not soak tea after receiving those silk bags, because it is not clear how to make tea procedures, often directly into these silk bags into the boiling water to lose. Gradually, people found that such packaged tea is convenient and easy to use, it gradually formed the habit of wrapping tea with small bags. He was advised that the silk bag was too fine, so he switched to cotton gauze and officially sold it commercially. Sullivan applied for a patent for tea bags in 1903, and by 1920 tea bags were widely used in the U.S. restaurant industry.
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