Teabags were accidentlally invented in 1904 by a New York tea merchant named William Sullivan, who stumbled upon the idea of sending tea samples to customers in handsewn silk bags, rather than the common bulky tea tins. He was soon flooded with orders for tea in the convenient little bags.
Many tea aficionados disdain the teabags as inferior at best and sacrilegious at worst. The tea particles in bags are smaller and therefore brew more quickly; if the bag is left to brew as long as one normally allows loose tea to brew, the tea will turn out to taste bitter and flat. Used properly, however, teabags make an acceptable cup of tea.