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Tea Bag Patent

Tea bag with inner tag

Tea bag abstract


A tea bag (1) including a sealed pouch (30) having an internal tag (50) disposed inside the sealed pouch or nestled between the lobes (31a, 31b) of a multi-lobed pouch (3). The internal tag containing text (60), or other message comprised of letters, words, images, symbols or other indicia imprinted thereon or created using a cut-out technique. When the sealed pouch becomes wet and translucent, the text, or other message, is revealed to a user.

Tea bag claims


1. A filtration bag comprising: a sealed pouch; an internal tag sealed within said sealed pouch; and a substance disposed within said sealed pouch and partially or fully surrounding said internal tag, wherein, said sealed pouch is made of a material which is opaque when dry and translucent when wet.

2. The filtration bag of claim 1, wherein said filtration bag is a tea bag and said substance is dried tea leaves.

3. The filtration bag of claim 2 wherein said material is a non-woven fiber fabric.

4. The filtration bag of claim 2, wherein said material is a non-woven cellulose material.

5. The filtration bag of claim 2, wherein said material is an unbleached paper.

6. The filtration bag of claim 2, wherein said internal tag is made of a water-resistant material.

7. The filtration bag of claim 2, wherein said internal tag comprises text or other markings or cut-outs disposed thereon that become visible when said sealed pouch is wet.

8. The filtration bag of claim 7, wherein said text or other markings are made of a non-toxic dye-based ink which is water-resistant or water insoluble.

9. The filtration bag of claim 7, wherein said text or other markings are made of a temperature-stable ink or marking

10. The filtration bag of claim 2, further comprising a gripping string attached to said internal tag and extending through an edge of said sealed pouch to form a free end outside of said sealed pouch.

11. The filtration bag of claim 10, wherein said gripping string is slidably coupled to an opening formed in said edge of said sealed pouch.

12. The filtration bag of claim 10, further comprising an external tag attached to said free end of said gripping string.

13. The filtration bag of claim 12, wherein said external tag contains text or other markings.

14. The filtration bag of claim 2, wherein said pouch has a circular, triangular, hexagonal, oval or other non-rectangular shape.

15. A method of providing a hidden message to a user, the method comprising: providing a message on a tag; sealing the tag within a sealed pouch, wherein the pouch is opaque when dry and translucent when wet; covering the tag with a substance within the sealed pouch; wetting the sealed pouch; revealing the message on the tag while the pouch is wet.

16. The method of providing a hidden message to a user according to claim 15, further comprising shaking the sealed pouch so that the substance within the sealed pouch settles towards a bottom portion of the sealed pouch.

17. The method of providing a hidden message to a user according to claim 15, further comprising lifting the tag to a top portion of the sealed pouch by pulling a string attached to the tag, wherein the string is slidably coupled to an opening formed in an edge of the upper portion of the sealed pouch.

18. The filtration bag of claim 2, wherein said sealed pouch comprises multiple lobes, with a gap formed between said multiple lobes.

19. The filtration bag of claim 18, wherein a tag with text or other indicia thereon, is located between said multiple lobes in said gap, and wherein further, said tag is attached to said multiple lobes, such that said text or other indicia is revealed when said tea bag becomes wet and translucent.

20. The filtration bag of claim 18, wherein at least one tag with text or other indicia thereon, is located between one or more of said multiple lobes of said tea bag, such that a said text or other indicia is revealed when said tea bag becomes wet and translucent.

21. The filtration bag of claim 1, wherein said substance is one of tea, coffee, herbal tea, hot chocolate, instant drink mix, or any other substance intended to make a drink.

22. The filtration bag of claim 19, wherein said tag is attached to said multiple lobes by a staple.

23. The filtration bag of claim 19, wherein said tag is attached to said multiple lobes by a string.

24. The filtration bag of claim 1, further comprising means for revealing said internal tag.

25. The filtration bag of claim 24, wherein said revealing means comprises a string attached to said internal tag and extending through an edge of said sealed pouch to form a free end outside of said sealed pouch, wherein, said string is slidably coupled to an opening formed in said edge of said sealed pouch.

26. A bag comprising: a sealed pouch made of a material which is opaque when dry and translucent when wet; an internal tag sealed within said sealed pouch comprising text or other markings or cut-outs disposed thereon that become visible when said sealed pouch is wet; a substance disposed within said sealed pouch and partially or fully surrounding said internal tag; a gripping string attached to said internal tag and extending through an opening formed in an edge of said sealed pouch to form a free end outside of said pouch, wherein said gripping string is slidably coupled to said opening formed in said edge of said sealed pouch; an external tag attached to said free end of said gripping string comprising text or other markings; wherein said text or other markings disposed on said internal tag is made of a non-toxic dye-based water-resistant ink.

27. A bag comprising: a pouch made of a material which is opaque when dry and translucent when wet comprising a first and a second end, wherein said first and second ends are attached together at an attaching portion to form multiple lobes with a gap formed between said multiple lobes; an internal tag disposed in said gap comprising text or other markings or cut-outs disposed thereon that become visible when said sealed pouch is wet; a gripping string attached to said internal tag and extending through said attaching portion to form a free end, wherein said gripping string is slidably coupled to said attaching portion of said sealed pouch; an external tag attached to said free end of said gripping string comprising text or other markings; wherein said text or other markings disposed on said internal tag is made of a non-toxic dye-based water-resistant ink.

Tea bag description

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] There are many products or packages which provide hidden items or indicia. The hidden items or indicia are either hidden inside the product or appear on a surface of the product upon activation. Examples include toys in cereal boxes, fortunes in fortune cookies, or words which appear by rubbing, providing heat, water, etc., to a surface of a product.

[0002] In the case of tea bags, standard external tags have had indicia, such as words, quotes or logos applied to them. In U.S. Pat. No. 3,989,279 to Levy, similar hidden indicia is placed on an outer surface of the tea bag itself. Thus, for example, when the surface of the bag gets stained by brewing tea, words or symbols appear. However, the hidden indicia disposed on the surface of the bag may get rubbed-off or worn-off prior to use, which would result in only partial words or symbols being displayed to a user upon activation. A non-toxic, durable, heat resistant, water-resistant, inexpensive ink that changes from invisible to visible from tea stain though common tea preparation techniques, would probably be very challenging at best.

[0003] It is therefore, an object of the present invention to provide a bag, such as a tea bag, that provides a visible message to a user from a tag within the bag upon submersing the bag in a liquid.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0004] In an illustrative, non-limiting implementation of the present invention, a tea bag is provided. The tea bag includes a sealed pouch, an internal tag, and dried tea leaves disposed inside the sealed pouch along with the internal tag. The tag may alternatively be placed internally between the lobes of a multiple-lobed tea bag. The internal tag has text, which may include letters, words, symbols, images or other indicia, imprinted on it, or cut into it, for example, by a punching method, or applied by any other method, so that when the sealed pouch becomes wet and translucent, the hidden text is exposed to the user.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0005] Aspects of illustrative, non-limiting embodiments of the present invention will become more apparent by describing in detail embodiments thereof with reference to the attached drawings in which:

[0006] FIG. 1 shows a front view of a tea bag in accordance with a non-limiting embodiment of the present invention with the internal tag hidden;

[0007] FIG. 2 shows a front view of a tea bag in accordance with a non-limiting embodiment of the present invention with the internal tag exposed;

[0008] FIG. 3 shows a front view of a string-free tea bag in accordance with a non-limiting embodiment of the present invention having an internal tag.

[0009] FIG. 4 shows a front view of a non-limiting embodiment of the present invention with the multiple-lobed tea bag with the internal tag exposed.

[0010] FIG. 5 shows a side view of a non-limiting embodiment of the present invention with the multiple-lobed tea bag with the internal tag exposed.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0011] The following description of illustrative non-limiting embodiments of the invention discloses specific configurations and components. However, the embodiments are merely exemplary of the present invention, and thus, the specific features described below are merely used to more easily describe such embodiments and to provide an overall understanding of the present invention.

[0012] As shown in FIG. 1, tea bag 1 includes a sealed pouch 30 containing a dried substance, such as dried tea leaves 70. The tea bag 1 further contains an external gripping tag 10 which connects to a hidden internal tag 50 by means of a string 40, which extends through an unsealed portion 20 of the sealed pouch 30.

[0013] The sealed pouch 30 can be made, for example, of any material currently used to manufacture tea bags, or any material having similar properties of a tea bag. Specifically, the material should be fairly opaque when dry and translucent when wet. Examples of materials suitable for the pouch include a non-woven fiber fabric, a non-woven cellulose material, and unbleached paper. In addition, the sealed pouch 30 can be made larger than a standard tea bag if so desired. Also, dried substances, other than dried tea leaves 70, may be disposed inside the sealed pouch 30. An example of such a dried substance is ground coffee.

[0014] The external tag 10 can be made of virtually any material, including material currently used for tags, either on tea bags or other products. The tag material must be durable enough to allow a user to grip and pull the tea bag 1 from a container of liquid without the tag breaking or tearing. The external tag 10 can also be any desired size. In an alternate embodiment, no external tag is provided and the user pulls the bag from a container of liquid by pulling the end of string 40.

[0015] The internal tag 50 should preferably be made of a suitable material on which printing can be applied (printing will be discussed in more detail below). Since the internal tag 50 is submerged along with the sealed pouch 30, it may be preferable to provide a water-resistant coating or laminate over the internal tag 50 either before or after a printing process in order to protect the printing from being damaged. As shown, the internal tag 50 is rectangular, however, the internal tag 50 can be formed in any desired shape or size to fit inside the sealed pouch 30.

[0016] The string 40 can be any type of string, including string currently used in the manufacture of tea bags. The string 40 may be slidably coupled to the sealed pouch 30 at the unsealed portion 20. In other words, the string 40 can freely move in an upward direction when pulled by the user. Such pulling action slides the internal tag 50 in an upward direction inside the sealed pouch 30. In an alternate embodiment, the unsealed portion 20 can be omitted, so that sealed pouch 30 is sealed on all sides. In this embodiment, the string 40 is attached to the sealed pouch 30 during manufacturing and the string 40 would not be capable of sliding relative to the sealed pouch when the string is pulled. The internal tag 50 remains attached to string 40 in an upper portion of sealed pouch 30 at all times.

[0017] FIG. 2 shows tea bag 1 with the internal tag 50 exposed, for example, after it has been pulled out of the tea leaves 70. As shown, "text" 60 is imprinted on the internal tag 50. This printing can be performed by using a standard printing process. The text 60 can include logos, messages, questions, quotes, jokes, answers to jokes, different colors, drawings or other information based on a manufacturer's preference. Since the internal tag 50 will be submerged in water along with the tea bag 1, for example, when making tea, the text 60 must be safe and non-toxic. For example, the text can be imprinted using dye-based ink which is fade resistant, water resistant and bleed resistant. Such types of ink are well known and easily accessible by those skilled in the art. In an alternate embodiment, the text 60 can be a punch design or cut-out design using a standard punch press method or laser-cut method.

[0018] Referring again to FIG. 1, the internal tag 50 is buried in the tea leaves 70. Since the tea bag 1 is dry and fairly opaque, the text 60 on the internal tag 50 is hidden from view of the user. When the tea bag 1 is placed in a liquid, for instance water, to make tea, the sealed pouch 30 becomes translucent, and the tea leaves 70 tend to settle to the bottom of the sealed pouch 30. Since the string 40 is slidably coupled to the sealed pouch 30, a user is able to pull the string 40 upward by the external tag 10 to slide the internal tag 50 to the upper portion of the sealed pouch 30, as shown in FIG. 2. This enables a user to read the hidden text 60 imprinted on the internal tag 50 through the now translucent tea bag 1. According to additional embodiments, a question, beginning of a quote, a joke or riddle is provided on the external tag 10, with the ending or answer being provided on the hidden internal tag 50. Therefore, in accordance with certain embodiments, each tea bag 1 contains a hidden surprise to the delight and entertainment of the user or others in their company.

[0019] FIG. 3 shows another non-limiting embodiment of the present invention. In this embodiment, tea bag 2 does not have a string attached to it and has a circular shaped sealed pouch 90. Similar to the previous embodiments, where a string is attached, when the circular shaped pouch 90 is wet, it becomes translucent and the wet tea leaves 70 tend to settle to the bottom of the pouch 90, as shown in FIG. 3. When a user manually pulls tea bag 2 out of the cup of tea, the internal tag 80 containing the hidden text 60 will be revealed since internal tag 80 does not travel to the bottom of the pouch 90 along with the tea leaves 70. Similar to previous embodiments, the internal tag 80 can contain text 60, defined as any type of information or image depending on a manufacturer's preference and can be made in any shape or size on at least one side of the tag.

[0020] FIG. 4 shows a front view of a further non-limiting embodiment of the present invention. In this embodiment, tea bag 3 is comprised of multiple lobes, two lobes (31a, 31b; FIG. 5), in this example, containing a dried substance such as tea leaves 70. The tag 50 is attached with a mechanism such as a staple 100 between the lobes adjacent to the upper portion of these lobes such that the text 60 is readable when the sealed pouch 30 becomes wet and the tea leaves 70 settle to the bottom of the lobes.

[0021] FIG. 5 shows a side view of the embodiment of FIG. 4 having a tea bag 3 with the configuration of two lobes 31a, 31b more clearly apparent, such as is sometimes used with existing tea bag designs. Alternatively, at least tag 50 can be placed inside the lobes 31a, 31b with the tea leaves 70 depending on the manufacturer's preference and text 60 space requirements.

[0022] The descriptions of the preferred embodiments set forth herein are provided to enable a person skilled in the art to make and use the present invention. Moreover, various modifications to those embodiments will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art. It will be appreciated that the above descriptions are intended only to serve as examples, and that many other embodiments are possible within the spirit and scope of the invention.


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