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Tea Bag Patent

Tea bag package

Tea bag abstract


A tea bag package including a filter container (7) for a product such as tee, comprising an envelope (1) to be opened, said envelope (1) enclosing the filter container (7), and a pull element (11) which is associated with the filter container (7) and can be pulled through an opening (4) in the envelope (1). The envelope comprises an external cover sheet fold (1), whose overlapping sheet portions (2) are releasably connected to each other, thus to hold the envelope (1) in a closed condition. The cover sheet fold (1) has an opening (4) at its back (3). The pull element is formed by a pull element fold (11) and comprises a back (13) which can be grasped as a grip member in the opening (4) of the cover element fold (1). The pull element fold (11) or its sheet portions (12) basically shield the opening (4) in a closed condition of the envelope. The filter container (7) is designed to be foldable in its centre at its longitudinal side, namely with the edge ends being contiguous with the pull element fold (11) and being spaced apart from the free edge ends of the pull element fold (11).

Tea bag claims


1. A tea bag package including a filter container (7) for a product such as tee, comprising an envelope (1) to be opened, said envelope (1) enclosing the filter container (7) and consisting of a sheet fold (1) whose overlapping sheet portions (2) are releasably connected to each other to hold the envelope (1) in a closed condition, and a pull element (11) which is associated with the filter container (7) and can be pulled through an opening (4) at the back (3) of the sheet fold (1), characterised in that the pull element (11) is a further sheet fold (11) arranged in the envelope (1), whose back portion constitutes a grip member (13) which can be grasped in the opening (4), wherein the pull element (11) closes the opening (4) in a closed condition of the envelope (1), and the filter container (7) consists of two substantially similar rectangular flat bags (71) connected to each other by a common edge (72), wherein said common edge (72) is placed in the vicinity of the grip member (13) in a closed condition of the envelope (1), while end edges (73) of the bags (71) extending in parallel thereto are attached to the sheet portions (12) of the pull element fold (11), namely at a certain distance from the free end edges (15) of the pull element fold (11).

2. A tea bag package as claimed in claim 1, characterised in that each one of the sheet portions (2) of the sheet fold (1) of the envelope is provided with an approximately median set break line (5) extending in parallel to the back (3).

Tea bag description

[0001] The invention relates to a tea bag package in accordance with the preamble of claim 1.

[0002] It is generally known to provide tea bags with a cover sheet fold serving for closing the unused tea bag and moreover fulfilling several practical purposes for suspending the tea bag for the purpose of brewing the tea as well as for protecting the fingers when pulling out the tea bag after brewing (cf. U.S. Pat. No. 2,728,671). In tea bags with a pull thread, it is also known to provide the pull thread in an opening in the back of the fold (DE-3826911-A1, WO 94/15837-A1, DE 29610310-U1). Moreover, it is known from reference DE 38 26 911 A1 to provide for the envelope of the tea bag a fold which is designed as an auxiliary means for wringing, wherein the sheet portions of the fold are releasably connected to each other around their free edges. What is disadvantageous in the known tea bag package is that the pull thread and possibly also the auxiliary means for wringing can relatively easily drop into the brewing vessel during the brewing of tea, so that the tea bag can be removed from the brewing vessel only with difficulty.

[0003] Accordingly, it is an object of the invention to provide a package which enables safe suspension of tea filter bags in a cup when tea is brewed with hot water.

[0004] This object is solved by the features stated in claim 1.

[0005] Further developments of the invention are indicated in the features of the sub-claims.

[0006] It is an advantage of the invention that the package forms a flat rectangular cushion-like package in its closed condition without any protruding parts. A further advantage of the invention consists in that it forms a package with an integrated mechanism which enables efficient extraction of the tea bag after brewing by withdrawing a pull element provided at the outside of the package, which can be grasped by the fingers. In the package designed in accordance with the invention, a sheet fold is used for the pull element provided at the package. Furthermore, an elongated foldable tea bag is used, at the longitudinal side of which there is, for example, a swivel joint is in its centre. The cover sheet fold and the pull element fold are approximately identical in length and are attached to each other at their ends to form an edge. The tea bag is not quite as long as the pull element fold, and its ends are attached thereto at a certain distance from the ends of the cover sheet fold. The back portion of the pull element fold is accessible in one back opening of the cover sheet fold, wherein the width of the pull element fold conforms to the opening length of the opening in the cover sheet fold along the back.

[0007] The back opening has a width which enables that the pull element fold is grasped in the opening. Both sheet folds have their backs directed opposite each other, so that the pull element fold basically replaces the material which has been removed from the back portion of the cover sheet fold due to the opening when the package is closed.

[0008] When the package is held and opened with the backs of the fold to the top, the median portion of the tea bag drops below the level of the attached tea bag ends. The ends of the pull element fold outside the connection points of the tea bag are supported by the edge ends of the cover sheet fold and reinforced and thus form support angles which can be placed on two opposite sides of a tea cup. During brewing, the back line of the pull element fold is directed against the back line of the cover sheet fold due to its intrinsic stiffness. After brewing, the user can grasp the back of the pull element fold and pull it back or out through the back opening of the cover sheet fold, whereby the tea bag is pulled into the package and pulled out of the tea cup, while the user can press his finger against the cover sheet fold in the vicinity of its back. The tea bag that has been pulled out has meanwhile been pulled into the package, so that the package can be placed on unprotected surfaces without difficulty and without the risk of drops falling out of the package.

[0009] The invention will be explained in more detail in the following with the aid of exemplified embodiments represented in the drawing.

[0010] FIG. 1 is a schematic side view of a package according to the invention,

[0011] FIG. 2 shows a sectional view cut along line II-II in FIG. 1,

[0012] FIG. 3 is a schematic view of the open package in a condition placed on a tea cup for brewing tea,

[0013] FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the package in an open flat condition,

[0014] FIG. 5 and FIG. 6 show two stages, namely when the tea bag is removed and when the filter container is pulled into the package,

[0015] FIG. 7 is a variant in which the filter container is clamped to the inside pull element fold.

[0016] FIG. 1 shows a cover sheet fold 1 comprising two identical sheet portions 2, which are connected to each other via a back 3. The cover sheet fold 1 is closed at the peripheral side around the free edges 8 of the sheet portions 2 which a weak joint, for example with a glue joint 31. In the cover sheet fold 1, there is a pull element fold 11 with two identical sheet portions 12, which are connected to each other via a back 13. The cover sheet fold 1 has an opening 4 at its longitudinal side in the middle of the back 3. The length of the opening 4 along the back 3 conforms to the length of the back 13 of the pull element fold 11, so that the pull element fold 11 can be pulled upwards through the opening 4. The opening 4 has a width which enables the back portion of the pull element fold 11 to be grasped by the fingers. Approximately at half of the length of the sheet portions 2 of the cover element fold 1, there is a set break line 5 which is preferably formed by bending of impressing and which extends in parallel to the back 3.

[0017] A filter container 7 is attached in the pull element fold 11. Said filter container 7 contains two substantially similar rectangular flat bags 71, which are connected to each other via a common edge 72. When the package is closed, said common edge 72 is placed in the vicinity of the backs 3 and 13, while the edges 73 of the bags 71, which extend in parallel thereto, are attached to the sheet portions 12 of the pull element fold 11, namely at a certain distance from their edge ends 15, which are connected to the edge ends 16 of the sheet portions 2 of the cover sheet fold 1. When the package is closed, the filter container 7 thus has the shape of a fold whose back is in the vicinity of the backs 3 and 13, while the bags 71 are positioned flat along the inner side of the sheet portions 12 or 2.

[0018] The width of the container 7 is basically identical with the width of the pull element fold 11. It can be derived from FIG. 2 that the common edge 72 between the bags 71 forms a swivel joint for the bags 71 and that the attachments of the edges 73 to the sheet portions 12 also form swivel joints for the bags 71.

[0019] In order to open the closed flat package according to FIG. 2, an axial pressure force can be exerted between the backs 3 or 13 and the averting edges 16, whereby the weak joint of glue joint 31 breaks up at least along the sheet portions 2 resulting in the sheet portions 2 being bent outwards, especially in the area of the set break lines 5; consequently the joint 33 between the sheet portions 2 can also be opened quite easily by tearing up at their edge 16 extending in parallel to the backs 3, 13. The joints 31 and 33 can be adhesive joints or impressed joints, but can also be replaced by other fastening means, such as clips, which hold together at least the edges 15 and 16. Instead of the joint 33 envisaged for holding together the sheet portions 2, it is also possible to provide a joint between the sheet portions 12 at the edge 15.

[0020] After opening the joints 31 and 33 of the package, the sheet folds I and 11 can be opened, whereby the bags 71 can assume a position relative to the sheet folds 1 and 11 or their sheet portions 2 and 12, as illustrated in FIG. 3. The joint 32 between the edge ends 15 and 16 of the sheet portions 2 and 12 is correspondingly strong and can be formed, for example, by means of clips. Since the filter container 7 is usually flexible, the common part of the edge 72 will drop to the configuration illustrated in FIG. 3 as a result of gravitation, as soon as the sheet folds 1 and 11 are opened and if the backs 3 and/or 13 are placed vertically at the top.

[0021] It can be derived from FIG. 3 that a support angle 18 open to the bottom is formed between the attachment joint of the edge 73 of the bags 71 towards the pull element fold 11 and the edges 15 of the pull element fold 11. Thereby the open package can be supported on two opposite borders of a tea cup 29 or the like, while the filter container 7 is simultaneously immersed into the liquid in the tea cup and the sheet folds 1 and 11 remain dry at the same time.

[0022] FIG. 4 is a schematic view of the package after it has been opened completely and brought into a flat condition, wherein the sheet portions 2 and/or 12 of the sheet folds 1 and 11 are unfolded by 180.degree., i.e. put in a flat position. As illustrated, the filter container 7 is slightly smaller in width than the pull element fold 11. Furthermore the set break line 5 is approximately at half the length of the appertaining sheet portions 2 of the cover sheet fold 1. In addition, it can be seen that the edge 72 as well as the backs 3 and 13 basically coincide. Moreover, it can be seen that the bags 71 abut flatly on the sheet portions 12, which on their part abut flatly on the sheet portions 2.

[0023] FIG. 5 shows how the tea bag or rather its filter container 7 can be drained after the tea has been brewed (cf. FIG. 3), namely by grasping the pull element fold 11 in the area of its fold back 13, which is accessible in the opening 4 of the cover sheet fold, and by pulling back the pull element fold 11 through the opening 4, while the outside of the cover sheet fold 1 is supported with the other hand. As result thereof, the sections of the sheet portions 2 being closest to the edge 16 are turned down at the edge 16, whereby the sheet portions 12 of the pull element fold 11 are prolonged, as a result of which the thus prolonged pull element fold 11 forms a protection from contact as against the two-layer filter container 7. At the end of the procedure of withdrawal (FIG. 6), the fingers can be pressed against the portions of the cover sheet fold 2 contiguous with the back 3, before the liquid is squeezed out of the filter bag 7.

[0024] What can be derived from FIG. 7 is that the joint 73 can also be formed by clips for reasons of simplicity. Clip stamp and clip die can be applied at the top or the bottom of the object according to FIG. 2, without such a clip incorporating the sheet portions 2 if the sheet portions 2 have their openings 6 in the clip positions. The width of the opening is respectively smaller than the width of the sheet portions 12.

[0025] It is to be noted that the term "tea" is supposed to cover all products which are suited for giving flavour to a liquid.


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