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United States Patent Application 20170349370
Kind Code A1
Fraser; John ;   et al. December 7, 2017

TEA BAG CONFIGURED TO BE SUSPENDED IN A WATER BOTTLE

Abstract

A tea bag is configured to be inserted within a water bottle. The tea bag includes a long, thin tea containment bag configured to be inserted within the water bottle and be removed from the water bottle after steeping without compressing with an opening of the water bottle tea leaves within the tea containment bag as the bag is removed from the bottle. The tea bag additionally includes a tea bag line useful to suspend the tea containment bag within the water bottle.


Inventors: Fraser; John; (Playmouth, MI) ; Fraser; Tom; (South Lyon, MI)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

Fraser; John
Fraser; Tom

Playmouth
South Lyon

MI
MI

US
US
Family ID: 1000002656408
Appl. No.: 15/598215
Filed: May 17, 2017


Related U.S. Patent Documents

Application NumberFiling DatePatent Number
62343944Jun 1, 2016

Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: B65D 85/8085 20130101; B65D 41/04 20130101; B65D 51/24 20130101; B65D 23/12 20130101; B65D 1/0246 20130101
International Class: B65D 85/808 20060101 B65D085/808; B65D 41/04 20060101 B65D041/04; B65D 23/12 20060101 B65D023/12; B65D 51/24 20060101 B65D051/24; B65D 1/02 20060101 B65D001/02

Claims



1. An apparatus comprising a tea bag configured to be inserted within a water bottle, comprising: a long, thin tea containment bag configured to be inserted within the water bottle and be removed from the water bottle after steeping without compressing with an opening of the water bottle tea leaves within the tea containment bag as the bag is removed from the bottle; and a tea bag line useful to suspend the tea containment bag within the water bottle.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the tea containment bag comprises a vertical leaf expansion portion permitting tea leaves to expand along a longitudinal axis of the bag.

3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the tea containment bag comprises straight side walls.

4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the tea containment bag comprises straight curved walls.

5. The apparatus of claim 4, wherein the tea containment bag further comprises a constriction band around a middle of the tea containment bag configured to prevent the middle from expanding outwardly away from a longitudinal axis of the bag.

6. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the tea bag line is attached to a retention ring.

7. The apparatus of claim 6, wherein the retention ring includes a slot in the ring permitting the ring to flex and be placed within the water bottle.

8. The apparatus of claim 6, wherein the retention ring is attached to a terminal end of the tea bag line.

9. The apparatus of claim 8, wherein the retention ring is configured to placed around a neck of the water bottle.

10. The apparatus of claim 9, wherein the retention ring is formed unitarily with a cap configured to be sealingly attached to the water bottle.

11. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the tea containment bag is constructed with a biodegradable mesh.

12. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein, after the tea containment bag is soaked in water, the tea containment bag is rigid and filled with soaked tea leaves.

13. The apparatus of claim 12, wherein the soaked tea leaves are under compression by the tea containment bag.

14. An apparatus comprising a tea bag configured to be inserted within a water bottle, comprising: a long, thin tea containment bag comprising a vertical leaf expansion portion permitting tea leaves to expand along a longitudinal axis of the bag, the tea containment bag configured to be inserted within the water bottle and be removed from the water bottle after steeping without compressing tea leaves within the tea containment bag as the bag is removed from the bottle; and a tea bag line useful to suspend the tea containment bag within the water bottle.

15. An apparatus comprising a tea bag configured to be inserted within a water bottle, comprising: the water bottle; a long, thin tea containment bag comprising a vertical leaf expansion portion permitting tea leaves to expand along a longitudinal axis of the bag, the tea containment bag configured to be inserted within the water bottle and be removed from the water bottle after steeping without compressing tea leaves within the tea containment bag as the bag is removed from the bottle; a tea bag line useful to suspend the tea containment bag within the water bottle; and a plastic wrap initially containing the tea containment bag and adhered to an outside of the water bottle.

16. The apparatus of claim 15, further comprising a retention ring attached to the tea bag line.

17. The apparatus of claim 16, wherein the retention ring is initially formed unitarily with a cap of the water bottle.

18. The apparatus of claim 16, wherein the retention ring is initially within the plastic wrap.
Description



CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This disclosure claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 62/343,944 filed on Jun. 1, 2016 which is hereby incorporated by reference.

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0002] This disclosure is related to tea bags used to steep tea leaves in a water bottle, and, in particular, to tea bags configured for easy insertion into and removal from the water bottle.

BACKGROUND

[0003] The statements in this section merely provide background information related to the present disclosure. Accordingly, such statements are not intended to constitute an admission of prior art.

[0004] Tea bags typically include a tea containing bag, tea leaves, and a string useful for suspending and manipulating the tea bag within water. Tea containing bags are known to be made from exemplary filter paper, silk, and food grade plastic materials.

[0005] Tea containing bags are known to be made in approximately a square shape. This square shape is useful for exposing as much surface area as possible in a tea cup to the tea contained within the tea containing bag. However, if such a tea bag is forced within a water bottle, as the tea absorbs water in the steeping process, the bag either becomes too large to remove from the bottle or forcably squeezing the bag out of the bottle becomes a messy process, with tea potentially squirting on the user or the tea containing bag ripping and dumping tea leaves into the tea product.

SUMMARY

[0006] A tea bag is configured to be inserted within a water bottle. The tea bag includes a long, thin tea containment bag configured to be inserted within the water bottle and be removed from the water bottle after steeping without compressing with an opening of the water bottle tea leaves within the tea containment bag as the bag is removed from the bottle. The tea bag additionally includes a tea bag line useful to suspend the tea containment bag within the water bottle.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0007] One or more embodiments will now be described, by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

[0008] FIG. 1 illustrates an exemplary tea bag configured to be inserted within the mouth of a water bottle, in accordance with the present disclosure;

[0009] FIG. 2 illustrates the tea bag of FIG. 1 in preparation for being placed within a water bottle, in accordance with the present disclosure;

[0010] FIG. 3 illustrates the tea bag of FIG. 1 within a water bottle, in accordance with the present disclosure;

[0011] FIG. 4 illustrates the tea bag of FIG. 1, with tea leaves within the tea bag expanding into a vertical leaf expansion portion, in accordance with the present disclosure;

[0012] FIG. 5 illustrates the tea bag of FIG. 1, along with two additional exemplary embodiments showing different widths of tea bags, in accordance with the present disclosure;

[0013] FIG. 6 illustrates an additional exemplary embodiment of a tea bag, including a retention ring configured to prevent a tea bag within a water bottle from exiting a mouth of the water bottle, in accordance with the present disclosure;

[0014] FIG. 7 illustrates the tea bag of FIG. 6, with the retention ring positioned between a tea containment bag and the mouth of the water bottle, in accordance with the present disclosure;

[0015] FIG. 8 illustrates a retention ring of the tea bag of FIG. 6, the ring flexing to permit the tea bag to be removed from the water bottle, in accordance with the present disclosure;

[0016] FIG. 9 illustrates an additional alternative exemplary embodiment of a tea bag configured to be inserted within the mouth of a water bottle, in accordance with the present disclosure;

[0017] FIG. 10 illustrates an additional exemplary embodiment of a tea bag, including a retention ring incorporated with a water bottle cap safety ring and a wrapped tea containment bag configured to adhered to a side of a water bottle for sale as a unit with the water bottle, in accordance with the present disclosure; and

[0018] FIG. 11 illustrates the tea bag of FIG. 10 placed within a water bottle, in accordance with the present disclosure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0019] A tea bag is disclosed for use within a water bottle. The tea bag can be sold separately from the bottle or provided attached to an outside of the water bottle. The tea bag includes a long, thin tea containment bag configured to be inserted or placed within the water bottle through a narrow opening in a top of the bottle. The tea containment bag also includes is configured to permit tea leaves within the bag to expand without the bag becoming wider than the opening of the bottle, thereby permitting easy removal of the bag from the water after the tea is prepared and preventing the tea leaves from being compressed as the bag is removed from the bottle.

[0020] Referring now to the drawings, wherein the showings are for the purpose of illustrating certain exemplary embodiments only and not for the purpose of limiting the same, FIG. 1 illustrates an exemplary tea bag configured to be inserted within the mouth of a water bottle. Tea bag 10 is illustrated including tea containment bag 20, tea bag line 50, and paper tab 40. Tea containment bag 20 includes tea leaves 22 within bag 20. Any sort of tea leaves 22 can be used within the disclosed tea bags.

[0021] Tea containment bag 20 can be constructed of any material known for use with tea containment bags. Mesh count for such tea bags is typically between 95 and 120 filaments per inch, although any range of mesh count can be used that effectively contains any particular type and size of tea leaves. In one exemplary embodiment, a biodegradable bag material can be used, such as polylactic acid (PLA) mesh. Other, more conventional, bag materials can be utilized, such as a nylon mesh, a polyethylene terephthalate (PET) mesh, or other non-woven fabric meshes known in the art.

[0022] As the tea leaves 22 absorb water within a water bottle, the leaves will swell up. Tea containment bag 20 is sized originally smaller than the opening of the water bottle such that as the tea leaves swell, the tea containment bag can increase in size with the tea leaves but still be narrow enough to fit through the opening. Tea bag line 50 is attached to the tea containment bag 20 and permits a user to manipulate the bag within a water bottle while it is steeping or to remove the bag from the bottle.

[0023] Tea containment bag 20 is a long narrow bag. A longitudinal axis can be defined along the long dimension of the bag or in a vertical direction as illustrated in FIG. 1. In some embodiments, the bag can be circular in cross-section along the longitudinal axis, although the bag need not be circular in cross-section. In the embodiment of FIG. 1, the material of tea containment bag 20 is selected to resist stretching under forces/pressure that expanding tea can generate against the tea bag material. As a result, vertical side walls 24 of bag 20 remain relatively a same width as the bag 20 before the tea is placed within the water. A vertical leaf expansion portion 25 is provided including an empty portion within bag 20, such that the expanding tea leaves 22 can expand into portion 25 instead of expanding a width of the bag 20. In other embodiments, The tea containment bag 20 can be made significantly more narrow than a typical opening of a water bottle, such that some or all of the tea leaf expansion can be accounted for by increasing width of the tea bag, while permitting the tea bag to remain smaller or the same size as the opening of the water bottle, thereby facilitating easy removal of the tea bag after the tea has been prepared within the water bottle.

[0024] Paper tab 40 is similar to paper tabs known in the art, useful to provide the user with something to hold onto as the user manipulates the tea bag.

[0025] Close up view 21 of the surface of tea containment bag 20 is illustrated. The fine mesh of the tea containment bag 20 is visible, as are tea leaves 22. In some embodiments, larger sections 23 of tea leaves 22 may be visible through the mesh.

[0026] FIG. 2 illustrates the tea bag of FIG. 1 in preparation for being placed within a water bottle. Water bottle 100 is illustrated including contained water 105 and bottle opening 110. Tea bag 10 is illustrated including tea containment bag 20, tea leaves 22 within bag 20, and tea bag line 50 including paper tab 40. Tea containment bag 20 is configured to be dropped through opening 110 and be suspended within contained water 105. Tea bag line 50 is a small thread or similar cord and can be placed over threads of the bottle 100 such that a plastic cap of the bottle 100 can be secured to the threads, thereby trapping line 50 between the cap and the threads. With line 50 trapped between the threads and the cap, tea containment bag 20 is suspended within contained water 105.

[0027] FIG. 3 illustrates the tea bag of FIG. 1 within a water bottle. Tea containment bag 20 is illustrated suspended within bottle 100. Tea bag line 50 is illustrated trapped by secured water bottle cap 120, with paper tab 40 extending from the secured line 50. The contained water 105 of FIG. 2 has been transformed into prepared tea 106 in FIG. 3.

[0028] As tea leaves expand, tea containment bags of the present disclosure are configured to maintain a width of the tea containment bags small enough such that the bags can be easily pulled from the opening of a water bottle. FIG. 4 illustrates the tea bag of FIG. 1, with tea leaves within the tea bag expanding into a vertical leaf expansion portion. Tea containment bag 20 of FIG. 3 is illustrated. Having been placed in water, the tea leaves have been transformed into expanded tea leaves 22'. Line 29 shows the original top of the tea leaves prior to being placed in water. As the water caused the tea leaves to become expanded tea leaves 22', the tea leaves expanded into vertical leaf expansion portion 25 with a new top 28. Because the tea leaves were able to expand into vertical leaf expansion portion 25, only minimal pressure is applied by expanded tea leaves 22' outwardly against walls 24, thereby reducing any significant increase in width of tea containment bag 20.

[0029] Various strategies can be employed to maintain tea containment bags as smaller or the same width as an intended bottle opening size. As a result, the tea containment bags consistent with the present disclosure can include various widths or various shapes. FIG. 5 illustrates the tea bag of FIG. 1, along with two additional exemplary embodiments showing different widths of tea bags. Tea containment bag 20 of FIG. 1 is illustrated, wherein a width of the bag is illustrated to be less than an opening of an illustrated water bottle opening 110 of water bottle 100. Tea containment bag 20' is illustrated, wherein bag 20' is wider than bag 20 and is approximately the same width as opening 110 of bottle 100. Tea containment bag 20'' is illustrated, more narrow than bag 20.

[0030] FIG. 6 illustrates an additional exemplary embodiment of a tea bag, including a retention ring configured to prevent a tea bag within a water bottle from exiting a mouth of the water bottle. Tea bag line 50 is illustrated including paper tab 40 and optional retention clip 30. In certain embodiments, a user may wish to be able to drink from a water bottle full of tea with a tea containment bag still within the bottle.

[0031] Retention clip 30 is attached to tea bag line 50. In one embodiment, retention clip 30 can be configured as a food-grade quality plastic ring with a split 32, wherein the ring can be easily deformed. In a normal, resting state, retention clip 30 looks like a ring with split 32 just appearing like a crack in the material of the plastic. However, when deformed by force, the ring can collapse with the material on either side of split 32 displacing each other. In this way, in its resting state, clip 30 can be too wide to fit through an opening of a bottle. However, a user can easily apply a small amount of force to either clip 30 or to tea bag line 50, thereby causing clip 30 to deform and pass through the opening of the bottle. This deforming action of clip 30 enables a user to drink out of a bottle with a tea containment bag within the bottle, with clip 30 preventing the tea containment bag from being pulled through the opening into the mouth of the user.

[0032] FIG. 7 illustrates the tea bag of FIG. 6, with the retention ring positioned between a tea containment bag and the mouth of the water bottle. Tea bag 10 is illustrated including tea containment bag 20'', tea bag line 50, retention clip 30, and paper tab 40. Tea containment bag 20'' and retention clip 30 are within water bottle 100, permitting the tea leaves within bag 20'' to steep or create tea with water within the bottle. Cap 120 is installed to bottle 100. Tea bag line 50 is thin enough that it can fit between the bottle 100 and cap 120 without interfering with the cap 120 being tightened down upon the bottle.

[0033] FIG. 8 illustrates a retention ring of the tea bag of FIG. 6, the ring flexing to permit the tea bag to be removed from the water bottle. Retention clip 30 is within bottle 100. Clip 30 is flexed or in a collapsed state, where force being applied to tea bag line 50 is causing the internal surfaces of bottle 100 to push against sides of clip 30, and clip portions 34, normally sitting adjacent to each other proximate the clip split, are displaced, thereby enabling clip 30 to fit through opening 110 of bottle 100.

[0034] FIG. 9 illustrates an additional alternative exemplary embodiment of a tea bag configured to be inserted within the mouth of a water bottle. Tea bag 210 is illustrated including tea containment bag 220, tea bag line 250, and retention clips 230 and 260. Tea containment bag 220 is a non-rectangular tea bag, for example, constructed in an oblong shape, with narrow ends 225 and 227 and wider middle portion 226. Bag 220 can be made of filter paper or any other material known for use with a tea bag. Constriction band 222 is attached to middle portion 226 constructed of food grade nylon or other similar materials and is configured to prevent expansion of middle portion 226 as the tea leaves 224 steep and absorb water, thereby preventing the bag from expanding to a size that is difficult to remove from a water bottle. Retention clip 230 is similar to clip 30 of FIG. 6, configured to deform and permit the clip to be placed within the water bottle and prevent the tea bag from coming out of the bottle in an undesired way. Retention clip 260 is configured to remain outside of the water bottle and clip to a neck of the water bottle. Further clip 260 can be located at an end of line 250, acting as a replacement for a paper tab and providing a user something to grip on to and use to manipulate the tea bag in the water.

[0035] Bags are disclosed herein describing tea leaves for use in making a tea drink. It will be appreciated that the bags disclosed herein can be used with any herbal drink making product requiring herbs to be steeped in water.

[0036] A volumetric capacity of a tea containment bag can be determined. Similarly, a dry volume and a wet or saturated volume of any particular type or composition of tea can be determined, tested, or estimated. According to the embodiment of FIG. 1, a vertical leaf expansion portion or open space within the tea containment bag can be determined, wherein, once the tea leaves expand, the tea containment bag is full. Such a full state can be calibrated, for example, to make the saturated volume of the tea slightly more than the volumetric capacity of the tea containment bag. In this way, the soaked or saturated tea leaves are compressed by the tea containment bag. Compression of leaves against the bag reduces an amount of water that is left within the bag, thereby reducing messy drips from the bag when the bag is removed from the water bottle. Further, with the compression of the tea leaves, the tea containment bag is inflated to a rigid shape, thereby making manipulation and removal of the tea containment bag from the mouth of the water bottle easier.

[0037] In one embodiment, a vertical leaf expansion portion is left at a top of a tea containment bag to account for expansion of the soaked tea leaves. In another embodiment, larger tea leaves or leaves that leave significant interstitial space or open volume between the tea leaves can be utilized. By accounting for expansion of the tea leaves when they are soaked by including interstitial volume between the tea leaves, a tea containment bag that initially appears full and, once soaked, is full or slightly compressed can be achieved. In another embodiment, tea or herbal powders are known in the art, wherein the dry volume and the soaked volume are very close to each other. With such an ingredient, the tea bag can be provided with a full or nearly full tea containment bag, and due to the small change in volume in the powder or similar substance, the bag remains full after being soaked.

[0038] FIG. 10 illustrates an additional exemplary embodiment of a tea bag, including a retention ring incorporated with a water bottle cap safety ring and a wrapped tea containment bag configured to adhered to a side of a water bottle for sale as a unit with the water bottle. Tea bag 310 is illustrated including tea containment bag 320, tea bag line 350, and retention ring 340 attached to tea bag line 350. Retention ring 340 is formed integrally with water bottle cap 342 and can function as a safety ring as is known in the art, being installed to a factory sealed water bottle and breaking away from the cap 342 when a consumer applies a torque to cap 342 in order to remove it from a bottle. Retention ring 340 stays in position around a neck of the water bottle and can therefore suspend the tea containment bag 320 within a water bottle. Tea containment bag 320 can optionally be stored within an exemplary clear plastic wrap 330, the wrap being useful for instance to permit the wrapped tea containment bag to be adhered to a side of a water bottle. Wrap 330 includes an exemplary tear away notch 332 permitting a user to easily tear top 334 away from the rest of wrap 330, thereby permitting the user to easily remove the tea containment bag 320 from the wrap 330. In one exemplary embodiment, line 350 can exit wrap 330 near or at notch 332, thereby permitting one to easy remove top 334 from line 350.

[0039] Exemplary tea leaves 322 are provided as larger leaves that can be placed within tea containment bag 320 with significant interstitial space between the leaves. In this way, the bag 320 can appear to be filled when still dry, with leave expanding when soaked into the interstitial spaces between the leaves.

[0040] FIG. 10 illustrates the retention ring 340 initially attached to the cap 342 and outside of wrap 330. An alternative embodiment is disclosed, wherein the retention ring 340 is not initially attached to the cap, and wherein the ring 340 and the line 350 are both initially contained within wrap 330.

[0041] FIG. 11 illustrates the tea bag of FIG. 10 placed within a water bottle. Water bottle 305 is illustrated. Cap 342 is removed, and tea containment bag 320 has been placed within the bottle. Retainer ring 340 remains in place upon a neck of bottle 305. Line 350 connects retainer ring 340 to tea containment bag 320. Wrapper 330 is illustrated adhered to bottle 305, with top 334 ripped away from wrapper 330. Tea leaves 322' are illustrated, now soaked or saturated with water.

[0042] The disclosure has described certain preferred embodiments and modifications of those embodiments. Further modifications and alterations may occur to others upon reading and understanding the specification. Therefore, it is intended that the disclosure not be limited to the particular embodiment(s) disclosed as the best mode contemplated for carrying out this disclosure, but that the disclosure will include all embodiments falling within the scope of the appended claims.

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