Title:
INFUSION PACKAGE
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An infusion device includes an infusion bag containing tea. A string is attached to the bag and a cover encloses the bag. The cover is perforated at the bottom to permit the user to remove the bag from the cover. The string is also attached to a detachable tab on the cover so that the bag can be drawn back up into the cover after brewing the tea.



Inventors:
Sluzas, Daniel M. (Montclair, NJ, US)
Application Number:
12/139896
Publication Date:
10/01/2009
Filing Date:
06/16/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
53/134.2, 206/.5, 426/77
International Classes:
B65B29/02; B65B61/14; B65D85/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
WEINSTEIN, STEVEN L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PAUL AND PAUL (PHILADELPHIA, PA, US)
Claims:
1. An infusion device comprising: (a) an infusion bag comprising a water permeable material enclosing a natural product material; (b) a string attached to the bag; and (c) a cover for enclosing the infusion bag, the cover including a first side and second side, the infusion bag extending between the first and second sides of the cover, the cover including a release portion for permitting a user to release the infusion bag from the cover, the cover including a tab portion detachable from the cover to form a tab portion and a body of the cover, the string being attached to the tab portion.

2. An infusion device according to claim 1, the cover being generally rectangular and having an upper edge and a lower edge, the cover being perforated proximate the lower edge of the cover to permit a user to open the cover by tearing the cover along the perforations.

3. An infusion device according to claim 2, the tab portion extending from the upper edge of the cover, the cover being perforated proximate the tab portion to permit a user to separate the tab from the body of the cover by tearing the cover along the perforations.

4. An infusion device according to claim 1 wherein the cover is formed from a water-resistant material.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to infusion packages for brewing beverages from dry beverage material.

2. Brief Description of the Prior Art

Combinations of infusion packages such as tea bags and covers or envelopes therefore are known in the art. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 3,175,911 discloses an infusion device for coffee or tea which includes a bag of fibrous filter material containing an infusible substance such as tea, a detachable tag, and a string extending between the detachable tag and the bag. In one embodiment, the tag is integrally formed with, but detachable from the bag. In another embodiment, the tag is integrally formed with an envelop for the bag. The tag is perforated to permit it to be placed over the spout of a teapot as a drop catcher. Similarly, U.S. Pat. No. 5,091,197 discloses a tea bag with a squeezing device. An infusion bag containing tea is connected by a string to a tag. The string extends through a plastic cover consisting of two panels connected along a fold line with a hole in the center of the fold line to permit the string to pass through. After the tea has been brewed, the tea bag can be pulled up into the cover and squeezed before discarding the bag.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides an infusion device including an infusion bag comprising a water permeable material enclosing a natural product material. A string is attached to the bag and to a cover for the infusion bag. The cover includes a first side and second side. The infusion bag is enclosed within the cover and extends between the first and second sides of the cover. The cover includes a release portion for permitting a user to release the infusion bag from the cover. In addition, the cover includes a tab portion detachable from the cover. When detached the tab portion forms tab, the remaining portion of the cover forming the body of the cover. The string is attached to the tab portion, and thus to the tab.

In a presently preferred embodiment, the cover is generally rectangular and has an upper edge and a lower edge. The cover is preferably perforated proximate the lower edge of the cover to permit a user to open the cover by tearing the cover along the perforations. Preferably, the tab portion extends from the upper edge of the cover and the cover is perforated proximate the tab portion to permit a user to separate the tab from the body of the cover by tearing the cover along the perforations.

Preferably, the cover is formed from a water-resistant material.

In order to use the infusion device, a user tears the cover along the perforations at the lower edge of the cover so that the bag can be withdrawn and placed in a suitable container for brewing, such as a teapot or cup of hot water. The bag is attached to the cover by the string, and the cover can be hung over the edge of the cup or teapot. After brewing is completed, the user detached the tab from the cover by tearing along the perforations at the top of the cover, and pulls the bag up into the cover by pulling on the string, which now extends through a hole in the upper edge of the cover formed when the user detached the tab from the cover. The bag can be squeezed by squeezing the cover to remove excess fluid, and the covered, used, bag can be discarded.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a schematic side elevational view of an infusion device according to the present invention shown prior to use.

FIG. 2 is a schematic side elevational view of the infusion device of FIG. 1 shown with the tea bag removed from the cover.

FIG. 3 is a schematic side elevational view of the infusion device of FIG. 1 shown with the tab detached from the cover.

FIG. 4 is a schematic side elevational view of the infusion device of FIG. 1 shown with the tea bag drawn up into the cover after use.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring now to the drawings, in which like reference numerals refer to like elements in each of the several views, there are shown schematically in FIGS. 1, 2, 3 and 4 an infusion device according to the present invention.

FIG. 1 is a schematic side elevational view of an infusion device 10 according to the present invention shown prior to use. The infusion device 10 includes a generally rectangular infusion bag 20 formed from a material pervious to liquid, such as a non-woven fibrous sheet material, enclosing a brewable material such as tea, coffee, or the like 22, shown schematically in FIG. 2. A can be seen in FIG. 1, the infusion bag 20 is enclosed within a generally rectangular cover 30 formed from a pair of cover sides 32 formed from a sheet material such as paper or a thin flexible plastic material such as polyethylene. If paper is employed, the paper is preferably coated on the inside of the cover 30 with a hydrophobic coating to resist wetting and water penetration. The cover 30 includes a body portion 34 enclosing the infusion bag 20 and a tab portion 36 extending from the upper edge of the body portion 34 of the cover 30. Proximate the bottom edge 38 of the cover 30 the two sides 32 of the cover 20 are perforated in a line 40 extending parallel to and slightly spaced from the bottom edge 38 of the cover 30 to form a release portion of the cover 20. Similarly, the tab portion 36 of the cover 30 is perforated proximate the top edge 42 of the body 32 of the cover 30 along a line 44 extending parallel to and slightly spaced from the top edge 42 of the body 32 of the cover 30. A string 50 is affixed at one end 52 to the infusion bag 20 and at the other end 56 to the tab portion 36 of the cover 30.

In order to use the infusion device 10, a user grasps the lower edge 38 of the cover 30 and tears the cover 20 along the perforation line 40 forming a stub 42 and a lower opening 46 in the bottom of the cover 30 through which the infusion bag 20 can be removed by the user. FIG. 2 is a schematic side elevational view of the infusion device 10 of FIG. 1 shown after the infusion device 10 has been opened by a user. The user can now deposit the infusion bag 20 in a suitable container of hot liquid, such as a tea cup (not shown) and brew a beverage. The cover 30 can be hung over the side of the container while the beverage is being brewed (not shown).

After the brewing has been completed, the user grasps the cover body 34 and the tab portion 36 and tears the cover 30 along the upper perforated line 44 to separate the tab portion 36 from the body 34 of the cover 30, thus forming a second or upper hole 48 in the cover 30 through which the string 50 can freely pass, such as illustrated in the schematic side elevational view of FIG. 3.

The user now grasps the tab or tab portion 36 and pull the string 50 through the lower opening 46 and upper opening 48 in the cover 30 until the wet infusion bag 30 is drawn up into the cover 30 through the lower opening 46, such as shown in the schematic side elevational view of FIG. 4. The user can now squeeze the outside of the cover 30 to force excess, residual liquid from the infusion bag 20, and discard the infusion device 10. Preferably, the cover 30 is formed from a waterproof or water resistant material, such as a polyolefin plastic material such as polyethylene, or a paper treated with a hydrophobic coating, to both help extend the shelf life and preserve the freshness of the contents of the infusion device 10, and to prevent liquid from contacting the user's hand when the cover 30 is squeezed before the used infusion device 10 is discarded by the user.

It will be apparent from the foregoing that various modifications may be made in the details of the infusion device of this invention, all within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims