If you take a look back through our past, the course of history will show how most good things are eventually replaced by quick, convenient, more "modern" options. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it is sad. As technology improves and the "old ways" get thrown out with the trash we lose our traditions, and our appreciation of simpler times and a more natural way of life. This pattern of replacing the past with the future, and traditional with new, has had an impact on tea as well.
Tea was originally a simple beverage, plucked off the bush, steamed and placed in a pot of boiled water. Commercialism and the trade industry changed the simplicity of this ageless drink. Harvesting methods originally performed by hand were replaced with machinery; the ceremony and tradition that went into creating the perfect blend of tea gave way to speed and convenience, and mass production. Tea plantations which had once been tended to by hand were industrialized, and tea was mechanically harvested, processed, and packed into little baggies perfect for instant brewing.
But is it worth it?
Many people have no idea where their tea really comes from. Many are not even aware that there are options outside of bagged tea. Stuck in a cycle of familiarity, human kind is unwilling to stretch their comfort zone, and prefer to stick with what they know. But did you know that the majority of bagged tea comes from low fields (lacking the humidity that tea plants thrive on), tended to and harvested by machines, and processed by a method called CTC (crush, tear, curl)? This un-orthodox method of manufacturing tea results in a sub-standard product that needs to be blended with other low-quality teas to mask its taste. And did you know that most tea bags do not have enough room to allow the tea leaves to infuse properly.