A weigh-tea matter
August 18, 2009 9:30 PM   Subscribe

I have a package of 20 tea bags, and the weight is marked on the package as two ounces. Does this mean there are two ounces of tea split between 20 tea bags, or does the two ounces include the weight of both the tea and the bags? I don't have a small scale to verify.
posted by crazycanuck to Food & Drink (6 answers total)
2 ounces is probably the net weight of the tea without the bags. There is probably only 2 ounces of tea in the whole box, unless the box weighs about 2 and a half pounds.
posted by 517 at 9:35 PM on August 18, 2009

It almost certainly doesn't say "Weight: 2 oz" but "Net Weight: 2 oz". Which is the answer to your question:
Gross weight is a term that generally is found in commerce or trade applications, and refers to the total weight of a product and its packaging. Conversely, net weight refers to the weight of the product alone, discounting the weight of its container or packaging; and tare weight is the weight of the packaging alone.
posted by aubilenon at 9:58 PM on August 18, 2009

Response by poster: Yes it would say net weight. So a tea bag is considered packaging, not product? Weird. How much does a tea bag weigh?
posted by crazycanuck at 10:02 PM on August 18, 2009

Best answer: Okay, I have some tea here that doesn't individually wrap each tea bag. So I did some Science for you.

The package says 20 tea bags. Net WT: 1.2 oz (33g)

I only have 12 bags left, but I only used 10 since it makes the math easier. I weighed them and they weighed 20g. Which means that all 20 bags would be 40g, which means that 20 empty tea bags weigh 7g, which means they each weigh about 350 mg.

(For comparison, a 200mg ibuprofen pill also weighs about 350mg. For medicines, they list the amount of the active ingredient, not the mass of the pill (which includes binders, fillers, dyes, and sugar coatings. There was no "net wt" listed on the bottle of pills though! I guess you aren't expected to care how much candy coating you eat.)
posted by aubilenon at 10:16 PM on August 18, 2009

Best answer: Oh those 350mg bags had no staples or strings - and some were attached to each other in perforated strips. Maybe because it was green tea instead of black tea, I dunno. But it's decaffeinated, which is bullshit anyway.
posted by aubilenon at 10:17 PM on August 18, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks aubilenon, very helpful. except for the decaf tea being bullshit part, heresy!
posted by crazycanuck at 10:35 PM on August 18, 2009

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