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Britain, where drinking tea is a national pastime, is to get its first dripless tea bag thanks to an Australian inventor named Tony Shakespeare.

The revolutionary tea bag was test-marketed with great success in Australia, Russia, Poland and France, and is now ready for launch in Britain, Paul Nicholson of the Tetley group said today.

"We changed the tea drinking habits of the British when we invented the tea bag in 1953 and the round tea bag in 1989. Both captured the imagination of the nation, and we are confident we can do so again," he said.

"It has a string at the top which is woven through the bag and then attached to two tabs at the top which you pull."

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