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Packed Lunch with a Bottle of Tea

When people travel in Japan by train, they often buy packed meals called “ekiben” at the station, and a plastic bottle or can of green tea is a common accompaniment.

Before cans and plastic bottles for beverages were invented, green tea was sold in pottery bottles (“do-bin”), shaped similarly to teapots, with packed meals.

However pottery bottles gradually fell into disuse and were replaced by plastic containers with tea bags so that people could add hot water to brew their own tea. These days, you hardly ever see these, either, but they were the forerunners of the contemporary plastic bottles and cans.

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