In the photograph above, a tea inspector is testing different teas. According to the National Archives:
Coffee once took second place to America’s favorite drink—tea. Tons of tea was adulterated to increase its weight to disguise inferiority. Although tea was not the only—or the worst—threat to the health and safety of consumers, it was the easiest to control. Congress already had the power to regulate imports and most tea was produced in other countries.
The National Board of Tea Experts established the Tea Act of 1897 met annually to set standards for imported tea from 1897 until the Act repealed in 1996.