Just our cup of tea | Breakthrough Funding

Friday, March 22, 2019

Just our cup of tea

A solution was brewing as Chai fans strived to create a 100% natural instant product

When it comes to tea, the Brits certainly know how to make a great cuppa. Whether you start your day with a good old English Breakfast brew or like to try out weird and wonderful herbal flavours, the national drink will always be close to our hearts.

Having identified the growing popularity in the UK of Chai, a traditional Indian spiced tea, an innovative British company set its sights on developing an instant version of this ancient beverage. Brewing a ‘proper’ cup of Chai tea can take over 20 minutes, which doesn’t sit well with today’s busy lifestyles.

However, creating an instant product that could retain the all-important flavour profile of authentic Chai – while remaining 100% natural and free from dairy, preservatives and artificial additives – proved to be a huge challenge. Not only did the company need to preserve quality, taste and consistency in instant form, they also had to develop packaging that would provide a viable shelf life and remove spice bacteria and oxidisation risk.

Unsurprisingly, the research and development process involved an incredible amount of trial and error. With no good quality examples on the market, the team had to work through many prototypes and testing processes. They even had to design a new hopper to make the production process go more smoothly.

But in the end, the company was successful in developing a range of natural, authentic instant Chai tea for the UK market. They obviously love solving problems though, because they then took on the complex challenge of making the tea available in takeaway form! 

If you’re working on a food or drink innovation that will change the way people manage their diet, get in touch with us – we could help you to claim R&D tax credits or, as we prefer, ‘cash for innovation.’

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