Published on : Monday, February 4, 2013
British Airways and Twinings promised a transformed tea in the air with an innovative new blend of the nation’s favorite drink, specifically designed to work at altitude. The British Airways signature blend has taken to the skies from February 1, 2013 for customers in all cabins.
With research to prove that taste can be reduced by up to 30 per cent at 35,000 feet, the airline commissioned Twinings to come up with a teabag that would taste as good in the sky as it does on the ground.
Kate Thornton, British Airways’ head of product and service said: “British Airways has decided to lead a campaign to improve tea in the air. With an incredible number of teas available from around the world, there is a real opportunity to create innovative new flavors, perfect for flight. At British Airways we serve 35 million cups a year and we are proud to have what we believe is the best traditional British cuppa in the air.”
The airline conducted tastings on the ground and in the air with a panel of 19 customers, cabin crew and experts including Twinings senior buyer Mike Wright who said: “Water on board an aircraft boils at around 89 degrees centigrade, not the ideal 100 degrees for making black tea. The reduced air pressure and humidity affect the functioning of the taste buds, making things taste different. In addition to this, it was important that the new blend worked well with and without milk. The new British Airways blend is perfectly balanced to create great-tasting tea at 35,000 feet.”
The new tea is a blend of Assam, Kenyan and high grown Ceylon tea: a classic combination giving body, strength, flavor and color. A bias towards the Assam produces a well-rounded, full-bodied blend, while the Kenyan gives it strength and lift and the Ceylon adds flavor.
The tea has been specially created for British Airways in three-pint bags to enable cabin crew to serve the new blend straight from the pot.
In First class, customers are also being treated to a selection of unique specialty teas from the Twinings Whole Leaf Silky Pyramids range which includes English Breakfast; Earl Grey; Mint Humbug; Jasmine Pearls; Red Berry Fool and Honeycomb Camomile. In Club World, customers have a choice of Cranberry & Elderflower, Camomile and Peppermint infusions as well as Earl Grey, English Breakfast and Green Tea
British Airways is investing £5 billion in new products, aircraft and technology to provide the best possible flying experience for British Airways’ customers.