Brewing the perfect cup of Lipton tea is usually just a case of adding hot water and allowing the flavours to infuse.
But Lipton’s SunTea range offers an entirely different concept – and its development presented quite a challenge for Unilever’s scientists.
Getting a great taste with cool water
To create Lipton SunTea, our R&D teams were tasked with delivering a tea bag that could brew quickly in cold water and give a delicious, fruity flavour.
Lipton has delivered delicious hot teas to people all over the world for decades, but getting the same result from cold water is something new.
Traditionally, hot water ‘activates’ tea leaves, but Lipton SunTea is optimally balanced for a great taste and refreshment when brewed and consumed cold.
Finding the right flavours
Our teams worked with flavour house IFF to come up with three delicious options designed specifically to work wonders with cold water: Zesty Lemon & Lime, Exotic Peach & Mango, and Intense Mint Green Tea. Fruit inclusions completed the fruit experience of these teas.
And our unique pyramid teabags allow the tea leaves room to move, infusing the water with plenty of taste and colour.
Specially treated tea
The balance of tea and fruit flavour in these cold infusions was key. Lipton R&D and tea blenders identified teas of East African origin, which are known for their good colour and taste generation in hot water, to provide a good brew in cold water. Working with our strategic supplier Martin Bauer, tea extracts were added to complement the tea and enhance the brew colour.
Martin Bauer’s thermal tea treatment was applied to our teas. The treatment minimises the risk of any microbiological contamination, given that hot water isn’t used to brew, and in turn sterilises Lipton SunTea.
Lipton SunTea went from a bright idea to a brand new product in just five months, and went on sale in France in 2011.