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NEW YORK, Jan. 29, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- British Airways and Twinings are promising to transform tea in the air with an innovative new blend of the drink, specifically designed to work at altitude. The British Airways signature blend tea will take 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 percent 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 onboard 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 tastebuds, 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.