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Instant Tea

The only advantage of instant tea is that it can be made quickly. In the same way that coffee lovers would rarely even consider drinking instant coffee, so true tea connoisseurs would not dream of drinking instant tea. Since half the pleasure of tea is in the preparation, the brewing, and the enjoyment of the tea wares as well as the tea itself, to open a jar and make a cup of instant tea with a spoonful of granules is, to many people, sacrilegious. However, it is perhaps worth explaining briefly how instant tea is manufactured and how recent advances in technology are aiming to improve quality and flavor.

First, the tea leaves are infused to extract all the components that go to make a cup of tea. Leaf and liquid are then separated, the leaf discarded, and the liquid further treated to obtain a solid, dry product. This is done by three methods - evaporation of water by the application of heat, freeze concentration during which the infusion is partly frozen and ice particles are then separated, and filtering through membranes that allow the water to pass through but trap the tea solids. The solids are then dried, either by spray-drying or by freeze-drying, and then packed into moisture-resistant packaging - usually jars - to protect the finished product on its way to the consumer.