The herbal teas were created by a Birmingham culinary arts student as part of a competition organised by the British Frozen Food Federation (BFFF).
The BFFF challenged students to come up with a product that demonstrated the potential of frozen food within the premium category.
Sumaiyah Patel created frozen tea cubes that contain freshly frozen fruit and herbs. She aimed to target consumers interested in the health and wellbeing trend at the premium end of the market.
“I used to drink a lot of herbal teas and, to be honest, I thought they were terrible,” said Patel.
Dried herbs and fruits are artificial and tasteless
“You can’t get the flavour out of dried herbs and fruits. They are artificial and tasteless. My frozen tea cubes give a burst of flavour. They are a tastier and more natural product. Being frozen, they not only lock the flavour in but stay fresher for longer.”
The fruit-flavoured tea comes in four flavours: raspberry and vanilla, peach mandarin, passion fruit, lemon grass and ginger.
The tea is frozen into one-inch squared ice cubes. They can be placed directly into a cup, hot water added and then drunk.
A meeting has been set up to pitch the product to frozen food retailer Iceland and Patel is also pitching her product to foodservice suppliers and retailers, which could not be named at the time of going to press.
“Current trends show that tea has become the new coffee. 60.2bn cups are drunk every year. With different flavours becoming more prominent in the UK market, why hasn’t the idea of frozen tea been produced,” says Patel.
Tea cubes are ‘pure genius’
Brian Young, director general of BFFF, said: “Sumaiyah’s iced tea cubes are pure genius. She has taken an old staid product that has existed for hundreds of years, and transformed into a fresh and flavoursome concept.
“The process of freezing her fruit and herb tea cubes is acting as a natural preservative. It means that consumers will taste them at the peak of their ripeness and quality. The brilliance of flavour would be impossible with dried.
“We hope to see her premium teas in foodservice establishments and on retailer shelves very shortly – and hope that the public will love these fresh and tasty products!”
The runners-up in the competition were Rita Size, for her three-course Chinese lunchbox concept called Pearl on the Dish, and Ayaan Nur’s ‘Sense-a-dome’ six-layer chocolate dessert in the shape of a dome.