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Tea from a spray can promises end to soggy bags

LEATHERHEAD, England (Reuters) - If there is one thing the British enjoy, it is a good cup of tea and one English drinks maker has come up with an unusual way of making the brew - sprayed into a cup from an aerosol can.

No More Tea Bags is pre-brewed and dispensed from an aluminium spray can. Drinkers squirt a small amount of the concentrated tea into a cup, and add hot water and milk if desired.

“It was really about just trying to make a better cup of tea,” maker Guy Woodall, whose Yum Cha Drinks company sells iced tea, told Reuters at his farm.

“Of course there’s an element of convenience with this and not having a soggy tea bag to get rid of at the end of it.”

Woodall uses wine-making equipment to make the equivalent of a giant pot of tea to produce the spray, one can of which yields about 20 cups of average strength tea.

“I started developing it in glass ... The trouble was we had to use chemical preservatives and I didn’t want to do that,” he said. “I realised that ... you could put the tea in (an aerosol can) in a sterile condition and it’s completely isolated from the atmosphere.”

Launched in August in a small number of independent shops, No More Tea Bags comes in three flavours: English breakfast, Earl Grey and Jasmine.

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The unusual product has triggered some confusion and outrage among British tea drinkers, some taking to Twitter and jokingly labelling it “evil” or using the hash tag “#teaheresy”.

Ultimately, though, the product may lose out to consumers’ increasingly discerning tastes.

“This is probably more like your average cup of tea. There’ll be a lot of people who’d probably love ... this flavour and this convenience,” said Jemma Swallow, a tea sommelier and co-founder of The Tea Box.

“But I think as people are demanding more from their tea, I think this market may get smaller.”

Reporting By Matthew Stock; Editing by Hugh Lawson