Teas Homogeneously Mixed within Three Minutes

June 1, 2015

4 Min Read
Teas Homogeneously Mixed within Three Minutes
Lindor mixers blend Lipton Tea

The world’s largest tea brand, Lipton Tea, has been using Lindor mixers for blending tea for over a decade. Lipton uses Lindor mixers to blend tea worldwide in its tea plants and R&D centers. The fragile tea leaves are carefully handled by the gentle touch Lindor mixers. Within three minutes the various teas and possibly other ingredients are homogeneously mixed to make the final blend, ready for packing. Most Lindor mixers are equipped with liquid injection for flavoring.

Blending Tea
Tea of different origins is being blended and packed for distribution to retail in tea plants around the world. The blending takes place at the beginning of the process, right after the tea received from the plantation is taken out of the bags, screened, and prepared for a batch. The various teas and possibly other ingredients (such as herbs, flower petals, or fruit pieces) are tipped into the mixer in which a homogeneous blend is made without losing the integrity of the individual components. Tea leaves can have many different characteristics: from very small broken tea leaves (more like a powder), to long leaves up to up to 2–3 cm, more like brittle pine needles.

After the blending, the tea is ready for packaging in tea bags or as loose tea in a pack, box, or tin.

Lindor and Lipton
Bastiaan Soeteman, managing director of Lindor in Dordrecht (the Netherlands), is proud of Lindor’s long relationship with Lipton. “We delivered in 2003 our first mixer to their plant in Brussels. Since then, we have been fortunate to design and manufacture many more mixers for their tea-packing plants and R&D centers around the world. The last mixer, an L4000, was delivered to Indonesia in July of last year. It was even airlifted to meet a tight installation schedule.”

There are two main reasons Lipton has chosen the Lindor mixer: it produces a constant, homogeneous blend within a short cycle time; the precious tea does not get damaged during the blending process, ensuring a superior product quality.

A global technology manager for Lipton explains, “Good blending of the various tea types and ingredients is crucial to us to offer our consumers always the same good taste and color experience when they drink a cup of Lipton tea. Also, the tea leaves cannot be damaged. In the Lindor this is really kept to an absolute minimum.”

Lipton values its relationship with Lindor, as he explains, “We are very pleased with the excellent collaboration and Lindor’s flexibility in meeting even tight delivery schedules. The Lindor people know exactly what we need. The project in Indonesia is a good example. The available time for installing the new machine was really short. In case of a delay we could run out of stocks and we risk supply interruptions to the market. Together with our team in Indonesia the Lindor team has taken this challenge on and completed well within time.”

Lindor Mixer for Tea
The Lindor mixer has a rotating drum with 3 or 6 fixed blades. The geometry of these blades and their relative position in the drum cause the actual mixing trajectory of the products and cause the drum to discharge the entire product through the outlet after opening the outlet valve. The mixer discharges completely, typically better than 99.9%.

The mixer can blend batches of 500, 1000-4000 l, which would produce 150, 300-1200 kg, respectively, at a bulk density of 0.3g/cc. The largest tea mixer ever delivered by Lindor was an L12000 with a batch volume of 12 cu m. Per batch, this mixer can blend an equivalent of about 1.8 million tea bags, or within five batches provide everyone in London with a cup of tea.

There are also mixers designed for small batches. These are used for small or start-up tea companies, pilot plants, and R&D centers. Their batch sizes vary from 10 to 200 l.

Most mixers are equipped with a liquid injection system to be able to flavor the tea, such as bergamot oil to make Earl Grey tea. Adding dry flavor compounds is also an option, or sometimes both are done at the same time to provide more flavor and a more intense fragrance. Within a few minutes all ingredients are combined to a beautiful homogeneous blend.

The Lindor machines comply with the latest safety and hygiene requirements (CE, DIN, FDA).

Three large inspection doors in the drum provide access for inspection and dry or wet cleaning. Metal contact parts are made of AISI 304 or 316 stainless steel. Other features are retractable inlets and outlets to provide even more access for inspection and cleaning and for cleaning or replacing seals, for instance, if recipes with allergenic ingredients are processed.

A full CIP installation can be integrated, with or without hot air drying, for (semi) automatic wet cleaning.

For related articles, news, and equipment reviews, visit our Mixers & Blenders Equipment Zone

Click here for a List of Mixing & Blending Equipment Manufacturers

Click here for information about the upcoming Powder & Bulk Solids Canada conference/exhibition

Sign up for the Powder & Bulk Solids Weekly newsletter.

You May Also Like