Grape Japan

Suntory’s New Milk Tea Is Clearly Different

If you've been following beverage trends in Japan, you'll know that transparent drinks are all the rage. Coca-Cola's "I LOHAS" line of mineral water and sparkling water infused with fruit and vegetable flavors come to mind.

However, Suntory has been drawing a lot of attention recently through their Natural Mineral Water brand with flavors one would not normally imagine could be possible in such a transparent format. It began with the Yogurina water, which, as the name suggests, tastes like yogurt and contains beneficial lactic acid bacteria. According to their Q & A page, whereas most drinks containing lactic acid bacteria have a cloudy appearance because the bacteria is derived by fermenting milk or skimmed milk, they succeeded in deriving it from whey, which is a clear byproduct of milk.

Then, earlier this year, they created another sensation when they launched their Premium Morning Tea series, the first variation of which astonished consumers with its authentic lemony iced tea flavor despite being perfectly transparent.

Now, they have created something even more surprising: a completely transparent tea beverage ... with milk! That's right, we're talking about milk tea in a completely clear beverage, a feat almost as improbable as Scotty's transparent aluminium in Star Trek IV. But just as transparent aluminium was finally invented in 2016, the same goes for transparent milk tea! Here's to you lads!

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Completely clear, as you can see.

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Pouring it out into a glass just to confirm... And indeed, transparent it is.

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To allay any remaining doubts about the milk-tea-ness of their water, Suntory tells us that "Assam tea leaves are used" (left) and that "this product contains milk components" (right).

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And since it wouldn't be a "premium morning" if you weren't awake to enjoy it, it's good to know that caffeine is also included.

Our Grape Japan staff tried Premium Morning Tea, Milk Tea edition, and it really was exactly as advertised. The taste is unmistakably that of milk tea. Perhaps the only difference we detected was the lack of a creamy consistency, but that is hardly something we can fault Suntory for since this is a water product and not a tea product, after all.

Premium Morning Tea, Milk Tea edition is available at most convenience stores in Japan.

By - Ben K.