Don't Buy the Hype, Suntory's Clear Milk Tea is a Letdown

By Paul Finkbeiner, June 6, 2018

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'We Try It' is a regular series where we try the latest off-beat food and beverage offerings.

You’d think it would be impossible to confuse milk tea with flavored water at a convenience store. But Japanese beverage company Suntory has fooled us all by producing a variation of milk tea that looks and tastes pretty watery.

That’s right – it's clear, just like good ol’ fashioned H2O. Aside from the bottle’s label, which features pictures of cream and a glass of milk tea, you’d be forgiven for mistaking the bevvie for water or oddly-packaged baijiu.

Any misconception about what the liquid might be, though, is quickly dispelled when you open the bottle: Suntory’s milk tea unleashes a surprisingly aromatic tea leaf scent. Compared to a cup of Coco-brand milk tea, in fact, we found the Suntory variety had a stronger, more fragrant odor.

coco-milk-tea-suntory.jpg

Unfortunately, smell doesn’t translate to taste in this case, and we found the clear milk tea to be a watered-down version of the real deal. With an off-putting sugary aftertaste, the Suntory beverage reminded us of one of those clear, flavored drinks that try to pass themselves off as substitutes for Gatorade or Powerade.

While the clear milk tea does list a dairy sweetener in the ingredients, the creamy smoothness of milk is nonexistent and the taste, overall, screams artificial.

Suntory’s milk tea certainly gets points for innovation and creativity, but it just can’t compare to standard milk tea. If you’re feeling adventurous, give it a try. Otherwise, stick to milk tea's classic variety. 

For more 'We Try It,' click here.

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