With one of two limited-edition flavors already available, its time for a taste-test!

In the heat of summer, it is ever more important to keep our bodies hydrated, and while water is of course the best choice, sometimes you need to mix it up a bit. To help us with that here in Japan, Lipton is releasing two new limited-edition flavored teas to their line.

First to go on sale from May 10 is their lychee tea, part of the “Tabi-suru Lipton” or “Travelling Lipton” series which they tout is an “ice tea series that combines tea with the deliciousness of beloved ingredients from countries around the world”. The second in the series features Thailand’s beloved lychee fruit, though upon closer inspection the carton includes a disclaimer stating that the lychee juice used in their tea does not actually come from Thailand. Hmm…

From May 17 they will also release to their Premium Tea line a bitter chocolat milk tea, which will be actually be made with Belgian chocolate. This tea will cost 140 yen (US$1.28) plus tax, and will be available until the beginning of July.

With the lychee tea already on convenience store shelves, I went out to purchase one and give it a taste.


While generally not a fan of sweetened teas, I had high hopes for this one as I opened it and was greeted by a mellow, distinctly lychee scent.

▼ Chilled tea, poured into a glass with a straw so graciously provided by the cashier!


With one more sniff for good measure, I took a sip, and my mouth was immediately assaulted with an offensive punch of sweetness. It was all sweet and no tea or lychee, which was unexpected considering the scent, and rather disappointing.


With my palate adjusted to the sweetness and my mind prepared for the onslaught of sugar, I braved another taste. The sweetness again was quite overwhelming, but this time I was able to pick up on a hint of tea and lychee aftertaste amidst the lingering bitterness of artificial sweetener.

I then noticed the zero-calorie claim on the carton, which was surprising considering the first ingredient listed was sugar (in addition to three other sweeteners!). Lo and behold, there was another disclaimer, stating that in accordance to Nutrition Labelling Standards, if there are less than five calories per 100 millilitres, it is listed as zero calories…

Now, being left with an unpleasant, lingering aftertaste and an even stronger distrust of food labelling, I have to say I don’t really recommend this one. However, if you enjoy sugary drinks and don’t have taste buds sensitive to artificial sweeteners, at only 100 yen ($0.92) it might be worth a try. Might. Personally, I will be holding out for the Belgian chocolate milk tea!

Source and top image: Entabe 
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