Video demonstration released to celebrate the launch of new Transparent Black Tea.

It wasn’t too long ago that Suntory decided to unleash milk tea that totally looked like water, and it seems that trend of fooling our brains and taste buds isn’t stopping any time soon.

November 1 was Black Tea Day in Japan, and the beverage company seized on the opportunity to reveal its newest Premium Morning Tea entry that’s sure to delight fans: Transparent Black Tea.

▼ A welcome addition to its brethren, the
Transparent Lemon Tea and Transparent Milk Tea.

Just how do they do it? As a tea lover myself, I can’t help but wonder how many chemical additives they’d have to add to change ordinary water into something that tastes as complex as black tea.

In order to dispel the myth that the Transparent Black Tea is nothing but a soup of artificial flavorings, Suntory produced a simple video showing how it’s done. Water is first boiled to produce water vapor, which becomes infused with aroma when passed through loose black tea leaves. The gas then gets cooled in a condenser, leaving behind crystal clear liquid that still retains the tea’s bouquet of flavors.

▼ Suntory claims this process produces liquid that
tastes like a freshly brewed cup of tea.

Despite the company’s claims, it doesn’t take much brainpower to figure out that “tea” produced this way won’t have the same profile of subtle flavors that “real tea” (boiled in water) possesses. The tea leaves in the video aren’t in full contact with water, meaning that not all chemical compounds — and thus, taste — will be extracted this way. But though it won’t taste exactly like rich black tea, it’ll come pretty darn close.

Suntory also explains the science behind its Transparent Milk Tea using a diagram. According to the company, milk is broadly made up of milk fat, milk protein, lactose and milk minerals, the latter two of which are transparent. By simply utilizing lactose and milk minerals, they can then impart the flavor of milk into drinks while remaining crystal clear.

▼ Take away the  milk fat and milk proteins, and you’ll be left
with transparent milk! It’s still unsuitable for lactose-intolerant people though.

While the opaque milk fat and milk protein don’t fit into the theme of transparent drinks, they do carry some flavor themselves, and so removing them also removes some of the distinct milky aftertaste we’ve all come to know. If you’ve ever drank the Transparent Milk Tea, you’ll have found it felt like drinking a slightly diluted version of the real thing.

Suntory also uses different tea leaves in its range of Premium Morning Tea, adopting a blend of luxurious tea to emphasize the lemony zest in its clear Lemon Tea, while making use of assam tea’s mild but rich flavor in its Transparent Milk Tea.

▼ A lot of effort is put into creating harmonious flavor profiles.

Now that the beverage company’s spilled its secrets, we can all rest assure that its crystal clear drinks are all natural. They’re just missing some elements, which is much preferable to just taking plain water and adding a bunch of chemicals to it.

Source: PR Times
Top image: YouTube/サントリー公式チャンネル (SUNTORY)