Transparent Drinks From Japan? The Secret Behind How They’re Made Revealed Here!

  • FOOD
  • Suntory is no stranger when it comes to both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. In 2017, Suntory surprised the world with not one, but two, unique teas! The fact that these teas are clear and colorless just like mineral water yet taste surprisingly the same as their colored counterparts is what makes them a fad.

    With a number of colorless drinks that are artificially flavored out in the market, many people are skeptical about Suntory’s latest product. However, Suntory is set to prove to everyone that their clear teas are indeed special and different from the others. Let’s have a look at these transparent teas and find out the secret behind them!

    The Predecessors

    Before the Premium Morning Tea Series, Suntory has already been producing Suntory Tennensui beverages that have one thing in common – all of them are transparent. They produced flavored waters such as the Minami-Alps Tennensui Sparkling, Minami-Alps Tennensui Sparkling Lemon, and Minami-Alps Tennensui & Asa-zumi Orange among others.

    Despite all the beverages produced, none of them was as popular as the Minami-Alps Tennensui & Yogurina which was first released in 2015 and sold over 10 million cases from April 14, 2015, to March 9, 2016. In 2016, Suntory collaborated with the animated film,
    Your Name (Kimi no Na wa), on a commercial series to promote the drink.

    According to Suntory, the tangy flavored yogurt drink is produced using whey, which is derived from milk and contains minerals and amino acids:

    “We carefully blend the fermentation lactobacillus of whey in Minami-Alps Tennensui to produce a beverage as transparent as water with a refreshing finish that can be gulped down while making it possible to enjoy the flavor of yogurt. By carefully selecting ingredients to bring out the unique fragrance of yogurt without compromising the fragrances of yogurt and fruit, we have created a slightly sweet and bright flavor.”

    Many people claim that it has much more of a yogurt taste than they imagined and would be good for breakfast or to be brought along to work.

    The Successor: Premium Morning Tea Series

    The Premium Morning Tea Series has two flavors: lemon tea and milk tea. Following the success of their Minami-Alps Tennensui & Yogurina, Suntory shocked the world once again in April and September 2017 with their transparent lemon tea and milk tea, respectively. The lemon tea is only available in 550mL bottles, whereas the milk tea is available in 550mL and 280mL bottles (vending machine only).

    The products are priced at less than 150 yen and available in almost all convenience stores across Japan, making it easy for everyone in the country to purchase them.

    The Premium Morning Lemon Tea is made using Lipton “aromatic luxurious tea leaves” black tea and carefully cultivated organic lemon juice. It has the natural tartness of organic lemon juice and is described as refreshing.

    The Premium Morning Milk Tea, on the other hand, is made of Assam tea leaves and milk-based ingredients in order for it to achieve the richness of milk. The drink also has a very subtle cloudiness when compared to normal water. While it may taste the same as any other milk tea, it is also said to be lacking the creaminess of milk when compared to its colored counterpart.

    The Secret: How It’s Made

    Many people are itching to know how the transparency of the Premium Morning Tea is achieved. In response to the public’s interest, Suntory released a 20-second clip on their official Youtube channel explaining the method involved in producing such drinks.

    The teas are created by boiling natural water to produce water vapor. The water vapor then passes through loose black tea leaves, infusing it with the aroma. After that, the water vapor is cooled in a condenser, leaving behind crystal clear liquid that still retains the aroma of the tea, thus obtaining transparent tea.

    What about the milk tea, you ask? It is also produced in the same manner but in order to take away the chalky color of milk, the milk fat and milk proteins, which causes the white color of milk, are removed. According to Suntory, by removing them, it also eliminates some of the distinct milky aftertastes. While it is indeed transparent, the Premium Morning Milk Tea still contains milk protein and is not suitable for people with lactose intolerance.

    Based on the name, “Premium Morning Tea,” we can say that both drinks are marketed as morning drinks. According to Suntory’s website, the drinks are produced with the mission to enrich our mornings. These drinks are also available in some countries outside of Japan. Now that the mystery behind how they’re made is debunked, you don’t have to be wary when purchasing them!

    Suntory Premium Morning Tea Series Website *Japanese only