Tea of the Mist

April 24, 2008 / Culture, Daily Life / 24 Comments

I’ve always been an avid tea drinker. My daily tea usually consists of black teas because only they are strong enough to leave a bittersweet aftertaste, which then ends with a sort of sour afterthought in the middle of my tongue. I never drink tea with milk. Just a lot of sugar to counter the bitterness since I never take out the tea leaves or tea bag from my drink. And I would wait for my tea to hit that exact temperature and finish it in a few sips. I have no idea what the temperature is since I don’t have a food thermometer. One degree too hot and my tongue will be swollen from being slightly burned, my throat would sizzle in agony. One degree to cold, and the tea loses flavor immediately. All I’d taste is bitterness and flatness. I generally dislike infusions as well, because I like tea for tea not strange fruit, flower or herb mixes. But I make exceptions for jasmine green tea. And recently, I’ve made another exception, a strange one at that: Kiri no Koucha Milk Tea 霧の紅茶 ミルクテイー

Kiri no Koucha
Kiri no Koucha Milk Tea

I don’t drink milk tea, I don’t drink infused teas, and heck, I would never be caught dead drinking teas masquerading as some soft drink. This tea is supposed to be everything I don’t like, and yet… I’m addicted. I walked to Korean Town in the rain to get me 3 cans today because that’s all I could carry along with my groceries.

My first encounter with it was a month ago, when my boyfriend and I went to Korean town to pick up some groceries. As usual, we’d idlely stand in front of the drinks section because the supermarket has a range of mysterious drinks from the Far East. Out of curiosity, my boyfriend picked up this can that strangely looks cute and elegant at the same time designed with a mix of Japanese and English words.
The English reads:

Prepared according to the time-honored golden rules of English tea-making, using the finest teas selected for the most discerning connoisseur. You can enjoy the fashionable & fascinating tea time.

My boyfriend was laughing at how strange the English was. Well, that’s expected from a Japanese product but for some reason the strange English had my mouth watering. Or maybe it was just the logo of the cup of tea with cream that looked like something the Duchess of York would drink out of. Whatever the case, out of curiosity, I bought one.

The taste was quite strange at first. When I opened the can, I detected the scent of a flower and maybe a few spices. At first sip, the tea was smooth and refreshing like cold green tea. Then the cream and milk momentarily overwhelms the tea. At the peak of the taste, I begin to taste the spice, which then is gentle toned down by the mild sweetness. And the aftertaste? There’s no mistaking it; it’s exactly the same as my usual black tea. That sour afterthought lingering in my tongue was simply exquisite.

The taste is so unique that it was impossible to forget. Well, humans generally don’t forget smells and tastes but this taste would linger in my mouth for weeks. I couldn’t forget how it is smells like or how it tastes like. I even kept the can from the first try. I just had to go back for more. And I will after I finish my last can tomorrow.

霧の紅茶 ミルクテイー Kiri no Koucha. The character 霧 (Kiri) in Chinese means “mist”. I guess this would mean that this exquisite soft drink is “Tea of the Mist” or “Misty Tea”. What an appropriate name for such a mysterious taste.

Do you like tea? Are you addicted to any drinks? What about habits on how you like your drinks? Do share your experience!

Sorry I’ve been away from the blog scene. I’ve had to run errands these past couple days. I will be returning comments soon! 🙂

  • Id

    I’m an avid tea drinker too, but unlike you, I bring on the milk. XD

    I wonder if this drink is available in Singapore. The next time I do my groceries I’ll try to remember it. If not, then teh peng will do. =P

  • A can of tea? That certainly seems like a fascinating tea time to me! :O

  • re: Holly
    you can get all sorts of things in a can in asia.

    i’m not sure I’ve tried this before but I’ve tried something called 午后の红茶 …. I think … it’s good.Being in Great Britain is pretty hard to avoid tea. lol… I never say I like tea.. but come to think of it .. i really like green tea, bubble tea, milk tea, ice tea, lemon tea, chrysanthemum (sp?) tea, … so I guess yea.

    my fav drink’s probably yakult…

  • I think I am the only English person who doesn’t like tea! Especially with milk. I could never drink tea with milk.
    So I’m not sure I would like this one…
    I like green tea sometimes, but I prefer coffee.

  • my sister is the tea drinker. We have lots of bags of tea leaves from all over the place, and whenever she’s home, she’ll be brewing them up. I’m more of a juice person, though I don’t mind tea every now and then.

    But I want to try that “Misty Tea” of yours. Sounds delicious! I’ll keep an eye out for it when I go grocery shopping.

    Oh, and I’ve added you to my blogroll, I hope you don’t mind. =)

  • LOL, I used to drink tea so that I can stay awake, but it was ruining my sleep schedule, so I’ve stopped. =P I still drink milk tea(Boba), though. =P I LOVE Boba. Hehe.

  • Omg you have no idea how much I LOVE tea!! I love black tea that are super strong and bitter (hell no to milk and sugar in this case). I love Asian teas but not too fond with Western/English teas (if I drink those, I have to add milk and sugar). Although I don’t like Asian teas with a sweet taste to it but the funny thing is that I love drinking hot and cold milk tea too. Ahh sorry I kept on rambling.. did that make sense? =0

    My absolute favorite tea is Pu Li.

    & I’d love to try that can of tea. Do you drink it cold though? I prefer hot teas… the only cold one I drink is milk tea and my daily dosage of Nutri-V Lemon Green Tea at work.

  • Wow, you make it sound so good, lol.

    I drink tea every day. Celestial Seasoning’s Green Tea Atioxidant Supplement. I heard your body absorbs the green tea goodness better with a little citrus and I get my rdi of vitamin C 😀 And some caffeine too 😛

  • I don’t like tea at all. The closest thing associated with tea that I like is green tea ice cream.. lol.

  • I used to hate tea since I was little because of the bittery taste but when I tried green tea, I fell in love with it. But I don’t really like ice-cream or frozen yogurt green tea.. I only like it as a hot beverage. It’s perfect to drink on cold, winter days ^^

  • I’m a huge tea drinker, I’m more for the natural herbs to drink. I drink green teas and jasmine teas, I don’t necessarily like black teas. They’re too bitter for me.
    I don’t understand how people can drink tea with sugar or honey. I grew up with drinking tea straight from the leaves, so it makes me chuckle whenever someone asks me if I wanted sugar or honey with my tea.

    I do the same thing too!! When my hubby and I walk through a Korean/Japanese/asian supermarket, we always stand in front of the drink section. There’s just simply toooooooo many drinks to try and get at the same time, so we have to pick and choose which ones we want to try this time.

  • Reading your blog about that tea makes me want it. It sounds delicious. I’m not fond of herb teas or anything along that line. At mornings and night time I usually have a cup of hot chocolate tea but not hot, cold. I have sensitive teeth therefore the slightest warmth of it, makes my teeth ache. =(

  • Mmmmmm! That looks delicious. I just finished some tea, something apple and something else, it was delicious–but like you said you didn’t like, it was infused. I just needed a nice evening tea to help me focus on my studying. I love that design on the can though. I could probably find that at this international market my mommy shops at. If anything, I bet she has probably had this tea drink before. Geez, I am so greedy I am thinking about this drink already.

  • that looks like awesome tea. i’d love to try it but i have no idea where in the world i would find something like that.

  • Toni

    the can does look quite tasty (the tea..not the actual can haha.). Your description of it makes my mouth water. LOL @ the english :p

  • I’ve never heard of black tea before and I’m not a big fan of tea but I do occasionally drink it (my favourite is “Fruits of the Forest”). I’d never drink tea with milk… I don’t like the idea of it. lol. That tea does sound delicious though.

  • 霧(Kiri) is Kiri. Just same as in Chinese.
    So that means mist. You’re right!
    As you understand Chinese, maybe it’s not that hard to learn Japanese….

    BTW, I don’t drink canned beverages because basically they are too sweet.

    Your boyfriend found “Engrish”? That’s funny and is always, which is my question, “why they don’t get proofreading”?

  • Wow, a long post with 18 comments just over a canned tea. Wow.

  • Hello! It certainly made in Japan. There are many kind of canned tea in my country, and there are many kinds of tastes, with milk, apple, lemon, muscat, peach and so on. I like tea, but I don’t like canned tea very much because many of can is a bit too sweet. 🙁 However I have never drunk “霧の紅茶”, so I’ll try if I see it! Anyway, thanks for leaving lovely comments on my blog. It made me happy. 🙂

  • It depends on what tea it is for me, actually.
    When I drink chinese tea – I prefer if it’s hot, but if it’s cold it’s fine too. I like to drink Chinese tea plain.

    But if it’s any other tea, adding milk is kinda nice too 😀
    However, I have a thing for Bubble Milk tea. I’m addicted (I think it originated from Taiwan).

    For me if it’s green tea, I can only drink it hot. Other than that, it tastes weird for me :O

  • I love drinking Celestial Seasonings “Sleepytime Extra” tea just before I go to bed. I only drink that if I had an overwhelming day at work and/or on the weekends. I add 2 teaspoons of sugar in it too to balance out the “tart”.

  • u make me want to have it, only i don’t know where to get one 🙁

  • Wow, that description made my mouth water…and I’m just like you – I drink my tea black. But I prefer it without sugar or milk or anything, ‘coz I like my tea to have a bit of a bite to it.

    Though, I have had to stop drinking tea every day because my teeth were getting too yellow. Now I just drink tea whenever I need a boost.

    I’ll have to admit, a lot of teas sold in America are more fruit and sugar than tea. I guess Americans generally won’t drink anything that isn’t 90% sugar? XD My mother buys these giant packs of 20 oz. bottles of “green tea with citrus” aka “possibly some green tea but mainly high fructose corn syrup and food coloring in water”, and I’ll drink them, but they’re more like pop than tea, really. They have a white tea variety too, but it’s all sugar and fruit flavoring too.

    The packaging on that can reminded me of “God” coffee from Engrish.com…