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! 🙂