Thomas tries… ‘British Milk Tea’

I maintain that I will try any food or beverage once (unless it is illegal or highly toxic). This will probably be a regular feature of my blog, where I taste something for the first time. Now, I will need to be sensitive about the comments I make. Just because I like something, it doesn’t make it inheritently good and if I don’t like it, it’s not necessarily bad. It’s just a case of personal preference. There will also be a large cultural element to this as well. Just because the average British person may not be used to a certain taste palate, does not mean it should be dismissed. A part of this is about me adapting to my surrounding culture, and attempting to integrate myself with elements of Cambodian life. It will never be a straightforward process, and some of it may involve me gritting my teeth and getting on with it. I’m sure the saying “beggars can’t be choosers” will soon become a personal motto.

About 39 hours into my journey to Cambodia and with my mother’s voice ringing in my ears, I decided I was in need of hydration. I found a vending machine near my departure gate and then I saw this.

I knew I had to try it. Of course I was dubious about it. First, it was cold and from a vending machine. Furthermore, the Lipton ice tea we get back in the UK can often taste a bit artificial and overly sweet. Having just freshly departed from home, I was perhaps drawn to something familiar, so the word ‘British’ was appealing. However, the thing that both intrigued and concerned me the most was the word ‘milk’ in the title. Iced coffee with milk, that’s fine. Iced tea with milk, that would normally be a no. But why not? So this is me trying to descretely try it. The video is really short because I was only on about 9% battery life at this point and its at a strange low angle shot (I had to balance my phone on my passport to take this). But it’s perhaps worth it for facial expressions.

It was similtaneously exactly as I expected it to be and surprisingly disappointing. The main surprise was how sweet it was. The other surprise is that it tasted just like tea. Only, this is that cup of tea that you put down on the window sill and forget about. A few hours later, when you finally spot it and wonder what could be the harm in trying it, only to be crushed by the realisation that cold tea is never nice. So that is what it tastes like: disappointed hope of a decent cup of tea and sweet, sweet regret at your life choices. You are left with the bitter taste of milk on the turn in your mouth and the sense that all that is good in the world has been lost.

4 thoughts on “Thomas tries… ‘British Milk Tea’

  1. Rather melancholy Mr A! Surely an opportunity- a hint of home with an excitingly unfamiliar twist. However, sweet tea is always morally wrong.

    Top tip – keep away from anything with six legs, they pollinate, sting or generally annoy.


  2. Cold tea is the best…generally because I’m forgetful and drink it 4 hours after it’s made! Hope you’re having a great time! Just not too great, we don’t want you staying there! Just remember you have to come back for your favourite student! I got you chocolate so you owe me a return to TSTC in a year’s time!


    1. That’s what microwaves are for. Ice tea I can get behind, tea that’s been left to stand and go stagnant, not so much.

      I will be back! Don’t worry!


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