13 Exotic Chinese Drinks Foreigners CRAVE

a cup of pearl milk tea
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Chinese food’s known all throughout the world. Surprisingly, not many people know about traditional Chinese drinks.

Aside from tea, the Chinese also have a bevy of fruit juice, wine, and beer to choose from.

If you want to taste some of these drinks while on a trip to China, here are the best drinks to try:

One of the few Chinese drinks that are recognized worldwide. In China, this is a popular drink among young people.

What makes this drink unique is the tapioca pearls.

While you are taking a sip, one of these soft and chewy balls might get sucked in the straw, leaving you with a delicate snack.


traditional Tieguanyin tea
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If you want to sip on a traditional drink in China, Chinese tea couldn’t get more traditional than this.

Brewed oolong tea leaves mixed with honey are served in a traditional Chinese teapot. You can enjoy this drink in traditional tea houses throughout the country.

However, if you want the creme de la creme of Tieguanyin, then head to the Fujian province. This tea goes well with several Chinese dishes.

Soybean Milk

popular soybean milk
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For those who are lactose-intolerant, here’s a dairy milk substitute you can enjoy.

The milk is primarily made out of yellow wheat beans. Most Chinese can make this at home but you can still find this drink among breakfast stalls. A warm mug of soybean milk can be a great way to start your day.

Tsingtao Chinese Beer

Tsingtao beer
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When the sun sets and you are craving for a cold bottle of beer, then you should try the most popular beer in China.

Tsingtao is lager with high malt content but with a hint of hops. That might sound intimidating, but it’s pretty mild for an alcoholic beverage.

Plus, it doesn’t have a bitter aftertaste like most beers.

Cocoa, rock salt, and cheese milkshake

Choco, rocksalt, cream milkshake
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Cocoa, salt, and cheese don’t seem like they go well together. But blend them in milk and you get this rich and decadent concoction.

It’s also surprisingly smooth and luxurious. That's probably the reason why this drink is also known as “creamsicle.”

Make sure to try this drink when you are craving something sweet.


Plum is the main ingredient of Suanmeitang
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Because traditional Chinese restaurant menu has its fair share of spicy dishes, naturally someone would come up with a drink to wash away that spice. That drink is none other than Suanmeitang.

The sweet and sour taste from the sour plums is perfect for cooling down the tongue and easing the stomach.

Chinese people usually drink this with stew and oily foods.


Baijiu for every occasion
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Baiju is a staple Chinese drink during special occasions like weddings, festivals, or holidays.

They’re sold in a lot of places—even in convenience stores. But be warned because this drink have high alcohol content, so you may want to go slow when you drink this.

Fun fact: This drink is made out of assorted grains and sorghum, so this is considered one of the local drinks.


A Russian drink popular in China
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Surprisingly, this drink originated from Russia but quickly became popular especially in Xinjiang and Harbin.

What makes this extra special is the fact that this drink can be infused with mints, herbs, and even strawberries.

This is a mildly alcoholic drink, so you can enjoy as much as you want.

Yunnan Coffee

High-quality Yunnan coffee beans
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Yunnan province in China has become the coffee capital of the province.

That’s not just because they brew the most delicious coffee, they produce it as well.

The quality of Yunnan coffee is so premier that even the giants are taking notice.

Back in 2012, Starbucks partnered with Aini, which is one of the three biggest producers in the Yunnan province. To all coffee connoisseurs, make sure to stop by Yunnan province and enjoy a fresh brewed cup of coffee.

Kai Shui

Drinking warm water is common in China.
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When you ask for water anywhere in China, they’ll usually hand you warm (and even close to boiling) water.

The reason warm water is a staple is that the Chinese believe it’s not healthy to drink cold water, especially on a warm day.

Drinking warm water is deeply ingrained in Chinese culture. You can get hot drinking water pretty much anywhere, such as in bus stops and other public spaces.

Wahaha Nutri Express

Wahaha Nutri Express is one of the most popular drinks.
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Have you ever wondered what Skittles would be like as a drink?

Get yourself a bottle of Wahaha Nutri Express. The more appropriate description of it would have to be a cross between a yogurt and a fruit drink.

This is considered one of China’s most popular health drinks.

Xinjiang Chinese Beer

A glowing mug
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Your China trip itinerary would not be complete, especially if you are about to attend parties, without trying this beer. It is one of the most popular alcoholic drinks in the country.

Xinjiang may be regarded as a beer, but it tastes more like a lager because of its sweetness.

It’s the perfect drink for washing down spicy dishes.

Ginseng Tea

Ginseng about to be brewed.
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Chinese people take tea pretty seriously. While they may be better known for their green tea or bubble tea, they make tea out of other sources, such as ginseng.

Ginseng tea isn’t just popular in China, but also in certain parts of Asia. That’s partly because of its health benefits. It is rich in antioxidants, good for the brain, and boost the immune system.

When you try truly authentic Chinese food, expect some of them to be paired with traditional drinks. They just prove just how diverse Chinese cuisine really is. And they pair really well with some of the country’s signature dishes.

In the culturally rich cities of China, you'll find much more to taste than just dumplings and chow mein. When traveling to China, quench your thirst or wash down meals with any of these drinks.

If all these different types of Chinese drinks still doesn’t convince you to visit the country, perhaps the prospect of meeting some of the most beautiful Chinese women might.

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