8 Childhood Asian Drinks That Aren’t Boba
By Stephanie Ngo
November 14, 2018
When you first think of Asian drinks, your mind automatically jumps to milk tea.
But what many may not have realized is that there are tons of different drinks available right at your fingertips. All you have to do is visit your local Asian supermarket, or even hunt around your regular supermarket! You might be surprised. Here are nine asian drinks that you should get your hands on:
1. Banana Milk
What’s yellow and creamy and makes your mouth water just thinking about it? That’s right, banana milk! The milky drink is especially popular in South Korea, and you can easily spot it on the shelves thanks to the bright yellow packaging. Pro tip: make banana milk at home by blending together bananas and milk/water!
Yakult is a popular probiotic milk drink created in Japan in the 1930s. Made popular due to the Netflix original, “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before,” the drink is flying off the shelves faster than it can be stocked. Don’t let the small bottles fool you! The drink packs a sweet punch and provides you with healthy probiotics, according to their website. Peep them in the refrigerator aisle, or even your local Costco.
The popular non-carbonated milk beverage from Tokyo, Japan has a light, slightly tangy taste that is similar to plain yogurt. Known as Calpico in the United States, the drink is gaining popularity as a great mixer in boba shops and with certain Asian alcohols. The drink is refreshing and enjoyable for all age groups. Calpico comes in a variety of flavors to satisfy every palette.
Coming in a glass bottle with a marble on top, it’s Ramune! The name is derived from the English word, lemonade, but there are many flavors to try out. As both a soft drink and an activity, Ramune is a staple in the drink section of any Asian supermarket or numerous Japanese restaurant. To drink it, pop the marble into the drink and hold the top so no liquid spills over, then sip and enjoy.
5. Chrysanthemum Tea
Mum’s the word, and chrysanthemum tea has been a classic drink in many Asian households. The drink is made from chrysanthemum flowers steeped in water, giving off a floral, slightly earthy taste. Chrysanthemum tea can be found ready made in cartons, thanks to popular brands such as Vitasoy or Yeos, or in loose leaf form.
Soymilk has its place in commercial supermarkets, but ask any Asian person out there, Asian soymilk has a distinct different taste compared to its Western counterpart. The nondairy beverage is made from a combination of water, oil, and soybeans. It’s also extremely versatile and can be used as dip for your yóutiáo, or enjoyed as a hot, cold, or lukewarm drink.
7. Taste Nirvana Thai Tea
Back before Thai tea was so readily available in boba shops, Taste Nirvana’s bottled beverage was always in stock in the supermarket for families to enjoy. Their Thai tea is malty with a subtle sweetness, and is sure to leave your teeth an orange tint.
8. Herbal Tea
It’s bitter and it’s herbal, and boy, does it taste like health. Herbal tea used to take hours to prepare, by steeping various leaves and spices to withdraw the earthy bitter taste and extract all of the health benefits. Luckily, it can now be found in cans for on-the-go sipping, or in loose leaf tea leaves.
Head over to your local Asian supermarket and pick up any of these go-to drinks!
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