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Top 7 Chinese Classic Soft Drinks [Calories Included]

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In this article, we will cover the 7 most popular Chinese classic soft drinks with good reputations and loved by Chinese citizens. Although, they are all made and sold in China, all of them are easy to get from online stores, thanks to e-commerce.

1. Want-want Milk Flavored Drink [72 cals per 100ml]

want-want-milk-flavored-drink

Want-want milk flavored drink is one of the most popular Chinese classic soft drinks in China. It tastes like creamy, smooth milk with a hint of sweetness. Refreshing and satisfying for any milk lover out there. Want-want milk comes in 2 packages: can and box with slightly different numbers in the ingredients table but the same taste.

For most Chinese who were born in the 1990s, Want-want milk is also a valuable childhood memory. Although it’s designed and marketed for kids, many young adults also like it very much.

There are 5 flavors available; I would recommend you try the classic one first. Don’t get me wrong. The other flavors are also good, but they are not as popular as the classic one.

2. 信远斋(Xinyuanzhai) Sour Plum Juice [34 cals per 100ml]

Chinese classic soft drinks

Suanmeitang, also known as sour plum juice, (酸梅汤) is a Chinese classic soft drink, particularly popular in China and Southeast Asia. It has a deliciously tangy and sweet taste, offering a refreshing and cooling sensation. The main ingredient in suanmeitang is sour plum, also known as Ume plum or Chinese preserved plum. These plums are specially pickled, resulting in a unique flavor profile. Suanmeitang is usually a deep purple or dark red color, and it carries a delightful sweet and sour taste.

信远斋(Xinyuanzhai) is my favorite and the most popular sour plum juice manufacturer. You can get the juice from online stores and have it shipped to your door.

3. Vita Lemon Tea [56 cals per 100ml]

vita lemon tea

Vita lemon tea is a popular Chinese classic soft drink known for its refreshing and zesty flavor. It typically combines the taste of black tea with the tangy and citrusy notes of lemon. The flavor profile is often described as a delightful balance between the sweetness of the tea and the tartness of the lemon. The tea’s aroma may also be fragrant, with the citrus scent of lemons contributing to its appeal.

Vita lemon tea is also sold in many online stores, including Amazon, Walmart, etc.

4. 健力宝(Jianlibao) Orange Flavored Soda [24 cals per 100ml]

jianlibao orange honey flavor drink

Jianlibao was the first soda pop created in communist China and made its debut as the official drink of the Chinese team at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. The name translates in English as “healty, strong, treasure” or “a treasure to strengthen health”. With sponsorships of sports teams and marketing as an energy drink, Jianlibao became the most popular Chinese soft drink in the 1990s.

I personally prefer to have it cold and it is just so much better than Fanta because the sweetness from Jianlibao feels more natural and gentle while Fanta uses a tons of sugar and it’s boring. 

5. 冰峰(Ice Peak) Orange Honey Flavor Drink [32 cals per 100ml]

ice peak bingfeng orange flavored soda
Ice Peak Soda, Rougamo and Liangpi

Bingfeng, meaning “ice peak” in Chinese, has very similar taste to Jianlibao as they are both orange flavor soda drinks. The former is a little more aggressive than the latter in terms of sweet level and pops. Without added honey, bingfeng is sweet in a more direct way. 

Ice Peak orange soda is especially popular in Western regions in China, like Xi’an. It gets super popular in summer in Xi’an and people enjoy it with Rougamo and Liangpi.

6. Wahaha AD Calcium Milk [36 cals per 100ml]

wahaha ad calcium milk

Another popular milk flavored Chinese classic soft drink. It shares similar if not the same market and consumers with Want-want Milk Flavored Drink that we previously covered. 

Despite the similarities, they have quite distinguishing taste. Wahaha AD Calcium Milk has a creamy and mildly sweet flavor, thicker than regular whole milk. The added calcium may not significantly alter the taste of the milk itself but may provide a slightly different mouthfeel compared to regular milk due to the calcium’s presence.

6. Wanglaoji Herbal Tea Drink [38 cals per 100ml]

wanglaoji herbal tea

Wanglaoji is a Chinese classic soft drink and traditional herbal tea that originated in Guangdong province, China, during the Qing Dynasty (18th century). It gets its name from its creator, a herbalist named Wang Laoji. The tea is available in can or bottle, making it convenient for on-the-go consumption. It has become a popular beverage not only in China but also in other parts of the world, especially in regions with a significant Chinese population.

Wanglaoji is known for its refreshing and soothing qualities, and it is often consumed as a cooling beverage during hot weather or pair with Chinese hot pot. Many Chinese believe that drinking Wanglaoji can help clear heat, reduce inflammation, and promote overall well-being.

7. Eastern Leaf Tea Drink [0 cals per 100ml]

Eastern Leaf is a serie of none sweeten natural tea drinks with 6 flavors, including oolong, black tea, green tea, jasmine tea, brown rice tea, and green tangerine pu’er. Not like any other Chinese classic soft drinks in the list, they are sugar free and have very simple ingredients: spring water and tea.

My all time favorite flavor is the jasmine tea. It is not only appreciated for its delightful aroma and taste but also for the calming and relaxing effect it have on those who drink it.

8. Lucking Moutai Baijiu Latte [75 cals per 100ml]

The most recent trending coffee beverage made by top Chinese coffee brand “Lucking”. 5.42 millions of these coffee was sold in only one day in September, 2023.

The idea of combining baijiu and a latte is quite interesting, as it merges the strong, distinct flavor of baijiu with the creamy, frothy texture of a latte.

Now, Lucking made this coffee beverage into bottle package, so that you can buy and enjoy even outside of China.

9. Uni President Assam Milk Tea [55 cal per 100ml]

uni president assam milk tea

Uni-President Assam milk tea has a rich and creamy taste with a balanced sweetness and a strong, aromatic black tea flavor. The Assam black tea provides a bold and robust taste, while the creamy milk adds a smooth and luscious texture to the beverage. Overall, it’s a delightful combination of tea and milk, offering a satisfying and refreshing drink with a hint of sweetness.

This is the list of 7 Chinese classic soft drinks that you must try. Let me know in the comment below which one is your favorite!

Frequent Asked Questions

It changes over time among Vita lemon tea, Eastern Leaf tea drink with various flavors, and Want-want milk flavored drink, according to the data from major e-commerces in China. 

Yes, they are slightly different in taste due to different added sweeteners. Coke sold in China uses sucrose as sweetener; whereas Coke in the North America uses corn syrup.

Lilith Wong
Lilith Wong
Lilith Wong is a blog writer, food lover, and the founder of Exotic Food China. She lives in a beautiful village in Sichuan with her two cats.
lilith wong
Lilith Wong

is a blog writer, food lover, and the founder of Exotic Food China.

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2 thoughts on “Top 7 Chinese Classic Soft Drinks [Calories Included]”

  1. Hey Lilith. I have tried couple of different Eastern leaf teas, indeed pretty good for a plain tea drink. It’s less strong than Suntory I used to have on a daily basis.

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