Monday, 22 April 2013

Chrysanthemum Tea Drink


Whilst browsing a local Chinese store recently I was wide-eyed with amazement at all the unusual, interesting and downright odd (at least to my British senses) food items sold there. Amongst the oddities I discovered coconut jam, various Meiji products, soybean soda and...this. Yes, you read the title correctly, this is a Chrysanthemum Tea Drink.

Looking at the ingredients I noticed it contains 12% "aqueous extract of chrysanthemum", as well as water, sugar and a few e-numbers. The label helpfully informed me that these "may have an adverse effect on attention and activity in children". Thankfully I'm not a child, although you would be forgiven for thinking otherwise!

Pouring it into a glass, I could smell a horrible sickly sweet flowery smell that reminded me of cammomile tea, which is the only reference I have for flowery-tasting beverages. I was a little scared of trying it to be honest; it had a pale yellow colour that didn't look all that appetizing (I won't say what it reminded me of since this is a family-friendly blog!)


I finally took a sip, and it tasted just as bad as I had imagined. It was insanely sweet, and very sickly. I struggled to drink much because it made me feel a little nauseous. The best way I can describe the taste is like cold cammomile tea, with lots and lots of sugar, but without the calming, gentle taste that cammomile tea has. After a few sips I poured the rest down the sink.

Overall, I'm glad I tried this chrysanthemum tea drink just so I can add it to the list of odd food and drinks I've tried, but I won't ever be touching it again!

Price: 70p at Chinese supermarket.
Nutritional/ingredients info: Contains 12% aqueous extract of chrysanthemum and e-numbers.
Made in: Product of Malaysia.

14 comments:

  1. I salute your bravery in trying this drink! :D

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    1. Haha thanks! One day my curiosity for weird snacks is going to get me into trouble, I just know it :D

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  2. Alas! This is a common drink back in Southeast Asia (I'm from Singapore) and many of us, as young kids / teenagers sipped on these at our break times. It's quite common for packets of these to be given out at performances / national events as well, given its "cooling" qualities, not unlike how in the UK one might have a Fruit Punch (or... any other drink meant to cool off one's body.

    Jeremy Sng

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    1. Thanks for the info, I never realized this drink was so popular! I guess it must be just my British tastes that can't handle anything that tastes of flowers haha.

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  3. Heheh, I actually like this drink but it's usually in a carton or in a bottle. You should try out wong lo kat. It's in a red can, but have that cold. And another one called floral herbal tea (5-flower tea). That comes in a yellow carton. Also have that one cold! :D

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    1. Hmm I might have to give those a try, thanks for the recommendations :)

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  4. If the coconut jam is the Malaysian/Thai kaya flavoured with pandan, you must get it. It's like crack. I make peanut butter kaya drop cookies with it - like jam thumbprints but better ;)

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    1. That's the one! I've already tried it and I agree, it's very tasty! Nice on toast, but sounds even better on cookies :D

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  5. Haha interesting, because this is one of my favourite drinks ever, and I miss it very much ever since moving to London! (I'm from Singapore) It is not fizzy or meant to be fizzy. I find it to be a very good thirst-quencher, especially when served cold. It is more of a sweet drink than a tea, like elderflower juice.

    You should also try brewing some chrysanthemum tea on your own, it is really lovely as a hot tea as well! You get more of the natural taste and sweetness rather than the sugared taste from the canned drink.

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    1. Ah thanks, I thought it was supposed to be carbonated, I wondered why it seemed so flat! Chrysanthemum does sound nicer as a hot tea actually.

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  6. See, now that I've read all these lovely comments I really want to try this drink! I'll be looking out for it now! :)

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    1. Let me know what you think! :D

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  7. you should totally drink the ones in the tea bag.. the cans taste bad..

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  8. I love this drink! It's like chamomile but different, and not sweet at all! You must be asian :P Being American I run on sugar, and this has very little on that.

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