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. There’s no one-size-fits-all recipe for banana milk: some varieties add other base ingredients like almonds or soy and some are flavored with vanilla, cinnamon or even chocolate. You could also make your own by blending frozen banana and water — then flavor as desired. Using bananas allows for a beverage with some natural sweetness instead of piling in added sugar or artificial sweeteners. Banana milk can also be an allergen-friendly option that is free of gluten, soy, nuts and dairy — but check ingredient lists to be sure!
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. So a healthy digestive system is the key to good health and longevity. Yakult is a delicious probiotic fermented milk drink that contains Yakult's exclusive probiotic Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota (LcS). Daily consumption of Yakult helps improve digestion and helps build immunity. 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. There are many flavors of Calpico, which include Mango, Strawberry, Original, and White Peach. There is also flavors with Aloe that offers even greater health for not only the digestive tract but blood health, as well as relief from heartburn and I.B.S.
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. Half the fun actually lies in popping the bottle! It’s almost a mandatory experience for anyone visiting Japan to have a go at the signature bottle sealed with a glass marble called a ビー玉 B-dama. To drink it, pop the marble into the drink and hold the top so no liquid spills over, then sip and enjoy. After guzzling the delicious drink, the glass marble and bottle make for a simple yet delightful toy. As an interesting side fact, the bottleneck was designed by a mechanical engineer by the name of Codd, and only the original Ramune soda bottles use it!
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. Chrysanthemum has been used for hundreds of years in Chinese medicine. People use it to treat respiratory problems, high blood pressure, and hyperthyroidism. Fans of the flower also say it can reduce inflammation and calm your nerves.
Soy milk has its place in commercial supermarkets, but ask any Asian person out there, Asian soy milk has a distinctly 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. Because it comes from plants, soy milk is naturally free of cholesterol and low in saturated fat. It also contains no lactose. Soybeans and soy milk are a good source of protein, calcium (when fortified), and potassium. However, too much soy may be a problem for people with thyroid disease or other conditions.
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. If you are a coffee drinker in a rut, there is nothing better than Thai tea. Creamy with a robust flavor, Taste Nirvana Premium Thai Tea is the best-selling Thai tea in the USA.
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.