Unless you're legally blind and picked it up by mistake when trying to buy a Coke, you probably haven't run into the Chinese superbrand that is Wanglaoji. A potent mix of crystal and liquid sugar, artificial sweetener, syrup, and a little bit of tea and water, this drink is distinctive and perhaps unique in the annals of beverage history.

Never tried it? Rest assured that your state of ignorance will pass. In this podcast we'll learn to demand the concoction by name. And for bonus points, we'll even tell you how to take the plunge and order it at room temperature. Because the only thing that refreshes better than a glass of cold water on a hot summer day is a nice cup of lukewarm sugar. Welcome to China!
 said on
January 7, 2009
i think the normalised version of The Fix is better. 最后的声音吓了我一跳!
 said on
January 7, 2009
I _want_ to like this drink. I really do. Especially if someone is willing to interrupt a lion dance just to sing about how great it is:

http://jp.youtube.com/watch?v=qMkRHrd5FOc

But it's pretty bad. Especially at room temperature out of a little cardboard box that has been sitting in someone's desk drawer for a couple of months.

 said on
January 7, 2009
我第一次喝的时候觉得特别奇怪,因为有药的味道,而且甜,好像是谁把咳嗽糖浆加了水。但奇怪的是,过一段时间以后会开始惦记它的味道,反而越来越喜欢。中国人把它叫做凉茶,现在这类的饮料好像不只有王老吉一种了,在火锅店、烧烤店卖的很火。

我倒是不同意人们说它太甜,相对于王老吉,冰红茶、百事可乐要甜的多了。

--Echo

echo@popupchinese.com
 said on
January 7, 2009
嗯 与可乐不同 这个更让人回味
 said on
January 7, 2009
哈哈,你说的是“回味”还是回味?:)

--Echo

echo@popupchinese.com
 said on
January 7, 2009
My father-in-law loves this stuff. I mentally classify it with baijiu as something moderately unpleasant that you have to haul yourself through at various new year banquets.

That said, the drinks market moves pretty quickly here. I remember running into a peanut butter drink a couple of years ago that tasted like liquid nugget and was genuinely awesome. It probably had more sugar than Wanglaoji. These days I'm more into the lime and lemon 脉动 athletic drinks.

 said on
January 8, 2009
@weijin - in the interests of not giving you another heart attack, we've just adjusted down the volume of the spliced recordings, especially the last one.

--dave

 said on
January 10, 2009
Im not really sure if any waiter or waitress would ask me "你要冰的还是常温?" in a ordinary Chinese restaurant nor not. Probably you could hear it more often in chemistry labs... Just kidding. But I think 冰的还是不冰的 is more colloquial to me.

BTW, 王老吉 may not be the most palatable drink available in the 火锅店s around my place, but surely it is the safest one to pick if you are not very in to carbonated drink just like me, especially after the 三聚腈胺事件.

And I also don't see any advantage of coke over 王老吉. If you take out the crystal (I suppose it means herbs?) and tea extract in the "potent mix of crystal and liquid sugar, artificial sweetener, syrup, and a little bit of tea and water" and add in some "mysterious concentrate" and carbon dioxide, and it will become coke, which was intended to be "a patent medicine that cures many diseases" when it was invented...
 said on
January 11, 2009
Agree that coke and 王老吉 are pretty much the same thing.

I get asked "你要冰的还是常温的" all the time though - happened again this afternoon. Have started to ask for drinks 常温的 out of self-defense now that it is getting quite cold though. Not sure if that's a sign of "going native" or if drinking warm beer is socially acceptable when it's freezing outside.

 said on
January 11, 2009
@xiaocai & barrister,

嗨,xiaocai,看了你的留言,我很好奇你住在哪个地方?在中国北京,如果点了饮料(不管是啤酒还是其他软饮料),餐厅一般习惯问,“冰的还是常温的/凉的还是常温的”,当然,也可以省略“还是”。

--Echo

echo@popupchinese.com

 said on
January 15, 2009
to Echo:

看来虽然是小小细节,地域差别也挺明显的,呵呵。其实你这么一讲,我好像又有点印象。去年底去北京的时候餐馆里就有人这么问我。当时我还对朋友兼老乡开玩笑说,北京这边真的是随便什么人说话都很文气。

我是四川人,现在家住四川成都。估计这边的文化教育水平相对来说还是比较低一点,要是餐厅的服务员对我说“常温”的话,我多半会认为他是出来勤工俭学的。

再说路边小店的服务员很多连普通话都不过关,要他们咬出“changwen”这两个字,实在有点勉为其难。:)

另:我也很喜欢王老吉,尤其在吃火锅的时候来一罐,绝对有增强战斗力的神奇功效!其他牌的也试过一些,但是总觉得王老吉的甜苦最为适中,大概是因为先入为主吧。
 said on
April 12, 2009
On a side note, 王老吉 donated 100 million yuan for the earthquake relief.
 said on
July 5, 2011
Love the descriptive comment by xiaocai. Not sure what s/he means by 不过关 in the sentence:

再说路边小店的服务员很多连普通话都不过关.

It probably means something like "they are not used to / familiar with speaking putonghua". What would be another sentence with 不过关?

Thank you,

huyilin
 said on
July 5, 2011
@huyinlin,

It means "to pass a test". For another example, 这些牛奶的质量不过关 (This milk is bad quality) .

--Echo

echo@popupchinese.com
 said on
July 5, 2011
Thanks, Echo! I am a bit puzzled by the word 些 in your example; is it a measure word for milk here? Does it mean this 'bit' of milk? Never seen it used this way... 请用这些茶。这样说行吗?
 said on
July 5, 2011
@huyilin,

Yes, 一些 is some, and 这些 is these. 在中文里,“牛奶”和“茶”都不是单数词。你可以说“请用这些茶”,没问题!

--Echo

echo@popupchinese.com
 said on
July 8, 2011
@huyilin,

I can't believe I just now got around to reading xiaocai 's awesome entry! I must have been tremendously out of it during that time.

I can attest to the fact that the vast majority of people in 四川 and 重庆 speak very wonderful 川普 but very poor 普通话. If there was a standardized 川普 test even a 蜀犬 could 过关, however in basic daily communication, even the average 四川文学巨匠's 普通话 couldn't 过关! 相信我,我是过来人。

要是四川人用标准的普通话咬出一两句话,实在有点勉为其难。

BTW: To say 王老吉 is a can of lukewarm sugar 并不是言过其实. 相信我,我是过来人。
 said on
October 21, 2013
The question or, 'haishi' i got. What about the other 'ors'. Brendan exaggerated the stomache isdue and never got round to it.

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