China's love affair with coffee culture has taken some amusing and unexpected twists and turns, introducing flavors that often leave customers scratching their heads.
And so it happened: On September 4, the world witnessed the official launch of the Moutai-Luckin Jiangxiang Flavored Latte, a collaborative coffee creation by Guizhou Moutai and Luckin Coffee.
Now, for those who might not know, Moutai is the bigwig of Chinese baijiu, once practically synonymous with the term 'Chinese baijiu' itself.
On the flip side, Luckin is known for its rapid expansion and competitive pricing, giving other coffee chains a run for their money.
The Moutai-flavored latte is currently available on the Luckin Coffee menu and app at the pocket-friendly price of just RMB19.
But there's a catch – it is so popular that you might need to wait about an hour to get your hands on one.
Luckin's poster claims that each cup of this Moutai-flavored latte contains Moutai Baijiu. Image via Luckin Coffee
According to That's local Luckin baristas, this Moutai flavored latte boasts an alcohol content of approximately 0.5%.
However, made with a pre-mixed baijiu-flavored milk (an interesting concoction, to say the least), there's no direct addition of Moutai baijiu to this coffee beverage.
Though the alcohol content is minimal, some adventurous sippers on Little Red Book and Sina Weibo claim that half a cup in, their faces start feeling warm, as if they'd just been sipping a light tipple.
Of course, given Moutai's elevated status, some unscrupulous punters eyeing a bargain have even tried ordering this special latte sans milk, ice, and – even – coffee.
Alas, as we've already clarified, there's no Moutai liquor directly involved in the mix.
That said, Moutai-flavored latte has become an instant hit – selling a whopping 5.42 million cups on its debut day!
This prompted Luckin to include a rather responsible disclaimer on its promotional materials:
"Not recommended for minors, pregnant women, individuals operating vehicles, or those allergic to alcohol."
Have you had a chance to sip on this sensational coffee drink? Share your thoughts and experiences with us! For the latest updates in the Greater Bay Area, follow our WeChat official account, ThatsGBA.
Cheers to quirky coffee concoctions!
[Cover image by Cecilia Dong]