They have been said to have the power to destroy the most rock-solid relationships when sent as gifts. They've made people want to vomit. They are even rumored to endanger foreign ties with small African nations.
These are the "top five worst drinks" in China, and they went viral on Chinese social media last month after beverage producer Laoshan announced that it would begin shipping its mineral water to Liberia (causing netizens to lament the future of diplomatic relations between the two countries). From there, web users began ranking China's five worst beverages.
Wrote one netizen of the drinks: "If you do not try them, you will regret it for a while. If you do try them, you will regret it for the rest of your life.”
Without further ado, a rundown of the five worst drinks in China, as defined by Weibo users. Although the top five vary in different people's rankings, everyone can agree: they are all terrible.
1. Laoshan Oldenlandia Water
The drink that started the whole thing, Laoshan's Oldenlandia Water boasts all the health benefits that come from the Oldenlandia herb (scientific name: hedyotis diffusa).
So what is hedyotis diffusa, you ask? Otherwise known as "white flower snake-tongue grass" (yes, really), it's an herb used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Despite claims that it's a "cancer-killing weed," white flower snake-tongue grass may actually not be all that good for you. Go figure.
It has a taste that one web user said was reminiscent of "licking the dew on the grass." To which we say, "Hao he ma?"
2. Oriental Leaf Tea
Produced by Nongfu Spring, a major Chinese bottled water company that was once accused of using "Soviet-style" standards to test its water (but later deemed "safe"), the Oriental Leaf Tea series is marketed as having zero calories in order to target health-conscious consumers. The ready-to-drink tea beverage has four flavors: jasmine tea, oolong tea, green tea and black tea.
But the odd frostiness and artificial flavor has led to the drink being a major disappointment among tea drinkers. Some netizens say the only redeeming quality of the beverage is the hand-drawn packaging, which is supposedly eye-catching enough to encourage consumers to buy the drink (only to regret their purchase later).
Some netizens have mockingly nicknamed the drink 'Oriental Urine' due to the similar sound with its Chinese name. (东方树叶, or 'Dongfang Shuye' supposedly looks a lot like 东方尿液, or 'Dongfang Niaoye'). And you have to admit, it does kind of look like urine.
Another one from Nongfu Spring. Appropriately named 'Scream,' the beverage boasts three flavors, with the red fruity version drawing the most scorn from web users. Netizens describe the taste as “a tad of ginseng” and “medicinal" — but not in a good way. One netizen said the taste was like a mixture of ginger and ginseng...with a hint of cigarette.
What’s worse, the beverage claims it offers extra vitamins and amino acids. But according to the Global Times, it, like most energy drinks in China, may “contain relatively large quantities of caffeine and sugar."
Here at That's, we recommend you try this drink with extreme caution. Call a doctor if you experience any side effects that look like this:
4. Wahaha Kvass
This one is a crossover of beer and soft drinks. What could possibly go wrong there?
Launched by Wahaha Group, the largest beverage producer in China, Wahaha Kvass claims to be a unique 'liquid bread' brewed by using the finest in Russian kvass fermenting technology. (Kvass, if you didn't know already, is a "traditional Slavic and Baltic fermented beverage commonly made from black or regular rye bread." Thanks, Wikipedia).
However, the company’s efforts seem to have fallen flat, with netizens claiming the drink tastes nothing like the real thing. Some even say the artificial additives’ flavors are so overwhelming that it makes them want to vomit.
5. Heysong Sarsaparilla
Once described by The Soda Jerk as "root beer and mouthwash, together at last," Heysong's Sarsaparilla is China's sad answer to the classic American soft drink. Debuting in the Taiwanese market in the 1950s, Heysong Sarsaparilla has been mocked by Weibo users for tasting like "Fenyoujing Soda." (Fenyoujing is a popular medicated oil).
Some business-savvy sellers have already begun offering the five drinks as a package deal on Taobao. You can order them here, if you're up for a truly disgusting challenge.