Would You Drink Boba Tea With Cough Syrup?

A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down.

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5:00 PM HKT, Fri December 21, 2018

If given the option, would you satisfy your sweet tooth and knock out your sore throat at the same time? That’s what this California-based boba (bubble tea) shop is asking customers with a new menu item that’s since gone viral.

Baristas at Labobatory in San Gabriel, California are now making drinks with a dash of Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa, a Cantonese brand of herbal syrup that’s sworn by across Asia. Founder Elton Keung thinks there are fond memories attached to the syrupy remedy for many people, including himself. “My mom used to feed me Pei Pa Koa when I was a youngster,” he says. “I loved it so much that I would want seconds and lick the spoon completely clean.”

Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa, a popular brand of pipa tangjiang

The brand is actually a variety of pipa tangjiang (枇杷糖浆) or loquat syrup that’s consumed by the spoonful as an expectorant and to relieve cold symptoms. Its medicinal properties are rooted in traditional Chinese medicine, and it’s purported to clear unwanted heat and help vent the lungs.

The new brew makes for an interesting spin on all those “bubble tea is bad for you” stories. Next time we’re in California and come down with the sniffles, we’ll consider giving this minty mixture a try.

Would you order this new concoction, or steer clear? Let us know your thoughts below.

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