If you’ve been in China for the past week, you must’ve already heard the news about the new baijiu-infused coffee. What’s the deal? And how to get it? This week, we’ll share Chinese learner’s guide to Luckin x Moutai craze.
Note: We’re sharing this post for purely educational purposes. That’s Mandarin is not affiliated with Luckin Coffee or Guizhou Moutai 🤓
Moutai/Maotai, or 茅台酒 (Máotáijiǔ) in Chinese, is a type of Chinese liquor made in Guizhou province in the town of Maotai.
茅台酒 (Máotáijiǔ) is a famous Chinese brand. It’s a variety of baijiu, crafted from fermented sorghum, with a rich history spanning over 200 years.
(the old romanization of Guizhou Maotai)
白酒 (báijiǔ) ∙ baijiu, “white spirit”
高粱 (gāoliang) ∙ sorghum
Moutai’s alcoholic content may vary from 38 to 53%, so it’s a very strong liquor. The flavour is hot and sharp. Upon first taste, it reminds of very rough vodka, followed by soy sauce notes, and also has pear, walnut and almond notes.
茅台酒 (Máotáijiǔ) is normally served at room temperature, but it can also be warmed like sake. So it will taste nice in hot coffee.
茅台酒 (Máotáijiǔ) bottles get more expensive with age. A 1980-s bottle can be sold at an auction for over 100,000 RMB. There are also limited editions and vintage collections that are more expensive.
But if you search for an ‘average’ price on Taobao, the bottles start from around 1,500 RMB per 500 ml bottle. Prices may also vary based on alcoholic content – the higher the degree, the more expensive the bottles is.
Luckin x Moutai: Chinese learner’s guide to Luckin x Moutai Craze
On September 4th, Luckin Coffee* and Guizhou Moutai teamed up for a surprise collaboration that excited coffee lovers and others alike: Moutai-infused Coffee.
*Luckin Coffee is a popular Chinese coffee chain known for its unique coffee service approach. Founded in 2017, the company gained significant attention and rapid growth in a short period.
The two companies have come up with a drink called 酱香拿铁 (jiàngxiāng nátiě) — Moutai latte.
Just imagine the numbers: based on reports from last week, over 5.4 million cups have already been sold across China and single-day revenues have surpassed 100 million yuan.
If you’re concerned about getting tipsy at work, don’t worry – Luckin Coffee says that each cup contains less than 0.5% of Moutai.
How to Get It
As any 网红 (wǎnghóng, online-popular) drink, 酱香拿铁 (jiàngxiāng nátiě) has been extremely hard to get in the first weeks since the launch. We’ve talked to the local Luckin coffee baristas in Shanghai, and they’ve recommended to check the apps as early in the morning as the Luckin Coffee stores open — the drink sells out within minutes.
There’ve also been shortages in ingredients this week, so many stores will get re-stocked soon.
If you’d like to try it, keep checking the Luckin/delivery apps every morning.
Now let’s try getting a 酱香拿铁 (jiàngxiāng nátiě)!
You can try ordering a cup either from the official Luckin Coffee app/mini-program, or from one of the delivery apps.
When ordering “酱香拿铁” (jiàngxiāng nátiě) via the Luckin Coffee app or WeChat/Alipay mini-program, you’ll have 2 options: delivery or pick-up.
外卖 (wàimài) ∙ (to order) a takeout
到店取 (dào diàn qǔ) ∙ pick up by yourself in store
Eleme / Meituan
You can also search for 酱香拿铁 (jiàngxiāng nátiě) in delivery apps* to have it delivered to your location.
*This way you’ll be searching across many stores – higher chances to succeed 🤓
02. Customize Your Drink
When placing your order, you can personalize it by selecting from these options: temperature, sugar content, and topping.
1. CUP SIZE
Both hot and cold options are available in a large cup size of 480 ml.
large cup size
酱香拿铁 (jiàngxiāng nátiě) is available in 2 options: hot or cold.
You can choose from 3 options:
bú lìngwài jiātáng
without additional sugar
You can choose to have your 酱香拿铁 (jiàngxiāng nátiě) with whipped cream on top.
default whipped cream
Memes & Jokes
What makes this topic so cool for Chinese language learners are, of course, the memes and jokes around the drink. Have you seen any good ones in your social media feed?
Here’s what we’ve spotted this week:
01. “Half drunk, half awake”
“bàn zuì bàn xǐng”
“half drunk, half awake”
02.”Can I have it without the coffee?”
“Kěyǐ qù kāfēi yè ma?”
“Can I have it without the coffee?”
*The verb 去 (qù) is commonly used in orders to ask for 去冰 (qùbīng), “without ice”.
03. “Only missing a plate of peanuts”
“Chā pán huāshēngmǐ”
“Only missing a plate of peanuts”
*Baijiu is often served with snacks such as peanuts.
04.”Boss, I’d like the Moutai Latte, no coffee please”
“Lǎobǎn, lái yì bēi jiàngxiāng nátiě, bú yào kāfēi”
“Boss, I’d like the Moutai Latte, no coffee please”
Take It Further
Have you managed to try a 酱香拿铁 (jiàngxiāng nátiě) yet?
Leave your ideas in the comments below or on our WeChat Public Account.
To find out more interesting facts about life in China and Chinese language and culture, check out That’s Mandarin blog.