Café inspired by Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) goes viral
Lucy Lv

Did you ever imagine that one day we could enjoy the benefits of Traditional Chinese Medicine in a cup of coffee?


Traditional Chinese Medicine, or TCM, is a holistic approach used to help people rebalance their health and mind. It's been a part of Chinese people's lives for centuries. 

Remedying ills and imbalances are among the ways that TCM helps people live healthier lives. A typical way of making a TCM formula is to get a prescription from a licensed practitioner, shop for all the medicinal ingredients, and then brew them in a pot.

These ingredients are said to have a restorative effect by rebalancing one's natural energy, or Qi, which runs through series of invisible meridians throughout the body. For example, ginseng is said to boost vitality, while chrysanthemum can bring down the internal heat.

Examples of popular herbs used in TCM. /CFP
Examples of popular herbs used in TCM. /CFP

Examples of popular herbs used in TCM. /CFP

But if you ask younger generations of Chinese, few visit TCM shops nowadays, let alone brew these time-tested remedies for themselves. However, social media has recently seen a type of coffee featuring goji berry syrup go viral.

"We want to find a way for young people to access TCM more easily," said Ms Pi from Zhima Health, a café based on the concept of taking the benefits of TCM herbs and combining them with popular beverages.

"The key of TCM is prevention. We hope that by visiting our store and trying our drinks, young people can take more care of their health and wellbeing, and nip sicknesses in the bud."

Other than goji-infused coffee, the store offers coffee with ginseng among other drinks, and biscuits baked with brown sugar. It also offers the more typical TCM merchandise like dried herbs and teas, but most people are first lured in by the "new TCM drinks," after which they stay to learn more about TCM.

As Traditional Chinese Medicine becomes more accessible to young people, many are integrating these ancient beverages into their daily wellness routines.

Video editor: Yang Liuyi

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