My Close Call – Nut Allergy in China

Milk Tea with raisins and almonds

Milk Tea with raisins and almonds


Ever heard of “Milk Tea” before? I never had before my trip to China. It seemed like a really big thing there. Every cooler case filled with cold drinks would have at least one shelf devoted to different milk tea varieties. My wife loved them and drank them throughout the trip. I am typically slow to warm up to new things because of my allergies, and just stuck to water and Coca Cola the whole time. Well, until our second last night in China…

It was a really hot day and we wanted to chill out in an air conditioned cafe. The big speciality of the cafe was milk tea as they brewed their own special mixture. From what I had heard, milk tea was no more than tea…with milk. Seems simple enough. I decided that I would go for my first glass of the stuff to say that I at least tried something other than Coke while in China.

We ordered the drinks and received take-away cups with lids. With all of my allergies, I am the type of guy who always checks within a hamburger bun, a sandwich, or any food that has hidden layers. Being allergic to nuts, mustard and eggs has made me paranoid about condiments – especially mayonaise.

But for drinks, there is usually nothing to be worried about right? Well I decided to be extra safe and open the lid off of my drink and stir it around with my spoon. I noticed a thick layer of stuff at the bottom of the cup. I scooped them up and found spoonfuls of almonds and raisins.

My heart stopped!

I showed my wife and her immediate reaction was “DID YOU DRINK ANY??” which I replied “NO! Everything is okay!”

She had both milk teas that day and I had a powerful reminder that there is nothing wrong with being overly cautious about what’s in your food and drink.

I calmed my nerves afterwards with a nice cold Coke 🙂


5 thoughts on “My Close Call – Nut Allergy in China

  1. Wow, I feel you, that could have gone very differently if you hadn’t been so smart as to check. You just look for that moment when you can relax a bit and I would have thought that a drink like that could be safe. But there you go, never ever presume, always always double and triple check. It’s worth it. Great to read about your China trip, so inspiring to see that it’s possible! tx Lisa

  2. It just shows that you can never assume, especially if a product has an innocuous name. Good thing you always “check under the bun”!

  3. Thank goodness you checked! My nephew had a close call with a kids cup when a waitress handed him my son’s milk. Now he checks every time. So glad you’re ok!

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