Cheese Tea is Having a Moment

Little Fluffy Head Cafe Cheese Tea

It’s been popular in Asia for a while, but now cheese tea has made its way Stateside and is lighting up people’s Instagram feeds. “Cheese tea is a social-media sensation,” according to Yahoo, in a January 2018 story. Yahoo reports that the popular drink is having a “major moment,” as fans of the trendy brew use the hashtag #cheesetea to share their experiences.

Happy Lemon Green Tea with Salted Cheese

Fashionable establishments in New York and Los Angeles are serving up the creamy delight, and customers are lapping it up.

Made from 80 percent tea and 20 percent sweetened cream cheese topping with a sprinkling of salt, cheese tea is intended to be sipped (not sucked through a straw) so that the flavors combine. “It’s an acquired taste, but the more you try it, the more you get used to the taste,” says Jenny Zheng, owner of Little Fluffy Head Café in Los Angeles, which owes its name to the intriguing drink. The café serves its cheese tea in many flavors and combinations, from matcha and boba to fruit blends and classic black tea, but always with a topping of milk, whipping cream, Himalayan pink salt, and sugar.

“It can be paired with any kind of tea,” says Zheng, who first discovered the drink while living in China in 2016 (cheese tea is said to originate from Taiwan). She opened Little Fluffy Head Café last August.

On the opposite coast, two Happy Lemon franchises (one in New York and one in Boston) push new Chinese teas, including three different flavors of cheese tea: green, black and milk tea. The 12-year-old company boasts more than 800 stores worldwide serving up cheese, boba, iced, milk tea, and tea-based smoothies to an increasingly non-Asian clientele thirsty for a healthy alternative to soda fountain fare.

A handful of other New York-based cafés are getting in on the action, according to NY Metro, including Auntea, Macao Imperial Tea, and Debutea, set to open in the spring.

Watch Little Fluffy Head Café’s Jenny Zheng describe cheese tea:

Sources: Yahoo, NY Metro, NBC Los Angeles, Los Angeles Magazine