Chewy mochi ice cream, whimsical shaved ice, delectable egg waffle ice cream, perfectly rolled ice cream and bubble tea have all found their way to the United States, and have in turn changed the dessert completely. Now, we have a new treat in town from Asia, but will you dare to try it? Let’s welcome cheese tea to our hearts and our stomachs.
Cheese tea is exactly what it sounds like, cheese and tea combined. Now before you completely cross it off your list, think of the concept of putting milk in tea. English Breakfast tea with a hint of milk instantly becomes richer and more like a dessert. Cheese tea is similar in that it offers a creamier texture than a regular drink. The base of the drink is black or green tea topped, which is then topped with cream cheese froth and, if desired, garnished with sea salt flakes for a savory finish. There is even a preferred method to get the most out of cheese tea. The tea and cheese are supposed to remain separated and enjoyed as two different layers, preferably without a straw. According to Tyson Tee COO of Reguistea (a Malaysian tea store selling cheese tea), sipping the tea will make the two layers more apparent as opposed to using a straw which will most likely only give you the tea.
Cheese tea has already gained quite a following in China, Malaysia and Taiwan. Cheese is already widely obsessed over (looking at cheese instagrams and cheese pulls), so why not combine it with another well-loved consumable item like tea? In New York, Happy Lemon in Queens sells bubble tea and the popular cheese tea.
A few students considered whether they would make the trek to Queens for this intriguing beverage, and articulated their thoughts on this creation. Steinhardt sophomore Jamie Kim thinks cheese tea strays too far from traditional tea in terms of its benefits — she finds that regular tea helps her to relax.
“I drink tea for a calming, after-meal drink,” Kim said. “This cheese tea wouldn’t serve as a palate cleanser or a light treat after a meal but a rather rich and decadent dessert.”
Steinhardt sophomore Olesia Gritsyk believes cheese tea would have an odd mixture of textures, but said that she wouldn’t rule out tasting it.
“[Cheese tea] sounds like it could be a version of liquid cheesecake which can be very good or sickening,” Gritsyk said.
CAS sophomore Dalia Karrar wouldn’t try it even if someone paid her.
“I don’t like the combo,” Karrar said. “It seems creative but not something I would ever try.”
You may be wondering what the future has in store for cheese tea. We can look to the history of Bubble tea for answers — a drink that was introduced in Taiwan in the 1980s, and gradually garnered a great following. Bubble tea has been met with similar success in the United States, which is exemplified by the endless line outside of Boba Guys. With over 158 million Americans drinking tea a day, according to the Tea Association of the U.S.A., stores that offer cheese tea may be just as ubiquitous in the future.
Email Liv Chai at [email protected]