To be VERY honest, when I first heard about cheese tea I twitched.
I love tea so much, I’m pretty sure it runs through my veins, so I HAD to try this. I try literally ANYTHING with tea, it’s part of my research, exploration, and constant learning.
Tea is getting trendier by the second and younger generations are enjoying tea in different, and modern ways as well. For all the purists, this might sound like a push, I get it. And although I’ve never been a fan of boba, it’s a huge thing, so I embrace it as part of the tea world.
To be clear, and in case you’ve never heard of cheese tea, it’s NOT a tea with cheese flavor. It’s just a modern way to enjoy tea.Jump to Recipe
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What is Cheese Tea?
Cheese tea basically consists of chilled tea topped with a thick foam that tastes like cream cheese. It’s a sweet & salty (very caloric) iced tea variation and it’s usually part of the menu in many boba/bubble tea shops. You can also find it as cheese cap tea and cheese mousse tea.
It originated at the night markets in Taiwan but was later made popular in China, pushed by the HeyTea trend, where people would line up for hours to get their “CheezoTea”. It was later then spread in the Western side of the world and is currently offered in many bubble/boba tea shops.
In the beginning, mostly Black and Green teas were used to make cheese tea, but nowadays being widely spread, many different tea types and blends are used, even herbal teas. The whole idea is to enjoy an ‘explosion’ of savory-sweet flavors in your mouth.
Related: How to Make a Perfect Tea Latte
Is There a Specific Way to Drink It?
Yes! To optimize your ‘drinking experience’, the best way to drink it is to do it straight from the edge of the cup by tilting it and not by using a straw (despite my photos 😜) because it allows you to taste the thick texture of the cream cheese foam before it blends with the iced tea in your mouth. If you drink from a straw you’ll end up drinking the tea first, and the foam will be left for the end, missing the whole point.
If you do want to use a straw, then pick it up or raise it so it ‘grabs’ the cheese foam and slowly push it down the cup while slurping, so you get both foam and tea at the same time.
How to Make Cheese Tea
It’s fairly simple to make it, and you only need a few ingredients, but it might require some planning if you’re using cold-brewed tea vs regular iced tea. I always recommend cold brewing tea for people who enjoy chilled tea. If you’ve never cold-brewed tea, then you might want to check this cold brewing guide.
The difference with making iced tea is that as its name implies, the steeping process is with cold water versus regular iced tea, which is brewed hot, and then chilled with lots of ice. Cold-brewed tea is much sweeter and smoother than regular iced tea, and this is due to the fact that some chemicals in tea react differently in cold vs. hot temperatures. For example, caffeine is much more soluble in hot water, so cold-brewed tea has less caffeine than the same tea brewed hot and thus, less bitter. Also, cold-brewed tea is less astringent because polyphenols (compounds that cause astringency) are extracted very slowly in cold water.
For the Cheese Foam, you will need heavy whipping cream, cream cheese powder, and condensed sweetened milk (I love the squeeze bottle because it’s easy to store and re-use). The powdered cream cheese might be tricky to find in some places, but you can always find it on Amazon (I used this one). Once you combine all of the foam ingredients, whisk until a thick foam is formed, for 1-2 minutes. You can use a handheld frother, a bullet (I love mine because it has a short cup, perfect for making 1 foam serving), etc.
For a step-by-step tutorial, watch this video:
What type of tea is the best to make cheese tea?
As I mentioned, initially, cheese tea was made with Green and Black tea, but nowadays many shops offer unique flavors and blends to amaze their customers. The sky is the limit if you want to experiment and try different types of tea topped with cheese foam.
Some of my favorite teas to cold brew and pair with cheese foam are:
Jasmine Green Tea
Peach Black Tea
Rose Black Tea
Jasmine Dragon Pearls
Mango Black Tea
Tie Guan Yin
Lychee Black Tea
I can’t find powdered cream cheese, can I use regular cream cheese?
Yes. Many shops use regular cream cheese instead of powdered to make their cheese foam. To replace the powder for regular cream cheese, use 1 oz (roughly 2 tbsp) of regular cream cheese and mix until thick foam forms.
Can I make regular iced tea for this recipe?
Yes, you can make regular iced tea (brew hot and add ice to chill) and use it to make cheese tea too.
Can I store the foam in the fridge?
Yes. You can double or triple the recipe or use less of it per serving and might want to store it in the fridge. I would keep the cheese foam in the fridge, in an airtight container for no more than 3-4 days.
Is it healthy?
Well… I mean, I’m not going to lie. Whipped cream + cream cheese + condensed sweetened milk is a caloric bomb (possibly close to 400 calories), so you might want to consider that before you drink cheese tea. I rather put the facts out there and let you decide. Cold-brewed tea though on its own is definitely healthy if unsweetened, it has 0 calories.
If you like this recipe, then you might like these other ways to enjoy tea:
How to Make a Perfect Tea Latte
Masala Chai Spread
Earl Grey Irish Cream
- 1 tbsp loose leaf tea (or 2 tea bags) per 8oz of water
- 100 ml heavy whipping cream
- 3 tsp powdered cream cheese
- 2 tsp sweetened condensed milk
Make cold-brewed tea
- Add loose-leaf tea to a container and fill with cold water (use ratio of 1 tbsp tea leaves per 8 oz of water). Cover and refrigerate for 6-12 depending on the tea type.
- When ready, strain to a glass leaving enough space at the top for the cheese foam (fill about 2/3 of the way).
- In a small bowl, or a bullet blender, mix the whipped cream, cream cheese powder and sweetened condensed milk until it thickens (about 1-2 minutes).
- Pour gently over cold-brewed tea and enjoy!
If you do make this recipe, I’d love to see how it turned out. Tag me on Instagram so I can see and share it too!
There’s a whole world to tea. If you’re just getting started exploring it and you’d like to learn more, I want you to know that I’m here to guide you through it. I’d love to know in what stage of your tea journey you are in – curious, learning, just exploring, experienced, etc. Send me a line or write a comment below 🤍.
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