Adventurous Drinkers Fall for ‘Cheese Tea’

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It’s normal for baristas to ask if you take your tea with milk or honey. But at a growing number of cafes around the world, they’ll want to know if you like it with a dollop of cheese on top. According to Food & Wine, cheese tea is slowly gaining popularity in the U.S.

The beverage originated in shops in Asia. To make it, baristas start by brewing a traditional tea variety like green tea. After that, the signature topping is added: What looks like harmless whipped cream is actually cheese that’s been blended into a light, fluffy state. The drinks can lean savory, with combos like white cheddar cheese and Himalayan pink salt, or they can fall on the sweeter side, like cream cheese and condensed milk.

Cheese tea can be found in China, Malaysia, and Taiwan, and it just recently began appearing on menus in the U.S. In late 2016, the Happy Lemon tea shop opened in Queens, New York, where customers can buy drinks topped with foam made from milk, whipped cream, or cream cheese and finished with rock salt. The Little Fluffy Head Cafe in downtown Los Angeles is the newest arrival to the American cheese tea scene. Along with their saltier options, they also make conventionally sweet, non-cheese toppings like creme brûlée cream with crushed Oreo.

If you don’t have a cheese tea cafe in your neighborhood, you’ll have no problem finding the trendy drink on Instagram where it's approaching Unicorn Frappuccino-level fame. Appreciating it from afar might also be the best option for people squeamish about drinking something that tastes like a cheese plate.

[h/t Food & Wine]