The culinary world consists of many dynamic duos: peanut butter and jelly, chips and salsa, chocolate and wine. The emergence of a new fad, "cheese tea," however, is testing the boundaries of what makes a happy food marriage. 

Though the combination seems as alarming as an unwanted nude on Grindr or an economics midterm that you forgot about, do not be concerned that thousands of people are topping their hot tea with sharp cheddar or pungent blue cheese. Rather, cheese tea is an iced tea adorned with a cheesecake-like whipped topping. 

The tea is often consumed without a straw, and a sprinkle of salt on top balances out the creamy cheese and the refreshingly cold tea. One writer for Condé Nast Traveler described the beverage as a "refreshing tea milkshake" with a macchiato-esque concept.

According to Huffington Post, "The drink started back in 2010 in Taiwanese food stalls and it quickly became a hit in Asia." Nowadays, cheese tea is being served at restaurants in New York, Los Angeles and Florida. I decided to make my own version of cheese tea to see what all the hype is about. 

For this recipe, feel free to use your favorite type of tea and to experiment with the ingredients. I chose to use a variety of teas, including Earl Grey, green tea, oolong, and a peach and ginger black tea. I also replaced the sweetened condensed milk with sweetened condensed coconut milk to spice things up.

Cheese Tea

  • Prep Time:35 mins
  • Cook Time:5 mins
  • Total Time:40 mins
  • Servings:5
  • Easy


  • 5 servings tea green or black
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 package cream cheese
  • sugar
  • water
  • salt preferably sea salt pink Himalayan salt
  • Step 1

    Prepare 5 glasses of your favorite tea. Sweeten with your desired amount of sugar.

    Brock Colyar
  • Step 2

    Let your tea cool to room temperature before refrigerating for 30 minutes.

  • Step 3

    Mix the cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, and heavy whipping cream until smooth.

    Brock Colyar
  • Step 4

    Spoon the cheese mixture over your iced tea. Sprinkle with salt.

    Brock Colyar

The Reactions 

As with any unlikely couple, the reactions to my cheese tea varied intensely—from obsession to hatred, and from quick, hesitant sips, to long gulps.

Brock Colyar

While some found the cheese tea to be creamy and delicious, others found the tea to be off-putting and refused to take more than one sip. Almost everyone who drank the tea expressed deep concern after the initial taste, but several decided that they enjoyed it more when they mixed the cheese and tea together, rather than drinking it in its prepared and separated state.

Brock Colyar

The cheese also seemed to pair best with the strongly steeped black teas over the green tea, whose subtle demeanor couldn't deal with the cheese's excessive charisma.

Brock Colyar

Final Thoughts 

Although it is perhaps not the best drink to consume before a heavy meal, an intense workout, or a date (especially for the lactose-intolerant among us), cheese tea has definite potential. The drink is the perfect combination of sweet and salty, creamy and refreshing—but only for those who can bear the shock of cheese intruding on the sanctity of iced tea.

Cheese tea does not seem to be one of your standard weird food combinations or your typical food pairings. Rather, the fad seems to be here to stay, and perhaps it will soon be as loved as bubble tea or brunch by the basic millennial.