Viral Trends: Could “Cheese Tea” be the next big thing in Europe?

cheese tea

Cheese Tea, or naigai cha, has taken Asia by storm and we wonder could it become the next big thing in European cafés? It was developed by street vendors in Taiwan in around 2010 and has spread across the region and is very popular in China. It has made inroads in the USA and in Europe, although it’s not quite reached the same momentum yet.

The increasingly popular cheese tea has variants made with salty or sweet cream cheese and also versions made with cheddar cheese. Tea masters recommend drinking the beverage straight from the edge of the cup at a 40 ° angle and not blending the layers. Straws are not generally used with this drink.

The base of the drink is normally a cold regular green or black tea or matcha tea and the cheesy topping floats on the surface. Sometimes other flavours are added such as fruits and spices, even chocolate and coffee are used. As a drink it is meant to be more like a milkshake, not like the hot milky tea we traditionally drink here in Ireland. Cheese tea has been trending in coffee shops in Asia and increasingly in the US and Europe. It’s also been trending on instagram with over 89,000 posts with the hashtag #cheesetea.

It might sound strange to many to add cheese to drinks, but cheese has also been part of Scandinavian beverages traditionally. Kaffeost is coffee poured over cubes of cheese, the coffee cheese is made from milk and rennet which is heated, allowed to solidify to curd and then baked in the oven. It is reminiscent of cheesecake.

These are some more of the #cheesetea images from Instagram. Do they inspire you to offer Cheese Tea to your customers?

Read more:

Atlas Obscura
Cup and Leaf Blog
The Guardian

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