Watch out matcha and bubble tea—another trendy drink is coming for your turf. And it might just be the most interesting one yet. If you’re still getting used to drinking chewy tapioca balls through a straw, then you’re probably going to feel super weird about sipping on cheese: It’s the most-talked-about ingredient in the newest Japanese drink that’s taking over Instagram.
While the drink originated in Taiwan back in 2010, it’s spread across Asia over the years and is so popular today that Eater reports popular franchises in China serve up to 1,000 cups a day. The trend is just beginning to make waves in America, though, thanks to cafes like Little Fluffy Head and Happy Lemon that make it impossible not to post your pretty cheesy foam-topped beverage online.
The typical cheese tea is made up of a base of either green or black tea—both of which have seriously impressive benefits, whether that’s their de-bloating powers or ability to better your gut health and boost your brain power—a bit of milk, about a tablespoon and a half of cream cheese, and salt. Other varieties also contain cheddar cheese and whipped cream, depending on where you go. While the bulk of the perks are from the tea, you can still get some calcium from the milk, although it might trigger a case of inflammation, depending how your body does with dairy. As for the cream cheese, it means you’re adding in about 74 calories and four grams of saturated fat. (This is excluding of course those other fancy add-ins, like the whipped cream.)
Seventy-four calories is hardly anything to lose sleep over and because of all the benefits of the tea base and the milk, it’s a pretty healthy caffeinated drink option. Still, it’s even better to reap those benefits without the cheese topping, even though a plain cup definitely doesn’t look as good on your feed. Matcha, it seems, is keeping the health crown.
Drinking this two-ingredient zesty tea before bed will relax you and help fight bloat. Or find out how to make a healthy smoothie you’ll actually want to drink.
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