Is cheese tea healthy? (plus recipe)
05/21/2021 / By Joanne Washburn / Comments
Is cheese tea healthy? (plus recipe)

“Cheese tea” seems like an unusual pair of words to find next to each other. But this unique drink is fast becoming popular worldwide in defiance of its odd name. This is thanks to its unconventional flavor combo of salty, tangy, bitter and sweet.

What is cheese tea?

The base of cheese tea, also known as naigai cha, is black or green tea. Hot or cold, it is topped with a generous layer of cream cheese that has been whipped up into a thick foam. Some versions of cheese tea are finished with a sprinkle of sea salt or green tea powder or matcha. This is often done to give the drink a light, savory touch.

Brighteon.TV

When sipped at just the right angle – about 40 degrees – the drinker gets a taste of the green or black tea’s mild bitterness. But that flavor is soon cut by the cool tang of the cream cheese alongside a hint of saltiness. This combo is practically designed to keep you coming back for more.

Night market vendors in Taiwan are believed to be the inventors of this unique drink. It first appeared around 2010, when Taiwanese tea shops used cheese powder, whipping cream and milk. Not long after, cheese tea’s unique flavor led to people creating a more decadent drink with real cream cheese instead of powder.

There are lots of variations of cheese tea or cream cheese tea. Some like to blend it with milk, others like to add whipped cream and sweetened condensed milk. It all depends on the thickness and balance of flavors that they want to achieve. Of course, you can always create your own unique flavor combo by making cheese tea yourself.

Today, cheese tea is largely found in Asian countries like Malaysia and Singapore. But cheese tea is slowly becoming part of the menu in many tea shops in the United States and the United Kingdom as well.

The health benefits of cheese tea

Cheese powder and refined sugar can make some cheese tea versions rather unhealthy. That said, the beverage still has its benefits, primarily because of its tea component. Tea is chock-full of antioxidants. Green tea, in particular, is rich in catechins, compounds that help protect your cells from damage and inflammation.

Because of its antioxidants, tea has been linked to several health benefits. For instance, studies have shown that regular tea drinking can help keep the heart healthy by reducing blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Regular tea drinking also supports healthy metabolism and weight management.

Though the tea component of cheese tea is undoubtedly healthy, the cheese part isn’t. Cheese, particularly processed varieties, can be unhealthy because of additional fat and salt. But minimally processed and nutrient-dense varieties, such as cheese made from nuts, can be used in place of unhealthy cheese varieties.

But take note that any benefits you get from cheese tea may be offset by the addition of sugar. There are lots of natural sweeteners available in the market today, such as coconut sugar and stevia, which comes from the leaves of a plant native to Brazil. But natural sweeteners can be just as unhealthy as refined sugar if consumed in excess.

Nut cheese can also be high in calories because nuts are high-calorie foods. Be mindful of the amount of calories and fats in a cup of cheese tea. Remember that the more indulgent the mix, the greater the calories.

How to make cheese tea

Making your own cheese tea is fairly simple. Here’s how to do it:

Ingredients for 2 servings:

  • 2 glasses brewed green tea, cold
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup half-and-half
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cashew or almond cream cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Green tea powder (optional)

Preparation:

  1. Pour the milk, half-and-half and cream cheese into a bowl. Whisk until smooth.
  2. Season with salt, then add the coconut sugar. Whisk.
  3. Pour the heavy cream whisk again for a smooth, creamy and thick consistency.
  4. Using a large spoon, add dollops of the cream cheese mixture to your green tea.
  5. Sprinkle green tea powder over the cream cheese globs if desired for added flavor. Serve.

Because half of the flavor profile of cheese tea comes from the actual tea, you’ll want to consider how black and green tea differ. Black tea usually has a more roasty and malty flavor, sometimes with nutty undertones. It possesses a deeper and richer flavor than green tea because of the oxidation process it goes through.

Both green tea and black tea pair well with the tangy sweetness of the cream cheese foam but in different ways. The cheese lightens up black tea while cutting through the fresh, grassy sharpness of green tea. Using hot or iced tea can also impact your drinking experience. Freshly brewed tea often has a stronger flavor and aroma.

Strange as it sounds, cheese tea offers a unique way to enjoy your usual cup of tea. It is filled with antioxidants, supports healthy metabolism and aids in weight management as well. Just be mindful of the amount of calories, fat and sugar in a single serving of cheese tea or change up the ingredients for a healthier drink.

Give cheese tea a try and see if this new twist on a classic is for you.

Sources:

OrganicFacts.net

EatRight.org

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