Cheese foam, the topping on cheese tea, is popular in Asian countries, and it’s gaining popularity throughout the world. It’s a delicious topping that you can easily make at home if you can’t find it locally.
In this article, we explain just what this unique foam is, how to make it, and how to enjoy it. We learned everything there is to know about this trendy drink so you can understand, too.
What is cheese foam made of?
Cheese foam, sometimes called cheese mousse, is made of cream cheese, whipping cream, milk, salt, and sugar.
Like any recipe, though, there are variations. For example, some use evaporated milk and condensed milk, some use powdered cheese, and others use sour cream.
Cheese tea has a lovely, refreshing taste. The foam is usually atop bubble tea, most often made with black, green or oolong tea. The taste of the tea will vary depending on which leaves you to use, but the foam will be sweet. Moreover, it has a similar flavour profile to cheesecake.
Just by hearing the name, it’s easy to assume this drink will have a cheesy flavour. However, while it’s mostly sweet, it also has a savoury note.
A serving of this rich cheese foam topping adds about 160 calories, while a serving of boba drink has about 300. Hence, the entire cheese tea drink has about 460 calories per serving.
You can make this trendy drink with just a few ingredients, most of which you can purchase at your local grocery store.
- Cream cheese: It is a soft texture with a very mild flavour. It gives the foam its cheese notes and is essential to its texture.
- Whipping cream: Many cooks use whipping cream as a liquid cream in their baking recipes. When whipped, it holds its shape and is perfect for giving baked goods their fluffy texture. For cheese tea foam, it’s vital to the texture. If you’re out of whipping cream, you can make your own with butter and milk.
- Milk: Whole milk is most commonly used in baking. However, you can use whatever milk you have on hand. Note that milk alternatives, like almond or oat, will change the flavour.
- Salt: In this recipe, salt is purely for taste, so use your favourite.
- Sugar: Make sure you use standard sugar, not powdered. Powdered sugar will change the consistency of the foam.
Common substitute ingredients
- Evaporated milk: Some recipes call for evaporated milk, where much of the water has been removed from the milk. This is a great alternative if you don’t like the flavour of whipped cream.
- Condensed milk: Condensed milk is similar to evaporated milk, but it has added sugar. When using condensed milk, you don’t need to use sugar. Using evaporated and condensed milk requires a different recipe.
- Sour cream: You can use sour cream, which is fermented cream,in place of cream cheese. Do note that it will change the flavour.
- Powdered cheese: Although it’s sometimes called cream cheese foam, you do not necessarily need cream cheese to make the mousse. In fact, the original recipes, made at night market stands in Taiwan, use a powdered version. White powder made from a mild type, like cheddar, is best. Your local grocery store may not carry this item, but you can purchase it online. When finding it online, search ‘cheese foam powder’ or ‘cheese tea powder.’
Vegan Cheese Foam
The rich mousse contains many dairy ingredients, but there is a simple way to make it vegan. With minor substitutions, you’ll have a delicious mousse that fits your dietary preferences.
Cream cheese, whipping cream, and milk all contain dairy. Hence, you must swap each of these ingredients. You can use substitutions or plant-based alternatives for each.
- Cream cheese: Use silken tofu, or make your own! You can easily make vegan cream cheese at home.
- Whipping cream: There are a couple of options for whipping cream substitutes. Use coconut milk or a soy milk-olive oil mixture.
- Milk: Use any plant-based milk you like. Make sure it’s unsweetened, as it won’t change the flavour as much.
If you’re using an alternative recipe, still swap the dairy ingredients when making vegan cheese tea.
- Evaporated milk: There are plant-based evaporated milk options available at some grocery stores. However, you can make your own at home, too.
- Condensed milk: You can make your own vegan condensed milk or use plant-based evaporated milk and add sugar.
- Powdered cheese: There are several options for vegan powdered cheese available online.
To have the best Chinese cheese tea possible, follow these tips for both tea and foam:
Making foam can be daunting, but with the right tips, it’s effortless.
- Don’t over whip: When whipping the cream, don’t over whip. Once your cream has formed medium peaks, stop. Over whipping can lead to stiff peaks, which will greatly impact the texture of the foam.
- Don’t overmix: Overmixing can have the same effect as over whipping. Follow the recipe carefully to know what the foam should look like at each stage. By doing so, it will help you avoid overmixing.
- Use the correct tools: Making foam can be an intense process, especially if you’re not used to whipping and whisking. To make it easier, use a stand mixer to whisk and beat. Using a stand mixer will make the process much quicker and easier. Also, use a hand frother or hand mixer to whip. Using a hand-held tool will give you lots of control while saving your arm from fatigue.
For this drink to reach peak deliciousness, your base drink needs to be just as good as your foam.
- Use fresh water: Steep your tea in freshwater. It’ll make a massive difference in the taste.
- Use the correct temperature: Water temperature varies by the type of leaf. Make sure you’re using the right temperature when steeping your leaves.
- Use correct measurements: The more tea leaves you use, the stronger the brew. If you like a strong base, use more leaves. If you don’t want as much flavour, use fewer.
How to Enjoy
Cheese tea is as easy to enjoy as it is to make. The delicious, versatile foam can make cheese tea boba and lots of other drinks. For example, you can stir it into your tea to make a creamy, rich drink. Otherwise, you can also leave it sitting on top of your base drink, sipping it and enjoying the frothy texture.
The rich drink can also be enjoyed on its own or paired with various sweets. It’s tasty with a sweet bun, a croissant, or even shortbread. Though, to be frank, we think that any pastry you enjoy eating with tea is perfect to pair with mousse-topped tea!
How to Store
Cheese foam can be prepared beforehand and used at a later time. Make a large batch and store it in an airtight container in your refrigerator. It can last up to five days. It’ll taste best when it’s fresh, though.
However, if you do make a large batch, make it in increments. This is because doubling or tripling the recipe could result in a different texture. Therefore, it’s best to follow the recipe exactly and repeat the process to have a larger batch.
There are several ways to enjoy the sweet and rich mousse. Here are some of our favourite ways to elevate this delicious foam:
- Add flavouring: Adding your syrup of choice to your tea can make mousse even better. Pairing it with a fruity syrup-like mango or berry or something sweet like caramel can add a new depth of flavour.
- Use it on coffee: The thick mousse can sit on any beverage, not just tea. Try cheese foam coffee for a totally new experience with the frothy delight.
- Switch up the salt: The kitchen is a place to explore new ideas. Make your foam with different salts. It’ll change the flavour a bit and will always be exciting to try.
- Put it on different tea flavours: The mousse is delicious on lots of different teas. Rotate your leaf type to try new flavours. We suggest trying homemade bubble tea, honeydew milk tea, or jasmine green milk tea, all of which you can make at home.
Cheese Tea Recipe | How to Make Cheese Foam
- 2 oz cream cheese
- 3 tablespoon whipping cream
- 2 tablespoon milk
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Salt to taste
- Whisk cream cheese, milk, and sugar until smooth in a medium bowl.
- In a separate bowl, beat the whipping cream until medium peaks have formed.
- Mix the cream cheese mixture with the whipped cream until thoroughly combined and foamy.
- Gradually add salt to taste.
Calories have been calculated using an online calculator. Nutritional information offered on Honest Food Talks is for general information purposes and are only rough estimations.
Kuro’s Home Cafe has the perfect short video recipe to show you how it’s done! The resulting tantalizing mousse can be added to boba drink, coffee or any of your favourite drinks!