LITTLE FLUFFY HEAD CAFE
WHERE CHEESE TEA (YES, CHEESE TEA) IS A THING
In the current foodie, Instagram-crazed world that we live in, daring and eccentric tends to lead the way—especially if it looks good in a photo. So, imagine my surprise when I heard of cheese tea, yes, cheese tea. Who knew?
Jenny Zheng, founder of LA-based Little Fluffy Head Cafe, a boba shop specializing in high-quality cheese tea drinks in Downtown LA, has brought cheese tea to the City of Angels.
Cheese tea originated in Taiwan about five years ago and it’s still ridiculously popular in China. According to Conde Nast Traveler, the original Taiwanese recipe involved powdered cheese, but Nie Yunchen, the CEO of go-to cheese tea purveyor HEYTEA, opted for real New Zealand cheese and cream. He started selling the drink in one small shop and, five years later, his cheese tea empire has expanded to 69 stores that can each sell 3,000 cups of the tea every single day.
Jenny Zheng discovered cheese tea while in China.
"What people initially imagine [is] the actual block of cheese on top of the tea," she told The Dinner Party Download. "Actually, it's the melted cream cheese with the whipping cream, milk and a little bit of salt to give it the sweet and savory taste. So, the taste of the cheese is actually really subtle."
I was initially skeptical but game to try. At first, I tried drinking the tea, which is mostly served cold, out of the straw. It was OK as it was flavorful. But then, randomly, I decided to try it with a spoon and let me tell you, the drink really came to life.
“It’s a surprisingly delicious mix of cheese and tea, which includes a layer of decadent, creamy cheese foam paired on top of freshly-brewed sweet tea, served hot or cold,” Zheng explained to me. “By integrating eastern and western bubble tea cultures through the unique flavors of our tea, we hope to provide exciting, innovative drink options for our customers.”
The cheese tea menu is quite extensive, including the following options.
Original Milk Tea with Boba
Dirty Mess Milk Tea
Classic Medium Oolong
Classic Jasmine Green Tea
Sweet Ginger Milk Tea with Boba
Classic Black Tea
Classic Light Oolong
Premium Rose Oolong
Premium Peach Oolong
Premium Osmanthus Oolong
Premium Lychee Oolong
My favorites included the Camouflage (iced matcha lattte with crème brûlée cream swirled around the cup and mixed inside the latte); Chedd-cha Matcha (iced matcha latte topped with cheddar cream cheese) and the Original Milk Tea with Boba (black milk tea with boba). I’m not even a big fan of boba and I still found the teas to be very tasty. The cheese taste is subtle but there is a wonderful savory quality going on and really delights.
A new menu addition is strawberry cheese tea, which features fresh strawberries blended with jasmine green tea with cheese cream on top. Some have said it tastes like drinking strawberry cheesecake.
A tiny tea shop, Little Fluffy Head Café is more of a grab-and-go stop, however, we did manage to sit out front and enjoy some flavorful teas while watching the downtown rat race pass us by. It made for a very relaxing afternoon. You can also order your teas for delivery via Postmates; Grubhub, Toast, and Ritual.
Fans of bold and dynamic teas, as well as liquid dessert, and savory should definitely give these teas a try and see what all the fuss and Instagram craze is all about.
Little Fluffy Head Café is located at 203 W 7th Street. Open daily from 11am to 10pm. Call 213-266-8495.
Story by: Jose Martinez
Photography Courtesy of: Little Fluffy Head Café