All the tricks to make cheese foam and cheese tea that taste much better than store bought!
Since you are here, chances are good you’ve already heard of whipped cheese foam (aka cheese tea).
If not, let me tell you that as strange as the combination might seem, tea tastes delicious with cheese foam as topping!
Many tea parlors offer cheese foam to top tea and other beverages, but actually, you can make it at home with a few very common ingredients.
So in this blog post, I’ll show you how to make cheese foam for milk tea.
I’m sure you’ll love the extra flavor and creaminess it adds to your tea (and any other beverages).
What is cheese foam?
Cheese foam is a beverage topping made of cream cheese, whipping cream, milk and sugar.
It’s often used as a topping for tea, coffee and boba tea.
Most of the times cheese foam tops cold drinks, but you can also cream cheese foam with hot drinks (I do it all the time: it needs some tricks to consider but I’ll share them bellow).
The trend of making a whipped cream with cheese began in Taiwanese bubble tea shops.
But since then it has been slowly making its way to other asian countries and the United States. And now cheese tea is a quite popular drink in the whole world!
Other common names for cheese foam
You might find cheese foam (and beverages that use it) under these names, among others:
- whipped cheese
- cheese tea
- salty mousse
- cheese mousse
- cheese cap tea
- creamy cheese foam
- cheese foam tea
How does cheese tea taste?
Cheese foam makes any beverage taste like a creamy cheese cake.
The tangy combination of cream cheese and the other ingredients brings out the sweetness of the cream and the tea.
And the slightly savory flavor of the cheese is in no way too overpowering; it just adds a depth of flavor to the drink, with some zing and richness.
So, don’t worry: cheese tea or cheese foam doesn’t have anything to do with strong cheese.
If you’re looking for something creamy and a little different, I encourage you to give cheese tea a try!
Ingredients to make cheese foam
Many boba stores just use cream cheese powder for their cheese tea, but you can make yours at home with very common ingredients.
All you’ll need is:
For sugar-free cheese cream
If you don’t want so much sugar in your drink, you may substitute the sugar for xylitol or erythritol.
I personally love these alternatives for this recipe: they save some calories and make for sugar-free cheese foam that tastes as good as the original one.
To make vegan cheese tea
I haven’t tried it yet, but it seems like for a vegan version of cheese tea, can make a vegan version like you may substitute milk and whipping cream for coconut milk and cream.
I’ve also read in some vegan forums that you can substitute cheese by blending silken tofu.
Keto cheese tea
Cheese tea is quite high in calories, but if you are looking following a keto diet, you can turn it quite easily into a low carb beverage.
You would just need to:
- switch dairy milk for a keto-friendlier milk alternative (for example almond milk, cashew milk or soy milk)
- use a keto friend sweetener
Cream cheese substitutes
You may use sour cream or ricotta as substitutes, but the taste will be slightly different.
Make sure you add some salt if your cheese doesn’t contain salt.
Can you make low fat cheese tea?
Cream cheese has cream cheese and whipping cream, so it’s quite rich in fats.
However, you can reduce its fat content a little by using low-fat milk or vegan milk.
I recommend using one of these:
- a stand mixer (beater accessory or whisk attachment)
- a hand-held milk frother
When to use a stand mixer
If you are making 2 or more portions of cheese foam, go for a stand mixer: it’s quick and you can combine everything together from the beginning.
Just be mindful not to overwhip the mixture, so it holds a pourable consistence.
When to use a hand-held frother
A hand held milk frother is convenient if you are making small amounts (1 to 2 portions).
But since this appliance isn’t as powerful as a hand mixer, when using a hand-held frother, I find it much easier to first combine the cream cheese and the milk with a spoon.
When the cream cheese and milk make a homogeneous cream, you can add the heavy cream and whip everything together.
How to make cheese foam
To make cheese tea, you just top any tea (no matter if it’s with or without milk) or beverage with a layer of cheese foam.
Time needed: 5 minutes
How to make cheese foam for cheese tea
- Whip all ingredients together
Combine cream cheese, whipping cream, milk and sugar with an electric hand mixer.
Begin on low. Then, when everything is combined, whip on medium or medium-high for around a minute, until the cream increases in volume and it looks foamy, similar to the texture of soft whipped cream*.
(Read more about texture bellow under “How to get the right texture”).
Use to top any desired drink with it.
How to get the right texture
Cheese foam always tastes amazing.
But getting the right consistency might be tricky.
In fact, I had to experiment a lot (really a lot) to get the ingredient ratio that works best for myself.
The ideal cheese foam should have a medium peak, but still light and airy (just not as foamy as milk froth).
If your cheese foam is too runny, it may dissolve in the drink (specially if it’s served warm), but if it’s too firm, it may be difficult to pour it (and it doesn’t look so great in pictures).
Luckily, if your cheese foam doesn’t get your desired texture at the first try, you can fix it quite easily:
- if it’s too stiff, increase the amount of milk (by one teaspoon at a time, so it doesn’t get too runny)
- if it’s too runny, add more cream cheese
When it comes to the consistency of your cream cheese, it’s also a matter of personal preference.
That’s why if you look for cheese foam recipes, each one will use a different ingredient ratio.
I personally prefer my cheese foam on the stiff side, but most boba shops serve rather runny cream and both taste good.
- If you are using cheese foam for a warm drink, I recommend making your foam stiffer (up to doubling the amount of cream cheese): otherwise, the cream melts quickly into the hot liquid.
- You can flavor your cheese mousse with matcha powder, cocoa powder or similar.
- If the cream cheese you use isn’t salted, add some salt.
Common questions about cheese foam
Cheese foam can last 1-2 days refrigerated. However, keep in mind that it contains fresh milk and other dairy products that can spoil quickly, so use always your common sense.
Just place it in an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use it.
Yes, you can freeze it in an airtight container for up to two months. When ready to serve, thaw in the fridge overnight.
At first it might look like the texture has change (separated), but it will be ready to use again after shortly stirring with a spoon.
In my experience it gets a little too thick without milk, but every brand of cream cheese is different, so if your isn’t so thick, it might work without adding milk.
If you don’t have milk at hand, you might substitute it for water.
Yes, you can! While cheese foam is often served over cold tea, it works great for both hot and cold drinks. If you want to use it for hot beverages, make sure to whip the cream cheese well so doesn’t melt altogether when you pour it into the hot drink.
Traditional cheese tea is made with black tea or green tea, but you can get creative and try it with any variations of milk tea* or boba drink you want.
*In boba parlors, “milk tea” is a name used for any milk based drink, even if it doesn’t contain real tea (for example, taro milk or chocolate milk).
So, feel free to experiment: any drink that goes well with milk tastes great with cheese foam!
Tea is considered healthy and cheese foam may also have some health benefits on its own, but it´s also high in calories and fat (and very often, it’s prepared with lots of sugar), so you should enjoy it in moderation.
How to make cheese tea
Once you have whipped cheese, making cheese tea is easy-peasy:
- Prepare your tea of choice on the stronger side (so the cheese cream doesn’t overpower it).
For example, to make a cup of cheese tea, I use 2 teabags of black tea instead of one.
Feel free to use any type of tea, milk tea, iced tea latte or bubble tea drink; everything that goes well with milk goes well with cheese foam!
- Pour the tea in a glass, optionally add some boba pearls (tapioca balls) if you like.
- Top with creamy foam
Other ideas to use cheese foam
Because cheese foam is quite firm, you add more toppings above.
Also, since it makes any drink taste like cheesecake, you can get really creative.
These are some of my favorite experiments with cheese foam so far:
Easy cheese foam recipe
- Hand mixer
- Hand-held frother (If making small amounts)
- 4 Tablespoon cream cheese (salted)
- 4 Tablespoon whipping cream
- 4 Tablespoon milk
- 4 teaspoon sugar (xylitol or erythritol also work. Maple syrup too)
- vanilla (optional)
- If using a hand mixer, whip everything together.If using a hand-held frother, stir first with a spoon so the cheese cream combines with the rest of ingredients before using the frother.
- Whip until the texture is that of a light-beaten whipped cream (it takes around 1 minute). If you don’t have the desired consistency or sweetness level, adapt accordingly – add more cheese cream for more stiffness or milk for a more pourable texture.
- If your cheese foam turns is too runny, add more cream cheese (up to double amount).
- If you are going to use this cream cheese for hot drinks, I recommend making it on the stiffer side so the cream doesn’t melt when poured into the drink.
- If your cheese foam turns too stif to pour, fix it by adding a little amount of milk with a teaspoon.
- Feel free to use more sugar if you’d prefer it sweeter.
And that’s it! You now know how to make cheese foam for milk tea at home in just a few minutes. Will you give this delicious topping a try?