How to Make Black Tea with Rock Salted Cheese

· Rich. Sweet. Savory. ·

July 8, 2017 7 Comments

For about a year now, we would make the trek down to Cupertino two to three times a week toward a land called Happy Lemon, where lemons are happy and everything is yellow and girlfriends don’t yell at boyfriends.

Cheese isn’t typically an ingredient you would imagine putting into your drink. As odd as in sounds, it works really well.

For a boba chain, Happy Lemon is damned freakin’ amazing at what they do. I have not one (which is typical when I go to other boba joints) but three go-to drinks when I visit…so I always struggle to pick one drink to order. As a result I mostly order two drinks when I go: one for now, one for the next day. And I never regret it. I never regret it. Maybe we’ll add more details in another blog post! 🙂

If you’ve been to Happy Lemon, you would know that they invented a little thing called the Rock Salted Cheese Series. If you haven’t, you probably like, hwut the fuhhhhh? Don’t feel weirded out. Any boba drinker who’s ever decided to take a leap of faith on Happy Lemon’s Rock Salted Cheese drinks was always first skeptical and then impressed. 

A good way to describe rock salted cheese is that it’s the more dynamic, assertive, and sophisticated older sister of what we know as crema, sea cream, sea salt cream, mustache, etc. Crema/sea cream/sea salt cream/mustache/etc. is a creamy, but light and lovely topping that sits as a layer on top of your tea. Rock Salted Cheese is richer. It’s made up of nothing more than condensed milk, cream, sea salt, and cream cheese. It’s decadent but divine at the same time.

We’re happy to say that with the right tea (I highly recommend Taylors of Harrogate Pure Assam Tea for this recipe) and mix of ingredients, we’ve been able to replicate this drink to enjoy at home, and we want to share it with you!

Ya ready to boba?

Black Tea with Rock Salted Cheese

Black Tea with Rock Salted Cheese


How to Make Black Tea with Rock Salted Cheese
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Category: drink

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How to Make Black Tea with Rock Salted Cheese

Black Tea with Rock Salted Cheese



  1. Bring 14 ounces of water to a boil.
  2. Using a french press, tea pot, or tea infuser, brew the tea with water for 4 minutes. If you don’t have a french press or tea infuser, brew the tea directly in a pitcher and filter with a sieve or coffee filter.
  3. Stir the white sugar into the tea.
  4. Pop the tea into the freezer to cool down.
    Rock Salted Cheese:
  1. Using an electric mixer or blender, whip the heavy cream to soft peaks.
  2. Add condensed milk, cream cheese, and salt. Whip again until smooth.
    Put It All Together:
  1. If the tea hasn’t chilled, scoop half a cup of ice into a martini shaker. Crushed ice is great, but cubed works fine too. Pour the mixture into the shaker, put the cap back on, and shake, shake, shake! 10 seconds will do.
  2. Filter the drink into a serving glass, and utilize half of the remaining ice from the shaker in the drink.
  3. Scoop the cheese into a spoon and let it slowly drip on top of the tea. Add at least enough so it forms a layer covering the tea, and more to your heart’s desire.
  4. Sip this drink rather than drink it through a straw, tilting it at a 45º angle so you get cheese and tea all in one gulp!

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Ly is a software engineer by day. By night she dreams of traveling the world, eating good food, and drinking boba.


  1. Reply

    Norma Jones

    January 10, 2018

    I ❤️ The different combinations that you have come up with. A tea bar by the name of STEAP just opened up in San Francisco, CA . Their tea combinations are awesome also. I look forward to making these.

    • Reply


      July 21, 2019

      So honored! 🙂 I’ve been very curious about STEAP. What do you recommend there?

  2. Reply


    February 19, 2018

    So glad to find this, as I’ve been obsessed with cheese tea ever since a Happy Lemon opened in my neighborhood. How far ahead (and in what quantity) can you make this, or should you make just enough for immediate use?

    • Reply


      July 21, 2019

      Hi Belinda, I would make this and use within a few hours at most! Not that you can’t stir it up again, but the top layer does tend to dry out a little and gets thicker than desired.

  3. Reply

    Miz Shalle

    March 9, 2018

    We’re sitting in Happy Lemon Sunnyvale, & I’m delighted to find your recipe!! Our 1st visit, (Yummy😋) glad to get the last open spot in the teeny parking lot. Thanks for posting, ’cause next time we swing by and can’t find a spot we’ll head home and make your version!!

    • Reply


      July 21, 2019

      Most everyone I know has enjoyed this drink! It’s definitely fun to make at home and a great treat to entertain party guests. 🙂