I read those two words together and immediately winced. Cheese Tea. As two separate items I liked it. I love cheese and I also love tea. But the idea of putting them together and consuming them as one made my right eye squint involuntarily. The wince and the squint played one after the other as I was looking at an invite to visit Little Fluffy Head in Downtown Los Angeles. I could have disregarded the invitation at the mere product concept alone, but what kind of appreciator of food would that make me? I RSVP’d with a yes and when the day arrived, I was ready to find out what cheese tea was all about.
The quaint shop on 7th Street opened on August 30th by its founder, Jenny Zheng. With more gumption than the average 25 year-old, Zheng graduated from UCLA with a Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering but ditched her education to start her own business. After spending time relaxing and people-watching in her favorite boba shop, Zheg decided she wanted to offer the same experience to others by opening her own store. In Asia, cheese tea may be well known, but ask a person in Los Angeles about it and you may receive a few perplexed faces. Zheng then went the route of opening a shop that would sell cheese tea to introduce consumers to the style of drink and optimistic that it would peak in popularity. Reflect back to the craze of unicorn frappes, duo cup boba, or pink/purple/blue/rainbo drinks from Starbucks and you can imagine that she’s on the right track.
Looking over the menu at Little Fluffy Head there were a variety of options to order. A 16oz cup could come in 13 different flavors of tea and topped with 3 different types of cheeses ranges between $6-7 each. While the shop has pre-made options of cheese teas, if you’re polite and smile a bit I’m sure you can design your own cheese tea within reason. With friends DTLA Wanderer, DTLA Rendezvous, Turning Off Japanese, HistoricDTLA, and a few others the unanimous recommendation was to order The Dirty Mess. I shrugged and went with it and was offered the Original Milk Tea and Camouflage Matcha to go along with it. There was a slight nervousness to drink a tea topped with a thick layer of fluffy cheese. However the moment it was placed in my hand I quickly went for the sip. Immediately I could understand why everyone raved about The Dirty Mess. The crumbled Oreo topping over a sweet crème brûlée cream covering black milk tea was surprisingly delicious. As the tea and the whipped cheese flowed through the unique sipping lid I loved how smooth and light it was.
Somehow Zheng managed to make a tea that blended with (of all things) cheese so easily that the two seemed like they were meant to be together. As I continued to drink it, I asked myself how the drink isn’t more prevalent. Sure there may be one other shop in LA with cheese tea, but not with widespread popularity. Taking sips of the lone black tea in the Original Milk Tea as it swam through the light cheese was delicious. Nearly inhaling the lovely duo of iced green tea matcha swirled with the crème brûlée in the Camouflage Matcha offered two flavors of teas that I loved in the moment, yet didn’t give enough credit to originally. We all make mistakes right?
Prior to visiting Little Fluffy Head, reading the words ‘cheese tea’ didn’t sound like an ideal beverage under any circumstance. But walking into the shop with a relatively open mind and giving the drinks an honest chance I found that they were better than I expected them to be. Now the next someone suggests grabbing cheese tea the only words that will come out of my mouth will be: “Who’s driving?”
Address: 203 W 7th St, Los Angeles, CA 90014
Phone: (213) 266-8495
Hours: Sunday to Thursday – 12:00pm to 10:00pm and Friday & Saturday – 12:00pm to 12:00am
Social: Website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
- Food tastes great
- Friendly staff
- Structure or street parking only