The History of Cheese Tea Before LiHo: It Actually Came from China

So, everyone has been going gaga over the cheese tea from LiHo ever since they rebranded themselves from Gong Cha. At 50 cups per outlet, it sure added premium to the coveted drink: not just because of its unique combination, but its exclusivity.

And of course, that exclusivity has turned off some patrons—after all, just think about it: 50 cups per outlet? That’s like saying that iPhone 8 is going to be out in Singapore, but there’re only 100 units up for grabs.

Given its premium status, what’s the story behind this drink?

Now, if you Google “Cheese Tea”, you’ll realize that you’ll be slapped with countless LiHos—and you might think that this combination is unique, new and is invented by LiHo.

Well, that’s because you’re in Singapore, so you’ve Googled with

Here’s the thing: cheese tea is apparently a big thing over in China prior to LiHo, and to a smaller extent, in Malaysia.

Just try Googling with and you’ll understand.

So here’s the brief history: it allegedly had its roots from China. A few years ago, HEYTEA (喜茶) (previously known as Royaltea (皇茶)) claimed to have invented the first cheese tea, and boy was it hot. The queues were long and people went all apeshit over the weird combination that they later realized was a match made in heaven.


The hype is still there: in some cities like Guangzhou and Shanghai, over 1,000 cheese teas are sold in each outlet.

The whole idea of cheese tea, to some people, is to create a cheese mustache. Here’s how it looks like.


Okay, maybe not like that, but you get the idea.

But anyways. With the snaking queues in China, it’s just a matter of time before they come to other parts of the world. And the first country to receive that honour is Malaysia.

In March this year, Chizu Drink in Malaysia opened in Sunway Pyramid, and their killer product? Cheese tea.

Next, in April, Regiustea, a brand that operates and sells cheese tea in China, opened its first outlet in Sunway Velocity.

That didn’t end: on 7 May 2017, Royaltea, the brand that started it all in China (not sure why the old name is used), opened its second outlet in Klang Valley, with its first already in JB.

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Now, if you’ve read every single word, you’ll know what this means: one new outlet is opened every month since the trend came to Malaysia.

According to the COO of Regiustea, they sell an average of 800 cheese teas a day. And with Singaporeans and Malaysians sharing similar culture, that’s about the demand it apparently has.

And now, hear this: Regiustea, a brand that has its roots from China, has plans to expand to Singapore.

If they can sell 800 cheese teas with an outlet, I think that’s going to be a big threat to LiHo. So if you still can’t get your cheese tea, don’t worry: just go up north. Or maybe just go back to Gong Cha, no?

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Featured Image: + + Facebook (LiHo)

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