Taiwanese sweets are running the dessert game in Tokyo. Bubble tea remains the top teen trend for now, but a new pop-up store offers a glimpse at a possible heir to the tapioca-filled tea sensation.

Cheese tea shop Machi Machi has opened up a limited-run store in Jiyugaoka that will run until June 16, serving as a preview of its soon-to-be permanent space in Harajuku’s Laforet building that will open June 26. This pop-up offers a solid introduction to the meal-in-a-drink creation, which combines cold tea with a layer of milk and cream cheese foam that floats on top.

There’s a diverse menu of flavors on offer, but it’s the specialties that pique my interest. The Iron Buddha Oolong Cheese Tea (¥480 before tax) delivers a nice oolong taste accented by some sweetness on top, but it’s worth splurging a bit more for the Wildberry Cheese Tea (¥680 before tax). The cheese flavor complements the mix of berries, nailing the right balance between sweet and tart.

In line with COVID-19 guidelines, the government is strongly requesting that residents and visitors exercise caution if they choose to visit bars, restaurants, music venues and other public spaces.

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