Food & Drink | DESSERT WATCH

Machi Machi's cheese teas are a novel blend of sweet and tart

by Patrick St. Michel

Contributing Writer

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.