Overhyped and Underwhelming: A review of Happy Lemon’s “Salted Cheese” drinks


Subaita Rahman

Happy Lemon’s salted cheese is served as a layer on top of your drink, which you’re supposed to sip at a 45 degree angle, according to the store.

Subaita Rahman, Entertainment and Humor Editor

Lately, “salted cheese” boba drinks have been gaining more and more popularity, especially from a certain store called Happy Lemon. The menu consists of normal boba drinks with an optional layer of their salted cheese topping, which is supposed to enhance your drink further. When I first heard about these drinks, I wasn’t dying to try it out, as the first thought I had was of drinking something resembling nacho cheese. Still, I, like any other brainless teen, am vulnerable to the strong grasp of social media, and the consistent glimpses of Happy Lemon drinks on Snapchat stories were enough to make me reconsider. So, I decided to try out some nacho cheese.

I should clarify that Happy Lemon’s menu includes normal drinks along with their salted cheese menu, with the same toppings as any other boba shop. You can choose to add the salted cheese topping, which is made of cream cheese, whipped cream, milk, and a hint of rock salt to any other drink on their menu for a dollar, but their most popular items are ordered off their specific salted cheese category. The menu seemed expensive when I entered, and the small sizes of their cups along with some suspicious sounding drinks (Matcha Latte Tiramisu with Salted Cheese, anyone?) made me a bit wary of what I was about to get. In the end, I sampled their top two drinks: black tea and green tea, both topped with salted cheese and boba. This seemed safe enough.

I ordered the drink with my other normal drink preferences, being the lowest ice and sugar levels. According to the official Happy Lemon store,you’re supposed to drink the tea in an angle where you would get a little bit of the topping with the rest of the drink (I’m not sure where the boba fits in here). I think this is what affected my experience the most — the sweetness of the drink supposedly offsets the saltiness of the salted cheese topping, but for me the saltiness of the cheese overpowered the drink and the whole thing ended up tasting like weird yogurt. Still, I knew the drink itself had a lot of potential considering its popularity, so I tried Green Tea with Salted Cheese, their next most popular drink, at a higher sweetness. The salted cheese in this drink was very subtle to the point of it being barely noticeable. It wasn’t bad, but I don’t think it was worth it overall, perhaps because I expected a more dramatic change.

The salted cheese topping generally tasted like slightly salty milk foam, which I’m not normally a fan of, but if that’s your thing, go for it. The drinks to me were a little overhyped, especially since people either ranged from loving it to finding it overhyped and mediocre. The Happy Lemon’s Salted Cheese menu was very average and disappointingly underwhelming quality-wise, but the salted cheese itself is not a terrible topping. I still wouldn’t say it’s worth all the Snapchat cameos.


Rating: 2.5/5