It’s Hot, You’re Thirsty: Panda Express Brings Cheesecake Tea to Pasadena, For Now

Published : Wednesday, August 15, 2018 | 5:17 AM

Panda Express is offering its version of Cheese Tea that’s been popular in China and Taiwan for some time and now is being served at the chain’s Panda + Tea location at 216 S. Lake Avenue, and at its Innovation Kitchen at the Hastings Ranch Plaza, at 3867 E. Foothill Blvd.

Called Cheesecake Tea, Panda’s version of the Cheese Tea – the latest addition to their summer menu – is basically iced tea with a foam made from milk and some variety of cream cheese. Customers can have their choice of cheesecake foam over milk tea, green tea or black tea.

Their tea is slightly sweeter than what other tea bars in the U.S. have been serving, and is “a little more velvety,” Panda Express brand manager Christina Caceres told the Press-Telegram.

“It takes you to a whole different space,” Caceres said.

Panda Express opened its Panda + Tea bar at South Lake Avenue in February to serve vegetable forward dishes and Asian-inspired tea recipes developed at the company’s headquarters in Rosemead.

The fast-casual chain is serving Cheesecake Tea only up to August 27, typical of most of Panda Express’ new recipes which stay on the menu for about six to eight weeks.

In 2016, Panda Express partnered with a Japanese bakery chain that makes fresh, handmade cheesecakes and started offering these in Honolulu and Arcadia. Uncle Tetsu Japanese Cheesecakes – of a lighter density and less sweet than a traditional cheesecake – are baked in small batches daily and served them straight from the oven.

Panda Express evolved from Panda Inn, which Andrew Cherng and his father opened in Pasadena. In 1983, the real estate manager of Glendale Galleria invited the Cherngs, Andrew and his wife Peggy, to develop a fast-food version, and Panda Express was born.

In 2007, Panda Express opened its 1,000th location in Pasadena. Now with over 2,000 locations, it is considered the largest Asian segment restaurant chain in the U.S.

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