milk tea

Get dairy-free milk tea from this local brand

Steph Arnaldo
Get dairy-free milk tea from this local brand

Photo from Kahatea's Instagram page

Kahatea's Pinoy vegan milk tea flavors of iskrambol, taho, ube, leche flan and more are made with soy milk and plant-based creamer!

There are vegan options for almost anything nowadays, and luckily, that includes milk tea – a dairy-free and creamy novelty that local brand Kahatea has been serving since July 2020.

The Filipino-themed milk tea shop was born out of two friends’ love for milk tea and an itch to travel around the Philippines again.

Angela Valdez and Angelo Horfilla wanted Kahatea to be inclusive – highlighting well-loved Pinoy flavors from different local destinations in their menu and providing both dairy and non-dairy milk tea options for their customers.

Pinoy heritage in a cup

“We wanted to honor our Filipino heritage by promoting local delicacies like iskrambol, leche flan, halo-halo, tablea, yema, panutsa, tsoko-mani, taho, and more, carefully recreated in our drinks,” Kahatea told Rappler.

Kahatea also uses traditional Filipino elements in their branding and physical stores (they currently have branches in Makati, Pasig, Quezon City, Pasay City, and Manila). The name, which highlights the Pinoy trait of bayanihan, is also what’s behind their selling promo: every drink is buy-one-take-one.

“We want to be every Juan’s companion for healthy, affordable, comforting drinks and snacks that are very close to a true Pinoy’s heart,” Kahatea added.

Milk tea for all

“We aim to be the ‘pambansang milktea,’ and so we want to bring wider awareness that there is no harm in being vegan. Our brand is well-received by the vegan community,” they said.

Majority of Kahatea’s drinks are plant-based and casein-free, making them vegan-friendly, and makes use of a s special coconut-based creamer and soy milk for their “Wow Utaw” soy-based milk tea series. The only non-vegan drinks by default are their Laguna (Kesong Puti) and Ala Kape Eh (coffee) series.

Kahatea’s milk tea is just like the real thing, you won’t even care that there’s no dairy (you might even appreciate it more)! Whether you’re trying the coconut-based or soy-based drinks, Kahatea’s creamy, black tea-based beverages are just the right amount of creamy and sweet, without the heaviness of dairy creamer (and its uncomfortable side effects, for those who are lactose-intolerant).

Flavors from around the country

Kahatea’s best-selling milk tea flavors take inspiration from familiar treats, such as the childhood favorite iskrambol. The milk tea version really tastes like the banana-based, icy pink drink, minus the sweet toppings.

The leche flan flavor is syrupy and sweet, and the tsoko-mani expertly blends the rich flavors of chocolate and peanuts in one chocnut-like drink. All of these are available under the Wow Utaw series, including their kundol (wintermelon), yema, and panutsa (brown sugar) flavors, which also hit the spot.

Under the Byaheng Luzon is their Baguio (ube halaya) flavor, and under the Byaheng Visayas menu is the Cebu (binignit/taro) flavor. The Byaheng Mindanao category houses mostly Kahatea’s fruit teas, like the kahel (passionfruit), kunig (peach mango), kalimbahin (strawberry lychee), among others.

Their special Sultan Kudarat flavor is their version of halo-halo milk tea. The textural drink comes with brown sugar syrup, red mung beans, coconut strings, and chewy nata de coco.

Almost every Kahatea drink comes with their housemade sagong itim (black pearls), which are chewy, soft, and not overly sweet. They also have the sagong puti (white pearls), the tinier, clearer versions of pearls.

Kahatea’s drinks are customizable, from the amount of add-ons you choose to the sugar level you prefer. Whether you’re vegan, veering away from dairy, or looking for a healthier alternative to your guilty milk tea pleasure, Kahatea is a must-try.

To place your orders, you can message Kahatea on Instagram. – Rappler.com

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author

Steph Arnaldo

If she’s not writing about food, she’s probably thinking about it. From advertising copywriter to freelance feature writer, Steph Arnaldo finally turned her part-time passion into a full-time career. She’s written about food, lifestyle, and wellness for Rappler since 2018.