If you’re like most fans of Thai iced tea, you know there’s nothing like plunging an extra wide straw into the icy depths of fragrant black tea layered with rich creamy sweetened condensed milk and drawing up your first taste of bouncy boba pearls. But it’s an indulgence that comes at a surprisingly high calorie count, mainly from the sweetened condensed milk and syrup soaked jumbo tapioca pearls–not to mention whipped cream topping offered at many specialty boba tea shops.
We’ve come up with a healthier, vegan version that tastes just as indulgent, but with half (or less) of the guilt. It starts with taking cold brew Thai tea and charging it up with a Whip-It! nitrogen charger. Similar to its coffee counterpart, nitro cold brew tea possesses a creamy mouth-feel and slightly sweeter taste. In the case of Thai iced tea sweetened condensed milk isn’t really necessary. Instead we’ve replaced it with a touch of coconut sugar syrup and coconut milk, topped off with our Vegan Coconut Whipped Cream.
To lighten the calorie count further, we’ve swapped out those carb-laden tapioca pearls, which incidentally clock in at around 85 calories per 1/4 c. or roughly 14 calories per pearl, for relatively low-sugar, vegan homemade agar pearls made with pressed coconut water, agar powder, and a little organic coconut sugar–about 6-7 calories per pearl. The agar boba are not really chewy like the familiar tapioca or cassava root based boba, though still bouncy and fun to eat. What’s more they do not loose their bouncy texture over a long period of time like the tapioca variety, which only have a shelf-life of about 6 hours before they get mushy and gummy. The benefit of making your own flavored agar boba is that you can control the amount of the sugar in the recipe…all the while getting your food geek on!
Coconut Agar Boba
- 1 1/2 c. pressed coconut water
- 4 g agar powder
- 3 T. coconut sugar
- 2 c. neutral oil (e.g. vegetable, sunflower, etc.)
- 1 1/2 c. cold water
- Place the oil in a deep 1 quart container. Freeze for 30 mins.
- Place 3/4 c. coconut water into a small saucepan and whisk in agar powder to thoroughly combine.
- Bring agar mixture to a full boil, whisking constantly. Boil for at least 2 mins.
- Remove pan from heat and cool mixture for a few mins. before whisking in the sugar and remaining coconut water.
- Transfer the mixture into a squeeze bottle.
- Pour the cold water into the chilled oil, then let them separate into two distinct layers.
- Squeeze droplets of the coconut agar liquid into the oil. They will form into spheres and drop into the water.
- Strain out the pearls and rinse off the oil with cold water.
Cold Brew Thai Iced Tea
- 1/2 c. Thai Tea leaves (seasoned for iced tea)
- 2 c. cold filtered water
- Place the tea leaves in a glass container or jar. Pour in the water.
- Stir to hydrate the leaves, then cover and let steep at room temperature for about 12 hours.
- Strain out the tea leaves through a fine mesh strainer.
Vegan Nitro Thai Iced Tea
- 12 oz. cold brew Thai tea
- 1 oz. coconut milk
- 1 oz. coconut sugar syrup
- 1 Whip-It! nitrogen charger
- 2-3 T. coconut agar boba
- Vegan Whipped Coconut Cream
- Pour the tea, coconut milk and sugar syrup into a .5 ltr Whip-It! stainless steel dispenser. Swirl the bottle to combine liquids.
- Secure the head fitted with a plain tip. Screw on nitrogen charger.
- Invert the dispenser and shake briskly for about 10 secs.
- Dispenser the nitro tea into a glass layered with boba and ice. Top with whipped coconut cream.