Pambansang milk tea

What is your favorite milk tea flavor? The one that you always order when you go to the milk tea shop — Okinawa, Matcha, Hokkaido, Wintermelon? These flavors are on the menu of almost all milk tea shops, so they are safe choices to make. But what if you suddenly find iskrambol, halo-halo, taho, leche flan, halayang ube and tsoko-mani among the milk tea flavors to choose from?

Would you still order Okinawa with conviction, or would you opt to try the more familiar and fun iskrambol of your childhood? I’m willing to bet big time that you’d choose the latter.

And the good news is that, now, there is a milk tea place that celebrates your childhood favorites by turning them into delightful milk tea flavors. It is called Kahatea, and it’s the first fully

Filipino-themed milk tea brand in the Philippines. Its name is derived from the Filipino word “kahati,” which means “to share,” because its proponents — good friends and milk tea lovers Angela Valdez and Angelo Horfilla — believe that milk tea is always best when shared. Thus, Kahatea offers drinks that are bundled forever, which urges customers to avail of two 220-ounce drinks of different flavors at a discounted price of P189 (Kahatea), although customers can still enjoy extra special drinks for solo orders (Walang Kahatea) at P119.

Iskrambol Milk Tea

is the signature drink of Kahatea.

Both bank employees who had no plans of putting up a business of their own, Angela and Angelo nonetheless found themselves conducting research and product development at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and, in July 2020, opening their first Kahatea milk tea store.

The concept of the unique homegrown milk tea brand was simple: Honor Filipino heritage by promoting local delicacies carefully recreated in specialty drinks. It anchored its future on its signature drink, the Iskrambol Milk Tea.

“Iskrambol, or Ice Scramble, has been a popular Filipino dessert since our childhood days. These days, however, this ultimate childhood treat has been less and less visible in the streets, so we, at Kahatea, found a way to bring back, if not preserve, this popular dessert by highlighting it as our signature drink,” explains Angelo.

The Taho Po! series (from left) Strawberry Taho Milk Tea, Classic Taho Milk Tea and Ube Taho Milk Tea.

He adds: “Kahatea’s Iskrambol Milk Tea transports you back to your childhood. What’s unique and intriguing about it is that no one has ever imagined that it can be turned into a milk tea drink.

Our Iskrambol Milk Tea has the authentic taste of the ice scramble even without the shaved ice but with a hint of tea. It will also make you crave for more, as it has the sagong itim (black pearls), sagong puti (white tapioca) and default ice scramble ingredients milk and chocolate syrup. To complete its look, our Iskrambol Milk Tea is also pink in color.”

It took Angelo and Angela a little bit longer to develop Kahatea’s halo-halo milk tea, which is named Sultan Kudarat. It was carefully studied and crafted before being soft-launched in February this year, and the long wait paid off, because the drink contains all the components of the Halo-halo — halayang ube, leche flan, nata de coco, coconut strips, black pearls — in a loaded milk tea form.

Sultan Kudarat is Kahatea’s halo-halo

milk tea.

Also high on the customers’ favorites list is the Taho Po! Series, which is composed of the Classic Taho Milk Tea, Strawberry Taho Milk Tea and Ube Taho Milk Tea. Imagine silken taho in the flavor that you like and with black pearls, at that!

What’s more: Kahatea also offers a host of other milk tea flavors inspired by Pinoy desserts and meryenda fares. Among the shop’s specials are Kahatea Leche Flan, Kahatea Yema, Tsoko Mani (chocolate peanut milk tea), Kundol (wintermelon) and Panutsa (brown sugar).

The other drinks are named after the places where the major ingredient is known for— Laguna for kesong puti/cheesecake milk tea, Alfonso for dark chocolate milk tea, Pampanga for honeydew milk tea, Baguio for ube halaya milk tea, La Trinidad for strawberry milk tea, Quezon for ube macapuno milk tea, Guimaras for mango and lychee milk tea, Bohol for buko-pandan milk tea, Cebu for binignit/taro milk tea, among others.

kahatea business partners Angela Valdez and Angelo Horfilla.

There are also fruit teas served with nata de coco as well as a few coffee creations.

“We named our drinks after places because Angela and I both love to travel around the Philippines and, since Kahatea was launched during the pandemic, when everyone was encouraged to stay at home, we wanted to bring our customers to various local destinations without having to travel,” says Angelo.

Aside from regular milk tea lovers and those who love the ‘buy Filipino’ concept, also naturally gravitating towards Kahatea are vegans, advocates for animal rights and lactose-intolerant individuals, since it uses casein-free, plant-based and vegan-friendly ingredients in majority of its offerings. Now, this is one market that has been under-tapped — but not anymore. This one’s got them covered.

With five stores to serve customers’ beverage needs these days, Kahatea is well on its way to becoming the pambansang milk tea ng Pilipinas. To order, simply message mobile number 09279875211 or Kahatea’s Facebook page. Customers may also use the foodpanda app to search for the nearest Kahatea store around their area.

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