Who doesn’t love a drink with little bits of chewy goodness in them! Apart from bubble tea which we all know and love, another drink popularized in many parts of Asia are the jelly drinks. Back home in Singapore, you’ll find grass jelly drinks, aloe vera jelly drinks as well as an assortment of other types of colorful jelly drinks as well.
These jellies can be made from a variety of ingredients, but my version uses agar agar, a common plant-based powder used in many parts of Asia, as opposed to jellies made from gelatin. It’s used in a similar way, where you add your agar agar powder to a flavored liquid of choice, boil it until the agar agar dissolves and chill until it sets. Agar agar is available at Asian groceries stores. It’s also referred to as “kanten” at Japanese grocery stores.
Here’s an easy recipe for my Coconut Coffee Jelly Drink. Since I tend to drink my coffee black on many days, I went light on the sweetener, but you can make this drink as a dessert and add enough sweetener to your liking both in the jelly as well as the coffee drink as well. And to make this drink vegan, omit the shaved milk chocolate that’s sprinkled at the end. You’ll find the YouTube video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCo4QVgt-Wc&t=3s
For the coffee jelly –
1 cup of your favorite brewed coffee
1 tsp agar agar powder
2-3 tsp palm sugar (or more to taste)
For the coffee drink –
1 can coconut milk
2 cups coffee, chilled in fridge
Sweetener to taste
Favorite chocolate bar for sprinkling
To make the coffee jelly-
- Pour 1 cup of brewed coffee in a pot. Add 1 tsp agar agar powder and 2-3 tsp of sweeter of choice. (You may add more sweetener if you prefer your jelly more dessert-like)
- Bring the pot to boil and stir to dissolve the sweeter and the agar agar powder. As soon as the pot comes to a boil, turn it off.
- In a shallow dish or any mold that you prefer (square/cubed ice cube trays would work great here), carefully pour the coffee mixture into the mold. Place on kitchen counter to set or if you’re in a hurry, place it in the fridge for 30min to 1 hour.
- In the mean time, brew your coffee and place it in the fridge to chill. If you plan this in advance you can make a cold brew the night before by steeping your coffee grounds in cold water and allowing it to steep in the fridge for 12 hours.
- Once the agar agar jelly has set and the brewed coffee is chilled, it is time to assemble the coffee jelly drink.
- Open a can of coconut milk. Be careful NOT to shake the can prior to opening. You’ll find a layer of the coconut cream at the top of the can and the coconut water/milk below it. Carefully remove 1-2 tablespoons of the coconut cream and put it aside for later.
- Stir the remaining coconut cream and liquid in the can until well combined and pour the resulting coconut milk in a cup for easy pouring.
- Cut the agar agar jelly into small squares and fill the bottom of a glass. Pour the coconut milk followed by the chilled coffee. Top off the drink with the coconut cream (to get a whipped coconut cream, use a frother or a hand wand with a little bit of coconut milk and whip the coconut cream. Top the drink with the whipped coconut cream and sprinkle your drink with coffee-flavored chocolate. To keep this drink vegan, omit the milk chocolate.
- Enjoy this drink with a spoon.