[Photo: Kathy YL Chan]

Boba (or tapioca balls) are the default mix-in for milk tea drinks at Saint's Alp Teahouse, but I love to swap in something slightly lighter: nata de coco.

Most often found in Southeast Asian desserts, nata de coco is essentially a jelly made from fermented coconut water. Cut into tiny cubes, it's chewy and a bit firmer than jello. Each slurpable bite is cool and significantly more refreshing than tapioca.

Make sure to give the drink a stir before you sip—nata de coco quickly sinks to the bottom of the cup.

Saint's Alp Teahouse

39 3rd Avenue New York, NY 10003 (map)

About the author: Originally from Honolulu, Kathy YL Chan writes A Passion For Food, where she chronicles her eats and travels adventures between Hawai'i, New York and beyond.

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