In a large bowl, add wheat, water and soak for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Add to a large saucepan with anise, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger and bring to a boil over medium to high heat uncovered. Once it starts to boil, reduce to medium heat and cook 15 minutes covered with lid slightly ajar. Once water has almost evaporated, remove from heat. Remove star anise. Add whole milk, and mix to incorporated completely. Add to a blender and puree at high speed until creamy. Strain liquid twice using a strainer and discard residue. Add evaporated milk, coconut milk if using, sugar and vanilla extract. Return to heat and bring to boil. Boil mixture not more than 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and serve hot or cold. Wheat Akasan should be thick, creamy and still drinkable.
Note: updated Wheat Akasan recipe from Fine Haitian Cuisine by Mona Cassion Menager.