Buntea and Bubbley brings back the child in you with its bubble teas and yoghurt desserts that usher in summer

The next time anyone tells you not to play with your food, take them to Buntea and Bubbley. Because if you’re the sort that was told not to blow bubbles in your milk, it’s revenge time. Here’s a place that holds out a drink with colourful bubbles in it, and gives you an extra-wide straw to suck bubbles through them!

The concept of bubble teas is just about brewing in India. But they suddenly seem to be all over Bangalore. If you’re in Whitefield doing a spot of shopping at the Phonenix Marketcity, this kiosk should cool down your shopping fever. The kiosk offers bubble teas (chilled flavoured teas with bubbles in them), SoTeas (iced teas with a soda base), frozen yoghurt desserts called FroYo, yoghurt smoothies, non-alcoholic mojitos, and hot green teas.

A bubble tea novice is bound to be curious enough to first try anything that comes with plump juicy colourful bubbles (which remind you of the childhood fav jujubes) settled down at the bottom of the glass. We start with a tasting of the blueberry bubble tea with passion fruit bubbles. The blueberry-passion fruit tango is a yummy start if you like things a bit sweet, a bit sour. The “bubbles” are these all-vegetarian capsules filled with fruit juice. They just burst in all eagerness when they hit your mouth. It’s a great game when you try to drink some tea and get your straw onto a bubble with determination to, well, as terrible as it sounds, suck it up! If two of you are drinking it, you’re bound to turn it into a competition. Just be careful, slurp hard and the little bubble will hit the back of your throat.

The mango milk smoothie with rainbow jelly and mango bubbles had us ogle the colourful jelly with childlike glee, though the taste of milk isn’t appealing even when you’re grown up I suppose. If you don’t like milk, stay away from this one. The gooey jelly makes up for it, though.

The strawberry FroYo with strawberry sauce and litchi bubbles will really put you in the mood for summer bingeing on all things chilled and soothing. An alternative to ice-cream, this soft whipped yoghurt dessert, which looks like a ‘softie’, is also less sweeter and purportedly more healthier. You can take your pick of toppings — fresh fruits, sauces, nuts, Snickers, or even Oreo cookies. “Mums go over the moon because the kids ate something healthy, while the kids are happy they got ‘icecream’,” says Prerna Gautam Singh, who owns the kiosk along with her techie husband, Gautam. All the teas are green teas with imported (French) fruit concentrates added, and freshly brewed, she points out. The kiosk is bordered with fancy-looking imported machines — that brew tea, shake your drink in an automated shaker, and seal it with cling-film so you can carry it around without fear of spilling it or something falling in it.

The store really works on bringing out the child in you. Gautam has worked on creating this piano with motion-sensing technology — a simulation of keys is projected on the floor and you can stomp on the keys to “play” the piano, which also dishes out facts about bubble tea and frozen yoghurt. The couple had their first taste of bubble tea in Taiwan where it’s been around since as far back as 1988. While traditionally tapioca bubbles are used, it’s apparently under study now for negatively affecting health, and so their company avoids them, adds Prerna.

With a techie at the helm, and the kiosk being based in techie heartland Whitefield, one isn’t surprised that the menu is on an iPad. Of course, they’ve even gone to the other extreme and displayed the day’s special on good ol slates or chalkboards. The billing system is also iPad based — as a ‘go green’ initiative no bills are printed. They e-mail the bill copies to you instantly.

As the grand finale, we pick the mango FroYo (what’s summer without mangoes?) drizzled with dark chocolate sauce, chocochips and pistachios; don’t squirm at the combination, it works stupendously well.

Prices start at about Rs. 85 for 350 ml of bubble tea; yoghurt is sold by the gram at 75 paise per gram! Hot teas start at Rs. 50 for a 300 ml cup.

Buntea and Bubbley Tea Company is on the lower ground floor, Phoenix Marketcity, Mahadevapura, Whitefield Road. It’s open 10 a.m. to 9.30 p.m. all days. Call 9008026615. Or check www.bunteabubbley.com

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