A fresh take on milk teas at Brown Cafe, BGC

It sure looks like the milk tea craze is here to stay, if the sheer number of stores opening in the metro offering copious varieties of the drink is any indication.

And then another milk tea brand joins the fray: Bangkok’s very own Brown Cafe has opened a take-out counter in Serendra, BGC to give the locals fresh and exciting choices for our milk tea.

Its menu simply teems with crave-worthy drinks: from original milk tea, fresh milk lattes, cheese macchiatos and more, choices abound for milk tea lovers ans connoisseurs. Each cup is made from freshly brewed tea leaves and its wondrous array of bubbles – which includes flavors such as original, collagen, brown sugar, peach, strawberry, mango, lychee, rainbow low cal and exclusive-to-the-Philippines ube – are all made inhouse.

Among Brown Cafe’s claims to fame are its Rainbow Low Cal Bubble Teas, made with fruit-infused teas accompanied by its colorful Rainbow low-calorie bubble sinkers.

Brown Cafe, BGC

The Anchan Strawberry Latte (Php140 for cup | Php155 for reusable tumbler) features a combination strawberry with the edible blossom anchan, more commonly known as the butterfly pea in a creamy latte.

Brown Cafe, BGC

The Melon Niu Niu Latte (Php140 for cup | Php155 for reusable tumbler), on the other hand, is a taste of summer with a sweet melon flavor that flavors the creamy milk.

Brown Cafe, BGC

So if you find yourself in BGC and want to try something new to quench your thirst, pop by Brown Cafe’s take out counter and treat yourself to one of its milk teas.

Brown Cafe, BGC

Brown Cafe, BGC

Brown Cafe is located at Ground Floor, Serendra, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, open daily from 10am to 10pm.

Brown Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: I visited Brown Cafe during its mini blogger get-together where drinks were served for free to facilitate an honest review.

Check out my reviews of other milk tea joints:

Scientifically delish eats at Bubba Lab, Graceland Plaza

Labmates, are you ready for a bout of experimentation and discovery?

Well, check out the foodie adventure that my fellow foodies and I embarked on at Bubba Lab Graceland Plaza in our pursuit of food knowledge and verifiably delicious eats.

(And, in keeping with Bubba Lab’s theme, and just for kicks, this blog post will be formatted in line with the scientific method.)

Statement of the Question:

Where in Marikina do we go for imaginatively concocted drinks and tasty snacks?

Being a resident of the East, I usually gravitate towards Marikina for foodie adventures since this city is packed with great foodie finds: fresh concepts, creative food executions and enterprising owners.

Hypothesis:

Hmm, the Bubba Lab branch at Graceland Plaza sure seems worth checking out. I already sampled some of its drinks at its Lamp Quarters branch and those were pretty interesting.

Bubba Lab is a homegrown chemistry-themed cafe which set its roots in the foodie haven Marikina. This branch is the second of the brand’s three existing outlets and has recently undergone some renovation to include some botanicals into the space. The change made the cafe even more inviting and Instagrammable, a perfect place for yuppies and young ‘uns to relax and grab a bite while working/studying (there’s free WiFi) or hanging out with friends.

Bubba Lab, Graceland Plaza

Bubba Lab, Graceland Plaza

Bubba Lab, Graceland Plaza

Bubba Lab, Graceland Plaza

Data Gathering:

Yeah, but what about the food?

Well, let’s see… During its recent Bloggers Event, Bubba Lab treated us to some of its menu items which included:

Labcuterie (Php270). Bubba Lab’s version of a charcuterie, it is comprised of slices of bratwurst. kielbasa and Hungarian sausages served with honey mustard dip and coleslaw.

Bubba Lab, Graceland Plaza

Bubba Lab, Graceland Plaza

Supernova (Php260). Named after the stellar explosion, this collection of finger-foods – battered fish, squid fritters, jojos (crispy battered potato wedges) and nachos – served in individual containers in a stand for easy access and served with spice-infused vinegar and three dips of one’s choice are sure to lead to explosions of flavor.

Bubba Lab, Graceland Plaza

Bubba Lab, Graceland Plaza

Bubba Lab, Graceland Plaza

Bubba Lab, Graceland Plaza

Chicken Slaw Croissant (Php160). Truth be told: the chicken salad croissant is one of my all-time favorite sandwiches. When one of the fast-food chains eliminated it from its menu, I was near-heartbroken. I’m so glad that this sandwich has made its home at Bubba Lab, and is just a short drive away.

Bubba Lab, Graceland Plaza

Bubba Lab, Graceland Plaza

Crinkly Fries (Php75). Crisp and freshly made fries in your choice of flavor: sour cream, BBQ or cheese.

Bubba Lab, Graceland Plaza

Bubba Lab, Graceland Plaza

Tater Tots (Php80). Crisp deep-fried balls made from grated potatoes.

Bubba Lab, Graceland Plaza

Lab Treats. Seasonal creations baked fresh daily which include muffins (Php75 each) – Cheese Overload, Red Velvet, Choco Chip and Chocolate Moist – and huge cookies (Php35/pc) – Oatmeal and Choco Chip.

Bubba Lab, Graceland Plaza

Bubba Lab, Graceland Plaza

Bubba Lab, Graceland Plaza

Bubba Lab, Graceland Plaza

Bubba Lab, Graceland Plaza

Bubba Lab, Graceland Plaza

Bubba Lab, Graceland Plaza

Bubba Lab, Graceland Plaza

Bubba Lab takes particular pride in its beverage offerings, and, in keeping with its chemistry theme, the store’s drink menu takes after the table of elements, with each refreshing drink assigned its own symbol.

Stp – Strawberries and Cream Candy Frappe (Php140 medium | Php150 large). Sweet and fruity, a dessert-drink for those with a sweet tooth.

Bubba Lab, Graceland Plaza

Scp – Salted Caramel Frappe (Php140 medium | Php150 large). A creamy concoction with that sweet-salty flavor.

Bubba Lab, Graceland Plaza

Mx – Mango Tea Frost (Php105 medium | Php115 large). Another fruity drink, with the sweetness of the mango-flavored tea complemented by the nata de coco.

Bubba Lab, Graceland Plaza

Cu – Cucumber Cooler (Php105). A zesty refreshing drink perfect for hot summer days.

Bubba Lab, Graceland Plaza

Bu – Bubba Lab Milktea (Php100 medium | Php110 large). The store’s best-selling drink made from freshly brewed tea leaves accented with chewy tapioca pearls.

Bubba Lab, Graceland Plaza

Analysis:

Bubba Lab’s finger-food and sandwiches are well-suited as snacks or light meals, and go well with the store’s beverage offerings.

Bubba Lab, Graceland Plaza

The drinks, on the other hand, are creatively concocted and affordably priced.

Bubba Lab, Graceland Plaza

The store’s newly renovated premises also provide an attractive and comfortable backdrop for solitary work or lively meetups with friends.

Conclusion:

I therefore conclude that Bubba Lab Graceland Plaza is the place to be for milk tea lovers, where they can also enjoy yummy snacks as they work or hang out with friends.

Bubba Lab, Graceland Plaza

Bubba Lab, Graceland Plaza

Bubba Lab, Graceland Plaza

Many thanks to the management and staff of Bubba Lab for the warm welcome and tasty treats, and to Aileen of Aileen Loves To Eat for extending the invitation!

Bubba Lab, Graceland Plaza

Bubba Lab, Graceland Plaza

Bubba Lab, Graceland Plaza

This Bubba Lab branch is located at Graceland Plaza, JP Rizal Avenue, Marikina City, open daily from 10am to 10pm.

Other branches are located at:

  • Extension B, C&B Circle Mall, Liwasang Kalayaan Avenue, Marikina Heights, Marikina City
  • Lamp Quarters, Gil Fernando Avenue, Bgy. Santo Nino, Marikina City

Bubba Lab Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: Together with fellow food bloggers, I attended a foodie meetup held in this restaurant. Food and drink items mentioned here were served to enable us to sample the fare to facilitate honest reviews and were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.

Check out my reviews of other milk tea joints:

Have your drink your way at Make Your Own Cafe, Maginhawa

With the proliferation of milk tea places all around the metro, how does a new player stand out from the pack?

By hingeing its bets on its sinkers – those little add-ons that you put into your milk tea.

Make Your Own Cafe’s unique selling proposition is its unlimited sinkers (at Php20 each) which include homemade boba pearls (in original, honey and espresso flavors), egg pudding, nata de coco and jellies (in grass, coffee, brown sugar varieties), Oreo crumbs and more.

Make Your Own Cafe, Maginhawa

Make Your Own Cafe, Maginhawa

Make Your Own Cafe, Maginhawa

Add these decision points on top of the drink options on the menu – which include milk teas, fruit teas, fizzy pops, blended ice, cheese + tea, coffee and hot drinks – and you’ll soon find yourself overwhelmed with all the choices before you.

Make Your Own Cafe, Maginhawa

Make Your Own Cafe, Maginhawa

Make Your Own Cafe, Maginhawa

Make Your Own Cafe, Maginhawa

During a recent foodie meetup at the cafe’s newly opened branch in Quezon City’s famous Maginhawa Street, my foodie friends from #SaanSaPH and I were faced with the same quandary: which drink to choose from such an extensive plethora of choices.

My advice for your first time at Make Your Own Cafe? Be adventurous and go for a flavor you’ve never tried before. That way, your MYO experience is as unique and memorable as the cafe itself.

My chosen drink was the Spring Jasmine Cheese (Php120 regular | Php130 large). The light, floral and fruity tea was given an added richness by a thick, creamy and decadent layer of cheese foam. Its taste reminds me of the freshness of spring, while the cheese foam provides a slightly salty contrast to the tea.

Make Your Own Cafe, Maginhawa

My friends and I enjoyed our chosen drinks while sharing the snacks provided by the cafe which included:

Wings (Php176 for 6 pieces; in garlic parmesan, buffalo, sweet and spicy, barbecue and sriracha honey flavors)

Make Your Own Cafe, Maginhawa

Cheese Quesadilla (Php105)

Make Your Own Cafe, Maginhawa

Cheese Nachos (Php105)

Make Your Own Cafe, Maginhawa

Backyard Barbecue Burger (Php180)

Make Your Own Cafe, Maginhawa

Bacon Cheeseburger (Php210)

Make Your Own Cafe, Maginhawa

Pastas (Php180 each, which include Aligue, Truffle and Longganisa Aglio Olio)

Make Your Own Cafe, Maginhawa

Make Your Own Cafe, Maginhawa

Make Your Own Cafe, Maginhawa

Dessert Cakes: Sans Rival and Blueberry Cheesecake

Make Your Own Cafe, Maginhawa

Make Your Own Cafe, Maginhawa

At Make Your Own Cafe, you get to choose from a wide selection of drinks and truly make it your own, plus you can enjoy it with such tasty dishes.

Make Your Own Cafe, Maginhawa

(Photo Credit: Bebe Co)

Thanks to Kian of Kianventures for extending the invite and the awesome people behind Make Your Own Cafe for the warm welcome and the yummy food!

This Make Your Own Cafe branch is located at Ground Floor, Maginhawa Street, Sikatuna Village, Quezon City, open daily from 6am to 12 midnight. For food and franchise inquiries, call +63 2 9689696 or +63 917 6779696.

MYO: Make Your Own Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: Together with other food bloggers of #SaanSaPH, I was invited to attend a foodie meetup held here wherein in food drink items were served to allow us to sample the fare. These were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.

Check out my reviews of other milk tea joints:

Milk tea break at Macao Imperial Tea, Timog

After lunch at nearby Cafe I’m Here, my friend and I hied ourselves over to the Macao Imperial Tea outlet along Timog Avenue.  Occupying a narrow area in the second floor of RTT Building, it is one of eleven outlets in Metro Manila of this new entrant to the milk tea business.

When we arrived as the lunch hour was nearing its end, there was an impressive line to the counter of people waiting to order their drinks, a testament to the popularity of this milk tea brand.  Despite the narrow space, there were quite a few seating spaces.

Having been named one of the top ten milk tea places in Metro Manila, Macao Imperial Tea serves an extensive menu that includes coffee, milk tea and cream cheese-based drinks.

For this visit, we each ordered a Black Pearl Milk Tea. At only Php100, each drink comes in a premium-looking reusable plastic cup.  The milk tea was creamy and not-too-sweet with pearls serving as nice accents to the drink.

We took our drinks back to the office to enjoy at our leisure.

This Macao Imperial Milk Tea branch is located at RTT Building, Tomas MoratoCorner Timog Avenue, South Triangle, Quezon City.  Other branches are located at:

  • 780 Banawe Street, Banawe, Quezon City
  • Fisher Mall, Quezon Avenue, Del Monte, Quezon City
  • Ground Floor, Circuit Makati, Olympia, Makati City
  • 308 Aguirre Avenue, BF Homes, Parañaque City
  • Third Floor, Main Mall, SM Mall of Asia, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City
  • Fourth Floor, SM City Manila, Ermita, Manila
  • Calle Bistro, Ground Floor, Ever Gotesco Mall, Commonwealth, Old Balara, Quezon City
  • Second Floor, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Binondo, Manila
  • Ground Floor, Unimart Supermarket, Oranbo, Pasig City
  • SM City North EDSA, Bago Bantay, Quezon City

Macao Imperial Tea Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other milk tea outlets:

Long wait is worth it at Coco Fresh Tea & Juice, Ugong

Considering I’ve been such a milk tea fan for several years now, it’s wonder that I’ve only discovered this relatively new milk tea brand just now, and quite by accident at that.

I was scouting the restos and cafes in the Rockwell Business Center area for something new to try when I overheard someone ask the security guard where “Coco” is. When I espied the outlet (situated at the back of Tower 2 so it’s understandable that people would have trouble finding it), and saw the surprisingly long line of customers waiting to order or claim their drinks, my curiosity was picqued. What about Coco Fresh Tea & Juice would engender such a following? I must find out.

It seems that aside from the foot traffic coming in from the workers in the compound, as well as the patients and medical personnel from The Medical City nearby that comprise Coco’s clientele, quite a number of the people lining up and waiting are actually Grab riders who will deliver the drinks to their clients. Kuya Gary, one of the riders, advised me to book my order via GrabFood next time to avoid the lines and waiting. (Yep, will take note of that.)

Coco, Rockwell Business Center

The store has a small area, probably able to fit twenty or so diners inside at the most. With all the people there, there was hardly space for everyone to sit comfortably while waiting.

Given the amount of transactions within the store, it seems that Coco is a bit undermanned, with just to service crew and a store manager present to facilitate orders.

Storage space seems to be an issue as well, since boxes of supplies are placed in the store area.

Coco, Rockwell Business Center

Coco, Rockwell Business Center

Coco, Rockwell Business Center

Coco, Rockwell Business Center

After waiting in line for quite a while, I was informed at the cashier that waiting time for my order is 40 minutes.

Say what?!?

Well, since I’ve waited for quite some time already, and I was envisioning bringing some of these drink treats to my kiddies at home, I decided to stick it out and ordered the following which I immediately took home to enjoy with my kids:

Coco, Rockwell Business Center

A Salty Cream Milk Tea (Php90 for regular size) for me. Himalayan Sea Salt is added to heavy cream and whipped together to a frothy texture then added on top of the milk tea concoction. I would have wanted to taste the difference of the salty cream against the milk tea but I guess the sea salt was used quite sparingly.

Coco, Rockwell Business Center

A Pearl Milk Tea (Php80 for regular size) for my daughter, #ExhibitA. Being the most basic flavor among milk teas, this drink had to be just right. I agree with #ExhibitA that the balance of sweetness, creaminess and the tea flavor is just right, and the texture of the pearls is on point.

Coco, Rockwell Business Center

A Coco Chocolate (Php85 for regular) for my little boy. When I tasted this concoction, I found it similar in flavor to regular chocolate drinks and I couldn’t discern the tea flavor. But, hey, my son likes it well enough and that’s what’s important, amirite?

Coco, Rockwell Business Center

So the answer the mystery earlier on why a relatively new milk tea brand would have such a loyal following seems anchored on two factors:

  • Commitment to quality.  The long wait could have been eliminated if the store was not discriminating in using the freshest fruit and tea ingredients which  was actually a company directive since its founding by it chairman Tommy Hung in 1997.
  • Reasonable pricing.  Given the quality of ingredients and the attention given to each drink, the pricing within Php75 to Php110 per drink is just right.

This Coco Fresh Tea & Juice branch is located at Ground Floor, Tower 2, Rockwell Business Centre, Ugong, Pasig City. It is open daily from 10am to 10pm.

It also accepts orders for a minimum of ten drinks via SMS to +63 927 5254788 from customers within the vicinity for pick-up. To order, just text your name, company, company address, specific orders (number of drinks per variant, exact sixe, sugar level, amount of ice and extra toppings, if preferred), and change for what amount to be prepared by the store crew. Remember though:

  • Orders for pick-up will be accepted from 9am to 9pm.
  • The store will send a confirmation SMS to acknowledge your order.
  • Confirmed orders can no longer be changed to avoid confusion and delay. (Have some compassion for the barista and the other people waiting for their drinks.) 🙂
  • The quality of the drinks will decrease the longer you wait to pick them up.
  • If you fail to pick up your orders, orders from you will no longer be accommodated in the future.

Other Coco Fresh Tea & Juice outlets where you can satisfy your milk tea cravings are located in the following:

  • Makati: Century City Mall in Poblacion
  • Mandaluyong: Rockwell Business Center in Highway Hills, SM Megamall in Ortigas
  • Manila: SM City Manila in Ermita, Lucky Chinatown in Binondo, SM City Sta Mesa
  • Muntinlupa: Festival Mall in Filinvest City
  • Pasay: SMX Covention Center in MOA Complex
  • Quezon City: Eastwood Citywalk 2 in Libis, Fisher Mall along Quezon Avenue, UP Town Center in Diliman, Cyber Park Tower 1 Building in Cubao, Trinoma Mall in Bagong Pag-asa, Regis Center in Loyola Heights, Gateway Mall in Cubao, SM City Fairview in Novaliches, SM City North EDSA in Bago Bantay, Ayala Fairview Terraces in Novaliches
  • San Juan: O Square in Greenhills
  • Taguig: Uptown Place Mall in BGC, Venice Grand Canal Mall in BGC

Or you can just have your milk teas delivered via GrabFood. 🙂

CoCo Fresh Tea & Juice Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

If you’re in the store waiting for your drink, you might want to listen to a podcast to while away the minutes.  One of the podcasts I like to listen to is the Read to Lead Podcast with Jeff Brown, available on Spotify.  He espouses the idea that intentional and consistent reading is essential to personal and professional success, best summed up in his mantra: “Leaders read and readers lead.” With this theme, he invites authors of books on business, marketing, personal development and entrepreneurship to guest in his show to share their insights to his listeners.

Among the books featured in my favorite episodes in this show include:


Freelance to Freedom: The Roadmap for Creating a Side Business to Achieve Financial, Time and Life Freedom. In the episode, author Vincent Pugliese relates how he and his wife built their side business into a full-time one to be able to devote time to their growing family and to eventually live debt-free.


Friend of a Friend . . .: Understanding the Hidden Networks That Can Transform Your Life and Your Career . In the episode, David Burkus introduces the idea that the best way to grow your professional network is to understand and serve the existing network you belong to.


The Art of Work: A Proven Path to Discovering What You Were Meant to Do. In the episode, writer Jeff Goins answers questions submitted by listeners.

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