Reviews

ViVi Bubble Tea: Atlanta Food and Drink Reviews

I feel like bubble tea and snack places are popping up all over Atlanta lately. It’s good to see–I really love Sweet Hut and I’m excited to hear they’re expanding to add a Lenox Square location, but it’s also fun to go somewhere else every once in a while and experience something different.

That was definitely the case when I went to ViVi Bubble Tea (5306 Buford Highway) with my friend Amanda, who had seen a picture of an incredible drink creation from ViVi on Instagram and wanted to investigate further. So did I!

ViVi is located not far from the I-285 exit for Buford Highway and, interestingly, also not far from Sweet Hut. It’s in kind of a weird location, a building apparently shaped like a triangle. It has about 5 parking spaces, but it is surrounded by strip malls that have abundant parking in case those spaces are full.

ViVi is a Taiwanese chain that started in New York City, where they have more than 20 locations, and expanded forth into other cities like Boston, Dallas, Chicago, Philadelphia and Atlanta. Their website explains that they started in 2007 and they use ingredients brought in straight from Taiwan. They also have a cute and intriguing look that features the use of hot pink and little cartoon skulls with cute faces.

ViVi Bubble Tea: Atlanta Food and Drink Reviews - Pucks and Macarons

Here’s a look inside ViVi–you can see the cutesy skulls, plus some of the seating areas. I just noticed the wraparound booth in the corner is meant to look like a chocolate bar.

ViVi Bubble Tea: Atlanta Food and Drink Reviews - Pucks and Macarons

The space is mainly white with pops of color, so on a sunny day, it feels very bright.

ViVi Bubble Tea: Atlanta Food and Drink Reviews - Pucks and Macarons

This is the ordering area and the bar where all the magic happens. One machine that amused us endlessly was a sort of mechanical shaker. Insert two sealed drinks and the machine shakes them vigorously for a little bit, much faster than a human could do it. You might also notice the domed thing on the right. We’ll get to that again later.

My favorite drink from any bubble tea joint is, well, bubble tea. Specifically, black milk bubble tea. ViVi has this on the menu, along with lots of other drinks I’ll need to come back and try, like fruit teas, other milk teas, matcha, milk drinks that apparently do not have tea in them, slushies and drinks containing Yakult. Along with drinks, there are some snacks like popcorn chicken, but neither of us were hungry, so we didn’t get anything to eat. Again, that’s something to do on a return visit!

I decided to get my favorite black milk bubble tea, but in a different form. Limited to just 50 a day, ViVi will make you a black milk bubble tea or a peach bubble tea inside, well, an oversized lightbulb.

ViVi Bubble Tea: Atlanta Food and Drink Reviews - Pucks and Macarons

Illuminating. It was a bit pricier than it would be if served in the normal plastic cup, but come on, how often have you had any drink out of an oversized lightbulb? Exactly. What I really liked about this tea was the bubbles. They were smaller than normal, so you don’t have to worry about those last few bubbles getting stuck in the straw when the tea to bubble ratio is not balanced. They also had a vaguely floral taste to them, maybe jasmine or something? It’s definitely different from typical bubbles, but good different.

Amanda wanted something even wilder than my lightbulb, though. That domed thing from the photo earlier? That’s a cotton candy machine. What does a bubble tea place need with a cotton candy machine?

ViVi Bubble Tea: Atlanta Food and Drink Reviews - Pucks and Macarons

That’s what the cotton candy machine is there for. This is a tiramisu milk bubble tea that is served in a sort of glass stein with a handle and crowned with a majestic mane of cotton candy. (There’s a bit of tea left over that doesn’t fit in the stein, so a tiny stein is provided for the overflow. They top that off with whipped cream.) The whole thing is placed on a wood cutting board for easy carrying. The doily is just a nice touch. Oh, and then they unwrap one of the pink straws and somehow manage to place it inside the cotton candy mane so you can drink the tea!

ViVi Bubble Tea: Atlanta Food and Drink Reviews - Pucks and Macarons

Here is Amanda being extremely amused by this tea. It really is pretty funny, though. You don’t see that every day!

We had a great time at ViVi and I’ll definitely be back–maybe even to try something other than black milk bubble tea. Who knows?

ViVi Bubble Tea: Atlanta Food and Drink Reviews - Pucks and Macarons

 

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Suja Essentials Review with BzzAgent

I’ve been a member of BzzAgent for a little more than two years now and, in that time, I’ve tried lots of really great things. Recently the campaigns I’ve gotten have centered around things available at Kroger, which is awesome since I shop there all the time anyway and it is literally right up the street. One campaign was for Suja Essentials juices. Though it took me some time to actually get the juice in question because I kept visiting Kroger locations that didn’t have any, eventually I found some tucked away in the refrigerated aisle of the natural foods area, along with vegan cheeses and various milks of things.

I tried the Mango Magic and Berry Nana flavors using the two ‘get one free’ coupons that were sent to me, though I also have a few buy one get one free coupons available too and I may need to use them on trying some other varieties. Berry Goodness is calling my name.

Both of them were really tasty! They weren’t gritty or chalky or any other off-putting texture. They might look a little cloudy since the ingredients tend to settle, so just make sure to really shake it up before drinking. I love mangoes and strawberries already, making the two varieties I chose the perfect intro to Suja.

In looking on Suja’s Pinterest boards–it was one of the way to earn BzzAgent brownie points–I saw that there were lots of other flavors, including some intriguing ones like Vanilla Cloud, Macachino and 24 Karat. I bet they’re available at Target or Whole Foods, where there might be larger selections. (Turns out their Elements line is exclusively at Whole Foods.) Looks like it might be time to look into some of those, too!

If you’d like to give BzzAgent a try, I highly recommend it! Just stop by this link to get started.

Next up on my list of BzzAgent things to try? HemisFares pasta. I got a bag of long fusilli from them…time to figure out how I want to prepare it.

Influenster #FrostyVoxBox

I’ve been with Influenster for about two years now, but haven’t received too many of their Vox Boxes. When I saw the email saying they wanted to send me the #FrostyVoxBox, I jumped at it because, hey, I like getting stuff in the mail. I actually got the email with the tracking number on the same day I received the box itself, so now here’s a look inside this lil’ box of joy.

Influenster #FrostyVoxBox - Pucks and Macarons

From the top:

McCormick Gourmet Thyme: I’m going to make a terrible pun here and say that it was…thyme for us to get more of this. Some of our spices have gone past their expiration date. So, this thyme was rather fortuitous. I don’t really have any need to cook anything with thyme right now, so I just dipped a fingertip in and nibbled a little loose thyme to see how it tastes. Verdict: good!

Celestial Seasonings Candy Cane Lane Decaf Green Tea: The little wrapper for this tea packet is adorable, featuring a family of polar bears in green aprons, carrying candy canes. I’m actually very fond of tea, though I’ve fallen out of the habit of drinking it a lot like I used to, and I’m definitely fine with green tea–although ironically I don’t like candy canes. To test this tea’s claim of decaf-ness, I decided to make it at 10 at night on a weeknight. It smells and tastes pleasantly of mint, not too strong, not smacking you in the face with mint. Plus, I was able to get to sleep at my normal weeknight time.

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This is my mug. I got it from an Asian supermarket quite a few years ago!

Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal Eyeliner: Here’s the deal. I don’t use eyeliner. I don’t have a steady enough hand to apply it well and I’m such a perfectionist that any teenytiny difference between the two eyes’ lines would force me to clean off and give it another try until I either got it perfect (unlikely) or gave up altogether. I have a few eyeliner samples left over from Birchbox and I’m just like [shrugs in general not knowing what to do with them]. I bet this is a nice eyeliner, but I’m just the wrong person to ask.

NYC Expert Last Lip Color, Sugar Plum: Now, I do use lipstick, for sure! This one smelled nice as soon as I opened the tube. It’s kind of a sweet smell, one I can’t really place, but one that’s not unpleasant. It also goes on nice and smooth, isn’t sticky and the hue reminds me of one of my all-time favorites, MAC Viva Glam V. I am extremely fair-skinned and I liked how the shade looks on me. Oh, you want a picture? Well, go on then…

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#ChillinWithMyPJsAndLipstickOn #NeedingAHaircut #IDontLikeToGrinInPhotos

Fruit Vines Bites, Strawberry: My first impression of these? Remembering the line “Mr. Pibb and Red Vines equals crazy delicious” from the pioneering SNL Digital Short “Lazy Sunday.” Of course, that referred to using traditional Red Vines as a straw with which to drink Mr. Pibb, which isn’t what Fruit Vines Bites are about since they are a totally different shape! I’m glad I got strawberry since the little placard said cherry was another choice and I just have never liked anything cherry. These are really good! They’re extremely chewy and you can kind of tear them into tinier sections since each ‘bite’ is three little logs stuck together.

Boots No7 Protect & Perfect Advanced Sachet: I got the for-youngins version of the Protect & Perfect, according to the informative placard. Real talk time: I never sunbathe (because I don’t tan), I tend to always wear makeup with SPF and I don’t smoke. Both my parents have had growths removed from their heads and so I’m extremely fastidious about sun protection. Even with that, though, I’m in the second half of my twenties now (somehow lol) and as such, I’m starting to notice teenytiny lines around my eyes, or the ones already there are elongating a bit. I’ll start using this and see if it helps–if it does, there’s also a coupon for $2 off the full size.

EcoTools Hair Brush: When I felt the bristles of this brush, I thought it was just extremely abrasive and wouldn’t do anything but hurt my head. But then I just curiously waved it through a section of my hair. I was very, very wrong about my first impression. The brush made my hair soft and very touchable. Specifically, I got the Sleek and Shine Finisher brush, which is flat and kind of oval-shaped. There are 4 others in this range, each designed for a different type of hair I don’t have. My hair is very short and slightly wavy because when it was not very short, it was very, very wavy.

Rimmel Gentle Eye Makeup Remover: Previously on this blog (feel free to say that in the voice of the “previously on Lost” guy), I talked about this wonderful mascara topcoat that I still use daily. It is kind of hard to remove, though. I’ve found the only thing that really does it is a wee dab of coconut oil on the fingertip. I decided to try this eye makeup remover on mascara with the topcoat. It went fairly well, but I don’t think it got all the mascara off, plus I’m used to liquid makeup removers with a thicker consistency–or, in the case of coconut oil, liquid that solidifies because science. Oh, and it stung a little bit!

All in all, this was a great Vox Box. Thanks, Influenster! Hope to receive more in the future!

Please note: I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.