The launch of happy.me has been perfectly timed with the warmer weather that is upon us. Their first South African store, located in Greenside is cheerful; expect to see character and text art, an entire wall covered in astro-turf and fun signage all around. I attended the media launch of the happy.me store at their premises in Greenside this morning for a breakfast buffet and sampling of their range. Given the limited parking in Greenside, I’m glad to see that they are situated in a shopping centre, which allows for ample (paid) parking. If it’s raining, you might need to reconsider as their seating is fairly open, with little coverage if it rains (having said that, there’s nothing wrong with running in, grabbing a tea and sitting in your car sipping on it)
The concept takes some educating, and careful inspection of the menu provides that. Still not sure what bubble tea is all about, have a look at their easy to follow diagram below and read through the concept:
Happy.me beverage bar: Local and imported coffees, bubble tea, smoothies, fresh juice and more
Description: Bringing unique and fresh beverage and food concepts to South Africa from around the world is our key focus and passion.
~ Coffee – Boasting the Nuova Simonelli Aurelia II Competizione, the 2012-2014 World Barista Championship official espresso machine, and the only one currently in South Africa, you are guaranteed a phenomenal cup of coffee. Happy.me uses South African brand Origin coffees and specialty imported blends.
~ Bubble Tea – come and taste some liquid heaven – its the new tea culture phenomonen thats taking the world by storm. Hot, cold, milky or clear there is a favorite for everyone!
Happy.me tea is brewed fresh in store using the highest quality natural ingredients with no added preservatives. At Happy.Me bubble tea bars you’ll get the next generation of healthy drinks in a variety of flavours from Strawberry & Pomegranate, packed with chunks of fresh strawberries, to wicked treats like rich Oreo & Cream smoothies.
Indulge conscience-free with the Happy.me Green Tea and Matcha Green Tea which has powerful anti-oxidant properties, and is said to boost metabolism, reduce cholesterol and help to moderate stress. Also, plenty of caffeine free options with lactose free and sugar alternatives also available
~ Smoothies – fresh fruit smoothies made fresh in store
Happy.me prides itself in supporting South African farmers by using using local producers of fruit, nuts, honey and milk for their beverages.
The menu is extensive, and extends into both hot and cold drinks. I like that they have numbers next to each item, I find it easier to order that way. Ask for the take-away menu, so you can have a look through at home before going back again. (The selection can be overwhelming).
My recommendations: Number 23: Paris Rose with Mulberry and Number 25: Lychee and Passionfruit Green Tea.
Both of these were well flavoured, with distinct scents of each of their key ingredients. I loved the texture dimension of these – whole bits which were chewy, rather than slimy.
I wasn’t particularly fond of their smoothies, nor their cold milk teas (expect to find Panna cotta in a cold cappuccino). It’s not that I found the flavour combinations strange (and that it’s not) but rather the texture of the Panna cotta when slurped through the straw).
If you lead a more health-conscious lifestyle, there is sugar in the happy.me drinks however they are working on some great low GI sugar alternatives. In the meantime ask the well-trained and eager happy.me staff for drinks they recommend that taste good without sugar.
It’s easy to understand why everyone is so happy, at happy.me.
These are the peals and other chewy goodies that are added to some of the drinks. They use vegetarian jelly in all of their drink additions.
The lids are sealed tight with a plastic case (making this a great on-the-go drink which doesn’t spill). The straws are extra wide to ensure that all the chewy bits fit through. Remember to shake it well first before popping a straw in.
The media event included buffet-style casual catering supplied by By Word of Mouth. Even though the beverages were the main focus of the event, it was thoughtful to have catered a light breakfast for the guests.
I didn’t try any of the other items as I had just come from having breakfast, but had to try the little glass jars layered with french toast, gooseberries and mascarpone. Word has it that theirs a bakery in the pipeline, which would work magnificently for the brand. Whilst tea and beverages are their main focus, it’s nice to have a bite over company.
Would I try it again, YES! I think the concept is novel and fresh. The menu selection is vast, and I’m certain that one could never get bored with the offering. It’s a safe environment for kids, so take them along too. And if you’re not that adventurous, have a cup of coffee instead. I think this will be the new ‘cool thing’ to have in one’s hand in Greenside.
If you’re in Greenside, the Tuk tuks will fetch you and drop you off at happy.me at no additional charge – WIN!
We even left with goody-bags:
Village Green Shopping Centre, 127 Greenway Road, Greenside. Open from Monday to Sunday from 7am until 6pm.
Add them on Twitter: @HappyMeSA or find them on Facebook: happy.me SA
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