K-Pop music videos are playing along the walls, customers are munching on macarons and slurping up boba tea. No, you're not in a foreign city or restaurant — you're at Ice & Bites Café.
Formerly known as SnoTea, Ice & Bites Café is a cafe and tea room specializing in boba tea, macarons and other treats, just down University Boulevard next to World of Beer and Pei Wei. Ice & Bites has been under new management since the summer.
The fruit is bought fresh from local markets, and Ice & Bites tries to do the same with all of its ingredients. Its recipes are created in house to give the place a unique variety of boba tea, Sno and food items.
Sno can be compared to the combination of ice cream and Italian ice. At Ice & Bites, frozen blocks of the different flavors are made and shaved with a machine. This gives the appearance and the texture of snow.
The biggest difference between SnoTea and Ice & Bites is that the latter has introduced new food items such as dumplings, egg rolls and chicken bites — accompanied by its homemade ginger candy sauce.
Michelle Liu, a senior math education and psychology major, has been an employee since April 2013.
"We try to create a relaxing atmosphere," Liu said. "This is an easy place to study, hang out with friends and to bring your family."
Maellyne Yarleque, a junior mechanical engineering major, is a regular customer.
"I think this is a great place to come either with a group of people or by myself," Yarleque said.
They make boba tea and Sno. Boba tea is a Taiwanese tea-based drink, and is also known as pearl milk or bubble tea. At Ice & Bites, boba tea is made with either fruit or milk, and customers can add tapioca balls or fruit jellies.
The most popular boba tea flavors are mango and the avocado-blended drinks.
"My favorite thing to get is a customized drink," Yarleque said. "It is a passion tea with milk and boba tea blended together. I also always get the pistachio macaroons."
The most popular Sno flavors, however, are cookies n' cream, taro — a root native to Southeast Asia — and mango.
Nick Engman, a sophomore mechanical engineering major, tried the cookies 'n' cream Sno for the first time when visiting Ice & Bites.
"I really like it. It is light and tastes just like cookies n' cream," Engman said. "I would definitely come back again."
Alahna Kindred is a Contributing Writer for the Central Florida Future.