85C Bakery Café: Taiwanese coffee chain creates buzz in Pasadena
By Michael Vallens
Who doesn’t appreciate a good surprise once in a while? Well, 85C Bakery Café in Pasadena, California has left me jaw dropped and awe inspired.
For those not in the know, 85C Bakery Café is a Taiwanese based coffee shop and self service bakery. With the majority of its stores in Taiwan and China, 85C has branched into the American and Australian markets.
Known as the “Starbucks of Taiwan” and having begun it’s odyssey in 2003, 85C Bakery Café has celebrated 2017 with over a thousand stores open worldwide with 40 more stores planned later this year.
The 85C is a reference to the popular opinion that it is the ideal temperature to brew coffee. 85C Bakery Café has received a decent amount of press covering their popular Sea Salt Coffee, a sweetened Americano with Sea Salt Whipped Cream.
While intriguing, I chose to sample the Iced Coffee and Milf Tea with Boba. The Iced Coffee was rich, flavorful and provided the caffeine kick I so desperately desired.
The Milk Tea was light, fragrant and the perfect dance partner to pair with the chewy boba.
There is an amazing array of breads displayed in the self service area. The Milk Pudding bun was a revelation and the most talked about item of the day amongst the attendees. The bread was soft, sweet and chewy while the milk pudding center was remarkable in it’s perfectly semi-sweetness.
The Mango Delight is a tropical experience demanding to be had. While mangos are not a particular favorite, I decided to get up out of my comfort zone and give it a go with the encouragement of some friendly cohorts. It did not disappoint.
Other breads displayed for sampling included the Apple Almond Danish, both the Berry and Walnut-Raisin Multigrains, Calamari Steak (a Squid Ink Garlic Roll), the Marbled Taro, Cinnamon Rolls and the Cheese Dog.
Some of the cake offerings included in the sampling were the Fruit Jelly Cup and assorted Mooncakes.
The main activity of the day was a creative opportunity to beautify a pristine slice of 85C Bakery’s Deluxe Strawberry Cream Cake. With a variety of berries, frosting, shaved chocolates, and powdered sugars, it was a great deal of fun to decorate and then devour.
I left this experience a bit dumbfounded that I had not known about the amazing things 85C Bakery Café has been up to all these years. It certainly is a gem that deserves more exposure and success with the high quality of their menu and approachability of their accommodating staff. The breads and cakes were masterfully baked, their coffee brewed to perfection and the big winners are the people of Pasadena.