After hearing so much about this bakery from my peers, I finally had a chance to go to 85 Degrees Bakery with Calvin. Calvin told me that when he was in Taiwan, he visited the 85 degrees bakery there. He was also interested in seeing if the quality was the same here in the states. I’ve heard a lot about the long waits and the lines that reach out the door. I’ve also heard about their amazing salt coffee and their tasty cakes. I’ve heard about how amazing everything was, I just had to go there and see it for myself.
We went a couple of weeks ago, when the weather was still cold in Southern California. We went on a weekday, in the middle of the afternoon–hoping that there wouldn’t be any lines. This bakery is located in the same plaza as Guppy Tea House. It is actually located right next door. Luckily when we arrived, there weren’t any lines out the door, but the bakery was still busy as ever.
Right when you enter the bakery, you immediately find pastries and different types of breads directly to the right of the door. There were trays and tongs next to the entrance, which you can pick up and walk around with while you make your selection of breads.
At first glance, I felt that there wasn’t a very large selection of breads. It seemed like the same amount you find at JJ bakery or any other Asian bakery. I actually noticed that the bakers brought out the same types of breads and just scattered them around, so I came across the same type of pastry at least 2-3 times, while circling the selections.
I picked up a different pastry, one for each of my parents and also for my brother. I chose different things, such as a blueberry cheese pastry, Cherry Pinwheel, and a Boroh Danish. When I brought it home later that night, my family stated that the pastries were quite good.
The bakery is quite big, so you’ll find the breads on one side of the bakery and the cakes or drinks on the other side of the bakery. There are two different lines–one for the breads and the other for cakes/drinks alone. However, in the bread line you can also order drinks while you’re there.
I ordered the caramel milk tea and Calvin ordered the Iced Salted Coffee. The one thing I noticed while ordering our drinks was that, 85 Degrees made a point to state that they do NOT serve their salt coffee hot. You can find on every sign, that this blatant warning is staring you in the face. Calvin told me it was a bit strange, considering in Taiwan the default is hot. When I mentioned this later on to Justin, he informed me that when 85 Degrees had its grand opening, he was able to purchase this drink hot. So I’m not too sure why they only default this coffee to cold now.
Calvin let me try the salted coffee, even though I don’t drink coffee whatsoever. I can’t really tell you about the taste at all, simply because I don’t drink coffee and I’m unable to tell the difference between good and bad coffee. However, Calvin explained to me how drinking salt coffee iced is different from drinking salt coffee hot. When you drink the coffee hot, you get a taste of the salt at the top of the coffee, blending nicely with the flavors of the coffee. However, when you drink it iced, you drink it through a straw, so you don’t have the same blend of salt and coffee together. I can understand why it’s difficult to appreciate the salted coffee in its iced form after hearing this explanation.
Anyway, I wanted to try the Crème brûlée, so I lined up once more. However, I was sad to hear that they didn’t have it that day. So the young woman at the register suggested that I tried the White Chocolate cup. I took her suggestion and agreed to try it.
I was so glad that I took the young lady’s suggestion. This white chocolate cup was amazing! I was quite sure what to make of it at first glance. It came in such a pretty packaging, and it opened up like a present. When we dug in, I realized that there was actually cake inside. If you ever had a cake pop, I think this is somewhat similar in terms of how they make this cup.
It consistency of the cake reminded me of that of a cake pop. It tasted like sponge cake that was baked, mushed up with a type of cream or pudding, and then layered into this cup with strawberry filling in between. It was really light and airy, and full of flavor. What I loved the most was that it wasn’t too sweet. The only thing was that the strawberry on top was tart, but I know the tartness can be attributed to the fact that it’s the off season for strawberries.
Overall, I liked 85 Degrees Bakery. It’s pricier than your typical Asian bakery, but it is definitely good quality. Whether I would actually stand in line for an hour for this place, that I’m not too sure.
17170 Colima Road, #A
Hacienda Heights, CA 91745