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Visiting The Only 85° C Bakery Cafe In America

written by John Chow on December 30, 2010

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I first discovered 85° C Bakery Cafe while visiting Taipei for Computex. In Taiwan, 85° C Bakery Cafes are like Starbucks – they’re everywhere. The company got its name because 85° C is the perfect drinking temperature to enjoy a cup of coffee. 85° C is largest coffee franchise in Taiwan, with nearly 300 stores. However, there’s only one 85° C Bakery Cafe in North America and it’s located at the Diamond Jamboree Shopping Center in Irvine, California.

The first 85° C Bakery Cafe opened in Bao-Ping, Taipei in July 2004. The cafe set extraordinary records serving more than 2,300 cups of coffee to nearly 2,000 guests every day. Within one and a half years, 85° C Bakery Cafe expanded to 137 shops throughout Taiwan, creating a new trend in the food industry. Each cafe serves coffee, tea, cakes, and breads, and offers a comfortable atmosphere for everyone to relax and enjoy a meal or snack at any time of day. Come watch our chefs prepare your food in our open kitchen or choose your favorite cake from our display.

As nice as the above corporate propaganda sounds, it is impossible to relax, enjoy a meal or watch the chefs prepare food at the only 85° C in Amercia. The place is simply way too busy. There is a line up all the time and it can stretch over 100 feet during busy hours.

The Cafe operates like one big assembly-line with you as one of the workers. Once inside the store, you grab a tray and tongs, file through the bakery area and fill your tray with baked goods and then wait in another lineup to pay. To encourage you to leave the store instead of eating in, there is a sign at the cash register that reminds you that sales tax is charged for braked items consumed in-store. This lead me to believed that Irvine does not charge a sales tax on takeout braked goods but tax was added to my bill anyway. I therefore translated the sign to mean, “Pay and get the hell out!”

The bakery items are really good and priced really inexpensive as well. This helps to explain why there’s always a huge line up. The cafe is by far the most popular store at the Jamboree Shopping Center. I didn’t get a chance to try the coffee but if it’s anywhere near as good as the braked goods, Starbucks will be shaking in their boots once 85° C decides to expand beyond their single US store.

85C Bakery Cafe in Irvine

85C Bakery Cafe in Irvine

85C Bakery Cafe in Irvine

85C Bakery Cafe in Irvine

85C Bakery Cafe in Irvine

85C Bakery Cafe in Irvine

85C Bakery Cafe in Irvine

85°C Bakery Cafe on Urbanspoon

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{ 31 comments }

WebpageLottery December 30, 2010 at 11:31 am

Been there but didn’t know it was famous in Taiwan. It was a long line too.

Kirk Taylor December 30, 2010 at 12:06 pm

The food looks great. I’d never take the time to wait in that line though.

Email List Building January 1, 2011 at 4:59 pm

Hi Kirk,

I agree. Waiting in line is something that I’ve never enjoyed and unless the bakery is the only place to get food I wouldn’t wait in its line either.

rebecca January 1, 2011 at 9:22 pm

Bakerys are always so tempting with everthing so fresh..

Kirk Taylor January 2, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Now, I’m going to be in Vegas for Affiliate Summit and one thing I would stand in line for is a Pink’s Pastrami dog. Fortunately, I’ve not had to wait in line for them…

Relationship Advice January 3, 2011 at 9:34 am

I’ve never even heard of this place before

Cheekeong Tan December 30, 2010 at 3:27 pm

I’ve never been there. No idea about the long queues. The baked good does look delicious. A rather good combo between cafe and bakery similar to a music store and a bookstore combo during it’s heyday.

People are always looking for variety and ‘get it all in one place’, i guess.

Alison Moore Smith December 30, 2010 at 6:46 pm

Amen. Food looks good, but I haven’t tasted much food that is SO good it’s worth a huge wait, assuming there are other choices.

John Chow December 30, 2010 at 7:24 pm

The baked goods at 85C are pretty unique. I haven’t not seen it at other bakeries.

Email List Building January 1, 2011 at 5:02 pm

Hey John,

Is the bakery and its goods the same as in Taiwan?

Sometimes franchises adapt to different markets.

For example in Japan Seven Eleven stores sell sushi.

dotCOMreport December 30, 2010 at 6:46 pm

Great pictures…but the queue!

bob December 30, 2010 at 8:03 pm

I remember seeing a lot of those stores in Shanghai last summer

W3times December 30, 2010 at 8:10 pm

yummy……..

Human Development December 31, 2010 at 5:45 am

Another delicious article you are posting here and making me curious to touch those items in pics in reality.

fas December 31, 2010 at 5:53 am

Awesome stuff, looks so tempting.

PPC Ian January 1, 2011 at 12:33 am

Very tempting indeed. I try to keep that type of stuff out of the house, it’s just too tempting!

Email List Building January 1, 2011 at 5:04 pm

Keeping food that you can’t stop eating out of the house is very wise.

rebecca January 1, 2011 at 9:21 pm

ya i would say..i am always eating if i see the food or know it is here

Email List Building January 2, 2011 at 5:20 pm

I think we’re all similar that way.

The things that are just too hard to stop eating because they taste so good are better to be bought in small quantities only and not stored inside the house.

CoffeeAddict December 31, 2010 at 10:31 am

It looks just like the 85C products we have here, except in Taiwan, they are mostly cakes and a few sandwiches, too.

I’d recommend the Americano… haven’t tried much other coffees, but their SALT coffee was a recent hit, and mentioned by Time Magazine no less.

You can read my article about 85C.

And come visit 85 in Taiwan. There are also stores in China, and Oz.

PPC Ian January 1, 2011 at 12:32 am

Wow! Those pastries look delicious. :-) Great stuff.

Email List Building January 1, 2011 at 5:11 pm

They do look good but the question is if they taste as good as they look.

I’d inquire about the ingredients. If they use no chemicals, artificial coloring, trans fats and if the pastry is not too sweet as it tends to be then staying away from it could prove as big battle.

rebecca January 1, 2011 at 9:20 pm

i am hungry now

ZK @ Web Marketing Blog January 1, 2011 at 11:12 pm

Boy these are looking so fresh and delicious.

Its like these will melt once put on mouth. Yummy …

ZK @ Web Marketing Blog January 1, 2011 at 11:19 pm

Surprise to see when they are so famous than why they are not expanding themselves.

Email List Building January 2, 2011 at 5:24 pm

They must prefer to grow slowly. I think that they’ll expand eventually and perhaps as John says similar goodies selling stores may fear that day.

nick the bet January 2, 2011 at 4:22 am

You guys in the states have such a great choice of food and customer service to match. Looking forward to my next visit. I bet there are so many great stores like this that would make a lot of money if they opened up in the UK.

MrShaggy January 2, 2011 at 4:44 am

Wow those look delicious :D :P

ikki January 2, 2011 at 7:00 am

mmm yummy

Shanker Bakshi January 2, 2011 at 7:27 am

finger licking good – what they says. Look pretty delicious – mouthful of temptation there. :-)

Linda February 12, 2011 at 3:10 pm

yup great food john…