Restaurants / Openings

The Starbucks of Taiwan Jets Into Austin, Creates a Next Level Coffee Craze

International Cult Favorite is Embracing Texas

BY // 07.27.18

Known as the Starbucks of Taiwan, 85C Bakery Cafe has moved into Austin. This cult favorite is known for its coffee bread and sea salt (hear us out!), unusual coffee options and tea drinks.

There are two new Austin area 85Cs (at 6929 Airport Boulevard, which is already open, with another coming to Lakeline at 11301 Lakeline Boulevard).

85C began in 2003 after the founder, Cheng Hsueh Wu, visited a cafe in a five star hotel and decided he wanted to make gourmet pastries and drinks available for people to enjoy on a whim, not just for special occasions.  Fifteen years later, the chain now boasts more than 1,000 locations worldwide, including cafes in Houston and greater Dallas.

If you’re wondering about the name, it comes from the belief that coffee holds its flavor best at 85 degrees Celsius, and symbolizes the chain’s devotion to providing coffee of the highest quality.

That includes sea salt drinks. There is iced sea salt black tea, caramel coffee and jasmine green tea. The drinks are sweetened with a whipped cream topping and enhanced with a sprinkle of sea salt.

Don’t worry, the sea salt doesn’t make for a savory coffee. Instead, the result is a more complex tasting drink than anything you’d pick up at most coffee shops.

85C’s menu also includes a array of smoothies, such as  the frozen marble taro, a drink made with the sweet starchy Asian plant, also available in a taro latte. Traditional espresso and tea drinks, and a Boba Milk tea shouldn’t be slept on either.

The bakery menu includes mille crepes slice, the viral trend of stacking thin crepes layers between a layer of whipped cream. This creates a treat that tastes like biting into a pillowy sweet indulgence.

My advice? Try out any of 85C’s Taiwanese desserts, such as the matcha red bean roll or mini custard shell before chowing down on a bacon and cheese roll.

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