Elegant Iced Sea Salt Coffee

Ordering an iced sea salt coffee at the newest 85°C Bakery Cafe in Los Angeles along Wilshire Blvd., I was told to shake the plastic cup with a sealed lid. Inside was a colorful layer of ice, dark brown coffee and a foamy sweet cream that rose to the top. It's dazzled with a little sugar and sea salt. The barista told me, “The cream is full fat, because health experts say full fat is easier for your body to digest and it offers such a wonderful creaminess.” After a few shakes, the colorful sweet and slightly salty drink blended together into a mocha color offering a unique zing of salt. 

The idea of 85°C Bakery Cafe began as Taiwanese businessman Wu Cheng-Hsueh was having coffee with his wife. He wanted to open a bakery cafe that offered a variety of coffee and tea beverages and sweet and savory breads for a low price. He opened his first shop Taipei in 2004 and named it 85 °C, which is 185 °F, the optimal temperature to serve and drink coffee. It became a hit and soon Wu opened more cafes in Taiwan.

Since Taiwanese are known for sprinkling salt on their fruit to enhance the sweetness, Wu decided to try this with coffee. It became an overnight sensation and now his coffee beverages have surpassed Starbucks as the biggest coffee chain in Taiwan. With 325 stores in Taiwan, Wu expanded into China, Australia and the U.S., opening his first in Irvine, CA in 2009.

His coffee beans are from a Guatemalan supplier and roasted in Taiwan. He also hired three Taiwanese master chefs - Henry Cheng, Chili Yin and Li Che Chen to create, prepare, bake and decorate 60 types of Asian and European style sweet and savory pastries, breads and beautiful cakes. 

Unique items baked daily include a Jumbo coconut strudel, taro puff pastry, calamari stick, hawaiian chicken cup, coffee bread, and chocolate brioche.

By the end of 2017 there will be over 1000 of these 85 °C Bakery Cafes worldwide.


Jill Weinlein

Los Angeles based Jill Weinlein covers travel, food and lifestyle destinations for multiple newspapers, magazines and websites. Her areas of expertise include, luxury travel, culinary reviews, cruising and family travel destinations. Born in Los Angeles, Jill studied Communications and Theatre Arts at UCLA. She has a a Dine and Travel blog - www.dineandtravel.me and she writes a weekly restaur...(Read More)

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