South Bay: 85°C Bakery Cafe

My dad's cousin's son (those of you who understand all the second cousin twice removed stuff, please tell me what I should call him) is some kind of manager at 85°C.  The 85°C branch in San Jose opened not too long ago.  We found out that my dad's cousin's son (seriously, what is he?) was working the late shift one night, so we went down there to take advantage of the two $10 gift cards he gave us previously.

Our immediate reaction upon arrival was something along the lines of "Damn, that's big":

That is, until we went inside and realized that most of the space was taken up by tables and a giant counter.  The actual bread section was small and prone to clogging with 85°C bread enthusiasts.

We picked a bunch of bread to gift to a family friend and then ordered two drinks for ourselves.  We asked our 85°C insider for a recommendation and he told us to try the Lemon°C.  Apparently it's lemon tea with an entire lemon sliced into it.  Just to cover the basics, we also ordered a milk tea with pearls:

The milk tea was forgettable, but the pearls were BOMB.  Perfect texture, perfectly sweetened.  We couldn't stop talking about how great they were.  When we told our findings to my dad's cousin's son, he laughed and said that the pearls at 85°C are hit or miss.  Apparently we went on a good night.  Lucky us.

The Lemon°C, however, we were not fond of.  We felt that the whole lemon, while cute in concept, was ultimately a waste of space.  Between the entire freakin' lemon and all the ice, the actual amount of liquid in the cup was much less than it should have been.  Also, the lemon made the tea slightly bitter, which was unpleasant.

I still don't get the big hype about 85°C.  The idea of people lining up for two hours just to get some bread when the store first opened boggles my mind.

It's good, but it's not THAT good.  Sorry, dad's cousin's son.  We certainly wouldn't turn down another gift card though.  Heh.

85°C Bakery Cafe
1183 S De Anza Blvd #10
San Jose, CA 95129
(408) 252-7885


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