The Taiwanese Bakery Chain That’s Better Than Starbucks — Cult Following
100 Comments


– [Serena] 85°C Bakery and Cafe has been called the Starbucks of Taiwan. And people go crazy over it. – It’s hella moist, like, hella moist. – [Serena] It has more
than one thousand locations around the world, and
every time a new one opens, lines can get as long as
four hours with people looking to grab some Taiwanese snacks. The bakery serves treats
like egg tarts, sweet bread, taro cakes and cheesy hot dog buns alongside everyone’s favorite, boba tea. 85 Degrees took off
during the boba tea phase and now it’s a bona fide
Taiwanese phenomenon. I’ve heard a lot about
it but I’ve never been. So I invited fans Hudson Yang
from ABC’s Fresh off the Boat and his father Jeff to show
me the ropes at the 85 Degrees in Torrance, California, a
significantly-Asian suburb outside of L.A. – He’s strategizing
over what to eat first, it’s just like… (laughs) – What’s your favorite? Let’s start with that. – [Hudson] Egg tarts, are
like, everyone loves them. They’re really flaky. – [Jeff] It’s like an egg
custard in the middle– – [Hudson] Yeah.
– [Jeff] Right? Mm.
– Mm! – It’s a good version of an egg tart, you see this everywhere. – Yeah. But these are super light. You could eat 20 of them, and I think Hudson may have at one point. (Serena and Jeff laugh) – Hudson, when did you
first try one of these? I mean, was it at home, was it out? – This was back in New York. I had one of this when I was four or five. I grew up with that stuff,
so I know the stuff very well and, well, I love it. (all laugh) – I grew up in Knoxville,
Tennessee, where really were not a ton of Chinese people. My parents are immigrants. – So what did you guys do when you needed your fix of Chinese food? (Serena laughs) Was there anywhere to go? – So we would drive to Atlanta,
like six hours or whatever, to pick out, go to the
grocery stores there to get stuff that we need. And there was like one
authentic Chinese restaurant that we would go to. Then we went to Chinese American places like buffets and stuff– – Oh yeah. – Not even to, as much to eat, but as a place to gather and hang out. – There may be sort of nominal
disdain for Chinese American cuisine, but if you don’t
have a church around then you gather around
the Chinese restaurant. (Serena and Jeff laugh). – It’s like– – [Serena] Yeah. – The social gathering
hall for Chinese folk. I mean, he’s lucky ’cause he’s never lived or spent large amounts of time anywhere where there wasn’t Chinese food– – I mean there’s Chinese
food everywhere nowadays. – Within like an hour’s distance. (Serena and Jeff laugh) – Yeah, there really is. – You can go where like,
the middle of Mexico and there’ll be Chinese food. – And since being on
the show have you felt the need to learn more
about Taiwanese culture? – I mean honestly, before the show I did know a lot about it. Sometimes there are food
that I do need to learn about that I find on the show. I did learn how they always
use every single part of the– – Of the chicken, or– – Of the animals. – Yeah, I saw that episode. I liked it. (laughs) (plate slams, chicken squishes) – Using every part of the chicken like a meat wizard. (in Chinese) – There’s not a single part of the chicken that I feel like Taiwanese
would not use in some fashion. – [Serena] Yeah.
– Except maybe the feathers. – The feathers and the beak,
that’s about it (Serena laughs) – Oh yeah, boba tea is like– – Also super Taiwanese, if you visit Taiwan–
– But everybody has it now. I got mine with lychee
and mango jelly and boba. – Taiwanese have this
fascination with textures, that’s why you have so
many more sort of glutinous and creamy and crunchy things all happening in the same bites. The idea of boba tea, of putting
actual food in your drink, if you will, sort of substantial things that you have to chew and
swallow while you’re drinking, that’s something that came out of Taiwanese culture really easily. – Next up let’s go to
the marble taro bread. – It actually has a fairly subtle flavor and that’s the kind of
thing that Taiwanese tend to reflexively inject into
anything. (Jeff and Serena laugh) – Yeah, it’s not super sweet. It’s really creamy, the very starchiness from a root vegetable is in there. – So much for my paleo diet (all laugh). – No, this is not paleo. – [Jeff] No! (laughs) – Why do you end up
coming here in particular? Why is this better? – They actually do very authentic stuff but they also do some
twists on the authentic Taiwanese versions–
– Normalities. – Of the foods. Yeah. So for instance this here,
this pineapple bread, it’s an incredibly Taiwanese thing. And it’s called pineapple bread because it looks like a pineapple. There’s no pineapple flavor in it. In addition to having the
sort of standard bor lor bao, or pineapple bread, they
also have things like pineapple bread danishes and croissants and so on and so forth so they–
– It’s just inspired– – Yeah, exactly.
– By the flavors that you would find in a
traditional Taiwanese bakery. Thank you so much for
bringing me to 85 Degrees. This was such a treat. – Thank you for free food! (All laugh) – If you like this episode, click here to watch more Cult Following.

100 thoughts on “The Taiwanese Bakery Chain That’s Better Than Starbucks — Cult Following

  1. I THINK SERENA NAILED IT IN HERE! YOU GO GIRL!

    All you people commenting mean stuff about her should just shut up.

  2. I'm impressed with 85C's success and rapid growth (1 shop to 1000 in five years thus the Starbucks comparison) and yes, there's certainly a place for fast, moderately priced, consistent and convenient food but Eddie and his father need to support small mom and pop bakeries. Great episode nonetheless. 👍

  3. Good interview, but not much description of flavours or smells of food. That's something you still need to work on Serena.

  4. I remember when they opened up here (bay area), was way too crowded so I only ever tried a slice of cake at a party. I wasn't impressed, but my wife has tried some of their pastries at work, and she says those are really good. I'll have to try it again some time.

  5. This place os awesome… there's 1 down the street from where we live (west covina).. it's more of an asian inspired pastries there's another cool bakery, called Porto's. It's a cuban bakery only 3 or 4 locations in LA. And it's always packed.

  6. Used to think very highly of 85c then I started working there. My opinion of it went pretty much 180. Very unorganized and morally questionable behind the scenes. Such a shame.

  7. As someone who's watched Serena at her likely worst (hot dog episode), it's great to see so much improvement over the last few months. This was a well balanced and enjoyable episode. It's entirely possible that the "partner" format works best for this series.

  8. Comparing a coffee chain which specializes in coffee and a bakery chain which specializes in bread isn't a fair comparison. Seriously ?

  9. Poor girl. I won't be mean about her "work", just seems this is not the gig for her. I only watched all the way through cause I recently discovered fresh off the boat. But still gave video thumbs down.

  10. Nope nope nope. Why would someone compare a full bakery shop with Starbucks(which is a full coffee shop) who don't even make their own pastries? Secondly the pastries at 85 degree are not even good at all, not to mention, their coffee is complete undrinkable

  11. I've criticized Serena in the past so it's only fair that I give her credit where it's due… she's improving, and that's a good thing. She seemed far more relaxed and natural in this episode… just hanging out and having a casual chat… no awkward 'interview' questions or forced interactions… if she continues to just be herself then I think she'll turn out okay as a host.

  12. I used to go to 85C a lot when I was younger, got cakes there lol. Its a good place, though I kinda forgot the taste, multiple locations in China

  13. We have three Taiwanese bakeries in my city. They all have different things and no four hour lines! In fact rarely lines. 😊

  14. No one even goes here in Taiwan. That being said, I don't drink coffee but you will see people around Taiwan with a "boba" type drink more often than coffee. People act like this just came around. They actually just closed one of these in my city but USA catches on slow so it could make sense. Anyways, this chain is trash in taiwan. lol

  15. Looks like that guy will be getting a call from eater for a job cause he schooled that chick in what she was meant to do

  16. this food is rubbish. low quality mass produced , over stachy , sweet, trash. yet to see a bakery franchise out of asia with decent bread. Eater once promoted quality .

  17. Jeff is quite the Asian American Dad. Well steeped in both cultures, well spoken, can relate. Chill, wears his title just right without trying to be hip or in.

  18. 85 deg has been failing so bad in China the past 5 years and has a reputation for cheap tasting bread topped with kewpie mayonnaise and also coffee made from powdered premix. The only reason why they're 'expanding' to the states is because they can't make it in the east any more.

  19. Just let her produce the show and have different celebrities host each episode! The view count will increase dramatically!

  20. That's so crazy! I grew up in Knoxville as well, and when I saw that girl in ugly Delicious I knew she looked familiar. Sunrise market

  21. 这家85 Degree 面包店是台独日本皇民孬种开的, 所有爱国的中国人请别买这家面包毒品免得被毒化.

  22. 这家85 Degree 面包店是台独日本皇民孬种开的, 所有爱国的中国人请别买这家面包毒品免得被毒化.

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