A poster inviting passersby to “experience new flavors” sits outside Glazed Bytes, a cafe that opened Oct. 1 on the second floor of The Shops at Chestnut Hill. It’s an appropriate greeting, as the cafe offers dynamic new flavors and fresh takes on coffee shop classics.
The shop’s menu entices customers at first glance. It boasts a selection of “croffles”—a crossover between croissants and waffles popularized in South Korea—and unique specialty teas such as Yuza Citron Fruit Tea and Blue Flower Earl Grey.
Glazed Bytes also brews drink staples, including cappuccinos and assorted lattes. Its signature drink is the Cloud Foam Latte, which has a “richer and creamier” flavor profile than regular cold foam according to James Park, the cafe’s founder.
Park came to the Boston area from South Korea to attend Northeastern University. He majored in finance, which he said has contributed greatly to his ability to open and operate the cafe. A return to South Korea helped him develop Glazed Bytes into what it is today.
“During [the COVID-19 pandemic], we had the opportunity to stay in Jeju, South Korea for two years,” Park and his wife Elizabeth So wrote in an email to The Heights. “We are both foodies and love trying out new cafes and restaurants. The moment we had our first bite [of croffles], we fell in love with this unique dessert, [and Park] decided he wanted to bring this dessert to the Boston area.”
At Glazed Bytes, customers have the option of trying “croffles” on their own, or with sweet or savory add-ons.
The Apple Jam Crisp Croffle, one of the “Sweet Bytes,” is a harmonious layering of flavor and texture: The sugar sprinkled on the croffle provides crunch in contrast to the dough, and the scoop of rich vanilla ice cream melts through the fruity sugars of the apple jam. The apple flavor makes it a hit among those looking for a new fall treat.
Savory croffles come with cheese melted on top and a sprinkling of everything bagel seasoning, pepperoni, or barbeque bacon. The everything bagel seasoning adds a dash of saltiness and toastiness to offset the inherent sweetness of the croffle.
In addition to developing distinctive desserts, Park refines his passion for coffee through experimenting with new recipes. While in Jeju, Park tried many lighter roasts of coffee, which eventually led to them using “third-wave coffee” at Glazed Bytes.
Park said “third-wave coffee” is characterized by the use of higher-quality beans, light roasting techniques, and a focus on sustainability. Glazed Bytes sources its coffee from local roaster Fazenda.
The subtlety of the light roast coffee is noticeable, resulting in a less bold and bitter drink with more sweetness. The seasonal pumpkin spice latte is a delightfully smooth blend of coffee, creaminess, and pumpkin, spiced with notes of cinnamon.
The other item on the seasonal menu, drawn in curling chalk script, is hot chocolate. The drink is easy on the taste buds—subtly sweet and not overwhelmingly chocolate flavored.
Glazed Bytes welcomes shoppers with a modern, minimalist interior and an open storefront filled with jazzy lo-fi piano tunes. Dotted with greenery and two bright orchid plants, the cafe is the perfect place for a slow afternoon spent chatting with friends over coffee, tea, and treats.