For coffee lovers, salted coffee is a novel variation. This drink was created by a couple from Thua Thien – Hue in 2010. More than 10 years have passed, and its taste is still as amazing as the day it was invented. The sweet-salty brew has grown in popularity since its inception.
The bitter and salty combo
This coffee is brewed in a filter, then dripped into a cup of condensed milk and fermented fresh milk. When customers drink, they have to add ice and salt and stir well. The coffee cup is blended with a thick, light brown color that stimulates taste, smell, and sight.
Drinkers can feel the greasy taste of milk, the taste of salt, and the faint bitterness of coffee right from the first sip. A good cup of coffee has just the right amount of coffee and salt, ensuring a balanced ratio between all ingredients. The way to enjoy salted coffee is to take small sips, like the unhurried and leisurely nature of Hue people.
Kieu Trang, a customer who used to enjoy salted coffee in Hue, shared: “I’m not a coffee drinker. The first time I tried this unique drink, I only found it bitter and salty. It wasn’t until the fourth time that I felt the delicious taste of salted coffee”.
Hue’s own beverage
On the list of dishes that visitors must try in Hue, salted coffee ranks closely with Hue beef noodle soup, filter cake, and Hue royal tea. Many locals also gradually fell in love with this coffee, and have become regular customers of the famous salted coffee shops.
According to research, the couple who created this coffee did not share the recipe because they wanted to preserve a unique feature of Hue cuisine. Perhaps not only because of the addictive taste but what makes this coffee more special is the quiet and poetic space of Hue.
Currently, apart from the two original cafés on Nguyen Luong Bang and Dang Thai Than streets, it seems that every café in Hue sells salted coffee.
Visitors can try some coffee shops in Truong Dinh, Dien Bien Phu, Nguyen Hue, Le Huan, and Pham Ngu Lao. The price of a cup of salted coffee is VND 15,000 (USD 0.63) – VND 25,000 (USD 1.05).
Available across Vietnam
Currently, salted coffee is present everywhere, from Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Hai Phong, to Da Nang. Each place has its own flavor, but still retains the combination of sweet, salty, and bitter. This is what makes this beverage special.
In Ho Chi Minh City, some shops give this coffee a new twist by using Arabica beans or pink salt. The price of this version of salted coffee is much higher, about VND 30,000 (USD 1.27) – VND 60,000 (USD 2.53). My Hanh (District 7) shared: “I have tried drinking salted coffee in both Hue and Ho Chi Minh City. The taste of salt in the shops in Ho Chi Minh City was mild. I brought my friends and family, and we all liked it.”
People can try salted coffee at some famous coffee shops in HCMC such as Coffee Hut, Allure Coffee, LiHu Garden 꽃 – Bakery, and Coffee & Workshop.
Thuy Anh (Thuy Khue) said that after trying salted coffee in Hue, she had to find a salt coffee shop in Hanoi. Although the taste cannot be 100% accurate, the coffee here is also delicious and rich. “I don’t know when I’ve been addicted, but I have to drink it once a week. Salted coffee in Hanoi has more milk cream. I often drink it on Nguyen Huu Huan Street with my friends,” Thuy Anh said.
Recently, young people in Hanoi have started to enjoy salted coffee. People can try this unique drink at several shops in Hanoi, namely Salt Cafe, Salt.mate, and Ash Tray Café.