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Onion Coffee? Here’s What You Need to Know About the Latest TikTok Trend

The world of coffee is no stranger to unconventional trends, but the latest TikTok sensation might be one of the most surprising yet. Enter the Scallion Latte—a drink that pairs the boldness of espresso with the sharp, sweet crunch of spring onions. 

Spring-Onion-LatteJam Press Vid

This unusual combination has been making waves online, particularly among adventurous foodies eager to try something new. But is it any good?

The scallion latte, explained

The Scallion Latte trend is believed to have originated in China, where culinary experimentation often leads to unique and surprising dishes. Videos showcasing the preparation and tasting of this drink have garnered significant attention on TikTok, with millions of views and a mix of reactions. 

US and Australia-based brewers, such as Golden Brown Coffee, have also jumped on the trend, sharing tutorials and taste tests on their social media platforms.

So how do you make an onion late? It only requires a few steps and an open mind. 

Green-OnionKarolina Grabowska/Pexels

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First, only the green parts of fresh spring onions are used. These are chopped finely and set aside. The base of the drink is an iced latte, made with ice, your choice of milk, and a shot of espresso, all poured over a handful of muddled green onions. 

Once the latte is prepared, it is generously garnished with the chopped spring onions. 

Is the Scallion Latte good?

The Scallion Latte has sparked a wide range of reactions online. While some TikTok users are intrigued by the innovative flavor profile, others are less enthusiastic. 

In the comment sections of these viral videos, opinions vary but lean mostly toward disgust. Some users are curious and eager to try the drink, while others express doubt.

“I love green onions, but not in my coffee,” one TikTok commenter wrote.

Jamie Thompson, barista at Golden Brown Coffee, shared his experience, noting that the drink was “horrific” and lacked redeeming qualities. 

However, the combination has its defenders who appreciate the complexity it brings to the palate. “It definitely has a spicy aftertaste the more I’m getting down into it,” one barista from Ben Ledi Coffee in Scotland, said. “I don’t hate it.” 

Unconventional coffee trends

The Scallion Latte is part of a broader trend in China known as “dark cuisine,” where unconventional ingredients are used in food and drinks to create new and surprising experiences. This trend of putting novel ingredients into coffee includes other unusual creations such as oyster coffee and soy sauce lattes. 

Earlier this year, Starbucks China tried out the trend—to some backlash—with an Abundant Year Savory Latte. While this latte could be made with eco-friendly oat milk, it also featured pork sauce and was served with a slice of braised pork. 

VegNews.StarbucksPorkLatteStarbucks

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For some, the idea of mixing such contrasting flavors is exciting and worth trying. For others, it might seem off-putting or too far removed from traditional tastes. 

Despite the mixed reactions, some coffee shops in China and beyond have reportedly started to offer Scallion Lattes as a novelty item on their menus.

The trend has also sparked conversations about the commercialization of unique food and drink items and how businesses can leverage viral trends to attract customers. 

TikTok coffee trends

TikTok has become a hub for the latest and most innovative coffee trends, with users frequently sharing their unique creations and flavor experiments. Beyond the Scallion Latte, several other coffee trends have gained significant attention and sparked curiosity among coffee enthusiasts.

One such trend is Dalgona Coffee, which gained widespread popularity during the COVID-19 lockdowns. This whipped coffee drink is made by vigorously mixing instant coffee, sugar, and hot water until it forms a frothy, caramel-colored foam, which is then spooned over a glass of milk. 

Another trend is the Proffee, or protein coffee, which combines brewed coffee with a protein shake. This trend appeals to fitness enthusiasts who are looking to boost their protein intake while enjoying their morning caffeine fix. 

Coffeehouses are taking note of these trends—which can all be enjoyed with plant-based ingredients—and some are bringing them into the real world. 

Peets-Sparkling-CoffeePeet’s Coffee

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This week, Peet’s Coffee introduced a summer lineup of sparkling beverages inspired by a TikTok trend: sparkling coffee. 

The new Sparkling Grapefruit Cold Brew combines cold-brew concentrate with Q Club Soda and Ruby Red Grapefruit for a refreshing, visually striking drink. For tea lovers, there’s the Sparkling Passion Fruit Black Tea, made with bold black tea concentrate, Q Club Soda, and passion fruit purée. 

Lastly, the Sparkling Lemonade offers a fizzy twist on a classic, blending Peet’s custom lemonade with Q Club Soda and house-made simple syrup.

“Our new bubbly beverages add some sparkle to your everyday routine,” Jessica Buttimer, Senior Vice President of Brand & DTC at Peet’s Coffee, said. “We’re sure they’ll be the drinks of the summer.” 

These new additions to Peet’s summer menu reflect a broader trend of coffee brands experimenting with social media-inspired beverage offerings. Peet’s also keeps its food menu on trend with plenty of plant-based options such as Just Egg-stuffed breakfast sandwiches and lunch wraps. 

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