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A quirky salty bitterness with Salt Coffee in the ancient Hue

The coffee world in Vietnam is always amazingly diverse. If Hanoi is famous for Egg Coffee, and in Saigon, it must be Iced Milk Coffee or sometimes Coconut Coffee, then Hue people also have their own special coffee drink, Salt Coffee, which has existed over the past 10 years.

This slightly salty and bitter coffee is dripped from a typical Vietnamese filter, which means it will take a while for the coffee to be ready, but the wait is worth it!

What is Salt Coffee – “Ca Phe Muoi”?

Salt Coffee is a drink that is a combination of salt and coffee. Right from the name, we immediately think of the salty taste of the sea. Still, the aromatic, delicious coffee taste totally surprised us, how ingenious!

The drink consists of condensed milk below, then comes a layer of fermented milk with salt, and a traditional aluminum coffee filter on top. After waiting for about 3 minutes, the color of the coffee cup gradually changes as the black coffee drops gradually fall into the pure white salt cream. Drinkers stir well, drop more ice cubes to enjoy.

The natural flavor of coffee is bitter, so when combined with the taste of salt, it will help neutralize the sweetness and bitterness of the drink, giving a fatty aroma lingering on the tip of the tongue.

A dink originating from the ancient capital

Hue’s Salted Coffee originated 10 years ago at a small cafe on Nguyen Luong Bang Street and was inspired by a love story. According to the owner, she happened to read a story about a couple who chose a cafe for their first time dating. Due to stress, the guy called the waiter to add a little salt to the coffee.

Later, when they got married, the wife made Salt Coffee for her husband every day. It wasn’t until her husband died that she knew the truth that he had never liked Salt
Coffee, but because it was a drink his wife made, he was always happy to drink it.

The more you drink, the more addicted you are to Salt Coffee

At first, the drinker may feel unfamiliar with this strange taste, which is made up of the sweetness of milk, the bitterness of coffee, and the saltiness of salt. However, salt has the role of neutralizing, highlighting the sweetness of milk, and reducing bitter coffee, which results in a reasonably mixed flavor.

When drinking Salted Coffee, people will not have it all at once, but will sip it bit by bit to feel the aftertaste on the tip of the tongue. It is also a time for you to enjoy and contemplate.

The two oldest and official addresses selling Salted Coffee to try in Hue are 10 Nguyen Luong Bang and 142 Dang Thai Than. A cup of Salted Coffee costs about 15,000-17,000 VND.

How to make Salt Coffee

To easily enjoy the taste of Salt Coffee at home, here is a simple recipe you can follow.


  • Pure roasted coffee powder: 25 g
  • Fine salt: 5 g
  • Condensed milk: 25 ml
  • Vegetable fat cream: 200 ml

Preparing tools:

  • A cup
  • Tea filter
  • Milk beater

Note that these tools all need to be cleaned, rinsed with boiling water to ensure hygiene and produce the best cups of coffee.

Detailed instructions:

  • Step 1: Rinse the filter with boiling water to reduce the temperature difference during brewing and clean the filter better. This factor will cause the coffee powder to expand evenly, keeping the best flavor of the coffee.
  • Step 2: Put pure coffee powder into the filter, place it on top of the cup and press the coffee powder with moderate force.
  • Step 3: Pour about 45 ml of boiling water into the coffee filter for about 2 minutes for the coffee powder to rise. Then, continue to pour another 50 ml of boiling water into the filter and wait for the coffee to drip until the water in the filter runs out.
  • Step 4: While waiting, add about 5 g of salt to 200 ml of vegetable fat, use a milk beater to whip for 2-3 minutes.
  • Step 5: Add 25 ml of condensed milk to the brewed coffee and pour in the salted cream or ice mix of your choice to complete the cup of Hue’s Salt Coffee.

When making Salted Coffee, you need to pay special attention to the ratio of salt and other spices that determine the good taste.

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