If 2020 was the year you became addicted to TikTok, chances are you’re familiar with@coffeebae97. With over 621,000 followers (as of publication) on the Gen Z-dominated app, the account gained viral status by sharing satisfying videos of delicious-looking coffee creations. The majority of videos feature iced beverages with the most perfect ice cubes (consistently deemed “prettier than me” by commenters), aesthetically pleasing lighting, and, if you’re an OG follower, a random piece of fruit (or sometimes an egg) as a background prop.
Coffeebae97 began gaining popularity back in the spring, when the first phase of the pandemic had us locked up in our houses, disoriented and desperate for soothing content. The mesmerizing swirl of ice, coffee, and milk, the delicate clink of a spoon against glass, and coffeebae97’s ability to (almost) never spill any liquid even when filling drinks to the brim captured TikTokers’ hearts. Despite the pandemic taking many twists and turns over the year, the coffee content has continued to prosper.
The brains behind the operation, 23-year-old Massachusetts native Vivian Nguyen, has largely remained anonymous despite her viral status. Now, we’re getting to know the coffee connoisseur — here, we chatted with her all about navigating TikTok, her inventive concoctions, and hopes for the future.
Tell us about yourself! Where are you from, how old are you, and what keeps you busy outside of content creation?
Hello! My name is Vivian, also known as the creator of coffeebae97. I am a 23 year old recent college grad living in the suburbs of Massachusetts. When I’m not creating content, I like to paint random fruits and really bad portraits of my friends.
We are obsessed with your TikTok, coffeebae97. What inspired you to start creating coffee content?
The story of coffeebae97 started when COVID shut down all of the coffee shops in March. I had no choice but to make coffee at home -- at the time, I did not know how to make delicious coffee like I do now. After a month of trial and error, I finally made the BEST cup of coffee at home — it was truly a life changing experience. A couple weeks later, I had a 2am idea of creating coffee ASMR videos on TikTok and the rest was history.
How has it been navigating a platform that's so new? What was it like to grow so rapidly?
It’s been a learning experience trying to figure things out. I was blown away by the amount of people that liked the content I was putting out. I feel like I’m celebrating a new achievement every week!
What do you love most about the community you've grown on TikTok?
I love how funny and uplifting my community has been on TikTok. The comment section is always a good time.
When did you first start drinking coffee and what's your go-to drink?
I started to consistently drink coffee when I was around 16 or 17 years old, and when I first got my drivers license — I’d get an iced coffee every single morning before school. My go-to drink would be a doubleshot over ice with a splash of milk and caramel drizzle.
Your followers always request that you open your own cafe — is that a goal for the future?
Opening up my own cafe has always been a goal of mine even before I started Coffee Bae. My original plan was to open a cafe when I retire from my corporate job. But ever since I started Coffee Bae, I definitely want to open one sooner than later!
Where do you get inspiration for new drinks?
I get inspired by my family and random things in my kitchen when I come up with new drinks.
You always have gorgeous rings on in your videos. Where do you get your jewelry from?
I actually get my jewelry from Amazon and Etsy!
What is your zodiac sign? (Your aesthetic is so on point — I'm tempted to assume you're a fellow Libra!)
No matter what 2021 holds for us, we’re pretty sure coffee content is here to stay — with Vivian leading the charge.