Scallion Latte – Spring Onion-Infused Coffee Is All the Rage in China

Spring onions and coffee definitely don’t sound made for each other, but spring onion-infused lattes are apparently all the rage in China these days.

A simple search for the #springonionlatter hashtag on TikTok or Instragram will yield dozens of photos and videos with scallion-topped latte cups. They first went viral last month, when multiple Asian publications covered the unusual drink, calling it one of the most surprising combinations ever attempted. Apparently, to make a good green onion latte, you first have to mash a few green onions in the cup, then add ice, milk, and coffee, before finally topping it off with lots of chopped green onions, because why not?

No one knows exactly how, where, or when spring onion latte was created, but in recent months the crazy concoction seems to have been adopted by enough coffee shops to draw attention online. It is the latest addition to an ever-growing list of bizarre combinations generally known as ‘dark cuisine’ or ‘hei an liao li’ in China. Dark cuisine basically refers to food and drinks that put people’s sensibilities to the test. The chili-infused ‘hot ice latte’ we featured a few months back is another example of Chinese dark cuisine.

Reactions to the spring onion latte have been mixed, which is to be expected, considering the strange combination. Some people said that they had never thought they would one day have to ask for onion-free coffee, while others declared themselves intrigued by the unique latte, but worried about bad breath.