Ah, coffee - nothing like a caffeine kick to jumpstart your day. Whether it be heavenly slices of tiramisu, cold brew ice cream, espresso shots, or just a strong cuppa coffee in the morning, coffee has become a lockdown essential.
The daily Starbucks run might break the bank, but Vivian Nguyen (@virtuallyviv), the creative force behind @coffeebae97 has made making coffee at home an art form. The visual aesthetics, the ASMR of coffee pouring, and the inventiveness of her recipes (e.g. the popcorn latte and cinammon toast crunch latte), make CoffeeBae97 a gem of an account.
With nearly 300K followers on Instagram and over 850K fans on TikTok, what started as a quarantine hobby has now become a coffee-making empire, a full-fledged business, and a community of caffeine lovers called the 'Coffee Bae Nation.' The Teen Magazine had the opportunity to interview Vivian on the launch of CoffeeBae97, career highlights, and the future of the account!
It all started in April, 2020 during the global pandemic.
Coffee shops were closed and the only way to feed my coffee obsession was to make it at home.
Homemade coffee was never enjoyable for me - it was always too bitter, too sweet, or made me want to sh*t my pants. A couple of weeks into homemade coffee, I finally perfected my coffee recipe and decided to share it with the world, aka my finsta account, which turned into @coffeebae97.
Vivian via the Coffee Bae Coffee World website
A One-Woman Show: The Launch of CoffeeBae97
Tell us how your coffee content creation began. What inspired the shift from sharing your coffee recipes online to launching a full-scale business?
"Coffee Bae started out as a quarantine hobby. I was bored and needed caffeine to survive," says Vivian. "The shift from sharing recipes to a full-scale business came from my first big brand deal with Almond Breeze. That was a turning moment when I realized that I could do this full time."
Coffee Bae is a one-woman show, meaning that Vivian is not only the content creator, but also her own manager. "The most challenging part is figuring out a balance of being my own manager and still having the time to be creatively free," she says.
Headlining Moments for CoffeeBae97
"Some career highlights as a content creator have been being in the top 100 TikTok videos of 2020, and being on Good Morning America," Vivian tells us. "It’s surreal knowing that a year ago, I was making coffee at home for fun to now be making coffee on Good Morning America."
As for some memorable business partnerships, Coffe Bae has collabed with Chobani, the prebiotic soda brand Poppi, and Target.
Inspirations & Favorite Aesthetics
Where do you get your inspiration for drink recipes and the overall aesthetics?
"I get inspired from my everyday life," Vivian says, "I get most of my inspiration from my fridge and random things in my house."
"I dread going to the grocery store so I always end up using something super random. For example, I made a waffle latte because I was cleaning out my fridge and found a frozen waffle 3 months ago."
Other creative moments for coffeebae97 include a drink inspired by Lil Uzi Vert's diamond stud that was made using glitter dust, or recipes such as the 'brownie batter latte' made with a brownie batter-espresso concoction and topped with a teddy graham. She also uses unique ice molds for her iced coffee, such as a rose and a French bulldog-shaped ice cube. The followers are also huge fans of the iconic cups and glassware that take centerstage in every video and which are linked on Coffee Bae's Amazon must-haves page.
The State of the Coffee Bae Nation
You have created an online community called the Coffee Bae Nation, whether that be amongst your Instagram followers or on its own Discord server. Tell us what the Coffee Bae Nation is all about and what it means to you.
"I wanted to create a safe place for my viewers as a community to chat and get to know me better," says Vivian. "It started off as a Q&A moment on Instagram to a weekly thing -- we call it Sunday Service. It’s a bonding moment for us all. I think it’s great to have transparent, funny, open convos with your viewers."
As part of the Coffee Bae Nation discord server, I can attest to how wholesome and supportive the community is, whether it be providing mental health support, sharing Starbucks recommendations and drink recipes, or being personal cheerleaders for other members.
The Future of CoffeeBae97
What does the future look like for Coffee Bae? Are there any upcoming merch drops or projects we can look forward to?
"The future of Coffee Bae is looking brighter than my ice cubes!" Vivian exclaims. "Merch and many more projects coming this summer," she hints.
Check out coffeebaecoffeeworld.com for recipes, updates, and more!