Poured over: Nanjing Auntie’s 10 RMB coffee takes over the internet

At the end of May, a small unassuming corner store in Nanjing went viral for its handmade “pour-over” coffee made by an “Auntie”. Costing just 10 RMB (1.38 USD), the Auntie would “pour over” hot water into a cup filled with three sachets of Nescafé 3-in-1 coffee before stirring and serving.

In fact, the viral shop is not even a coffee shop but a sugarcane juice joint called Granny Han’s Cane Juice (韩老太甘蔗汁). The “Auntie” is in fact a 74-year-old Granny who does not look a day over 45. She shared that she’s been working in her sugarcane juice shop for over 30 years and has provided instant coffee on the side for more than 20 years.

The earliest post about Auntie Han was from Douyin, TikTok’s Chinese sister app, a food blogger “蟹蟹蟹老板”  (K K Krabs) who jokingly posted “POV: you get a hand-poured coffee for 10 RMB”. The post quickly went viral, accumulating 2.33 million views and 1.45 million reposts. The shop soon spawned many Hot Search topics. One of the latest, “Nanjing 10 RMB coffee Auntie’s hot take on 40 RMB coffee” reached number 10 on the list with 35.27 million views.

Many travelled from outside of Nanjing just to have a taste of the hand-poured instant coffee. Malaysian singer-songwriter Michael Wong, who was on tour in Nanjing, queued for a coffee before inviting Auntie Han to his concert. Auntie Han’s dazzling Cheongsam dress at the concert also caused quite a stir online.

Apart from the clickbaity “pour-over” or “hand-poured” coffee buzzwords, the reason for the surge in popularity is a combination of admiration for her earnest work over the last 30 years, a relatively reasonable price (there have been debates on that), transparent ingredients and nostalgia. Nescafé 3-in-1 coffee was the first taste of coffee many millennials or older consumers will remember. Indeed, Nestlé is already capitalising on this by advertising their 3-in-1 sachets as “same as Nanjing Auntie’s”. However, the Nanjing Auntie has already expressed fatigue from the sudden popularity, saying “I can’t remember how many I made today, hundreds” and “I don’t even have the time to stir”. Hopefully, she will not experience similar burnout to the Auntie Goose Leg.


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