Social media’s favorite quarantine coffee beverage, the Dalgona has been the reason the Internet has been whipping up a storm. From TikTok to Instagram, everyone from celebrities to influencers, housewives to millennials are recreating this professional-tasting, instant coffee drink made popular by Jung Il Woo, a Korean celebrity. Rumor has it he tried a whipped coffee drink in Macau, and named the drink Dalgona coffee because it reminded him of a type of Korean candy.
The trend is Korean, but be forewarned, its origin is highly disputed. So much so, that I personally have very strong feelings about it (but that’s a discussion for another day).
From Greece’s frappe to India’s Phenti Hui, people are fighting over the origin of the coffee beverage. The least complicated connection would be to tie it back to Macau, where the current trend found its inspiration. If you’re interested in the background and history of the drink, here’s a really good article from Vice about it.
For now, let’s just enjoy the magic of how easy it is to achieve this frothy sensation.
A Word on Taste
Several of my serious foodie and chef-y friends have given the drink a thumbs down, citing that it lacks complexity and is too sweet to the point of cloying. I personally enjoyed my first experience enough to have it a second time. I think there are several factors that will influence whether or not you end up liking it.
- Do you like your coffee sweet? – It won’t be as intense as an extra portion of condensed milk in a coffee drink, but if you like your coffee without sugar, you might find this offensive. If you’re a fan of flavored-latte, you might like this.
- Coffee quality expectations – If you’re a daily cuppa type of the highbrow variety, this might disappoint you. If you’re a coffee aficionado and want a passable drink, make sure you get instant coffee of the highest quality.
- Hot or cold? – I prefer it cold, because I like my frappes and lattes cold so the sweetness glides through and not hot-set on my tastebuds.
- Milk – It works for dairy, and vegan milks too, though some fat content (like whole milk or 2%) makes the drink richer and more lux.
With this in mind, let’s get down to how to make it!
How to make Dalgona Coffee
The recipe is quite simple. Whip equal parts of sugar, instant coffee and water until you get a soft peak. When you’re done, spoon it over a glass of milk, mix and enjoy.
Now this is where it gets tricky. Methods all over the internet might differ, and that may influence the time you need to make the froth set. Some people use electric mixers, while others use the whisk. We like the good ol’ analog method. I’ve seen people whip for as long as 30 minutes, but the average is about 10-15 minutes.
The Dining Happy Way
What’s the secret to fast Dalgona coffee? Use hot water! Our version takes only 6 minutes if you whip in a fast motion. This recipe was originally adapted from Buzzfeed (Inga Lam’s recipe). She uses cold water in her recipe, which took 15 minutes to whip the coffee the first time around. My husband improved it by using hot water, which melts the sugar and coffee faster. This cuts the whipping time down to 6 minutes only. (P.s. Turns out, plenty of food bloggers have already figured this one out, and there are blog posts about it prior to the publishing of this one.)
Faster is the Dining Happy way!
ENJOY, and let me know how you like it in the comments below.
Dalgona Coffee in 6 minutes
- 2 tbsp instant coffee preferably Colombian or Java
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar fine
- 2 tbsp hot water
- 2 cups milk hot or cold (per person)
- Put all the ingredients in a mixing bowl, and whip it using a whisk for at least 6 minutes until soft peaks form.
- Spoon 2-3 tsp of whipped coffee over a glass of milk per person.
- Mix contents into the milk and drink.
- Cover and refrigerate leftovers.