Updated January 2022
Year by year we are surrounded by trends. Sometimes a trend becomes ordinary (such as the case of the oat milk), sometimes it will last for the warmest months of the year, especially for those drinks that it’s better to enjoy during those periods.
And that’s exactly the case of Dalgona coffee, a new trend that has just broken the Internet and is killing this Summer. In fact, it started from Korea in January and perhaps it’s taking advantage of this period where we were self-isolated.
Let’s find out about the origin of dalgona coffee, why is named such and what exactly is.
Dalgona Coffee origin
Dalgona coffee is been drinking for more time than we may think in Pakistan, India (known as phenti hui) and Macau where is also known as beaten coffee or whipped coffee.
There are different versions of the origin of the name but all are quite similar. Essentially, the name “dalgona” is just the translation of the Korean term that has been anglicized.
Anyway, Dalgona comes from a street snack made in Korea which reminds a honeycomb toffee. Wikipedia has a fuller one which is the following: “The coining of the name is credited to the South Korean actor Jung Il-woo, who ordered a whipped coffee at an eatery in Macau during his appearance on a TV show called Stars’ Top Recipe at Fun-Staurant (신상출시 편스토랑). He likened the taste to that of dalgona, a type of Korean honeycomb toffee.
Under the hashtag #dalgonacoffeechallenge, homemade versions of dalgona coffee began spreading on South Korean YouTube channels before going viral on TikTok.
SEE RELATED HERE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dalgona_coffee
But what exactly is?
Essentially, it’s a cold whipped coffee with a sweet and velvety coffee foam on top. It looks like a reverse cappuccino that can be made in two ways: with the help of a mixer or by hand. It’s not be confused with an iced drink such as an iced latte as ice cubes are not mandatory.
Making a Dalgona coffee is pretty simple but not pretend to achieve extraordinary results. This is not a speciality coffee drink, it’s more about having fun while making it and see how great it look when properly made.
To make a Dalgona coffee you will need some water, milk and instant coffee. Then, a blender to mix it properly or in case you don’t have one, a whisk and your muscles.
Dalgona Coffee recipe
Here’s a standard recipe:
- Take a (large) bowl and add (instant) coffee, hot water and sugar in equal part;
- If you have chosen a (round) whisk, mix the ingredients and once everything is melted, start whisking. It takes around 2 minutes and a half to form a stiff peak. If you have chosen a mixer, mix everything at the lowest speed. Then turn it to the highest and after a minute and a half or two you should get your sticky foam ;
- Take a glass and fill half of it with cold milk. Then add some ice cubes;
- With the help of a spoon, add the coffee foam to the top and enjoy!
On the internet, most of the people have said that it works only by using instant coffee claiming that Instant coffee goes through a different drying process that let it creates a dense coffee foam. Well, I’m not pretty sure about that or maybe I should get more into this topic, but I don’t think is about how coffee is being processed.
People said that If you try with a drip or immersion coffee you won’t get the same result claiming that you can’t get the same foam and also, in case you want to store dalgona coffee into the fridge, you will see that the filter coffee foam will separate faster and it will reach the bottom of your cup.
As far as I’m concerned, I think any filter coffee but also espresso drinks are more diluted and can’t work if you play a recipe with all the ingredients in equal part. The only thing that could work is by adding more sugar but I wouldn’t recommend it as dalgona coffee is already a super sweet drink.
Yet I wouldn’t reduce the amount of sugar in case you wonder how sweet it would become; the bitter from the instant coffee would be predominant, unbalancing your dalgona coffee. But you can add more milk and ice cubes if you want your dalgona coffee to be lighter as this drink is pretty strong on its own. You can also try to warm the milk first and see what you get out o try different non-dairy milk such as oat milk, soy or almond milk.
Anyway, I don’t think Dalgona coffee will become a trend for the following years as it will be set aside as soon as we will get bored of taking pictures for the socials. Simply because we are not making anything special to make a delicious drink. We are just following a recipe that can’t really go better as there’s no room for improvement.
Tips to upgrade your dalgona coffee ingredients
Want to play around a bit? As long as we need to use instant coffee, why not opting for a speciality one? Speciality instant coffee is getting more attention in the USA at the moment, but it’s increasing in popularity also in Europe. For instance, The Barn from Berlin has made its own. So, using a speciality instant coffee will bring your dalgona coffee to the next level (let’s say it’s tastier than using any robusta-instant coffee).
But just bear in mind that making Dalgona coffee is just a funny way to make a sweet drink and nothing else. I’m not a big fan of that, but sometimes it’s a good solution to quench your thirst during the warmest months instead of drinking a drip coffee.
Feel free to share your thoughts about this drink, write down your recipe if you think there’s one particular that perfectly fit and should worth a try.
I am an Italian coffee lover that pushed for the love of this “amazing drug” decided to come to London to study about coffee and its different extraction procedures and tastes.