How to make the perfect Dalgona coffee at home

What’s sweet, milky, made with pantry staples and totally photogenic? The delicious Dalgona coffee, of course. If you’re not already familiar with this cloud-like whipped coffee drink then you haven’t spent much time on social media since the coronavirus confinement began.

Dalgona coffee first popped up on a South Korean TV show in January 2020 and launched a sugar-and-caffeine-fuelled posting craze on Instagram, TikTok and Facebook that can only be described as, well, viral.

How to make the perfect Dalgona coffee at home

[Photo Credit: iStock.com/Oranas]

What is ‘Dalgona’ coffee and where did it come from?

Before the world went into lockdown, very few people had ever heard of Dalgona coffee, or the Korean honeycomb candy it’s named after. This new IT drink captured the attention of socially isolated caffeine lovers lingering on their social feeds in search of simple recipes with readily available ingredients. The fact that the Dalgona drink is also great eye candy helped it spread around the globe and soon the #dalgonacoffeechallenge began.

It turns out several countries already have their own version of this frothy whipped coffee drink, including Greece with their ubiquitous frappé while in India the drink is known as phenti hui. With international travel restrictions in place it could be a while before you can make the trip to Seoul to try the real thing, so here’s how you can make your own Dalgona coffee at home.

Recipe: How to make Dalgona coffee

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons instant coffee (or espresso powder)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (or sweetener of your choice)
  • 2 tablespoons hot water
  • Milk of your choice
  • Ice (optional)

Step 1. Combine the first three ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk vigorously by hand or, for faster results, use an electric hand mixer or stand mixer. Continue mixing until the mixture becomes thick like whipped cream and is golden caramel in colour (about 5 minutes).

Step 2. Spoon over a glass of hot milk or cold milk with ice.

Step 3. Snap a photo for your Instagram feed, stir and enjoy!

It’s important to note that this type of whipped coffee drink will not work with regular ground coffee. On the plus side, you can mix once and enjoy it for days by making a big batch of the whipped ingredients and storing it in the fridge in a container with a tight-fitting lid for up to a week. Simply scale up the recipe using a 1:1 ratio.

There’s a Dalgona coffee variation for every taste

Once you’ve mastered the basics of this delicious whipped drink, you’ll want to take it to the next level. Coffee lovers everywhere are already inventing tasty riffs on the classic Dalgona coffee recipe including chocolate (add 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder before mixing) and vanilla versions (add 1 tablespoon of pure vanilla extract).

Not sweet enough for you? The humble Dalgona drink can be transformed into a decadent dessert with additions like dulce de leche, salted caramel and Nutella. Missed your coffee break? This versatile drink is also great for happy hour. Dalgona coffee becomes a delicious cocktail when you spike your cup with a shot of Kahlua or Baileys liqueur, bourbon, whisky or even rum.

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