How to Make Whipped (Dalgona) Coffee. Though it only boomed into popularity this year, thanks to a huge TikTok trend (if you don’t know what that is, ask your kids!), Dalgona coffee is inspired by Indian phenti hui coffee, a popular beaten drink that’s been served for generations.
So named for its resemblance to the eponymous Korean honeycomb toffee, it doesn’t actually contain any dalgona, and coffee snobs may be disappointed to find that you can only make it using instant grounds – it won’t work if you use good stuff!
Feel free to top your creation with more coffee powder, cookie crumbs, honey, even a sprinkling of cocoa, and if you like syrup in your caffeinated beverages you’ll probably enjoy the addition here too.
It only takes a couple of minutes to whip one up, and it makes a nice change from your regular cup of Joe. Instead of going to Starbucks for a frappe, why not make this at home version yourself? Bon appetit!
You Will Need:
- 400-500ml of milk (dairy free works fine, you can use whichever you prefer)
- 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons of instant coffee
- 3 tablespoons of boiling water
- Handheld milk frother (optional)
- Add the coffee, sugar and boiling water to a heatproof bowl
- Whisk thoroughly using a milk frother for around three to five minutes, until the mixture takes on a thicker, fluffier consistency – there should be stiff peaks, as though you were making a meringue!
(You can perform the above by hand with a regular whisk – even a fork in a pinch – but it will take you a whole lot longer! For an even quicker froth, why not break out your stand mixer!)
- If you’d like a cold coffee, pour your milk into two separate glasses, spooning half of the coffee mixture atop each respective glass evenly. For hot coffee, microwave/steam/heat your milk and then do the same.
- Snap a picture of your glorious coffee peaks atop the milk, then stir to combine everything before serving – it looks cool as it is, but you’ll only appreciate the experience if it’s thoroughly combined.
- Top with some optional coffee powder, cocoa powder or crumbled up cookies for an extra-sweet treat. Whipped cream would make it an even greater indulgence, as would some flavored syrup!
Top Tips For The Best Dalgona
You may wish to adjust the levels of coffee and sugar to suit your taste, as some will prefer a sweeter flavor and others might want something more bitter if they’re used to strong espresso!
If you aren’t a fan of sweet beverages, you might want to make your whipped coffee without the sugar – it will still foam up, just take on a darker color and collapse a little quicker than it would otherwise.
Struggling to get a good amount of fluff? It could be that the volume of the bowl you’re using is too big, so try a smaller container, though be more careful when whipping so it doesn’t go everywhere!
Make sure your water is boiling hot, as otherwise the sugar and coffee won’t be completely dissolved, which can inhibit the frothing process and prevent those Instagrammable whippy peaks.
For a deeper, caramel-esque flavor, you could switch out regular granulated sugar for some brown or muscovado instead – it will still froth up considerably, so don’t worry about that, and the recipe is exactly the same besides that.
If you’re vegan, this is very easily a dairy free recipe by nature – just swap your milk out for soy, oat, almond… whatever your favorite alternative is! It might have a slightly different texture but will definitely still taste good!
Try tasting this recipe before you add your milk, just in case it’s too bitter or sweet to your taste buds – that way you can add more sugar or coffee to the froth mixture and won’t waste any milk on a drink you don’t like!
Our recipe above makes enough for two coffees, so if you’d like to make just one, half all of the measurements, and if you want to make more, increase them! Experiment to find the proportions that are right for you.
Remember that patience is key – if you don’t see froth straight away, keep at it until you do! It can take a little while to achieve the stiff peaks you’re looking for, but as long as you’ve followed our steps, there’s no reason you won’t get there eventually!
Why Instant Coffee?
If like us, you’re a fan of some quality, freshly ground coffee, you may be wondering why the recipe calls for a cheap instant – and there’s absolutely an explanation for that. It’s more scientific than you might have first thought.
Where meringues gain their stiff peaks by using egg whites, and clever vegans have taken to using aquafaba (or chickpea water – mmm!) as a substitute, it’s the drying process of instant coffee that makes for such a creamy, foamy texture.
Manufacturers can choose between two different methods of dehydration. Most popular is spray-drying, which is far cheaper and more efficient; simply spray coffee into dry air at high temperatures to evaporate the water and leave dry grinds behind.
The alternative is freeze drying, which requires putting very concentrated coffee into a deep freeze, then feeding this through a tube at low pressures – the frozen water vaporizes with coffee granules remaining.
Though freeze-dried coffee is more expensive, the process more effectively preserves those compounds and oils from the coffee beans, for a tastier and more traditionally flavored end product.
However, the removal of such oils and aromatics from spray-dried coffee actually makes for a better foam in comparison to freeze dried or regularly ground fresh coffee, which is surprising given it’s the cheaper coffee generally.
As ground coffee beans cannot fully dissolve in water, it’s impossible to generate any sort of froth or foam, which is why all of the recipes call for instant. You could try an incredibly fine grind, but the creamy peaks will never be as good.