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Revisiting a 2020 icon the Dalgona Coffee Recipe

Besides cooking, the writer is also a Barista with The Bulb Coffee, with 3 years experience as a Barista.

Dalgona Coffee

Dalgona Coffee

First & Foremost, what is Dalgona Coffee? and it's origins.

This Coffee beverage may have been the face of the year 2020, an iconic beverage that went viral on social media. Dalgona Coffee is a beverage made from equal proportions of instant coffee powder, hot water and sugar, which is then mixed until it becomes thick and creamy and finally served on top of cold milk or hot milk, depending on your preference. The beverage surfaced on social media from South Korea during the strict quarantine orders in that country. However, it is currently disputed whether the beverage originated from South Korea or Macau, as it was Jung-Il-Woo, a South Korean actor, who ordered whipped coffee in Macau.

The Backstory of Dalgona Coffee

What's "Dalgona"?

Well, in South Korea, Dalgona is a type of Honeycomb Toffee that is light and has a spongy texture made from brown sugar or corn syrup and baking soda. To make the lightness of the toffee, sometimes, vinegar is added as a way to allow acid to react to the baking soda so that it creates the air pockets in the toffee, thus, getting a honeycomb shaped interior. In this beverage recipe, the foamy layer looks similar to a Dalgona honeycomb toffee according to the actor, Jung-Il-Woo during his appearance on KBS2's show called "Stars' top recipe at Fun-Staurant".

How does "Dalgona" candy look like?

Dalgona candy in South Korea

Dalgona candy in South Korea

When and Where did it Viral on Social Media?

Well, during the nationwide quarantine era in March (January & February in some countries), recipes were being shared around on social media, initially by chefs and then home-cooks. Dalgona Coffee was one of the viral recipes being shared on You tube, Tik Tok, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and many more social medias. It first spread in South Korean You tube before heading to Tik Tok and social medias around the world. The trend came to Malaysia at an early stage, considering Malaysia is a country with many who consume South Korean media. Social Media sharing were under Hashtags such as, #dalgonacoffeechallenge, which encourages people to participate in this trend.

Picture compilation of Dalgona Coffee from Instagram

Compilation of Dalgona Coffee photos on Instagram..

Compilation of Dalgona Coffee photos on Instagram..

TIP: If you want to make it for more than 2 people, you will need to make 2 separate batches as too much instant coffee powder mixed into 1 bowl may make the coffee too strong.

Preparation & Making time for Dalgona Coffee

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

10 min

30 min

40 min

Serves 2

The Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons instant coffee powder
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons hot water
  • 2 cups milk, filled 3/4 of the way
  • 2 cups ice, filled full

Written Steps

  1. Step 1: Prepare your ingredients (Do not forget the mixer).
  2. Step 2: Add the dry ingredients (Sugar and instant coffee powder) into the bowl and add 2 tablespoons of hot water, then mix it a little.
  3. Step 3: Use the mixer (set on the lowest speed) to get the consistency as shown in the picture above, you want to get a thick layer.
  4. Step 4: Continue mixing (speed up gradually) until you get a thick mix (picture above), use a spoon to test the thickness. If it sticks well to your spoon, you're good!
  5. Step 5: Once you're done mixing, check for the thickness, if you want it thicker, continue mixing, or just leave it like that.
  6. Step 6: Add the ice until you fill up the cup. If you're making a hot one, you can skip this step.
  7. Step 7: Fill the milk 3/4 of the cup, same measurement if you're making a hot one.
  8. Step 8: Use your spoon, create a layer of coffee on top of your milk, design it a little if you want to and voila!
Scroll to Continue

Nescafe Instant Coffee Powder

Electric Mixer, a whisk or a fork?

Initially, in the earlier stages of Dalgona Coffee's prominence, people used a fork to beat the coffee mix. However, using a fork may be time consuming and most importantly, energy consuming. But it is a good substitute if you do not have a whisk or an electric mixer, plus, there's ample amount of time. Initially, i used a whisk (because i couldn't find my mixer) so, i would say, a whisk is more effective than a fork, just that it takes some energy to do so. What i would suggest is, if you have a mixer at home, just use that mixer and you can have Dalgona coffee in a nick of time and use a fork or whisk if you don't have an electric mixer.

Learn something new, try something different, convince yourself that you have no limits.

— Brian Tracy

It's a great activity to have with your family

Regardless of what equipment you use to make this recipe, with a fork, a whisk or an electric mixer, this is a fun activity to do as a family, friends or even just as a couple. Spending some time in the kitchen with your loved ones through Dalgona Coffee is one great way to pass time in a day. It might get messy in the middle, but, it is the experience and memories that count. Hope you have/had fun making this recipe and check out the video below on how to make Dalgona coffee but with different flavors.

The other flavors of Dalgona Coffee

© 2021 Nigel Koay


Nigel Koay (author) from Malaysia on January 03, 2021:

Hi 5 Liz! This was one of the best past times during quarantine.

Nigel Koay (author) from Malaysia on January 03, 2021:

Hi Peggy! Its a type of coffee that isnt too sweet but it may be bitter, however, you can cut that bitterness with less coffee and more water haha.

Liza from USA on January 02, 2021:

I have made this, Nigel!

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on January 02, 2021:

I don't spend that much time on social media, so missed hearing about Dalgona coffee. People who like it will enjoy reading the recipe on how to make it.

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