Cloudy, frothy, lusciously creamy, dreamy - Dalgona Coffee - it's the new whipped coffee treat sensation you can 'whip' up at home in minutes. All it takes is 3 simple ingredients and a whisk for you to have a cup of this surprisingly delicious coffee latté in your hands. Try it iced or hot. Your inner barista is calling. (Skip to recipe.)
Sometimes it's fun to jump on the bandwagon - you get a great ride!
There's a coffee sensation taking the internet by storm. It only started a few weeks ago, and as everyone is cocooned at home with lots of time to peruse the internet, this luscious coffee grabbed our attention. My daughter had sent me the link, 'Mom, you've gotta take a look at this.'
I was as mesmerized as the rest of the YouTube viewers as I watched videos of people whisking together plain old instant coffee, sugar, and water to make billows of silky, fluffy caramel-coloured foam to float on top of a mug of iced milk for a rich intense coffee frappé or on top of a steaming cup of milk for a luscious latté. The results defy understanding; a few simple ingredients and some vigourous whisking magically turn into a mound of rich coffee clouds. It's something to do with the surfactants in the coffee - the same ones that produce that trademark 'crema' on top of an espresso that baristas can turn into mini works of art. When you combine a concentrated coffee solution with the syrupy properties of sugar, that's when you get the beauty that is a whipped coffee. And to make life even simpler, it works best with instant coffee.
Dalgona coffee got its name in South Korea just a few months ago when a Korean actor drank a cup of whipped coffee and proclaimed it tasted just like a popular Korean toffee candy named dalgona - the name caught on and the coffee became a sensation. However, actual whipped coffee has been a beloved drink much longer than that. It's been popular in many places around the world - for instance in India and Pakistan it is known as 'beaten coffee' or 'Indian cappuccino', in Greece it's called 'frappe' and in Libya it's 'cappuccino Libyan style'.
In these days where heading out for a latté at your favourite coffee shop is just not an option, what better way to pamper yourself at home than with a mug of caffeinated heaven to stir and sip, frothy coffee moustache and all? You can whip up a cloud of dalgona coffee faster than it takes to brew a pot of regular coffee, then wiggle yourself into your favourite armchair with a good book, some Edith Piaf playing in the background and pretend you're at a little café in Paris.
Your morning cup of java will never be the same.
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Can I use decaf coffee, or other types of coffee for a whipped coffee?
Yes, decaffeinated instant coffee works just as well as regular. Instant espresso works very well, too. Different brands of coffee may produce slightly different results. (I use Nescafe Gold Dark Roast and it works really well for me.) Play around with your favourite brands of instant coffee. I like using half regular instant coffee and half decaf, to keep me from getting too buzzed. You can boil down regular coffee to reduce it to a syrup, then whip it up into a dalgona coffee - but you release bitter compounds in the coffee by boiling it for so long and it's time-consuming and the ratios can be fiddly.
Can I change the amount or type of sugar in my dalgona coffee?
I use organic evaporated cane sugar, but white granulated sugar is the type generally used. I tried experiments with different amounts of sugar and found that the full amount of 1 tablespoon of sugar per tablespoon of coffee and water is the most stable. However, reducing the sugar to 2 teaspoons still produced a fairly stable foam (3 teaspoons=1 tablespoon). As soon as I went as low as 1½ teaspoons, the foam started to deflate more quickly and wasn't as thick and luscious, however it was still decent if you consumed the coffee shortly after making it. Any less than that and the foam deflated disappointingly.
I've made the whipped coffee foam with coconut sugar, and it turned out really well. Coconut sugar is a little less sweet than regular sugar, so use the full tablespoon per portion and it is delicious.
I've also made it with Truvia brand erythritol & stevia non-calorie sweetener and it turned out well, too, though the foam was just a little softer, but still billowy.
Can I make a healthy version of whipped coffee?
Guess what? (Happy dance here.) You can even make a non-coffee whipped frappé! I've had great success using the dalgona coffee technique with Dandy Blend herbal dandelion root coffee substitute. For this coffee, it's best to make at least a double amount (2 tablespoons of each; coffee, sugar, and water) and whip it with an electric beater as it takes longer than regular instant coffee to whip up into a stiff foam - about 5 minutes.
I found that using coconut sugar is possible, but it didn't whip up easily together with the Dandy Blend (took almost 20 minutes), so it's best to use organic evaporated can sugar with this one (or regular sugar), unless you want to run your mixer that long. Dandy Blend Dalgona tastes great made with coconut milk or other non-dairy milk, either hot or cold.
*Dandy Blend whipped coffee doesn't hold up well to storing the foam in the refrigerator, so it's best to make it up as you need it, or freeze it and it will hold up for several weeks. Just plop spoonfuls of the frozen foam (it stays quite soft in the freezer) onto your milk.
How long does it take to whip up a dalgona coffee?
I've had fantastic results, and it takes me less than a minute of vigourous whisking by hand to get a thick, rich foam. However, I've seen a lot of sites that say it takes anywhere from 3 minutes of whipping up to 20 minutes! It depends on the type of instant coffee you use. If it doesn't whip up in a short time, don't give up - just keep whipping and it will eventually turn into that light golden brown fluff (use an electric mixer if it doesn't whip up, even with lots of enthusiastic hand whisking).
If whipping larger amounts of the recipe, I'd recommend using an electric beater or electric whisk. Since you can store the whipped coffee foam in the fridge for a few days, this can be a good option.
Can I make dalgona coffee ahead and store it?
Yes, you can make a bigger batch of whipped coffee and then store it in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. The foam stays stable longer if you don't reduce the amount of sugar. If it deflates a bit, you can re-whisk it to fluff it up again.
You can actually freeze the whipped coffee - it doesn't freeze solid so you can just scoop out as many spoonfuls as you need whenever the urge strikes (It's kind of like an iced whipped coffee float!)
How easy is it to make this whipped coffee?
Well, it's as easy as 1-2-3!
The ratio is 1:1:1. That is 1 part instant coffee: 1 part sugar: 1 part hot water. (You can play around a bit with the sugar and the type of coffee (as mentioned above).
Just put your instant coffee and sugar into a bowl. (The caffeine kick from using a whole tablespoon of instant coffee for one portion is pretty potent. I'm a caffeine wimp so I like to use half regular coffee and half decaf coffee, but if you're into caffeine, go for the gusto!)
Stir in the hot water.
And whisk vigourously! (Unless you choose to use an electric beater - then you can stand there and check your nails while you watch the beating happen.)
This is after 30 seconds of whisking:
And after 1 minute you're almost there. Once it gets light and honey-coloured, you know you're close. Your arms will get a rest shortly.
I like to give it an extra 30 seconds of vigourous whipping to make sure it's well stabilized. It's like thick meringue now, lusciously rich and a beautiful golden caramel colour.
Now all you do is get your milk ready. You can serve it cold or hot. Let's do a cold one here; just fill your glass with ice cubes, then top it up with milk - leave some room for the foam.
Now add your luscious whipped dalgona coffee! Use a spoon or a cookie scoop to get those fluffy dollops.
Swirl the top with a straw, and add a sprinkle of cinnamon or cocoa powder to make it fancy.
As you stir in the foam it melts a bit into the milk, but retains its firmness for a surprisingly long time - lasting well until the end of the drink, even if you sip slowly and leisurely. Like you should. . . but like it's so hard to do. . . because you just want to slurp down this coffee in a hurry. . . you just want to inhale it. . . and then you want another cup.
Aren't you glad you made enough for more?
Don't turn your nose up at the idea of instant coffee (I know, I know). Really. Your thoughts on it will be forever changed when you taste this luscious whipped version of it.
This one's for you, Keith.
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Kitchen Frau Notes: You can easily scale this recipe up to make more servings. Use an electric mixer if making more than one or two servings.
BONUS! The whipped dalgona coffee foam will keep for several days in the fridge in a sealed container. If it is made with the full amount of sugar it will stay more stable. If the foam does deflate a bit in the fridge, it can be re-whisked before serving to fluff it up again. You can sneak yourself a bit of java heaven whenever the urge strikes!
*However, the versions made with less sugar, Dandy Blend coffee, and non-calorie sweetener don't stay foamy and stable as long when refrigerated.
- 1 tablespoon instant coffee - regular, decaf, or espresso (Nescafe Gold Dark Roast works well for me) or Dandy Blend dandelion coffee substitute
- 1 tablespoon sugar (can reduce to 2 teaspoons) or coconut sugar (stick to 1 tablespoon)
- 1 tablespoon hot water (just boiled)
- 1 mug of milk - you can use dairy milk or non-dairy milk, hot or cold (with ice cubes)
- optional flavour boosters - a pinch of cinnamon or cardamom, ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Put the instant coffee and sugar into a large bowl (it will splatter, so a mixing bowl is advisable). Add the hot water and immediately start whisking, constantly scraping down the sides of the bowl to incorporate all the coffee solution. Whisk vigourously until the colour has lightened considerably and you have a thick, caramel-coloured foam as thick as whipped cream. This should happen in less than one minute, but can take up to three minutes with some brands of instant coffee. Once it lightens in colour and thickens, whip it for about 30 seconds longer, just to make sure it's as thick as it can get.
You can also use the electric whisk attachment of a stick blender or an electric mixer, but that works better if making at least a double amount of whipped coffee - 2 tablespoons of each ingredient. (Definitely use the electric mixer if making a Dandy Blend dalgona coffee; it will take 5 or more minutes of whipping.)
If you choose to add a pinch of cinnamon or cardamom, or a few drops of vanilla, add them now and whisk the mixture for 10 more seconds to incorporate them.
Add ice cubes to a glass, pour cold milk over, and spoon the dalgona coffee on top in a thick layer, mounding it for a luscious effect. Alternately, heat the milk first to make a hot Dalgona Coffee Latté and serve it with a spoon.
Sprinkle with a bit of cinnamon or cocoa powder if you wish. Serve with a spoon or straw. To drink the coffee, stir some of the foam into the milk and leave a thin layer on top, giving you little swirls of intense coffee foam throughout each delicious sip.
Makes one serving.
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