What is Dalgona Coffee?

Perhaps you have noticed the latest coffee trend in 2020? Fancy looking coffee photos have popped up all over social media platforms. Did you try the #dalgonacoffeechallenge? If this is your first time seeing this, you may wonder: What is Dalgona Coffee?

Dalgona Coffee is a beverage made by whipping equal proportions of instant coffee, hot or cold water, and sugar until the mix becomes creamy and then adding it to warm or cold milk. Dalgona coffee can be topped off with coffee powder, cocoa, crushed biscuits, or honey.  

It is a beverage that has been the focus of many social media platforms and has been made popular during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people refrained from going out to restaurants and practised social distancing. It became an internet craze to make this beverage at home and ‘post’ it online.

Dalgona Coffee – Served Cold

This beverage resembles the Greek Frappe Coffee beverage. The sugar-hot water-coffee mix is beaten to achieve a whipped texture. Due to the fact that you are expanding the amount of milk to create a froth-whipped texture, this beverage can be hand made at home.

The Best Recipe for Dalgona Coffee

For the best home mix use the following…

  • 2 Teaspoons (10 gram) of Instant coffee (any brand of coffee will suffice).
  • 2 Teaspoons (10 gram) of white sugar (brown sugar can be used – white mixes easier).
  • 2 Teaspoons (10 gram) Hot or cold water, depending on your preference.
  • Hot or cold milk, depending on your preference.

This is the best Ratio for a 200ml size serving.

NB: 1 Teaspoon=5grams

Depending on your desired serving size, ensure the instant coffee, sugar and water ratio remains the same. The Dalgona Coffee Ratio is 1:1:1

The Milk used for Dalgona Coffee

For a well-made Dalgona, use fresh whole milk (fat content 3.3 -4%, protein 3.2-3.3% stored at 5 degrees centigrade or lower). The milk should be hand-beaten in order to achieve ‘whipped’ texture. The whipped texture is then added to either warm or cold milk depending on your preference.


The Dalgona coffee beverage is a typically hot coffee beverage. It can be served with warm or hot milk. This is up to your preference. Boiling water should be avoided so as not to burn the coffee when making the beverage.

The milk added should be heated separately so as not to spoil the initial whipped mix.

Dalgona Coffee – Warm Mix

Due to the versatility of this coffee beverage, it can be prepared cold as well. Coldwater is beaten with sugar and coffee, in the same manner as the hot mix. This mix should be served with cold milk to create a refreshing alternative.

Do not beat a cold whipped mix then add warm milk! This will cause the mix to dissipate and lose its consistency.

Emulsion of the Milk

Emulsion occurs in two stages: during the first stage, the milk is “whipped” or “stretched’, to incorporate bubbles of air. The next stage is when the real emulsion occurs, which involves beating the coffee-water mix into the milk and holding it near the outer edge of the mixing bowl. As this occurs the milk froth acquires it is catacaustic velvety texture and translucent appearance.

Origin of the Beverage

The Origin of the Dalgona coffee beverage is a debated topic. The name of the beverage is derived from Dalgona, A Korean Sugar Sweet. This is because of how the coffee beverage resembles the sweet. It is important to note that Dalgona coffee does not actually contain Dalgona.

The Korean Sweet – Dalgona

This beverage went viral under the hashtag #dalgonacoffeechallenge. Homemade versions of this beverage began spreading all over YouTube and then went viral on Tik Tok. The spike in interest in this beverage can also be attributed to recent lockdown regulations. This beverage is widely offered in many Korean coffee shops. This sweet has recently received a lot of interest due to its mention in the recent Netflix hit Series Squid Game.

Why this beverage is a debated topic is because it resembles the Indian beverage knows as ‘phenti hui’ coffee. This is also known as ‘Phitti hui’ coffee or ‘beaten Coffee’. The main difference between the Korean version and the Indian version is that the milk is poured on top of the whipped mix. In the Korean method, the mix is poured on top of milk.

Because of this slight variance of making the beverage, the true origin of Dalgona coffee remains unknown.

Nutritional value of Dalgona Coffee

The serving size of 23 grams(200ml) of Dalgona coffee contains about 101 calories, 19 grams of carbs, 2 grams of total fat and 15 grams of sugar (if you add extra sugar to the beverage), 0,36mg of iron and 95mg of sodium.

The Coffee in the Dalgona Beverage adds several health benefits namely…

  1. Prevent heart ailments
  2. Lowers stroke
  3. Prevent type 2 diabetes
  4. Prevents Alzheimer’s
  5. Reduce gallstones
  6. Assist digestion
  7. Lowers cancer
  8. Burn fat
  9. Teeth health
  10. Prevent headache

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