Dalgona Coffee

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This beautiful, mousse-like coffee rates a WOW! for impressiveness. Delicious, inexpensive, and made-in-minutes with instant coffee, sugar, and milk make this whipped coffee a RELAXED (no-stress) kitchen experience.

I’m not on TikTok. There, I said it, please don’t judge me. Yet, somehow I managed to get through the entire quarantine without it. However, my lack of TikTok prowess made me a late-comer to this awesome coffee drink which went viral when everyone was stuck at home. Well, better late than never! I did, eventually, discover this fabulous, frothy, high-octane cold coffee drink – just in time for summer. For those of you, like me, who initially missed out on this trendy social media beverage craze, it’s delicious and super easy!

Three ingredients: Instant coffee (or expresso), sugar and milk.

This sweet, highly caffeinated drink began its ascent to internet fame in early 2020 and has also been called Quarantine coffee, TikTok coffee, and Whipped coffee. While social media is responsible for its viral growth in popularity. Dalgona coffee has been around for decades. It’s not new. Dalgona is a popular Korean spongy sugar candy that got its name from the Korean word “dalguna,” meaning “it’s sweet.” According to Google, the dalgona coffee craze emerged after a TV show clip of South Korean actor Jung Il Woo trying whipped coffee at a Macau cafe made its way onto YouTube. The actor compares the coffee to the candy, and that’s how the name was coined. Dalgona coffee doesn’t actually contain dalgona.

image of bowls, and mixer
Mise-en-place: Set out your mixer, glass, ice, water, milk and coffee/sugar mix.

Dalgona coffee is made from just three ingredients, instant coffee, sugar, and milk. It also needs boiling water and ice cubes, but we don’t count them as ingredients! The recipe formula for the mouse-like coffee foam is super simple—equal parts instant coffee, sugar, and boiling water. A single serving is made using 2 tablespoons of each. Instant coffee or expresso is required. Ground coffee or coffee from Keurig-type pods won’t work. I use Café Bustelo instant expresso. Granulated white sugar makes the best foam. However, I’ve also used Splenda with no noticeable difference. Brown sugar, raw sugar, or coconut sugar can also be used.

bowl of coffee and sugar granules

Mix up the instant coffee and sugar in a bowl and add the boiling water. The water can be boiled in the microwave (30 seconds for 2 tablespoons), or water can be used directly from a coffee maker or kitchen faucet with a boiling water feature. Stir to completely dissolve the coffee and sugar. The foam is created by whipping the mixture into a frenzy. Using a handheld electric mixer works the best. However, a hand whisk will also manually achieve the same results. It just takes quite a bit longer! An electric mixer will achieve perfect foam in about a minute. Whisking by hand will take from 5 -15 minutes, but it does work.

image of whipped coffee foam

Pour ¾ cup cold milk into a tall glass and add the ice cubes. Spoon the mouse-like foam on top of the milk, creating two distinct and beautiful layers. To zhoosh it up, add a sprinkle of ground cinnamon or cocoa powder. After you finish admiring how beautiful your coffee looks, the next question is, how do you drink it? Good question! If you try to sip it, as is – in pretty layers, you’ll end up with a mouthful of very strong, somewhat bitter coffee foam or just cold milk. It’s best to stir up the layers with a spoon or straw, which results in an enjoyable coffee drink. I won’t be making this coffee drink every morning, although it’s sure easy and quick enough. I will, instead, be making it on Sunday mornings when I have time to kick back and indulge myself in a luxurious frothy treat.
PS> I’m still not on TikTok!

Dalgona Coffee

Recipe by Jane BruceCourse: Breakfast, AnytimeCuisine: Korean FusionDifficulty: Easy


Total time



Make your own 2-layer, foamy, whipped specialty coffee at home with just 3 ingredients (plus water and ice) with no special equipment in less than 5 minutes! 


  • 2 tablespoon instant coffee

  • 2 tablespoon sugar

  • 2 tablespoon boiling water

  • 3/4 cup milk

  • ice cubes


  • Combine instant coffee and sugar in small deep bowl. Add boiling water.
  • Beat with mixer on high speed 1 min. or until thickened to mousse-like consistency.
  • Pour milk into tall glass. Add ice. Top with coffee mixture.


  • Water: Microwave for 30 seconds, use hot water from your coffee maker
  • Coffee: Instant expresso can be used.  Ground coffee or k-cup coffee won’t work!
  • Milk: Substitute your favorite variety of non-dairy milk, soy milk, almond, or oat milk
  • Sugar: Substitute brown sugar, raw sugar, coconut sugar, or no-calorie sweetener
  • Mixer: Instead of using the electric mixer to beat the coffee mixture, you can use a whisk to vigorously beat the coffee mixture by hand for 5-10 minutes or until thickened.
  • Zhoosh it: Garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon or cocoa powder

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