The Famous Dalgona Coffee

If you’ve been active on social media recently, then there’s a high chance that you’ve seen a lot of people making mixing sugar, instant coffee, and boiling water together. It is a concoction that is spooned over iced milk to make a foamy drink, which is called Dalgona coffee. Based on Google Trends, the term “Dalgona coffee” has become the most searched type of coffee in the world. From becoming on-trend in mid-March of 2020, its popularity grew by 1,700% in mid-April, which is just a month. Also, instead of using an instant coffee machine for home use, people made Dalgona coffee by hand.

With this, what is Dalgona coffee, and why has it become so popular? If you’re also wondering, read on as we are going to tell you more about the famous Dalgona coffee.

What is Dalgona Coffee?

Dalgona coffee is a drink that is made by whipping equal portions of sugar, hot water, and instant coffee powder. It is whipped until it becomes creamy. After that, it is added to cold milk. There are also times when it is topped with coffee powder, cocoa, crumbled biscuits, or honey. This coffee has been popularized in social media during the COVID-19 pandemic when people are not allowed to go out of their houses. They began making videos of whipping coffee at home by hand and not using any electric mixers.

a cup of dalgona coffee

The name Dalgona is derived from the Korean sugar sweet with the same name because it has a resemblance in taste and appearance. But most Dalgona coffee does not contain that sugar.

History of Dalgona Coffee

The viral trend of sharing photos, videos, and recipes of Dalgona coffee started during the social distancing orders in South Korea. With this, it has been referred to as the quarantine drink or quarantine coffee. The name is credited to South Korean actor Jung Il-woo, who ordered a whipped coffee in an eater in Macau when he first appeared on the KBS2 show titled “Stars’ Top Recipe at Fun-Staurant.” He liked the taste of “dalgona,” which is a type of Korean honeycomb toffee.

dalgona coffee in a small glass

Homemade versions of dalgona coffee started to spread on South Korean YouTube channels under the hashtag #dalgonacoffeechalleng before it went viral on TikTok. Many people became interested in making it due to its calming, ASMR-like effects of watching the online videos. Even though it was introduced as a homemade drink, it is becoming a menu offering in a lot of coffee shops in South Korea today.

Dalgona coffee is inspired by the Indian coffee beverage called phenti hui, phytin hui, or beaten coffee. The only difference is that in the Indian version, milk is poured on top of the whipped mix. Also, it is not possible to make dalgona coffee using ground coffee beans. It’s because instant coffee is responsible for making the dense and foaming topping.

Ingredients Needed in Making Dalgona Coffee

If you also want to try making your own Dalgona coffee, here are some of the ingredients you need to have:

Instant Coffee

To make dalgona coffee, you will need 2 tablespoons of instant coffee. Ground coffee from coffee beans or pre-ground coffee bag won’t work, no matter how finely you grind it. This is because instant coffee is made from whole coffee beans that are roasted, ground, and brewed, unlike ground coffee that is made by grinding coffee beans into a coarse or fine powder. This means that the coffee inside coffee pods won’t also work. But you can use instant espresso instead of instant coffee if you like it stronger.


You also need 2 tablespoons of sugar in making dalgona coffee. It helps in stabilizing the foam so you can whip it up and make it fluffy. However, you need to remember that it will also be sweeter, especially if you are a black coffee drinker or you like plain coffee drinks like Americanos.

Hot Water

Two tablespoons of hot water are also needed in making dalgona coffee. The recipe works best if the water is hot or is fresh from being recently boiled. This way, the instant coffee, and sugar will be dissolved instantly, which can lead to a frothier and fluffier dalgona coffee.


A cup of cow’s milk or any alternative plant-based milk is needed in making dalgona coffee. It is where you will scoop the dalgona coffee cream on. If you want a stronger cup of coffee, you can use less milk. If you want it light and sweet, you can use as much milk as you want. You can also use non-dairy milk, and you also have the option to use either cold or hot milk.

How to Make Dalgona Coffee

Once you’ve gathered all the ingredients you need, here are the procedures you can follow to make dalgona coffee:

  • Mix the instant coffee, sugar, and hot water. This works best if you combine the dry ingredients first, then add the water.
  • Whisk the mixture until the coffee is light and fluffy. Do this by hand for about 3 to 5 minutes. The longer and more powerfully you whisk, the fluffier and airier the mixture will be.
  • Scoop the coffee cream into a glass of iced milk using a rubber spatula or cookie dough scoop. You can also garnish your coffee with cocoa powder and serve it with a straw. Stir it before drinking and enjoy your very own dalgona coffee.

Making dalgona coffee is very easy, right? Therefore, if you haven’t tried it yet, start finding the ingredients and make your very own dalgona coffee at home and find out how it tastes and why it became a trend.