The Dalgona Coffee Trend, Explained

( We’ve been seeing a new kind of coffee drink all over our feeds lately. Called dalgona coffee, the beverage involves milk topped with a foam made with coffee and sugar—somewhat like a reverse cappuccino. It’s especially popular on TikTok, where you’ll find users from all over the world posting their own attempts at making it.

You can make it right at home.
PHOTO BY Erika Dizon

The drink itself has origins from India, Pakistan, and Macau, where it is also known as whipped coffee or beaten coffee. But its surge in popularity happened when it appeared on a Korean TV show called Pyunstorang in January. In it, actor Jung Il-Woo traveled to Macau, tried the drink, and gave it the nickname dalgona for its resemblance to the traditional Korean sponge candy of the same name. It’s since caught the eye of TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram users the world over, and—perhaps with almost everybody at home now—it’s gone especially viral these past few days. The best part is, it’s relatively easy to whip up in your own kitchen.

To make it, simply mix together equal parts of hot water, sugar, and instant coffee powder in a bowl—about two tablespoons each should do for one serving. Using a stand mixer, hand mixer, or a whisk (what better way to get some physical activity in your day, really), whip it until it turns thick and frothy—it may take some time, but just keep at it. Once you’re satisfied with the texture, pour some milk into a glass, add ice cubes if desired, and top it off with the whipped coffee mix. Snap a photo for Instagram, mix the layers together, and drink up; the result is a creamy drink with a slight thickness and frothiness, not unlike a milkshake (sans the heft).

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As satisfying as it is to make yourself, it’s also satisfying to watch others make. Here are a few videos to check out:

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