Dalgona Coffee

If our quarantine memories carried a taste, it would certainly be this coffee’s caramelly flavour. Dalgona Coffee is on the rise.

Text Jadi Miranda

April 13, 2020

Nikon D800 | Lente 85mm PC f2.8 | Profoto B1


You don’t just scroll past dalgona coffee. Especially if you’re a locked-at-home foodie eating food via food porn. And when someone comes across this gorgeous, easy-to-make coffee beverage, one goes ahead and tries it. After all, when the glossy things we see online make us eat with our eyes and, on top of that, are super easy to make, we feel an irresistible urge to try them out. And that’s exactly what thousands of home-confined people are doing — whisking coffee to exhaustion in order to indulge in its frothiness. As usual, the most creative people are going one step further and photographing it, filming it and posting it online. Instagram has over 200 thousand posts with the #dalgonacoffee hashtag (up till March 2020) and around 130 thousand posts with it’s South-Korean equivalent — #달고나커피.


Dalgona coffee is all over social media, which, right now, totals-up our whole world. At first-sight, and for the ones who grew-up whisking coffee to get creamy coffee, it’s hard grasp all the buzzing, mind the pun, with dalgona coffee. It’s no novelty for the Portuguese who have been whipping instant coffee at home for ages or for the Italians who round-off meals by mixing “crema de café” with an espresso. But for South-Korean Jing-Il-woo, who first tried it in Macau on a travel TV show, dalgona was a revelation. Resembling a typical South-Korean toffee candy called “dalgona,” the beverage was instantly adored by his fellow citizens who, in awe, watched him reminisce his childhood’s flavour. Adding to the recipe, for this gastronomic online trend, was the compulsory Covid-19 quarantine, which prevented South-Koreans from having their daily caffeine shots at their favorite coffee shops. The result was a viral drink which is already being called the “quarantine coffee”.

To try it at home all you need is instant coffee, granulated sugar, hot water, ice blocks and any milk of your liking. Start by mixing 3 teaspoons of coffee with the same quantity of sugar and hot water in a bowl. Next, get ready for the “dalgona workout” and whip the mixture until you get glossy peaks. You may also use an electric mixer but, in that case, use larger amounts of all ingredients and store the “crema de café” in your fridge to use any time you want for about a week. However, beware of having this delicious mixture at arms reach — if you eat spoon-fulls of this velvety wonder, you risk experiencing levels of energy too high for quarantining. To finish your refreshment, pour your favorite milk and ice blocks into a glass and top it with dollops of the coffee mixture. Take a picture, share it with the world under #dalgonacoffee, mix it and enjoy.