Home Education Dalgona coffee craze: Follow this recipe to make a pillowy, picture-perfect drink

Dalgona coffee craze: Follow this recipe to make a pillowy, picture-perfect drink

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Dalgona coffee craze: Follow this recipe to make a pillowy, picture-perfect drink

You can make dalgona coffee thick like dessert, or more like a latte.


Connie Guglielmo/CNET

What is this dalgona coffee you keep hearing about? It’s many things: An Instagram, YouTube and TikTok sensation. A fluffy drink that’s taken over CNET staffers’ kitchens. And a cold, whipped coffee beverage that was inspired by a South Korean honeycomb toffee by the same name. The end result is a multilayered drink that’s as photogenic as it is tasty. 

The basic recipe includes a mere five ingredients — instant coffee, sugar, water, milk and ice — and is easy to prepare at home by yourself or with your kids. The beauty of this beverage is that it’s open to a dozen variations. Decaf versions won’t keep you up all night. Almond milk and coconut sugar work as well as the standard fare. Lemon zest and mint can jazz up the milk. You can add a shot of booze and even extra caffeine. 

There are just a few things we wouldn’t recommend. Cocoa powder doesn’t sub in well for instant coffee. If you place the dalgona foam into a hot drink, it’ll melt. And we don’t recommend our colleague’s version topped with bologna. See our gallery below for our best and worst dalgona coffee efforts. 

For more coffee drinks, here’s how to make yourself a cup of drip coffee or the best iced coffee ever. If you’re feeling especially ambitious, here’s how to make your favorite Starbucks coffee drinks at home. 

How to make dalgona coffee at home

For the basic dalgona coffee recipe, all you’ll need is:

  • 1 tablespoon of instant coffee or instant espresso
  • 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of water
  • Milk (dairy or nondairy will work here equally well)

Add the instant coffee, sugar and water to a bowl and whisk vigorously (or use a hand blender if you have one to make it a much easier process) until the mixture becomes superthick — it should hold a similar consistency to whipped cream with somewhat stiff peaks — and turns a subtle golden-brown color. 

Read more: The best coffee accessories of 2020

Pour milk into a glass filled with ice cubes, then scoop the pillowy mixture on top of the cold milk or mix the two parts together if you’re looking for more of a latte situation.

You can also dress it up with variations, like mint in the milk layer, or dalgona coffee foam over a different beverage — like iced coffee or cold chocolate milk — even sprinkles on top. It’s a fun, lighthearted drink, so have fun with it.

Snap a photo (or video the entire thing) and post it online so that you, too, can join the ever-growing dalgona coffee community. 

Read moreThese coffee makers keep the cold brew flowing at home


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A version of this story was previously posted on Chowhound.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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