How to Make Dalgona Coffee: Quick and Easy Guide 2024

Dalgona coffee is a frothy, sweet coffee that offers a modern twist on the traditional iced coffee. With its origins linked to South Korea, this coffee gained international fame largely because of its visual appeal and easy-to-follow recipe, which makes it perfect for a homemade treat. The drink’s name was inspired by dalgona candy—a Korean honeycomb toffee—due to its similar taste and appearance.

What is a Dalgona Coffee?

Making Dalgona coffee involves whipping equal parts of instant coffee, sugar, and hot water until they become creamy and then adding the froth to hot or cold milk. It was popularized through social media and South Korean actor Jung Il-woo.

The Ingredients:

  • Instant coffee: This is your base and crucial for that foamy top.
  • Sugar: Adds sweetness and helps stabilize the foam.
  • Hot water: Needed to dissolve coffee and sugar.

The Method:

  1. Measure: Combine equal parts of coffee, sugar, and hot water.
  2. Whisk: Vigorously whip the mixture until it becomes thick and holds a peak.
  3. Serve: Spoon the frothy coffee over a glass of milk filled with ice.

The process is a bit of a mini workout for your arms, especially if you’re doing it manually with a whisk. However, using a hand mixer will speed up the process and give your arms a break.

Detailed Ingredient List

 A glass of Dalgona coffee, a frothy coffee drink, sits on a white cloth.
by Pinterest

When making Dalgona Coffee, precision is key. Use exact measurements for the coffee, sugar, and water to ensure consistency. Aim for a 1:1:1 ratio, which usually translates to 2 tablespoons each of instant coffee, sugar, and hot water.

To master the Dalgona Coffee, you’ll need a few key ingredients. Let’s guide you through selecting the perfect coffee and sweeteners that will make your drink uniquely yours.

  • Instant Coffee (2 Tbsp)
    For the quintessential Dalgona Coffee, instant coffee is a must-have. It’s pivotal because its fine solubility creates the frothy top layer you’re aiming for. Go for a high-quality instant coffee to ensure a robust flavor.
  • Hot water (2 Tbsp)
    Your water should be hot to help dissolve the coffee and sugar optimally.
  • Sweeteners and Variations (2 Tbsp)
    The traditional sweetener for Dalgona Coffee is granulated sugar, which helps to stabilize the foam. You can opt for white granulated sugar for a neutral sweetness or change it up with raw sugar or brown sugar to introduce a slight molasses note.
  • Milk (Choose our preferred amount)
    For the base of the coffee, under that delicious foam, milk is essential. While whole milk is commonly used due to its richness, your Dalgona Coffee can easily cater to dietary restrictions or personal taste with dairy-free milk, such as almond milk. The choice is yours.

Creating the Perfect Foam

 Whipped Dalgona coffee foam in a clear glass.
by Pinterest

To achieve the iconic frothy topping that defines Dalgona Coffee, focus on two crucial elements: the whipping techniques and achieving the ideal texture and consistency. A few key tools and tips can make the process smooth and yield the creamy, whipped perfection you’re aiming for.

Whipping Techniques

TechniqueProsConsWhipping Time
Hand Whisk– Gives control– Requires effort (5-10 minutes)Longest
Electric Mixer– Fast and easy– Needs speed control to avoid splashing2-5 minutes
Milk Frother– Convenient for small batches– May not achieve stiff peaks2-5 minutes

Texture and Consistency

Your goal is to create a thick foam with peaks that hold their shape. The key is to look for stiff peaks that form when you lift your whisk or beaters from the mixture; the foam should stand up on its own with minimal drooping at the tips.

  • Ideal Temperature: Room temperature ingredients work best to achieve stiff peaks.
  • Consistency Check: Once the peaks hold, stop beating. Over-whipping can make the foam too stiff and grainy.

Assembling the Coffee

 Whipped Dalgona coffee in a clear glass, layered on top of milk.
by Pinterest

After you’ve whipped your coffee into foam, it’s time to create your perfect Dalgona Coffee.

Layering Your Drink

To begin, choose your glass and fill it with ice cubes for an iced coffee or skip this step for a hot version. Carefully pour in milk, leaving space at the top for your star ingredient, the coffee foam. With a spoon or an ice cream scoop, gently add the whipped coffee on top, creating a striking layer that sits atop the milk.

  • For Iced Coffee: Fill your glass with ice cubes, then add milk up to 2/3 of the glass.
  • For Hot Coffee: Heat the milk and pour it into your mug, leaving some room for the foam.

Customizing Your Serving

Now, it’s time to make your Dalgona Coffee truly yours. Sprinkle on some cocoa powder, drizzle chocolate syrup, or crumble your favorite cookies for an added treat. If you’re a fan of caramel or vanilla flavors, a splash of syrup can transform your drink.

  • For a sweeter touch: Add chocolate, caramel, or vanilla syrup to the whipped coffee.
  • To Garnish: Use cocoa powder, crumbled cookies, or a chocolate piece as a final decorative and flavorful touch.

Tips and Common Mistakes

 A close-up of a spoon in a glass filled with layers of Dalgona coffee and milk.
by Pinterest
  • Whisk it well
    Don’t skip the whisking! Aim for a thick and fluffy texture. Use an electric mixer for 2 minutes or whisk by hand for 5-10 minutes. If your mixture is thin, keep whisking!
  • Portion control
    Balance is key! The whipped coffee should be about 1/3 of your drink. Too much can overpower the milk, while too little will be weak.
  • Sugar matters
    Use fine sugar for better dissolving and whipping. Adjust sweetness to your taste, but remember a balanced sweetness is ideal for a perfect Dalgona Coffee.


When it comes to preserving your Dalgona coffee mix, it’s essential to store it properly to maintain its taste and consistency.

If you’ve made a large batch, store the fluffy coffee foam in an airtight container to prevent it from deflating and keep it fresh.

You can keep this mixture in the refrigerator for a few hours, though it’s best enjoyed immediately as the froth may lose some of its light and airy qualities over time.


Please note, the exact nutrition information will vary based on the ratios of the ingredients you use and any additional toppings or variations to the traditional recipe.

For those who are calorie-conscious or have dietary restrictions, consider swapping the sugar with a low-calorie sweetener.

Here’s a tip: granulated sweeteners that can dissolve easily in water are your best option to mimic the texture and consistency of the original recipe.

Dalgona Coffee (estimated values per serving, 8oz)


History and Origin

You might have seen Dalgona Coffee as an internet sensation, but it’s more than just a social media trend. Its roots are as rich as its flavor. Let’s take a brief journey through its history.

Origin in Macau:

Dalgona Coffee is believed to originate from Macau, where it was known for its creamy whipped coffee topping on milk.

Popularization in South Korea:

The drink gained massive popularity in South Korea in early 2020, linked to an appearance on a TV show called “Stars’ Top Recipe at Fun-Staurant”. Here, actor Jung Il-Woo likened the drink’s taste to that of the traditional Korean candy dalgona when he visited Macau. This connection bestowed the name we know today.

Social Media Trend:

  • Viral Challenge: During the COVID-19 pandemic, with many people staying at home, making Dalgona Coffee become a viral online challenge.
  • Easy Recipe: The simplicity of the recipe, combined with its visual appeal, made it perfect for social media, contributing to its widespread popularity.

Cultural Appreciation:

Dalgona Coffee not only brought a unique flavor to the forefront but also highlighted a piece of Korean culture, introducing many to the sweet candy that shares its name.

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FAQ – Dalgona Coffee

What is special about dalgona coffee?

Dalgona coffee is known for its smooth, velvety texture and unique preparation method which involves whipping equal parts of instant coffee, sugar, and hot water into a creamy froth before adding it to milk.

Does dalgona coffee have to be instant?

Yes, dalgona coffee typically requires instant coffee as it dissolves quickly and aerates well, creating the frothy texture that this beverage is famous for.

How long does dalgona coffee stay fluffy?

Your whipped dalgona coffee should stay fluffy for a few hours, but it’s best enjoyed immediately as it will gradually dissolve once mixed into the milk.

Is dalgona coffee Korean?

Dalgona coffee gained popularity in South Korea and is named after a traditional Korean honeycomb toffee due to its similar taste and appearance, which has led to the adoption of the beverage as a part of Korean culture.

Why is my dalgona not frothing?

If your dalgona coffee isn’t frothing, it may be due to under-whipping or using the wrong type of coffee. Ensure you whip the mixture for a sufficient amount of time, usually between 5 to 15 minutes, and use instant coffee for the best results.

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Wadim Urbanowitsch

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