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The Authentic Dalgona Coffee

The Authentic Dalgona Coffee

It’s been a while since we all crowded coffee shops in the morning for a hot brew, a double espresso, a cappuccino, a latte or a flat white. We also miss quenching our thirst in sunny afternoons with frozen macchiatos, iced coffees, and whatnot.

The COVID global pandemic stripped coffee lovers from the single joy in their lives. Do you think that stopped coffee aficionados from enjoying a frothy, Instagramable coffee? Of course not!


The Dalgona coffee was born in peoples’ homes, mainly in Korea, throughout the social distancing and self-isolation health recommendations set in place to stop the virus from spreading. There was a need for a new trendy coffee, and people made it happen despite the coffee shop shutdowns. 

Dalgona coffee takes its name from the traditional Korean dessert with the same name, a honeycomb toffee sponge cake that’s light and airy. Equally frothy is the time-intensive mixture of instant coffee, warm water, and sugar, which emulates a fine, steamed milk foam that only the best baristas could accomplish.

The DIY quarantine coffee drink became as viral in social networks with the hashtag #dalgonacoffeechallenge as the coronavirus itself.

Soon, the web was flooded with pictures, videos, and recipes to make the seasonal, trendy coffee. 

Naturally, many versions of Dalgona coffee exist. Some are really simple, and others are a bit more complicated. The drink lends itself for creativity. The secret ingredient in every case, though, is instant coffee since ground espresso coffee beans will not foam. 

It’s also important to mention that making the mixture rise as foam is no walk in the park. If you use a whisk or a fork and whip it by hand, it might take up to ten minutes (It’s perfect for having something to do while binge-watching Netflix series.) 

An electric hand mixer will obviously do the job faster. The foamy mixture is then spooned over a cold glass of milk, and there you have it, the Dalgona coffee.

We decided to make a fun dairy-free version of the Dalgona coffee using almond milk instead of regular, and the result was awesome! 

It’s a way of reminding us that despite the global health crisis and social distancing, we’re still together. Coffee does that — it brings people closer. 


The Authentic Dalgona Coffee

The Authentic Dalgona Coffee

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Get yourself comfortable, bring out the ingredients, and get whisking. While you’re at it, take pictures of the process or even better, a video. The Dalgona coffee is more than a caffeinated drink; it’s a social experience.


  • 2 tbsp instant coffee
  • 2 tbsp hot water
  • 2 tbsp sugar 
  • 1 cup almond milk 
  • Finely ground coffee for garnish


In a small bowl, mix the instant coffee, the hot water, and the sugar. Mix thoroughly with a whisk or a fork, trying to get air incorporated into the mixture until thick foam forms. 

Fill a tall glass with ice and pour the almond milk and spoon the frothy mixture on top gently. 

Dust the drink with powdery freshly ground espresso beans for garnish and enjoy!

Did you make this recipe?

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