If you’ve been on any form of social media over the last several weeks, you’ve most likely had pictures of overflowing cups of foamy coffee goodness clogging up your news feeds. It’s been absolutely everywhere I’ve turned. Instagram, Twitter, hell even my friends on Facebook have been getting into the craze. It’s one of those rare internet trends that I have just not been able to escape, no matter how hard I have tried and that I have actually ended up trying for myself. I think the final push for me to try it was when the husband came home asking if I had heard about this new whipped coffee thing on Instagram and if I wanted to try it.
Where did whipped coffee craze come from
It would seem that TikTok has jumped into the culinary world sinking it’s metaphorical teeth into all things food and drink. No longer is this teen app filled with just funny re-enactment videos, dances, and weird viral trend cringiness. No, now you can jump on the app to find new and interesting food and drink recipes to try out. One of the latest food trends to come from the TikTok world has been Dalgona Coffee. And us coffee lovers have been swooning over the beautifully whipped coffee since it made it’s debut on the platform sometime in early March.
According to Google Trends, the whipped coffee craze started sometime around late January but didn’t really take off until a Korean YouTuber by the name ddulgi posted her ASMR style video showing us the magic behind Dalgona coffee. This now viral video has managed to garner her a staggering 4.7 million views since the end of February. The simple quiet video is a mesmerizing journey into the magically caffeinated world of instant whipped coffee and explains to you (via subtitles because there’s no talking in this magical land) how to create this masterpiece for yourself right in your own kitchen in less than five minutes.
It’s no wonder, considering the availability of the ingredients, how easy it is to make, and how photogenic these whipped beauties are that they took off in the TikTok and Instagram communities. I mean, it’s a gorgeous drink to look at and let’s face it… if it’s pretty we will drink it. Think back to that 2019 unicorn frappaccino from Starbucks craze. It tasted like absolute crap but it sure as shit was pretty to photograph. So people flocked to Starbucks all over the United States in droves, causing the drink to sell out daily.
If you have somehow have managed to meander through your social media feeds without seeing a picture of these stunningly majestic cups of caffeine every thirty seconds, I want to both congratulate you and offer a brief description of what these fluffy cups of goodness are. Because if you’re just now seeing them, I figure you may be scratching your head just like I was the first time I saw them.
Dalgona coffee is a simple to make, 4 ingredient layered whipped coffee not entirely unlike a cappuccino. But unlike the hot and frothy Cappuccino, with it’s pipping hot espresso goodness on the bottom and a layer of beautifully (and sometimes artfully) crafted steamed foam gracing a short fat coffee mug that you can only make if you have the right machine (which normally cost more than my monthly mortgage to get) or by visiting that overpriced corner coffee shop you love so much, Dalgona coffee can be made very easily, and cheaply, at home. And you only need a hand mixer to do it.
All you will need is
- 2 tablespoons instant coffee
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- about 6 oz milk
My journey into the world of whipped coffee
I’m not one that normally falls into social media hype over food items (I’m looking at you avocado toast) but this one just looked too good and with me being the caffeine junky that I am… I had to try it. So I popped over to my local Target and grabbed a jar of instant coffee and a new hand mixer ( somehow my old one managed to mysteriously disappear on me) and prepared myself for the magic that was about to take place in my kitchen.
Before I go forward, I have a confession to make. I have never had instant coffee. I know… I know… how can I claim to be a coffee connoisseur if I’ve never had instant coffee? I’ve had that overly sugary cappuccino mix that sits between the real coffee and the hot chocolate at your local grocery store but never the real instant coffee. I’m normally a bit of a coffee snob, preferring my freshly ground beans and French press to pre-ground Mr. Coffee (which I do have on hand for when I NEED coffee by the pot) percolated coffee. I’ve just never think to buy the instant stuff because I never thought it would be as good.
Without having had instant coffee before, I wasn’t sure what flavor profile was about to hit my mouth or if I was even going to like this. I wasn’t sure how fresh it would be or if it would be overly bitter or the flavor too harsh. So I really didn’t have high hopes for this instant stuff.
But I figured I’d give it “the old college try” as they say and measured out the ingredients to my first ever Dalgona coffee.
I’ve seen several different ways of making these coffees. Some people swear by using extremely hot water to help the coffee peak into it’s foamy goodness. I’ve also seen people swear by using ice cold water to mix it. So for my first go around, I figured I’d try the most popular method and make my Dalgona coffee with hot water.
This was a mistake.
I heat my water up, pour it into my instant coffee and sugar mixture, and instantly knew something couldn’t be right about this. The mixture looked like a dark syrup and smelled of burned soured coffee. Now admittedly, the jar of instant coffee I had just opened to use for this did not have the best of smells. It wasn’t the usual warm comfort I associate with fresh coffee grounds. It seemed more bitter and processed. So I just figured that’s where the smell came from and continued on my quest to coffee heaven. As I mixed, I watch the dark thick tar like syrup transform into a beautiful tan colored cloud. It really was amazing to watch and I highly recommend bringing the kids in for a quick science experiment when you make this. The process is fast too, only taking about three minutes to make it’s celestial cloud-like transformation. Once it was ready, I pour about a half of a glass of cold milk into my cup and dolloped enough of the coffee goodness on top to fill the rest of the glass. After taking the obligatory Instagram photos, I stirred the whipped goodness into my milk and indulged… until I gagged.
It was putrid.
I was right in thinking that the instant coffee smelled burned. I don’t know if my water was too hot or what may have gone wrong but you could tell, without a doubt, that the coffee was in fact burned. Giving, what should have been my heavenly drink, a taste and smell not unlike that of soured dirt or tar. So after two sips of that, and a pass to the husband to both confirm it’s disgustingness and to satisfy some weird urge to watch him suffer through the same nastiness I had just been through, I dumped the mess down the sink and swore to never follow a social media trend again.
Until, I decided to try it again.
I mean, it could have been user error, or it could just be that social media is doing what social media does and being a lying sack of crap. I wouldn’t know for sure until I tried it once more.
So the next day, to the kitchen I went! I pulled out the instant coffee, the sugar, and my brand new hand mixer… hey this thing’s really putting in a workout being used twice in as many days. Good job me on a good kitchen investment! The difference this time, I was using cold water. No… not just cold…I’m talking Outkast- Hey Ya ” what’s cooler than being cool”… ice cold water.
I put everything into a big bowl and went about my mad scientist ways, mixing my fluffy tan cloud into shape. Once again, the mixture took about three minutes to come together. I added it on top of more ice cold milk, performed another photoshoot (I mean… did you even make Dalgona coffee if you didn’t take a picture of it?), and mixed my concoction together.
The immediate differences I noticed were that the whipped coffee looked much lighter in color with the cold water versus the hot water and this time around, the coffee did not smell burned. It didn’t smell good, but it didn’t have that weird tar smell. So we were instantly off to a better start than before.
I took my first guarded sip of my newest rendition of the Dalgona coffee and… it wasn’t bad. It was sweet, cold, and smoother than before. A nice nutty coffee flavor floated through my mouth, making my taste buds dance as relief set in that I wasn’t going to have to instantly spit this one out. Two sips, three sips, then the entire cup later and I can actually say, this is a pretty decent drink.
I don’t think Dalgona coffee will be replacing my beloved caramel iced coffee any time soon but maybe as a rare treat or just a fun drink to whip out at a party.
Maybe I’ll give the hot version one more try one day? Then again, probably not. But I would recommend trying the iced version at least once. If nothing else, just to watch the process of it going from that sticky brown syrup to a fluffy fluffy cloud.
Have you tried whipped coffee yet? What did you think? Let me know in the comment section below.