dalgona coffee recipe

How to make dalgona coffee

Forget banana bread – the latest culinary lockdown trend has only three ingredients and could be on your news feed in a matter of minutes.

What is dalgona coffee?

If you have no idea what dalgona coffee is – you’re not alone. This frothy drink has not been on radars long. It emerged as a ‘lockdown trend’ from South Korea around February 2020, with self-isolating citizens competing to make the most stunning versions.

Soon, social media was flooded with aesthetically pleasing coffee creations from across the globe.

It’s easy to see why this trend took off. With minimal effort, you can produce a professional-looking drink that you can enjoy at leisure.

It’s like an inverted cappuccino – the milk goes on the bottom and the coffee is whipped into a dreamy foam and spooned on top.

Even better, you can enjoy the dalgona coffee iced or hot.

What does dalgona coffee taste like?

Said to resemble the traditional Korean sweet dalgona - a golden, toffee-like candy - this drink is at once familiar and innovative. It’s made with ingredients we all recognise and yet it somehow tastes different to the coffees we’re used to.

There’s only one way to find out – and that’s to make it yourself.

How is dalgona coffee made?

Makes 2 x drinks


  • 2 tablespoons instant coffee
  • 2 tablespoons table sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • Milk of choice (it works well with almond, oat and soya milks)
  • Ice cubes (if you’re having it iced)


  • First, select a cup. Part of the appeal of the dalgona coffee is admiring the merging layers of milk and whipped coffee, so you’re going to want to make it in a glass vessel such as a mason jar, latte glass or hi-ball glass. (If you’re having your dalgona coffee iced, add the ice cubes to the glass.)
  • Half fill the glass with milk. If you’re having your dalgona coffee hot, heat the milk in the microwave for one minute first.
  • In a large bowl, mix the coffee, sugar and water until it thickens. It should take on a whipped texture which does not drip from the hand mixer when you hold it above the bowl. When the mixture is thick and whipped, it should also be a light golden-brown colour. It’s ready!
  • Spoon it into the glass over the milk. Stir it with a long spoon very gently, so the layers just begin to merge, and you’re left with an ombre effect. You can add grated chocolate, cocoa powder, sprinkles or use your imagination.
  • Enjoy!

Our top tips

  • Don’t try to make it using ground coffee beans. They may taste richer in your usual brew, but you need instant coffee to get the fluffy texture required to pull off this drink.
  • Full disclosure – it’s possible to make by hand using a whisk or fork – but it takes a lot longer, and your finished result won’t be as foamy.
  • You can use a sweetener as an alternative to sugar. Again, the finished result might not be as foamy.

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Last updated: 20 May 2020