Dalgona coffee: does the internet’s new favourite drink actually work?

It’s the South Korean coffee treat that seems to have – almost overnight – gained worldwide popularity. But is it as easy to make as it appears to be?

When you search out a recipe for something that looks this good and find it contains just three ingredients – all of which you probably have in the cupboard – you feel like you’ve won the jackpot, right?

That’s why, over the last few days, people have been sharing their attempts (especially on TikTok) at making Dalgona coffee. A whipped drink that consists of:

  • Instant coffee granules – yep, got them in stock
  • Water – yes, there’s the tap for that
  • Sugar – we’re always baking so, yes to that too

Somehow (don’t question us – yet – on the chemistry of it all), if you mix two tablespoons of each ingredient and then start whipping it, eventually the dark watery paste turns into a thick whipped cream-esq mixture, which you can add to cold or hot milk for an iced coffee or latte-style treat.

But is it as easy as it looks? We tried it out.

So here’s what we were aiming for...

Our first attempt

Spoiler alert: It ended in failure.

So the colour’s right. The consistency is not.

But we know where we went wrong. We messed with the ingredients. With no instant coffee to hand, we turned to an extremely strong espresso. It wouldn’t thicken up enough. The gloopy mixture was probably too overpowering for a drink, but give us a bowl of vanilla ice-cream and put a spoonful of this on top and it’d be nice as pie.

Second attempt

Disclaimer: prepare yourselves to witness a massive success!

How to make dalgona coffee

Yes, aided by an electric whisk (you can use a traditional one, but it will take longer), it proved to be a hit!

In fact, we’re so proud of it, we’ve created a recipe page for dalgona coffee.

It’s slightly bitter, but has a sweet aftertaste. Its main appeal is the velvety and soft texture – you could be eating coffee-flavoured cream. Mmmmmmm.

While it’s smooth enough to sip at, you can of course mix the foamy mixture into the hot milk you’ve topped – once you’ve delighted in your success, that is.

We’re not saying that on the third attempt we added coffee liquor to the unfilmed finished result, but we’re not saying we didn’t either...