How to Make Dalgona Coffee: A Step-By-Step Guide

How to Make Dalgona Coffee

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A relatively new trend, Dalgona coffee is one of a few different food and drink items that grew popular during the Covid-19 lockdown period. The origins of this caffeinated beverage are hotly debated, but a Chinese man first created this drink for tourists in the early 90s, according to some reports. Let’s find out more and learn how to make Dalgona coffee, shall we?

A Quick Guide to Dalgona Coffee

As previously mentioned, Dalgona coffee could come from China in the early 90s, but whipped coffee-based drinks are present in many cultures around the world. Sometimes called ‘quarantine coffee’ or ‘hand beaten coffee,’ Dalgona coffee is similar to a Greek frappe coffee, and an Indian phitti hui or phenti hui, which translates to ‘beaten coffee’. It’s usually served cold, but you can make a hot version.

A Quick Guide to Dalgona Coffee

The drink contains just four ingredients: water, instant coffee, sugar, and milk or milk substitute. The first three ingredients are whipped into foamy peaks before then being spooned on the top of milk.

Dalgona coffee is not a good drink for those on a low-sugar diet. It has a very high sugar content, which has been criticised online as the drink’s popularity has grown.

How to Make Dalgona Coffee

I’m going to tell you how to make a typical, plain Dalgona coffee today. There are several different variations, including chocolate, strawberry, Macha, and more; and there’s nothing to stop you from creating your own tasty blends.

I’ve added links at the bottom of this post, to some different mixes you can try for yourself. The drink is super easy to make at home, quick if you have the right equipment, and easily customisable.


Dalgona coffee has earned itself several nicknames, and another one is ‘reverse latte’. Dalgona puts the coffee on top of the milk, but lattes require espresso at the bottom, milk next, then foam on the top.

You will need the following ingredients to make Dalgona coffee for one person:

  • Milk (your choice, cold) – to fill cup/glass
  • Boiled water – 2 tablespoons
  • Coffee (granulated/instant) – 2 tablespoons
  • Sugar (granulated, white) – 2 tablespoons
  • Ice (optional)


The name of the drink – Dalgano – comes from a type of sweet (candy) that’s popular in South Korea. Have you ever seen the Netflix series, Squid Game? If you have, you’ll already know what Dalgano candy is. It’s the candy that contestants must cut shapes out of, without splitting or breaking the snack.

Dalgona Snacks

You’ll need the following pieces of equipment to make Dalgona coffee:

  • Electronic whisk or blender*
  • Tablespoon
  • Glass or cup

* You can whip Dalgona coffee by hand, using a hand whisk, but it is a laborious process. Hand-whipping can take 15 minutes or more of steady whipping. An electric handheld whisk, on the other hand, will do it less than 5 minutes, without any effort from you.

Dalgona Coffee: Step-By-Step

Depending on whether you use an electric whisk or blender, or a hand-whisk, you could make a Dalgona coffee drink in around five minutes. Your first time will likely take longer, and you may even need more than one attempt to get it right. You’ll get the hang of it pretty quickly, though. If I did, you definitely will!

Step One

To start with, you’ll need to add water to your kettle and pop it on the boil. You’ll only need around two tablespoons, so you don’t need to fill the kettle all the way up.

If you’re chilling the glass, fill it with ice and leave it on the countertop until you’re ready to pour the drink.

You should also grab all the other bits and pieces you’ll need, so everything is close to hand. Thankfully, this beverage requires very little.

Step Two

Using a jug or bowl, mix together the sugar and coffee with boiling water. It’s like you’re making a regular coffee, just with much less water than usual. Always remember: mix equal measures of each ingredient except for milk.

All coffee granules and sugar crystals must be dissolved before moving on to the next step. Keep stirring until everything is fluid and all lumps are gone.

Step Three

Remove the mixture from heat, then use an electric whisk, a blender, or a hand-whisk to whip it. As previously suggested, electric tools make light work of the job; hand-whipping it requires patience, time, and some impressive arm muscles. (I am not blessed with those.)

You must continue to whip the Dalgona mixture until it forms stiff peaks, similar to egg whites for meringue. The more whipped it is, the less bitter it will taste.

Step Four

Grab your glass. Throw some ice in. Skip the ice if you’re not adding ice, obviously. If you have previously chilled the glass, get rid of the melting ice, and add new cubes (optional).

Fill the glass three-quarters of the way with milk or milk substitute, then fill the final quarter with Dalgona foam.

Step Five

Add a straw, pour out a second drink for a friend, or just take a sip of your luxury summer beverage; your drink is officially ready. Some people choose to decorate theirs with other sweet treats, such as crushed nuts, cocoa powder, honey, crushed biscuits, and even ice cream sauces.

Dalgona Coffee Toppings

Don’t worry too much if your first attempt didn’t go quite to plan because it took me at least three tries. On my third and successful attempt, I finally learned the lesson and switched to an electric milk foamer instead.

Dalgona Coffee Top Tips

I have a few top tips to share with you, to make the coffee-making process easier. My best tip is very simple: use an electric whisk or blender. It will take you so long otherwise, you won’t want to drink your Dalgona coffee when it’s done.

If you have watery Dalgona and it’s not foaming up, you should whisk faster and harder. Continue to whisk until it turns into stiff peaks similar to meringue. If you’ve been using a hand-whisk, switch to an electric one if you have one.

Instant Coffee Alternatives for Dalgona Coffee

You can switch caffeinated coffee to the decaffeinated variety for this coffee drink, but you don’t have many options when it comes to switching granules for something else. The granules combined with the sugar are what bind together to form the foamy topping.

You can use espresso powder and other types of powdered coffee with tweaks to the ingredient measurements. There are also ways to make Dalgona coffee with coffee beans, but it’s not a recommended approach for soft and fluffy foam.

Dairy-Free Dalgona Coffee

You can use any kind of plant-based milk in place of cow’s milk.

The milk part of the drink is at the bottom. The whipped portion of the drink sits on top of the milk, and it will sit on top of any type of milk. This includes skimmed, semi-skimmed, and full fat alongside oat, almond, soya, coconut, and other plant-based milk substitutes.

Coconut milk is said to bring a nice richness to Dalgona coffee, but you can use whichever type of milk you prefer the most.

And that’s how you make Dalgona coffee, folks. What do you think? Will you give it a try for yourself? If yes, will you make it with hot or cold milk? I’m super interested to hear your thoughts!

If you’re interested in more coffee content, here are a few other posts you might enjoy:

By Buzzy Kitchen

Lovers of food, owners of opinions, pleased to share!