Dalgona coffee recipe and why 3-in-1 coffee may not work

You may have seen a photogenic “whipped coffee” all over your Instagram and TikTok feed.

Made popular by Korean actor Jo Il Sung who created it in an episode of Pyongstorang, a Korean TV show, this drink has gone viral in Korea. It is called the “dalgona coffee” or “dalgona latte” because of how the process of making it is reminiscent of how dalgona, a traditional Korean sweet, is made.

Dalgona coffee has a frothy texture and is made by whipping together instant coffee, sugar, and water. While the Instagram-worthy drink that has created a storm in Korea looks like it could be on the menu of a good cafe, you’ll be surprised at how easy it actually is to recreate it, especially with all the extra time at home now as we practise social distancing!

With just three simple ingredients, a mixer or a whisk, you’ll be able to enjoy this coffee drink at home. Tip: go with a hint of caramel to elevate its taste further.

Although the dalgona cream can be eaten on its own, its bandwagon of Instagram and TikTok fans have been serving a thick layer of it over a half full glass of milk and ice. The refreshing rendition makes it a great treat to indulge in on a hot and humid afternoon.

Read on for our dalgona coffee recipe that you can easily make at home and why we will not recommend using a 3-in-1 coffee mix.

How to make dalgona coffee at home

Using a hand or stand mixer is recommended, although manually whipping it with a whisk, fork, or shaking the instant coffee, sugar, and water 400 times is also possible (and somewhat satisfying). Look on the bright side: at least you’ll have accomplished a serious (but fun) arm workout and have a delicious reward after!

Just remember to serve it in a cute glass and snap a pic (or many) of your masterpiece before downing the whole thing.

I was curious to see if the popular Dalgona latte was as easy to make as it sounded, so I decided to give it a shot myself:
The recipe was simple enough, to use a 1:1:1 ratio of 2-in-1 instant coffee, regular sugar, and hot water.

Important tip: Why not 3-in-1 coffee, you may be wondering. That’s because the 1:1:1 ratio is essential in making sure that the dalgona is a success. With a 3-in-1 coffee mix, you’re unable to control the amount of sugar added since it’s already included in the mixture. This is why we recommend 2-in-1 coffee (or just plain coffee powder) instead for the best result.

Another tip: I found that using a hand mixer to make Dalgona coffee was much easier than a stand mixer, as the coffee grounds tend to collect on one side, and hand mixers allow better mixing. The mixing took about 5-6 minutes on maximum speed to reach a smooth, glossy, meringue-like consistency with stiff peaks (below), which is essential for that Instagram-worthy shot.

The marshmallow-textured dalgona cream was more bitter than I’d expected, so if you have a sweeter tooth, try the Arabica variety instead! However, the sweetness of the milk below the dalgona layer does balance out the bitterness for a more fragrant and thicker version of your regular, run-of-the-mill store bought coffee milk, so you have nothing to worry about.


End product

Are you intending to try making it yourself? If you’re posting a photo on Instagram, tag us (@aveonemag) because we’d love to see your creation.

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