Whipped coffee (also called Dalgona coffee) is one of the biggest coffee trends around the world at the moment, with tutorials and recipes popping up all over the internet. Naturally, going into detail on whipped coffee is an opportunity we couldn’t pass up – because we got to sample it!
The first impression of the drink is that it looks beautiful, with a rich and gorgeous-looking foam indulgently heaped on top. But what is the taste like? Is it really worthy of the hype? Can you make whipped coffee with more than the standard ingredients? This article details those questions and more to give you the lowdown on an increasingly popular coffee drink.
What Is Whipped Coffee (Dalgona Coffee)?
Whipped coffee is an iced milk beverage with whipped coffee cream made from sugar and instant coffee on top.
This iced coffee is originally from Macau in China. Korean actor Jung Il-woo sampled it on a TV show and likened its honeycomb taste to a traditional Korean street snack called Dalgona. Before long, the #Dalgonacoffeechallenge hashtag went viral in South Korea. After that, it trended on Tik Tok, with people around the world attempting their own whipped coffee recipes.
So, how did it become a challenge? Well, because according to the Macau inventor, it needs stirring vigorously around 400 times to attain its signature glistening, eye-catching foam. For that reason, aside from Dalgona coffee, the whipped coffee is also called ‘Beaten coffee’ or ‘400 times coffee’.
There are similarities between whipped coffee and other fluffy coffee drinks with creamy toppings, including Vietnamese egg coffee and Frappe coffee. However, whipped coffee’s simple recipe makes it stand out. It’s so straightforward that you can create delicious whipped coffee without specialist coffee maker or experience.
Whipped Coffee Recipe – Dalgona Coffee
- Large Mixing Bowl
- Hand mixer
Whipped Coffee With Intant Coffee
- 2 tbsp Instant Coffee
- 2 tbsp white sugar
- 2 tbsp cold water
- 1 cup Milk hot or cold milk, skim milk, soy milk, almond milk, oat milk, or whatever you like.
Whipped Coffee With Espresso
- shot espresso 18 grams
- 2 tbsp white sugar
- 1 cup Milk
Whipped Coffee With Instant Coffee
- Add Instant Coffee, sugar and water to create the coffee mixture.
- Whisk the coffee mixture until you have a meringue-like foam.
- Add the coffee foam to the milk.
Whipped Coffee Without Instant Coffee
- Pull a shot of espresso (About 18 grams).
- Mix the espresso and sugar, whisk the mixture to get the foam.
- Place the foam on top of the milk.
Traditional Whipped Coffee Recipe
Let’s talk about how to make whipped coffee in the traditional way. When making whipped coffee, you have a choice – take the challenge and manually whisk the coffee for around five minutes (for approximately 400 whisks), or use an immersion blender or hand mixer. We opted for the latter to save our arms!
Whipped Coffee Ingredients
Generally, we avoid volumetric recipes. However, for whipped coffee, it’s far easier than using a scale. Each ingredient for the foam uses the same volume.
- Instant coffee: 2 tablespoons
- Sugar: 2 tablespoons
- Cold water: 2 tablespoons
Milk: You can use almost any type of milk you prefer as it won’t affect the foam. So, go for hot or cold milk, skim milk, soy milk, almond milk, oat milk, or whatever you like.
1. Add instant coffee, sugar, and water
Measure coffee, sugar, and water with a tablespoon, pour them into a large bowl and gently mix them to form a sticky syrup.
2. Whisk the coffee mixture
In the same way you’d whisk an egg, whisk the mixture to make a foam. Doing it manually takes around 400 times (or five minutes). Doing it with an electric blender takes less than one minute. Stop when you have a moussey, gooey, meringue-like foam.
3. Add the coffee foam to the milk
Pour your milk of choice into your cup. Feel free to use either iced milk with a few ice cubes or hot milk. Then, with a spoon, scoop the whisked cream onto the milk. It will float on the milk because the foam is mainly air. Finally, you can sprinkle on some cocoa powder or drizzle on chocolate syrup if you like.
What Does Whipped Coffee Taste Like?
We’re not sure how close to Dalgona, the Korean street snack whipped coffee is often named after, tastes. However, we can say its taste resembles sweetened instant coffee with milk – hardly surprising considering the ingredients. If you prefer more robust coffees, we recommend using instant espresso powder instead of instant coffee.
If you prefer your regular coffee without sugar, you’ll probably find whipped coffee too sweet for your tastes. However, the foam’s soft texture is likely to have us coming back for more, as it has a great mouthfeel. Plus, it looks gorgeous and is perfect for sharing on social media platforms like Instagram.
How Is The Foam Created?
As we’ve mentioned, the creamy foam is one of whipped coffee’s big attractions. However, it’s never a bad idea to understand how whipped coffee becomes foamy so that you can experiment with new ingredients or make other tweaks to the recipe. Who knows, you might even improve on the original!
Whenever you roast coffee, the process creates lots of compounds inside the bean. One is melanoidins, which are the foaming agents for creating crema in espresso. Adding sugar helps stabilize that foam.
Equal parts soluble coffee, water, and sugar are used to form a sticky syrup, which you then whisk to whip air into then vigorously beat until the bubbles are tiny. The smaller the bubbles are, the stronger your foam will be. Eventually, you will have a far more stable foam than espresso crema, which will last for longer.
So, with this knowledge to hand, it seems feasible that you could replace the instant coffee with drip coffee or espresso and potentially improve the whipped coffee foam. Maybe you could even find alternatives to sugar to stabilize it. Let’s examine the results.
How To Make Whipped Coffee Without Instant Coffee
Instant coffee is appealing to many as it is convenient. Also, its reputation has improved in recent years, with some brands that – while not as enticing as fresh coffee beans – are very good. We sampled over 50 in another article, which we encourage you to check out.
Higher quality instant coffee is surely a good thing for whipped coffee, considering it’s the primary ingredient. Meanwhile, both caffeinated and decaf instant coffee is suitable.
However, what if we experiment with regular ground coffee instead of instant coffee?
Drip Coffee Or Espresso?
We’re not convinced drip coffee is appropriate in whipped coffee because you’ll still need some liquid to make the foam. Drip coffee is not particularly concentrated, so using only two tablespoons of brewed coffee is unlikely to leave much of an impression on your tastebuds.
But how about espresso? After all, an espresso shot is around 36 grams and already has crema. So can it work in whipped coffee? Let’s find out.
To begin with, we overdid the espresso, using an entire shot, and needed double the sugar to make the foam. This led to the drink being too sweet and unhealthy.
For our second attempt, we used 18 grams of espresso – the perfect amount! With this measure, we could stick to the recommended two tablespoons of sugar, so it wasn’t too sweet, and it tasted awesome!
One drawback is that you’ll need to be prepared to whisk for much longer than instant coffee because there’s more liquid in the mixture. Another issue is the foam is not as dense or stable, so it doesn’t last as long.
If the prospect of even more whisking than using instant coffee puts you off, try using chilled espresso, which should shorten the process. That’s because the cooler the surface, the thicker and stickier it will get.
Can You Make Sugar-Free Whipped Coffee?
The short answer is yes! Sweeteners like stevia and xylitol granules are fine for whipped coffee. However, your foam won’t whip as well. You can compensate for this by whisking the coffee liquid, but the foam will be more bubbly than creamy, and it won’t last as long. That’s because granulated sugar is a great stabilizer for the foam and enhances the fluffiness.
If you’d rather not use an artificial sweetner, but would still prefer not to use white sugar, try brown sugar, coconut sugar, maple syrup, or honey. Each of these will create a frothy coffee too.
Sometimes, you just need to mix up your coffee ritual, and whipped coffee is a quick and easy change from the norm. The ingredients are commonplace, and you don’t need any expertise or specialist coffee equipment to make it.
Instant coffee is perfect for this drink, but you can use espresso if you’d rather. Either way, whipped coffee is so easy to make that we recommend you give whipped coffee a try at least once to see if it’s to your tastes. Just make sure to take a photo of that gorgeous foam to post on social media before you drink it!
We’d recommend aiming for that if you’re whisking manually as it’s the tried and tested formula. However, you can create the foam using other tools to save some of the effort. So, consider a milk frother, electric egg whisker, hand whisk, or battery-powered immersion blender. For larger batches, you could use a stand mixer too.
If you’re struggling to create the soft-textured foam, try cooling the water. Using chilled water instead of room temperature water should solve the issue quickly. The cooler the syrup, the better it will foam.
This is a very sweet drink containing around 20 grams of sugar, which is a substantial amount. Add a cup of whole milk (approximately 244 ml), and it comes to about 247 calories. Because of this, we’d probably recommend you treat yourself to a whipped coffee occasionally rather than indulge in one every day.
Nutrition Calories Sources: