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The Best Dalgona Coffee Recipe

The Best Dalgona Coffee Recipe - Coffee Life by EspressoWorks

Dalgona Coffee – Taking the World by Storm

While coffee is and has always been, a very popular global drink, it’s no secret that each country has its own distinctive twist on how to best brew this delicious beverage. With Italians known for their flavorful espressos, Americans known for heat-beating frappuccinos, what other international coffees are out there just waiting to be discovered by the world? How about Dalgona Coffee?

This new type of coffee came from relatively unknown beginnings, but it is now not uncommon to see Dalgona Coffee featured in coffee shop menus in a variety of different regions. So just how did Dalgona Coffee become such a global sensation and what exactly is it?

What is Dalgona Coffee?

Dalgona Coffee was inspired by an Indian and Pakistani coffee beverage that was well-known around the sub-continent, but not really popular outside of it. The beverage is made by whipping up equal parts of coffee, sugar and water until the mixture becomes creamy. This mixture is then added directly to hot or cold milk to create a layered, thick, and foamy beverage that can be enjoyed all year round!

While Dalgona Coffee is undeniably delicious, the majority of coffee shops that serve it do not actually put Dalgona into the coffee. This is because Dalgona, which is a type of South Korean honeycomb toffee, is rarely imported into other countries.

At this point, you may be thinking, wait a second, if Dalgona Coffee is inspired by an Indian and Pakistani coffee drink, what does South Korean toffee have to do with it? To better understand, let’s take a step back and take a look at Dalgona Coffee’s flavorful history.  

The Makings of Greatness

As mentioned previously, Dalgona Coffee is rooted in Indian and Pakistani culture. It is a popular kind of coffee consumed at home, at roadside cafes, and street stalls. The charm of this coffee is that you can make it without special tools, though you can certainly jazz things up if you have a frother on hand to make the mix extra creamy. 

Known by many names in India and in neighboring Pakistan, don’t be surprised if you get a cup of Phenti Hui, Phitti Hui, Pheta Coffee, Beaten Coffee, or an Indian Cappuccino instead of Dalgona Coffee abroad. 

Smaller traces of Dalgona coffee may also link back to places like Greece, where it is called ‘Frappe’. In Greece, Frappe coffee has even been dubbed as the country’s ‘unofficial national drink’. Dalgona Coffee can even be found in Libya, where a very similar type of coffee is also consumed en masse. In Libya locals call Dalgona Coffee ‘Cappuccino Libyan Style’, or simply, ‘Nescafe’. 

Why it’s Trendy in 2021

Now that you know about Dalgona Coffee’s actual origins, why is it so popular in 2021 and what does South Korea have to do with its popularity? The story goes that South Korean actor Jung Il-woo ordered a whipped coffee at an eatery in Macau during his appearance in a popular TV show. He commented how this style of coffee tasted a lot like Dalgona, the South Korean toffee. 

After the airing of this TV show segment, many South Korean YouTubers began to create their own homemade versions of the newly-termed ‘Dalgona Coffee’. The coffee then began to grow viral on TikTok, too. Influencers on both platforms encouraged their viewers to make their own Dalgona Coffee and used the viral hashtag ‘DalgonaCoffeeChallenge’. The craze took off, especially since it started in 2020 at the height of the global COVID pandemic when people were unable to go out and about.

Though Dalgona Coffee’s popularity started off on YouTube and TikTok, there is now a growing movement whereby coffee shops around the world are including Dalgona Coffee on their menus. 

How to Make Your Own Dalgona Coffee

Dalgona Coffee is a must-try home recipe since it is quick to make, requires only a whipping spoon and measuring spoons, and is ready in just 5 minutes! You might also want to use an espresso measuring glass for making the caffeinated version. Best of all, the recipe can be made even better by substituting the traditional coffee with high-quality espresso from your EspressoWorks machine

Dalgona Coffee/ Espresso

  • 1-2 ounces of coffee or espresso
  • 4 tablespoons white sugar
  • 4 ounces milk (hot or cold)


  • Pour the hot espresso and white sugar into a bowl
  • Whip up the ingredients for 2 minutes 
  • Can be done by hand, or use a frother/mixer until ingredients are creamy
  • Taste it and add any additional ingredients if desired (such as chocolate or cinnamon). Remember, the flavor will be intentionally strong since it will be diluted later when you add milk
  • If you’re making an iced version, add a few cubes of ice into a glass, then the milk, and finally, your coffee mixture
  • If you’re making a hot version, just add your hot milk into a glass and then pour the coffee/espresso mixture on top
  • Using your spoon, stir vigorously until well-mixed

The Global Phenomenon for Everyone!

Why leave all the fun to YouTubers and TikTokers? Given the rich history, amazing flavors, and vast diversity of this drink, you owe it to yourself to make your own version at home. With no special tools or expensive ingredients required, it’s time to whip up some frothy coffee and experience an old classic with a modern twist!