If you hang out on Instagram or TikTok these days, you’ve probably been inspired to brew your own cup of dalgona coffee.
The frothy concoction of caffeine – also known as smoothie – has been all the rage since it went viral in South Korea earlier this year. To look for #dalgonacafe on Instagram, and you’ll get over 265,000 posts. On TikTok, this number reaches 207 million views.
“I think the trend has taken off very quickly because people are feeling crazy at home while distancing themselves socially and want a quick and easy distraction,” says Michelle Lopez, founder of the food blog. Tall hummingbird. “The recipe is quite uninspiring – it takes five minutes – and a good substitute for a lot of people’s morning coffee routine. I also think this recipe has brought a lot of joy to people’s lives by being tasty and fun to prepare and share online.
Julie Resnick, co-founder of food, a popular digital food publication and community, agrees. “This recipe is easy, accessible, only requires a few ingredients, looks really cool, and tastes really good,” she says. “It’s a cloud of happiness for lovers of sweet coffee. It tastes mostly smooth and creamy with a little bit of bitterness.
Lopez says she would compare the taste to a Starbucks Frappuccino. “They have the same kind of airy texture,” she says. “I think Starbucks gets its texture by mixing coffee with crushed ice, but you don’t do that with dalgona coffee at all.”
Ready to create your own cloud of happiness at home? Here’s what you’ll need and how to whip it – and whip it right, with all the pro-recommended products and our favorite brands.
To make dalgona coffee, Lopez says, you’ll need 2 tablespoons of instant coffee, granulated sugar, and boiling water. You will also need ½ cup of ice, 8 ounces of milk and cocoa powder for the garnish, if desired. (“Don’t try it unless you’re using instant coffee,” advises Resnick, as regular coffee doesn’t work with this recipe.)
Combine instant coffee and sugar in a bowl, then add hot water. “The dalgona coffee recipe works best if you use hot water – it dissolves both instant coffee and sugar faster and results in a smoother, more frothy coffee,” Lopez explains.
Now you’re either going to use a whisk to beat the mixture until it’s light and fluffy (about five minutes) or use an electric or stand mixer (this will save a lot of arm strength, Resnick says) for about one to two minutes.
“I usually whip my coffee by hand, but I’m a professional baker, so I also have a lot of practice whipping whipped cream and meringue,” Lopez explains. “If you don’t do what I do for a living, I highly recommend using an electric hand mixer. It’s the fastest, easiest way to get the most lint for your coffee.
From there, pour the creamy coffee into a glass of iced milk using a rubber spatula and garnish with the cocoa powder if desired. Take your shot, then shake it up and enjoy.
Folgers Classic Instant Coffee Crystals Single Serve Sachets ($ 14.61; amazon.com)
Folgers Instant Coffee Crystals Classic Roast Individual Sachets
These individual sachets are perfect for those who want to try the dalgona coffee trend without overdoing it.
Folgers Classic Medium Roast Instant Coffee ($ 5.99; target.com)
Folgers Classic Medium Roast Instant Coffee
If you’re looking to make a lot of smoothies, or if you just prefer instant drip coffee, why not buy a larger container that’s miraculously still in stock? And if you like French roast, try that.
Circulon Morning Bird Tea Kettle ($ 39.99; bedbathandbeyond.com)
Circulon Morning Bird Kettle
Boil your water in style with this 2 quart kettle that will be a chic addition to your kitchen. We love it in bright turquoise, but it is also available in black, chocolate and orange.
Bodum Bistro Electric Kettle ($ 38.32; wayfair.com)
Bodum Bistro electric kettle
When you want to boil your water quickly, switch to electricity. This sleek and modern design includes a transparent water level scale so you know exactly how much water you are boiling.
Oxo 9 “Softworks Whisk ($ 7.99; target.com)
Softworks 9 “Oxo Whisk
Loved by Target shoppers, this whisk is smaller in order to blend something as simple as instant coffee, sugar, and water.
Kate Aspen “The Perfect Mix” Kitchen Whisk ($ 1.99; bedbathandbeyond.com)
Kate Aspen “The Perfect Mix” Kitchen Whisk
Here is a soft pink whisk at a lower price, featuring a stainless steel handle and silicone coated wires.
Breville Handy Mix Scraper Hand Blender ($ 129.95; amazon.com)
Breville Handy Mix Scraper Hand Blender
Hummingbird High’s Lopez says this sturdy number is his go-to hand blender. “It’s powerful but lightweight, and I love that there is a little light in the mixer that shines through everything you do so you can see what you are doing,” she says.
KitchenAid 5 Quart Stand Mixer (starting at $ 239.99; bedbathandbeyond.com)
KitchenAid 5 Quart Stand Mixer
Brewing dalgona coffee is just one reason to invest in this kitchen staple. From kneading dough to mixing wet and dry ingredients to beating fluffy coffee, you’ll use it over and over again.
Luminarc 10-Piece Stackable Bowl Set ($ 29.99; amazon.com)
Luminarc 10 Piece Stackable Bowl Set
The key to making dalgona coffee is in the blend. This set of 10 lead-free glass bowls easily stacks for storage and ensures you’ll always have the perfect size on hand.
Cuisinart 3-Piece Mini Spatula Set ($ 8.99; bedbathandbeyond.com)
Cuisinart Se 3-piece mini spatula
Serve your whipped coffee using a pretty rubber spatula. Durable and smaller in size, this version will help you make your Instagram perfect coffee.
Fellow Set of 2 coffee glasses ($ 30; nordstrom.com)
Set of 2 Fellow Coffee Glasses
The whipped coffee is made for social media display and will look very impressive photographed in glass rather than a ceramic mug. These 10 oz mouth-blown glasses are almost as impressive as your drink.
Iridescent Stainless Steel Straws ($ 7.90; amazon.com)
Iridescent stainless steel straws
Complete your coffee masterpiece with a reusable iridescent stainless steel straw. Extra long, they fit 30 ounce cups and are BPA free.
Reusable Silicone Drinking Straws ($ 9; uncommongoods.com)
Reusable Silicone Drinking Straws
Or add a splash of color to your dalgona coffee with this fun set of six curved silicone straws that you can throw in the dishwasher between uses.
Ghirardelli 100% Unsweetened Baking Cocoa Chocolate (price varies; instacart.com)
Ghirardelli Chocolate 100% Unsweetened Baking Cocoa
Make your drink even more special with a decadent dusting of cocoa powder on top.
Note: The prices above reflect the prices quoted by the retailer at the time of posting.