Dalgona coffee – an upside-down cappuccino conquers the world

Coffee, South Korea

The Dalgona Coffee is also known as “quarantine coffee,” first gained great fame in South Korea. The nickname came about because of the temporal connection with the Corona pandemic. During the lockdown, people were particularly grateful for this suggestion—a coffee specialty for the home. Easy to make, photogenic, and also the basis for countless new varieties.

Name and origin

The “original recipe” of the upside-down cappuccino comes from India. The “Beaten Coffee” is also made with instant coffee, and the layers are blended. Hence the name. The direct predecessor, however, is the creation of a café in Macau. On offer since the early 2000s and no big deal. Discovered there by a South Korean actor, Dalgona coffee’s career started in a TV show. It owes its name to a popular local sweet, similar to coffee foam. The South Koreans love their coffee specialties and are Asia’s most prominent coffee consumers. Rapidly, the recipe spread through social media and found millions of imitators worldwide.

Recipe Dalgona Coffee

how to make dalgona coffee step by step
How to make Dalgona Coffee step by step

Two-thirds of the drink consists of milk (200 ml). Making the topping is easy to remember. You put in equal parts of instant coffee powder, cold water, and sugar. For one glass, you need about two tablespoons of each ingredient. However, you can also produce on the stock. The consistency of the foam is stable enough to store it in the refrigerator for a few days.

First, you dissolve the coffee powder and sugar in the cold water. Using a whisk, beat the mixture until it is stiff and holds its shape. With 400 beats, you will reach your goal in about two to three minutes. Alternatively, you can use a hand blender or food processor. Only use the lowest setting for dissolving. Now put ice cubes into the glass with the cold milk and apply the foam. On top, place some Dalgona to round off the taste. Done.

If you wish, you can also use the KX ORAIO recipe here.

Original recipe Dalgona

Busan is considered the birthplace of the Dalgona candy, which was still made from glucose in the sixties. Since the eighties, it is replaced by refined sugar. Furthermore, it would be best if you had baking soda and vegetable oil for greasing. For one portion, heat a heaped tablespoon of sugar. In South Korea, this is done in a kind of spoon over an open flame – at low to medium heat. By continually stirring with a metal stick, you prevent the sugar from becoming too dark and burning. At the first sign of smoke, remove from the fire, and reduce the temperature. After about three to four minutes, the sugar is liquid and semi-transparent.

dalgona korean style sugar candy
South Korean style sugar candy called Dalgona

Now take the sugar syrup from the stove, add a pinch of baking soda and stir it in vigorously with the stick. Then heat the mixture for a few seconds until the batter rises. Then immediately apply the mixture to a greased cake tin with a dough spatula and form a flat circle. In South Korea, there are special round metal plates with a handle for this purpose. You will surely find a suitable object in your kitchen. Cookie cutters are ideal for decorating. But please only press them in – not cut them out. Leave to cool, break into small pieces, and refine the Dalgona coffee.

broken down honey comb korean style sugar candy dalgona 1
Broken down honey comb Korean style sugar candy Dalgona


Meanwhile, there is a large number of variants. There are hardly any limits to the imagination. We are starting with hot milk and vegan plant drinks to a shot of whiskey or liqueur. Finished espresso or cocoa are also suitable for the sweet foam. But at the expense of the consistency. And the foam is also sweet without sugar. In the end, there is hardly more than the name Dalgona coffee left. And the term quarantine coffee ultimately makes sense.

Coffee, South Korea

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