Recipe Review

I Tried the “Whipped Coffee” Trend Taking Over the Internet. Here’s How It Went.

published Mar 20, 2020
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Credit: Jesse Szewczyk

This week, as I shut myself into my apartment in an attempt to abide by social distancing rules, I did what everyone else did: I spent way too much time on social media. And while scrolling aimlessly through Instagram, I encountered several people documenting their attempts at making “whipped coffee.”

The concept is simple: You whip together water, sugar, and instant coffee into an airy, cloud-like foam and pour it over a glass of milk. Los Angeles Times cooking columnist Ben Mims made it in a series of humorous Insta Stories, as did Tasty’s Alvin Zhou in a video that has already racked up over 180,000 views.

Whipped coffee has become especially very popular in South Korea as residents also attempt to stay home and remain connected with their community. The beverage itself is called “Dalgona coffee,” named after the popular honeycomb candy, and a quick search of the hashtag #달고나커피 (#dalgonacoffee) on Instagram results in nearly 50,000 posts of people making the creation.

The technique looked way too good to be true, and I had my doubts about whether or not it would actually work (even after I watched my friends’ videos). Could three staple pantry ingredients really come together to create such a dreamy mousse-like mixture? I headed into my kitchen to find out (here’s the recipe I used).

Credit: Jesse Szewczyk

I Tried Making “Whipped Coffee” at Home and Was Pleasantly Surprised

To prepare the coffee I combined equal parts instant coffee (I used Café Bustelo brand), granulated sugar, and hot water straight from the kettle in a large mixing bowl. I didn’t want to schlep out my mixer, so I vigorously whisked the coffee by hand in a lazy attempt to save myself the hassle. After only 45 seconds I watched it magically transform into a light and airy mousse. I was fully expecting it to take a long time to whip up, but it happened so fast that I didn’t even break a sweat. It was super easy to make and came together in less than two minutes. I was shocked.

As for the taste? Well, it pretty much just tasted like instant coffee. After adding the foam to one cup of cold almond milk I gave it a quick stir to combine. The taste was not super impressive, but the texture was enjoyable. It was light and airy, with a latte-like mouthfeel that made it seem luxurious. It wasn’t just instant coffee, it was whipped coffee.

The only issue I had was that the whipped coffee and milk never fully combined. Streaks of whipped coffee remained undissolved and refused to incorporate into the milk.

But, despite this minor detail, the coffee was still very good. It took humble pantry ingredients and turned them into something new and exciting. I could see it tasting delicious over vanilla ice cream, stirred into a cream soda, or even on top of a piece of chocolate cake. I would recommend the technique to anyone looking for creative ways to transform pantry staples.

Credit: Jesse Szewczyk

Some Tips for Making Whipped Coffee at Home

If you want to make whipped coffee at home, here are a few tips to keep in mind before you head into the kitchen.

1. Make sure you use very hot water. I used water straight out of my kettle and it instantly dissolved the coffee and sugar. If your tap water gets very hot you can also use that. The goal is to make sure everything melts together into one homogenous mixture before you start whipping it.

2. Use a whisk to whip the coffee. A lot of videos online show people using electric mixers to whip the coffee, but I found that a whisk worked just fine. After only 45 seconds of whisking, the coffee frothed up perfectly and without a ton of effort. To avoid the hassle of schlepping out a mixer, just use a whisk. It’s easy, clean, and quick.

3. Increase the amount of ingredients you use based on how big your bowl is. The recipe I worked off of instructs you to use one tablespoon each of hot water, sugar, and instant coffee, but the bowl I was using was too large to properly whip everything up with such a small amount of liquid. I tripled the recipe and used three tablespoons of each ingredient and it made whipping the mixture much easier.

Your turn: Have you tried making whipped coffee at home? Let us know in the comments!