Tried & Tested: Dalgona Coffee

The new flashy coffee beverage that's taken the internet by storm because of it's lovely frothy texture. The name was coined by South Korean actor, Jung Il-woo. He ordered a whipped coffee at an eatery in Macau and likened the taste to that of Dalgona, a type of Korean honeycomb toffee. It went viral on YouTube and TikTok when people all over the world started making home-creations of the beverage. The craze took off because of the simplicity of the drink and the 3 ingredients you’re likely to already have in house: coffee (instant), sugar and milk. The only equipment you'll need as a whisk, an electric one is very much preferred.I wanted to do this in several different ways; 

1. The traditional way, with instant coffee 
2. With damn good espresso 
3. With an Aeropress concentration, again with good coffee


THE CONSTANTS

  • Oat milk (because it works really well with iced drinks) 
  • White caster sugar 
  • Scales and electric whisk 
  • Roasted Brown Guatemalan espresso roast for espresso and Aeropress trials

ESPRESSO

RECIPE:
  • 19g dose, 38g yield shot, in 32s (I wanted a big bold shot for this) 
  • 20g sugar (I probably added a further 20g in frustration) 
  • 200ml chilled oat milk  

In my head this was going to be the front runner. I would take this creation, make it with really good quality coffee, and break the internet! Nope, it was terrible. I whisked and I whisked for at least 15 minutes, slowly adding more and more sugar because it was too runny. The result was awful. The ‘syrup’ was extremely chunky with sugar particles and was way too sweet so no, don’t try this at home. 

AEROPRESS

RECIPE:
  • 20g coffee, 40g water, inverted method for 1min, no bloom. 
  • 20g sugar 
  • 200ml chilled oat milk  

I had very little hope for this one, and while the texture wasn’t really there, I kinda digged the flavour! It was by far the best balance of pleasant coffee flavours, sweetness, and creaminess from the milk. Again, I spent around 15 minutes holding the whisker and not achieving the gloopy effect everyone’s after. It was more like a crappy airy espresso martini kind of texture.

INSTANT COFFEE

RECIPE:
  • 10g Nescafe Gold Blend (YUM!) 
  • 20g sugar 
  • 20g hot water off the boil 
  • 200ml chilled oat milk 

The whisking only took 1 minute, hallelujah! I was so pleased at the sight of it and it resulted in “the look” I’ve been striving for this whole time. With the initial sip I thought “damn, this is better than I hoped it would be”. However after the second gulp the taste buds kick in and the alarm bell goes off. This is a lot of caffeine, approx 340mg. Compared to a double shot of espresso which has about 80mg and a brewed cup can have anything between 100-120mg (12oz). This is great if you’re planning on pushing a car, running a marathon or never sleeping ever again. The taste is also quite unbalanced, you sort of get blasts of nasty bitterness and really basic sweetness, these flavours are not friends and have no intention to be so.

THE VERDICT?

Yes this is somewhat of a fun drink to create due to its simplicity and it's texture but it's not as desirable without instant coffee (bleugh). If you have some good quality instant coffee, definitely use that! I unfortunately didn't have any on hand or could get any easily… We may try this again with the good stuff!


For texture, wow factor, and initial taste I have to give it to instant coffee, however the taste was so overpowering and robust I could only handle a couple of sips. So my favourite creation was with the Aeropress concentration. While the texture wasn't as decent as with instant the taste was pretty good, quite ice-cream like. But ultimately, I spent 15 minutes whisking for not much result… I think we can come up with some better iced beverage creations using really good coffee, stay tuned!





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