Giving in to the Internet Craze: Dalgona Coffee, Two ways (Sugar-Free, Dairy-free)

How is everyone doing? I hope everyone is safe. I understand that most of us are quarantined or locked down in our own cities or countries. Suddenly our food and drink cravings can’t be fulfilled by our favorite restaurants. I’ve been on lockdown a week earlier than most of the people in my country, and one point I thought I was going crazy for not being able to have coffee on week two.

In fact, I almost had a meltdown similar to a four-year-old in the UK ( when Starbucks, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf,  and several coffee shops in the Philippines announced that they will close down during the quarantine period). Moreover, my dad had said that he gave away all our coffee beans and lent our coffee maker to someone!! All we had was dad’s instant decaf coffee. Luckily enough, we found big bottles of instant coffee from the Christmas baskets late last year that we kind of forgot about. YES, it was not expired, and at least it’s not decaf.

I’m not promoting UCC, this just happens to be in our Christmas basket from December last year 😂

Enter the internet craze—I’ve been seeing it all over my feed—via stories, Instagram feeds, and on Facebook. What’s interesting is that the really dark coffee turns into this light frothy thing that stays on top of milk. LIKE MAGIC!

I had my reservations because I am the black coffee, no sugar kind of person. But I had so much time and I was so intrigued that I caved.

All you need is a whisk (or a hand mixer) and equal parts (1:1:1) instant coffee, sugar (or your sweetener of choice), and hot water to make this light frothy delight on top of your choice of milk. In my case, I used almond milk, since I love almond milk more than regular milk for my drinks.

And whisk I did…and whisk…whisk…whisk—til my arm hurt. It’s no joke to manually whisk it. It takes a lot of work. But when the coffee starts to thicken, lighten and form soft peaks, it’s so satisfying. I used stevia to sweeten my coffee, so I only achieved soft peaks, but if you use sugar, stiff peaks are possible.

This seems to be taking forever. I am taking my own video and haven’t setup for this, but you have to tilt your bowl lightly (maybe 30 to 45 degree angle)
7 minutes in… my arm is starting to get tired!
Starting to form soft peaks here, finally

On a hot summer day, it’s so nice to make this drink—put ice on a clear drinking glass, pour the almond milk on it, then top this with your beautiful, glistening, light, Dalgona mixture.

A word of advice, there’s a tendency for the mixture to fizz and have little bubbles, while you’re pouring your milk on your glass. To keep the beautiful, glossy look of the Dalgona Coffee that you whisked with vigor, you can re-whisk it again up until it becomes smooth.

It’s very good! If you want your coffee strong as I do, I suggest that you put more ice and less milk on your glass. You can also lessen the sugar or sweetener. I tried to add unsweetened cocoa to give a different depth of flavor. Cocoa tends to be much more dense and hard to whisk, so I suggest that you add only half a teaspoon or less of it.

To be honest, if you have nerve issues along your cervical spine and right arm, as I do—maybe best to do it only once, or use a hand mixer, or have someone do it for you. It gets a bit too painful.

Dalgona Coffee

Serves 1

Prep time: 15-20 minutes, depending on how long it takes to form the frothy peak


For the Frothy topping:

  • 2 tablespoons instant Coffee
  • 2 tablespoons sugar. In my case, I made it sugar-free by using 1 tablespoon stevia
  • 2 tablespoons hot water

To complete the drink:

  • Ice (half glass)
  • Almond milk (you can use regular milk like it originally is), pour it over the glass until it is a little less than 3/4ths filled.


  1. Combine the instant coffee, sweetener and hot water in a bowl.
  2. Tilt the bowl slightly and whisk it manually until it forms soft peaks; if using stevia or non-glucose sweeteners, or stiff peaks when using sugar. Alternatively, you can use a hand mixer for this one.
  3. Top the glass with ice and almond milk with the mixture and drink/serve immediately.

**Dark Cocoa Dalgona

The dark, undiscovered sister *cue mysterious music*

I’ve also made a dark cocoa version of this drink, but I’m not sure if it qualifies as Dalgona as the coffee mixture on top is frothy and won’t sink, but does not have soft or stiff peaks. What I did was I put unsweetened dark cocoa at the bottom [1 tsp. dark cocoa, 2 tsp. hot water, mix well and cool to room temperature before placing at the bottom of the glass before adding ice. (You can also opt to use dark chocolate syrup or actual melted dark chocolate, and see what the results would be.) Then pour a cup of almond milk (or any milk preferred), and quickly top with the Dalgona coffee mixture. The result is like the original coffee’s undiscovered, deep, decadent, and bittersweet sister. A plus for dark chocolate and coffee lovers.


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