Coffee Story: Dalgona Coffee (Whipped Coffee, 手打咖啡)
Updated: Nov 22, 2022
Dalgona coffee is an iced milk coffee and offers an experience that is quite different from other caffè lattes.
It is pretty interesting how Dalgona coffee got its present name. The beverage was created by a Macanese in Macau and came to known as "Chow Yun-fat coffee" after being served to Chow Yun-fat, a famous Hong Kong actor, in 2004. The maker himself named the drink as "手打咖啡" (translated as "hand-beaten coffee") and serves it in his cafe. Some 15 years later, Jung II-woo, a South Korean actor, tried the coffee and claimed that it has similar taste and appearance to dalgona, a type of Korean sugar candy. And the name "dalgona coffee" was coined. (Reference: Wikipedia)
So, despite having a Korean reference in its name, dalgona coffee has nothing Korean.
Unlike hot or iced cappuccino or other lattes where frothed milk is added onto espresso, dalgona coffee has frothed coffee added onto milk and ice cubes. Yes, the coffee is whipped (hence, also known as "whipped coffee") until it frothed, not the milk.
Sweetened coffee — made by adding sugar to instant coffee powder and hot water in equal parts — is whisked or whipped for around 400 times until it frothed or became a mass of small bubbles. The rich and creamy frothed coffee is then added on top of iced milk to form a dual-layer beverage and served.
Although dalgona coffee can be drank as it is without stirring or stirred well before drinking, the taste experience will be different. Stirring it will give more consistency in taste whereas not stirring will result in taking in the gooey coffee with undiluted sweetness first before the cold milk rush into the mouth (without using a straw).
If you are interested to know more about dalgona coffee or want to try making it at home, watch the YouTube video by James Hoffmann: Dalgona Coffee - Explained and Upgraded
Or if you simply just want to try the iced coffee, Ah Ma Teochew Kuih in Johor Bahru is a great place to taste it with traditional Teochew pastries — I have my first dalgona coffee at this cafe too.