What to know about dalgona coffee, the viral drink everyone's making during coronavirus
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As many people are staying home and practicing social distancing to help slow the spread of the new coronavirus, it's become less common to go out for a beautifully poured latte from a local coffee shop.
But another coffee drink is popping up across Instagram stories and Twitter feeds with the hashtag #daglonacoffeechallenge.
The two-layered drink called dalgona coffee has taken the internet by storm.
Julia Peters owns Peixoto Coffee Roasters, a coffee shop in Chandler, Arizona, that specializes in high-quality beans and espresso drinks. She first heard of the dalgona coffee trend from a local food blogger, followed by customers asking about the whipped coffee drink.
"I think it's very visually pleasing," Peters says. "It's very beautiful with the luscious coffee-infused syrup."
What is dalgona coffee?
Dalgona coffee has four main ingredients: instant coffee, sugar, hot water and milk. These ingredients are made into two layers: milk and a dollop of thick, pudding-like coffee mixture that floats on top.
Videos of home cooks and food bloggers spooning frothy, thick coffee onto milk piqued curiosity around the world after a video of the drink, which is inspired by a South Korean candy, was posted early this year.
One of the original YouTube tutorials, originally posted on February 22, now has over 4 million views and the hashtag #dalgonacoffee now has 118,000 associated posts on Instagram.
How to make dalgona coffee
While many variations of the recipe work, the simplest version requires equal measurements of instant coffee, sugar and hot water. For one serving, use roughly two tablespoons of each.
Next, the coffee, sugar and water need to be whipped. Using either a small mixing bowl or a large mug, whip the coffee by hand or with a hand-held mixer.
The coffee will gradually become thicker and lighter in color. Continue whipping until the coffee reaches the texture of softly whipped cream or airy pudding.
Next, pour cold milk into a glass and add ice cubes. Finally, spoon the whipped coffee into the glass, floating the mixture on top of the milk.
If your arm isn't too sore from whipping coffee, take a photo of the creation and post with the hashtag #dalgonacoffeechallenge.
When it comes to actually drinking the coffee, you have to undo some of your work. The whipped coffee on top of the milk is too thick to sip the milk through, so give it a good mix.
But, is it any good?
While dalgona coffee is taking the Internet by storm, Peters says in her professional opinion, it's not the best coffee option.
"Instant coffee is the lowest quality of coffee you can find," she says, explaining that quality beans are sold to specialty roasters or sold as whole beans. The leftovers become instant coffee.
Dalgona coffee also has a lot of sugar.
"It really is a treat more so than a coffee beverage," she says.
Regardless, Peters says she is glad people are taking an interest in experimenting with coffee while at home. Peixoto's Instagram feed is full of videos and explanations on how to make a pour over, use an AeroPress or Chemex coffee maker.
"We have always been big on education and home brewing" Peters says.
And since she can't hold brewing classes at the shop currently, the simplified tutorials help customers stay connected without feeling intimidated by complex recipes and techniques.
"Anyone, as long as they have coffee and water, can brew at home," Peters says.
Reach the reporter at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at @tirionmorris, on Facebook at Tirion Rose and on Instagram at tirionrose.