Imagine if we had to survive the COVID-19 lockdowns without social media. Sure, we got closer to our family and housemates, but it was social media that kept us sane. Coffee lovers like us flocked to social media to swap coffee recipes, post stylish photos of coffee drinks, and share stories we might otherwise have told over a morning latte. And, that’s where the hoopla began. Whipped coffee recipes became the stars of TikTok and the craze quickly spread to Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. The strange thing is whipped coffee is nothing new, but it took a global pandemic to revive its fascination.

Whipped coffee is also called Dalgona Coffee, and it went viral in January 2020 when a Korean television segment was posted on YouTube featuring actor Jung Il Woo sampling a whipped coffee drink and likening it to a Korean honeycomb sugar candy called Dalgona. By mid-April, social media had dubbed the drink, “Quarantine Coffee.” And people started sharing their pics of fluffy coffee clouds floating on cold milk. Although Tik Tok is getting the glory, the true origin of Dalgona Coffee can be traced to the Hon Kee Café, in Macau where it has been served for the past twenty years.

So, what’s all the fuss? Well, whipped coffee is pretty cool. The frothy coffee is made using only three ingredients; instant coffee, sugar, and water. That’s it! There’s no dairy in sight. The coffee is vigorously whipped into the sugar and water until it creates a sweet, velvet-like, frothy puff. Traditionally, equal parts of instant coffee, granulated sugar, and boiling water are whipped together with a whisk or hand mixer. If you think it’s not working, keep going. We promise you it will.

The best ever GLUTEN-FREE, dairy-free, PALEO, whipped coffee recipe

Most whipped coffee recipes call for granulated white sugar, but you know that’s not our style. The twenty or so calories in a tablespoon of sugar might help you through a bad breakup, but as a regular instant coffee treat it will never do. So, we put on our aprons and set about making a whipped coffee that is dairy-free and healthy enough to enjoy all the time. After we’ve shared the whipped coffee recipe, will give you a few pointers that we discovered along the way. And lets just address the elephant in the room - you have to use instant coffee. Unlike most coffee recipes you can not use ground beans, which might seem odd, but it will only work properly with instant coffee.

Equipment you’ll need

  • Mixing bowl
  • Wooden spoon or rubber spatula
  • Hand mixer, whisk, or hand frother
  • Transparent serving glasses or mason jars (you’ll want to show off)

Ingredients you’ll need

  • 1 tbsp instant coffee
  • 1 tbsp Honey
  • 1 tbsp boiling water
  • 8 ounces unsweetened almond milk

How to do it

  1. Place 1 tbsp instant coffee in a mixing bowl. Be sure the bowl is large enough to support a bit of volume.
  2. Add 1 tsp of honey and 1 tbsp of boiling water in with the coffee.
  3. If you’re using a hand mixer, start on slow speed and blend the ingredients together for twenty-five seconds until the coffee is fully dissolved.
  4. Turn the mixer to high speed, and continue to whip for five to six minutes. If you whipping by hand, you’re impressing the heck out of all of us. Keep going. You want the mixture to form stiff peaks.
  5. Pour
  6. Fill a glass with the unsweetened almond milk. We use a mason jar because, well, it looks cool.
  7. Add a couple cubes of ice.
  8. Spoon the luxurious, silky, frothy whipped coffee on top of the almond milk.
  9. Stick in a Chamberlain Coffee Stainless Steel Straw.
  10. Take a Selfie!

If you want a vegan choice, you can substitute coconut sugar for the honey. Since we’re not using granulated sugar, the whipped coffee will mix in with the almond milk quickly, so grab your pic right away.

Can you make whipped coffee without instant coffee?

Nope. Believe us, we tried, and we were pretty determined too - instant coffee is the way to go. The closest we came was to cup open one of our Chamberlain Single Serve Coffee Bags and use two tablespoons of the grounds with the hot water and honey. We won’t say it didn’t work, but it took forever to whip, and there just isn’t enough water to dissolve all of the grounds. After a bit more research, we tracked the problem down to the natural oils within coffee beans. Like sesame and sunflower seeds, coffee beans contain oil that is forced to the surface as part of the roasting process. The oil in coffee doesn’t dissolve fully in water. Instant coffee, on the other hand, is made by dehydrating brewed coffee, making it water-soluble. Further, many instant coffees contain soy and other emulsifying agents that contribute to its ability to foam.

Equal parts are the key

There’s something awesome about watching instant coffee, sugar, and hot water turn into a golden foam. The first few times we tried to make whipped coffee it was an epic fail. We soon discovered precise measuring is the key. Slightly too much of any one ingredient, and the mixture won’t properly foam. If you find yourself getting frustrated, measure things out again. For the best results, use equal tablespoons of water, sugar and hot water.

Can you make whipped coffee with sugar substitutes?

Absolutely. You can make whipped coffee with a variety of sugar substitutes such as coconut sugar or other natural sweeteners. It may take longer to whip up, but you’ll probably get there in the end. Our whipped coffee recipe used honey, but it works with pure maple syrup too.

Can you keep whipped coffee in the fridge?

You bet. If you want to make a batch of whipped coffee, store the froth, without the milk, in an airtight container. It will keep in the fridge for two to three days. Remember, creating it in batches means only one dancing video on Tik Tok! That’s no fun.

Is whipped coffee worth it?

For us, the jury is out on this one. We admit it is fun to make and borders on a mad science experiment. Whipped coffee looks great in photos too, which probably explains why so many of us played around making it during lockdown. To be honest, the fad has lasted much longer than we thought it would, and probably far longer than it deserves.

If you’re a true coffee lover, making a foamy drink with instant coffee won’t have much of an appeal. Besides, almond milk froths easily when you pour it into a mason jar, seal it, and shake it for a minute. To achieve a thick whipped coffee, it’s going to take at least five minutes, and in that time, you could have made a brilliant cup of coffee using any one of brewing methods. Check out our single serve coffee bags at Chamberlain Coffee. They work just like a tea bag and the resulting cup of coffee is smooth, complex, and inspiring. You can even use them for a superb cold brew. Whether it’s just cabin fever, or something more, whipped coffee is apt to be social media’s darling for a while longer. So, we suggest you give it a go. If you’re trying to impress family and friends, maybe try making it once or twice before the big reveal. Those Tik Tok videos are likely not first attempts those