Take the dalgona coffee recipe to the next level and make Dalgona Coffee with Boba! This whipped coffee drink layers sweet tapioca pearls and icy cold milk!
Dalgona Coffee Origin
These days, you can’t escape an encounter with dalgona coffee when you scroll through social media. But in case this is your first introduction to the whipped coffee drink that has finally caught on here in the U.S., the truth is, whipped coffee has been around for quite a long time.
According to the New York Times, dalgona coffee came to the forefront in South Korea at the beginning of 2020, when actor Jung Il-woo tried the drink on the television show Stars’ Top Recipe at Fun-Staurant, in an episode shot in Macau. It reportedly reminded him of a South Korean honeycomb toffee called dalgona, and with this newly minted name, the show aired in South Korea kickstarting a trend in coffee shops all over the country.
Soon after, dalgona coffee spread on TikTok from a video by user Hannah Cho, and before you knew it, everyone was giving it a try, including yours truly.
The thing is, whipped coffee has been around longer than the dalgona trend, and not just in South Korea and seemingly everyone’s kitchens. There are versions of whipped coffee in India and Pakistan (phenti hui) and let’s not forget the frappé from Greece!
Dalgona Coffee with Boba
Dalgona coffee is such a rich, once in a while treat, and I couldn’t help but think of the boba drinks and bubble tea that I love! Bubble tea indulgences are a must for my family, so as soon as I made sure I had a fresh supply of tapioca pearls, I knew I had to make boba drinks for my family. My daughter and husband had their usual coconut boba, my son is partial to Thai ice tea, and me, well, I figured dalgona coffee boba made perfect sense.
The layers of sweet, chewy boba, ice cold almond milk (you can use whichever milk you prefer) and fluffy dalgona whip make for such a rich, refreshing pick me up, and is a delicious indulgence!
How to Make Dalgona Coffee
The beauty of dalgona coffee is the fluffy coffee whip that sits atop a bed of milk. To make it, the trick is instant coffee. Yes, instant! Equal parts instant water, granulated sugar and boiling water are whipped into submission until it becomes a frothy whip, cloud like and rich.
Why Instant Coffee?
Why can’t I ask ground coffee, you ask? Well, ground coffee is purely ground coffee, while instant coffee is ground coffee that has been brewed once then cooled and re-dried again into solids, making them dissolvable when water is added. This seems to be a key factor in making a perfect dalgona coffee whip. Even if you try to finely grind coffee or reduce brewed coffee before whipping, the result is not quite the same.
What Is the Best Way to Whip Dalgona Coffee?
You could, of course, whip it by hand. If you’ve ever made whipped cream from scratch and with pure arm power, then you’ll know that this takes time. Be patient, it can really take some time. If you have a hand mixer, then that will be a time saver, and works as well. I use the electric hand whisk attachment for my immersion blender and it whips up in about a minute.
What Kind of Milk Should I Use for Dalgona Coffee?
Any kind you like! I make mine with almond milk, but regular cow’s milk, cashew milk, coconut milk, and oat milk all work, too!
More Coffee Recipes
More Tapioca Pearl Treats to Try
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Dalgona Coffee with Boba (Whipped Coffee Boba Drink)
- 1/2 cup tapioca pearls
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons instant coffee
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons boiling water
- 1 cup milk your choice; almond, coconut, cashew, soy, dairy all work
- Bring a saucepan with water to a rolling boil. Drop in the boba pearls and cook according to your package directions. If you use the quick cook variety, it should take about 4 minutes. Use a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl with cold water to stop the cooking. Drain and stir in the maple syrup to sweeten the tapioca pearls. Let it sit while you make the coffee.
- Combine the instant coffee, granulate sugar and boiling water in a bowl. Using a whisk or hand mixer, whisk the mixture until frothy and thick, and the consistency of whipped cream. If you are using an electric whisk, I recommend using a vessel with taller sides as the strong whisk will splash the mixture everywhere if your bowl is too shallow. The whisk time will depend on the tool you choose; I find that the electric whisk is the fastest.
- Assemble the drink by spooning the boba into a tall glass. Add some ice, pour in the milk, and top with the whipped coffee.
- To drink, fully stir the whipped coffee into the milk and enjoy!
Dalgona Coffee Recipe FAQs/Tips
- The dalgona whip can be fairly strong, so add more or less whipped coffee to taste.
- Do I have to use instant coffee? The key to a perfect Dalgona Coffee is the instant coffee. Because instant coffee is ground coffee that has been brewed once then cooled and re-dried again into solids this makes it perfectly dissolvable when water is added. If you try to finely grind coffee or reduce brewed coffee before whipping, the result is not quite the same.
- What kind of milk should I use for dalgona coffee? Any kind you like! I make mine with almond milk, but regular cow’s milk, cashew milk, coconut milk, and oat milk all work, too!
- What is the best way to whip dalgona coffee? You could, of course, whip it by hand. It will just take time and arm power, so be patient and get ready for a workout! If you have a hand mixer, then that will be a time saver, and works as well. I use the electric hand whisk attachment for my immersion blender and it whips up in about a minute.
- Where do I buy tapioca pearls? Find tapioca pearls (boba) at your local Asian market (like 99 Ranch) or on Amazon.
- Where can I find boba straws? I like these stainless steel reusable boba straws!