Dalgona Coffee: MFAH Edition April 20, 2020

Coffee enthusiasts, we may have found your next favorite java drink: the Instagram-worthy dalgona coffee! Harold Madison, the Museum’s event/beverage manager, shares his simple recipe and his takeaways on the highly buzzed-about social-media sensation.


I thought the dalgona coffee was great. It’s a different take on the old cup of Joe, for sure—almost like a chilled reverse cappuccino. I wouldn’t mind adding some cinnamon or chocolate bitters to see how that tastes.


2 tablespoons instant coffee
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons hot water
1½ cups cold milk
Blender, whisk, or spoon

Dalgona coffee is incredibly easy to make and requires very little ingredient-wise. You can change the sugar ratio a little for less sweetness, but the water-to-instant-coffee proportion needs to remain equal, whether you use 2 tablespoons or a cup.

The whipping step can be daunting if you’re mixing by hand with a whisk, but I used a blender, and it took about 3½ minutes. The longer you whip or blend, the thicker and foamier the coffee becomes. For the milk, you can substitute cream or any variety of nut milk or oat milk.

Why Make It at Home?

I’d say most people already make coffee, so why not try something new? Dalgona coffee is tasty, and you could use it in so many ways! Top desserts with it; top a cocktail; put it on pancakes, donuts, or waffles. Get creative and come up with other combinations. You may be a culinary genius and just haven’t found your calling. Until now!

The Backstory
Adding a little flavor to the mix is a recent story about dalgona coffee from the New York Times. “It first gained prominence in South Korea in January, after the actor Jung Il-woo tried it in Macau for ‘Stars’ Top Recipe at Fun-Staurant,’ a popular television show. On the show, he said it reminded him of a South Korean honeycomb toffee confection called dalgona, giving it its name—and some traction. After the show aired, the drink went viral in South Korea, and has become a staple menu item in a number of coffee shops there.”