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How to make whipped coffee without instant coffee Recipe

Social media food trends like hacks on TikTok or videos on Facebook or YouTube showing different ways to prepare familiar food and drinks can be a great source of inspiration. 

One major trend that YouTubers, Instagram Influencers, and others got most excited about was whipped coffee, also known as Dalgona coffee. 

The classic whipped coffee variation has some weak spots that coffee lovers can readily identify, namely that it uses instant coffee. Not for me…Sorry! 

But you can make whipped coffee without instant coffee, with regular coffee or espresso, making for a higher quality treat. Today we’re digging into the Insta-worthy beverage, and we’ll show you how to make it yourself, albeit without instant coffee.

whipped brew made without instant coffee

Whipped Coffee Drink – AKA Dalgona

There are a few different types of whipped coffee out there, but the most well-known right now is a South Korean treat. Cafes in Korea popularized a drink called Dalgona coffee due to the brew’s resemblance to a Korean candy made with brown sugar and baking soda. 

The original coffee recipe uses equal parts instant coffee, sugar, and hot water.  If you like your morning coffee with a sugar rush, you’ll probably love this. 

These ingredients come together with the help of a whisk or a mixer, transforming them into a whipped, frothy, velvety texture–a little like custard. The instant coffee foam goes over milk and ice, or just hot milk, creating a gorgeous, Instagram-worthy cup of joy.

While beautiful, there’s one major issue to the traditional version of this kind of whipped coffee: it’s made with instant coffee. 

While instant coffee is an acceptable substitute in emergencies where you can’t brew fresh, it’s not the top choice for coffee lovers (present company included). But is there something special about instant coffee? Or can you make whipped coffee without instant coffee?

No, actually. It’s very possible to get a better-tasting coffee foam without instant powder. It takes a little understanding of the chemistry involved and a little patience, but it’s not hard at all.

brew without instant coffee

What Does Dalgona Whipped Coffee Taste Like?

Because of the components in Dalgona coffee, the flavor is somewhat predictable: it’s very sweet and frothy, and the milk included makes it even sweeter. 

The main strength of the traditional version of this whipped coffee is its visual appeal and texture. There are a lot of whipped coffee beverages out there, but this takes it to the next level.

It’s definitely not a flavor you get from other coffee brews, even when you make it from properly brewed coffee or espresso. 

When made with instant coffee, it’s very different indeed. Dalgona coffee has an intensely airy, very sweet flavor, almost like a meringue, which is no surprise. The frothy mixture you make for this treat isn’t actually that different from meringue.

whipping the grounds

How To Make Whipped Coffee Without Instant Coffee Recipe

The process of making Dalgona whipped coffee without instant coffee is actually not that difficult. 

The key to the recipe is understanding the chemistry of the custard-like foam. In order to get the results you’re looking for, you need enough sugar to support the tiny bubbles you beat into the coffee. The right proportions are essential.

Once you have a handle on the proportions, the process is very simple. While you can certainly use a manual whisk to get the thick, tasty foam you’re after, it’s much easier with a stand mixer or a hand mixer, and it only takes about 5 minutes. It may take some trial and error, but we have the recipe to make whipped coffee minus the instant coffee more or less nailed down for you.

whipped brew

Dalgona Coffee Recipe: Ingredients & Equipment

The ingredients you need to make whipped coffee with no instant granules are actually pretty simple, and if you’re a coffee-lover, you likely already have most if not all of them on hand:

  • 5 tablespoons (Tbsp) of hot espresso
  • 4 Tbsp of granulated sugar
  • 4 oz of cold milk (you can use almond milk, oat milk or another non-dairy alternative if you want)
  • 2 ounces of cold espresso (optional, but we prefer it)
  • A handful of ice cubes

As you can see, in order to make whipped coffee without the usual 2 tablespoons instant coffee, you still need a lot of sugar. 

That’s because, like with meringue, the sugar gives the coffee liquid a little more substance, and it helps to stabilize the foam you’re creating with your hand whisk, hand mixer, or stand mixer. Speaking of equipment, this is what you’ll need in that department:

  • Hand whisk, hand mixer or stand mixer
  • A bowl to make your whipped coffee in
  • A tall glass

The method you use to make your whipped coffee without instant granules will depend somewhat on what mixing equipment you use. 

That will also impact the amount of time it will take you. But once you’ve got everything for the recipe together, it’s time to make whipped coffee Dalgona style!

whipped coffee without instant

Making Whipped Dalgona Coffee Recipe 

The process for making whipped coffee without instant coffee is not all that different to the process with instant coffee granules.

It actually can go a little faster–less than 5 minutes–because you don’t have to worry about dissolving two different powders in water before you start to really get the  Dalgona coffee whipped.

Dalgona Coffee Recipe 1st Step

The first step to making your Dalgona coffee without instant coffee is to combine your sugar and hot espresso in a mixing bowl. 

Related Read: Best Espresso Beans

You can start right off with the mixing tool of your choice, but it can also help to get things started by swirling the coffee and sugar around a bit before you start working on getting your coffee whipped.

If you decided to use a hand whisk, the main part of the process will be a pretty hard workout for your wrist. With a hand mixer, things will be much easier. 

It’s simple either way: start whisking or mixing the coffee and sugar mixture. If you’ve hoped for an electronic mixer for this, you’ll probably want to start on low speed just until it starts to froth, so you don’t splatter.


Dalgona Coffee Recipe 2nd Step

Continue whisking your whipped coffee steadily until you get a foamy, meringue-like texture. To test the consistency, dip the whisk or beaters’ end into the mixture and watch how it falls. It should form thick ribbons of foam. 

You can also use the back of a spoon to scrape the bottom of the bowl. The coffee mixture should slide slowly back into the track you made with the spoon.

Dalgona Coffee Recipe Final Step

Once you’ve gotten your coffee whipped to the right consistency, fill your cup with the ice and cold milk, and add the cold espresso if you’re looking for a drink that’s not so sweet, with a stronger coffee flavor and caffeine jolt. 

Without the espresso, we have found that the milk and sugar tend to weaken the coffee flavor. It is technically possible to make the drink with hot milk, but it dissolves quickly.

Spoon the whipped coffee foam into the top of the glass, and enjoy the beautiful visuals. 

Once you’re ready, either sip directly or stir it all together to get a more balanced flavor, and enjoy! In just about 5 minutes, you can have a cold coffee treat worth showing off on social media.

If you want, you can also add some cocoa powder on top for a chocolatey topping.

whipped creamy brew

Summary: Beaten Coffee Made Easy

There we have it, an easy whipped coffee Dalgona style recipe, using real coffee beans!

Remember, If you want whipped coffee without instant coffee powder, it’s important to know the underlying chemistry that makes coffee whipped into a foam possible. 

This ground coffee mixture needs a lot of sugar, which acts as a support for tiny bubbles in your whipped coffee. Whipped coffee without instant coffee is straightforward–it just takes sugar, espresso, milk, ice, and some ingenuity.

Feel free to replace the regular milk with almond milk if you wish. The recipe should still work well. 

Apart from that, enjoy!