Whipped Coffee: How to Make It + 15 Variations

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Whipped Coffee: an EASY, at-home whipped coffee that feels a lot fancier than it is. This drink is taking the food and social media world by storm and, as coffee lovers, we are here for it!

After seeing dalgona coffee, AKA whipped coffee, all over the internet, we of course had to jump in and try it ourselves! After a few sips, we were hooked – but also curious about how we could make it even better – and more accessible to folks who might not have the key ingredients on hand.

dalgona coffee - glass of iced milk topped with frothy whipped coffee on a marble surface

While the dalgona coffee recipe at its core is super simple (water, coffee, and sugar), we’ve spent days in the kitchen whipping up (quite literally) as many variations of those three ingredients as we could think of, and we’re here to share our findings and answer all of the “Will it work with [insert type of coffee/sugar here]?” questions that you have!

Table of Contents

Whipped Coffee FAQ

We've had a ton of questions come in throughout our dalgona coffee testing process, here are some of the most common ones!

different types of instant coffee on a marble surface
What is whipped coffee?

Simply put, whipped coffee is equal parts instant coffee, sugar, and water, whipped (either by hand with a whisk or with an electric hand mixer) and dolloped overtop milk of your choice. You can enjoy it hot (just steam your milk) or cold (add some crushed ice to your milk), and with several different sweeteners (see below). 

Where does dalgona coffee come from?

First thing’s first: where did this coffee come from, and why is it all of a sudden so popular?! Long story short, it isn’t new, even if this is the first you’re hearing of it. Whipped coffee has roots in India, Pakistan, Macau, and Greece, though under a different name in each location. Whipped coffee, pheti hui coffee, Greek frappe, beaten coffee, and dalgona coffee are all names that describe this frothy concoction (though each region’s exact method/recipe varies just a bit). So, if it isn’t new, why is it surging in popularity now? WELL, in January of this year, an episode of a Korean show (called Pyunstorang), in which actor Jung Il-Woo traveled to Macau, happened upon the whipped coffee, tried it, and gave it the nickname “dalgona” (because it reminded him of a Korean toffee-like candy with the same name) aired on TV, and the rest will go down in quarantine history!

How is whipped coffee different from a Greek frappe?

Greek frappe, another whipped coffee concoction, is super similar to Dalgona coffee and actually dates back to 1957 Greece. Dimitris Vakondios, a Nescafe representative, was at the International Trade Fair in the Greek city of Thessaloniki and accidentally created the drink by mixing coffee + water in a shaker. What a happy accident! The biggest differences between a Greek frappe and Dalgona coffee are the milk base and the amount of water used. While Dalgona coffee calls for equal parts water, instant coffee, and sugar whipped and poured over milk, Greek frappes are made with cold water + ice poured into the finished instant coffee, sugar, water whip with an optional splash of milk to finish.

Who gets the credit for creating whipped coffee?

It’s hard to say! This frothy coffee concoction has been enjoyed in Greece, India, Pakistan, and Macau (among others, we’re sure) for a long time. We know it dates back to at least 1957 Greece, but it may have been around before then! We give credit for the dalgona coffee version to Macau (where Jung Il-Woo tried it) and South Korea for airing it on TV. TikTok and the rest of the social media realm get some credit for the quick spread of intrigue. Lastly, we’ve got to give a little bit of credit to the quarantine - when else would people from all over the world take the time to experiment + share this whipped creation?! We feel a little bit like Oprah here, but we’re handing out a bit of credit to everyone!

What is the best way to drink whipped coffee?

Once you’ve achieved that perfect fluffy whip, dollop it on top of a glass of crushed ice + milk. We’ve found that about 1 cup of crushed ice and 1 cup of milk (ANY milk works...use your favorite!) makes for the perfect, not-too-strong whipped coffee. Give your coffee a good stir (stirring together the whip + milk) before drinking! If you feel like your coffee is too strong, don’t be afraid to add more milk!

Can you use regular coffee for whipped coffee?

Unfortunately, no. We tried every which way to get regular coffee to froth up like instant does, but didn't have any luck. If you want to make whipped coffee, instant is your best bet!

Does it save well for later?

Surprisingly, it does! It’ll need to be stored in an airtight container in the fridge, and will last for about 2 days. This worked best with white sugar, maple syrup, or honey. Feel free to triple the recipe to save some time each morning. We recommend making your triple-batch of whipped coffee in a 12-ounce mason jar, using a third of the whip for your morning coffee, and then throwing the lid on the mason jar and sticking it in the fridge. That way, you don’t have to transfer it from bowl to airtight container (although you totally can). Do note that your saved whip may separate a little bit (the coffee “water” will pool at the bottom of the fluff), but if you give it a stir, it will come back together

Testing Whipped Coffee Methods

8 variations of dalgona coffee in glass cups on a marble surface

We tested instant coffee, PLUS 7 other coffee options, each with granulated sugar, coconut sugar, honey, maple syrup, stevia, monk fruit sweetener, and no sweetener at all. To keep things consistent, we used an electric hand-mixer for exactly 2 minutes for each of the trials.

What types of coffee work best?

Our basic formula was 2 teaspoons instant coffee + 2 teaspoons granulated sugar OR 1 ½ teaspoons liquid sweetener + 2 teaspoons boiling water. Below you'll find a comparison chart for all of the coffee types we tried!

Coffee TypeDid it work?Notes
Regular Instant CoffeeYesThis is your best bet for fluffy, frothy whipped coffee.
Decaf Instant CoffeeYesDecaf worked just as well as regular instant coffee.
Instant EspressoYesEspresso makes a slightly frothier, sticky whipped coffee.
Four Sigmatic PouchesYesThis one has a strong flavor, but whips well with all sweeteners.
Starbucks Instant CoffeeYesThis behaved just like regular instant coffee.
Strong Brewed CoffeeNoWe found that you need a dry/powdered coffee to get a good whip.
Brewed EspressoNoThis produced similar results to the brewed coffee.
Matcha PowderYesSee below for our whipped matcha instructions!

We found that matcha won't whip on its own when combined with water and sugar. For whipped matcha, you’ll need to either whip 2 tablespoons of aquafaba (liquid from a can of chickpeas) OR one egg white until frothy, then add the sugar (2 teaspoons) and whip until stiff. Whisk the matcha powder in until incorporated and dollop over iced milk!

What types of sweetener work best?

Once we nailed down what types of coffee work best, we also wanted to try different sweeteners! Below is a comparison of every sweetener type.

Sweetener TypeDid it work?Notes
Granulated SugarYesSugar produces a reliable, frothy whipped coffee.
Pure Maple SyrupYesThis was our winner in terms of both fluff and flavor!
HoneyYesThis produced the frothiest coffee, but had a strong flavor.
Coconut SugarSomewhatCreates a darker, less fluffy whipped coffee.
SteviaSomewhatResults in a darker, more frothy than fluffy whipped coffee.
Monk FruitYesThough slightly less fluffy, this was our favorite sugar-free sweetner.
No SweetenerSomewhatIt will fluff, but also flattens quickly.
dalgona coffee on a beater on a marble surface

What is the best whipping method?

Lastly, in our pursuit to be as thorough as possible, we tested three different tools for whipping: a hand whisk, a milk frother, and an electric hand mixer. Don’t give up if you aren’t getting fluff! If you hit the 5 minute mark (after high-speed consistent mixing/whisking), then there could be an unseen variable at play: altitude, temperature, or age of the sugar or coffee. Below you'll find our test results!

Whipping MethodDid it work?TimeNotes
Hand WhiskYes3-5 MinutesIt takes a lot of elbow grease, but works well.
Electric MixerYes2 MinutesThis is hands-down the best whipping method!
Stand MixerYes2 MinutesUse the whisk attachment for a fluffy whip.
Milk FrotherNoN/AThis method creates a huge, splattery mess.

Our Top Takeaways

Here are our take-aways from our whipped coffee tests:

  • Fluffiest whip: decaf!
  • Most reliable sweetener: maple syrup (with ANY instant powder)
  • Thickest/creamiest whip: honey, but the flavor is very distinct
  • Longest time to whip into a fluff (about 5 minutes with an electric hand mixer): coconut sugar
  • Least stable fluff: no sweetener (black), or stevia (it’ll whip in 3-4 minutes, but will flatten quickly)
  • Collagen powder: whipping the collagen with the instant coffee  weighs-down the fluff, resulting in a texture that's VERY similar to melted ice cream! It's great…just different. If you want collagen in your coffee, we'd recommend stirring it in with your milk instead!

What is the best way to make whipped coffee?

dalgona coffee - glass of iced milk topped with frothy whipped coffee on a marble surface

Our Foolproof Whipped Coffee Recipe

After making about 200 cups of Dalgona coffee collectively, we’ve decided that this combination is the winner:

  • 2 teaspoons organic instant coffee
  • 2 teaspoons PURE (the good stuff!)  maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons HOT (doesn’t have to be actively boiling) water

Mix the instant coffee, maple syrup, and hot water with a hand mixer for 3 full minutes, then spoon over 1 cup crushed ice + 1 cup whole organic GF milk. Give it a good stir and enjoy with a metal reusable straw!

Troubleshooting Tips

Finally, here are a few tips to solve some common dalgona coffee problems!

  • It’s too strong. Milk, milk, milk! Stir that coffee into at least a half cup of milk (both dairy and non-dairy work great!) before enjoying it.
  • It isn’t getting lighter in color. We found that the versions we tested with less sugar (or none at all) didn’t lighten quite as much. If you’re looking for that picture-perfect caramel color, you’ll need to have equal parts instant coffee + sugar.
  • It isn’t fluffing. Make sure you’re moving your hand mixer in a circular motion and keeping that mixer on and moving for at least 2 minutes straight.
  • It’s splattering + making a mess. We found that the best way to avoid a mess was to use the correct bowl size. It needs to be small enough for the instant coffee, sugar, and water mixture to not be too spread out. It also needs high enough walls to contain the splatter, as some of it is unavoidable. Also, our powerful milk frother made a MUCH larger mess than the hand mixer.

For all the dalgona coffee newbies, we hope that we took out the guesswork for you! If you’re a whipped coffee pro, let us know how you make it, and your favorite combination of coffee + sweetener below! Novice, pro, or anywhere in between, we hope you enjoy your at-home brew!

Comments

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  1. Teri says:

    This post is SO helpful. Now I actually want to try it. I had too many questions before – ha! Thanks!

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      So glad you’re finding it helpful! Let us know what you think when you try it!!

  2. Melissa M says:

    I think you are just fantastic! Your energy and attitude is highly contagious and I appreciate the realness you recognize while cooking with a house of toddlers, husbands, dogs, etc! Thank you for helping everyone be a little healthier and congratulations on your soon to be little one!

    5.0 rating

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      So sweet, Melissa!!

  3. Johanna Burns says:

    Love this post. It helps clear up a lot of my questions with this type of coffee.

    5.0 rating

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Awesome! So glad it’s helpful!!

  4. Colleen says:

    This is my favorite blog post of the year! Thanks for doing all the work to answer alllll the whipped coffee questions I (and I’m sure everyone’s else) had! You’re the best!

    5.0 rating

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      YAY! You’re so welcome! Enjoy!

  5. Kelsey Diane says:

    This was so helpful!! I’ve been making it in my French press which works great, but I want to try the other sweeteners! Glad to know they worked too. Can’t wait to experiment more with your advice.

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Wahoo! So glad you’re finding it helpful!

    2. Julie says:

      Do you whip it in French press?

  6. Stacy says:

    Thanks for this! I tried a different recipe last week and didn’t care for it. Going to give it another shot with yours!

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Let us know what you think once you try it! We love it!

  7. Jenny says:

    Love this! I tried it for the first time last week and it was such a delicious, fun treat! Can’t wait to try it with maple syrup now!

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    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      The maple syrup version is SO GOOD!!

  8. Becca says:

    Love all of this information, thanks for doing the work! I have made it a few times and tweaked the recipe to try different things and this info is so helpful. I loved reading that it does save well for later, I don’t always want to take the ingredients out each time I want it and clean the hand mixer each time so this is very helpful!

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Totally agree. The fact that it saves well is a major bonus!

  9. Sarah says:

    Can’t wait to try maple syrup! I’ve had success with coconut sugar and my hand mixer, but definitely want to explore more!

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Can’t wait to hear what you try, Sarah!

  10. Julie K says:

    What brand of instant coffee did you use? I’ve found a huge variance in flavors from brand to brand – some being very unpleasant. Any pointers would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Between the 4 of us, lots of brands were used. Just stick with the brand that you like best! That part is all up to your personal preference!

  11. Allea says:

    Thank you for doing all this testing. I’ve tried the basic recipe, but was definitely wondering about how making substitutions would affect the final product. Your site had become a trusted source for recipes because of the kind of testing you do. Thanks again!

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      That’s so great to hear, Allea…thank you so much!

  12. Karoline says:

    Thank you for all the work you put into this! I am going to try this soon! Time to order some instant coffee!

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    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      YESSS! Can’t wait to hear what you think of it!!

  13. Lauren says:

    I just made this with maple syrup, and OMG I think this is my new favorite thing! Thank you for the recipe!

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    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      RIGHT?! SO good!

  14. Brett says:

    Tried brown sugar it worked and was very tasty and i imagine with a touch of maple syrup and some chocolate nibs would be awesome

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    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Oh, so good to know! Thanks, Brett!!

  15. Blanca says:

    Can I use half the amount of sweetener? I have made it with brown sugar and regular sugar but I find it too sweet, especially with hot milk.

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      You can. The less sugar you do, the quicker the whip tends to flatten, but it should still fluff to begin with!

  16. Nicole says:

    I used my ninja coffee bar milk frother and it whipped great without a huge mess. I just did one serving size in a coffee mug.
    This is such a great thorough post!! I can’t wait to try it with maple syrup now!

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    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Good to know! Thanks for sharing, Nicole!

  17. Karla C says:

    Great information, will try honey and maple syrup.

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    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      SO tasty!!

  18. Ash says:

    Equal parts coffee and brown sugar. Excited to try maple syrup!

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Yum! Maple syrup is our favorite!

  19. Cory says:

    Thank you so much for posting this! I have tried it and loved it but thought id give maple syrup a try…Its better than the other one! Thank you for putting in the work so that people like me can enjoy it!

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    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      So glad you loved the maple syrup version, Cory!! It’s our favorite!

  20. Linda says:

    Just tried this for the first time ever (had to jump on that wagon!) and your research and tips were so useful, success first time around! I didn’t really want to try this before because I didn’t want that much white sugar (I drink my coffee black), but I tried instant decaf with maple syrup, and it whipped up a dream (hand mixed!) in less than a minute. I think I will try the matcha next (too much of a black coffee drinker but for a change this was great) – thanks for also including that. Anychance this could work with cacao/hot chocolate?

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    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      I’m so glad you found this article useful, Linda! We haven’t tried it with cacao or hot chocolate, but others have reported that it doesn’t fluff like instant coffee does. You could stir cacao powder into the milk + do the maple and instant coffee whip on top for a mocha!

  21. Jennifer Wilson says:

    Oh my heavens. This is the best thing to come out of quarantine! Thanks for your diligent testing of all the combos!

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      We agree, Jennifer!! Enjoy your at-home brew!

  22. Lisa says:

    Two Qs. Did you try it with reduced sugar at all? I usually don’t sweeten my coffee. May get monk fruit. And recommendations on which Monk Fruit?

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      We tried using no sweetener at all, and it did fluff but flattened pretty quickly. We had success with Lakanto monk fruit sweetener!

  23. Katlyn says:

    So helpful! Loving my whipped matcha! Thanks for all the tips. I used maple syrup, egg white and my stand mixer and it turned out perfectly. I tried with my milk frothed first (I know you said it wouldn’t work and I should’ve listened but was trying for less mess to clean up ‍♀️) it didn’t work. Stand mixer for the win. I don’t have a hand mixer.

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      I’m so glad you’re enjoying your whipped matcha, Katlyn!

  24. Christi Flaherty says:

    This took a ton of work and time. Thank you for working all this out for us!

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    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      You’re so welcome!

  25. Michele says:

    This was delicious, so glad I didn’t give up after an unsuccessful attempt. Takeaways: the instant packet wasn’t enough volume to get a fluffy consistency for me, even after 5 minutes of electric whisking. I’m at a higher altitude (5700ft). I found my best combo to be instant coffee that is granulated (not microground/aka Starbucks), and using about 1/8 cup of the coffee/water/maple syrup combo. The second time I made it, the singlular whisk attachment on my immersion blender stick got me a fluffy consistency in less than 2 minutes. Great either way, thanks for sharing the recipe variations!

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Michele! So glad you enjoyed it!

  26. Heather says:

    Happy to report this works relatively well with instant herbal coffee, too! I think I still need to work on my mixing technique, and the end result was so sweet it have me a headache. Next time I’m going to experiment with the egg white method using gelatin, and see if I can use it to decrease the sugar somehow.

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      So good to know!! Let us know how your next attempt goes!

  27. Amanda Duguid says:

    I tried so hard and could get mine to whip! I’m trying with another recipe that calls for 2 tablespoons each instead of teaspoons so hoping that works!

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Oh no! Some tips that come to mind first – make sure that the vessel you’re whipping in is small enough so that the instant coffee, sugar, water mixture isn’t too spread out (I tried in a cereal bowl first and even that was too large…a mason jar has worked well for me), make sure the water you’re using is hot (doesn’t have to be boiling) enough to dissolve the sugar, and try using an electric hand mixer if you haven’t already! 2-3 minutes of consistent high-speed hand mixing should do the trick! If you still aren’t getting a fluff, then there could be an unseen variable at play: altitude, temperature, or age of the sugar or coffee.

  28. Catherine says:

    The recipe calls for one cup ice and one cup milk but in the helpful suggestions re: strength it says to make sure you mix it with a half cup milk. Is the coffee mixture enough for two people to enjoy mixed with a half cup milk?

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Our favorite way to drink it is with a cup of milk. Some people prefer a half cup if they want a stronger coffee taste. Totally up to you, but we wouldn’t recommend using any less than a half cup!

  29. Jacqueline Sullivan says:

    This was so helpful! Thank you for experimenting for us! I’ve heard that people are using cocoa or hot chocolate mix to make a chocolate version that’s coffee free, and I’m wondering if you’ve tried that as well.

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    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      We haven’t tried whipping cocoa or hot chocolate mix…I’ve heard that neither whip very well though. I know a lot of folks are mixing cocoa powder into the milk and then dolloping the whipped coffee on top to make a mocha…sounds delicious!

  30. Carly Hartwig says:

    You guys are the best! This was so helpful and made it so easy! Just made a cup this morning using four sigmatics and maple syrup. Delicious!!!

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    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      So glad you love it, Carly!! Maple syrup is our favorite sweetener for whipped coffee!

  31. Daniela Pierce says:

    Im addicted to this coffee!! When I saw the recipe I knew I had to try it! I love a good latte because of the foam. But for hot weather this is definitely hands down.. I use instant coffee + maple syrup and hot water. Tried with stevia but went back to maple syrup it taste so good

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    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Maple syrup is our favorite too! So glad you’re loving it, Daniela!

  32. Julie says:

    It works well with brown sugar! That’s all I had, so tried it. Success!

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Wahoo!! Thanks for letting us know!

  33. Abigail says:

    That was SO awesome. I had just about given up because I didn’t love the taste of the stevia and instant coffee, and am trying to stay away from sugar, but I will order some monk fruit sugar now be on my way to good stuff! Thanks again!

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Yeah!!! Enjoy, Abigail!

  34. Marisa says:

    Wonder if you could use a high powered blender, like the Vitamix?

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      We haven’t tried, Marisa…you’d have to make a larger batch for sure though, because our recipe (1tsp each of water, instant coffee, and sugar) wouldn’t be enough volume to reach the blades. Let us know how it works if you try it!