Step-By-Step Guide For How to Make Thick Coffee

Thick coffee, also called dalgona coffee or whipped coffee or a frappé has become a hot social media trend. Here, we cover how to make thick coffee.

How To Make Thick Coffee
Thick coffee or dalgona coffee become the latest trend on social media because of its taste and appearance

Equipment You Need To Make Thick Coffee

To make coffee dalgona, you only need a few basic pieces of equipment. To whip the coffee mixture, you will need an electric mixer or a wire whisk. The electric mixer is quicker and easier than using a wire whisk, but either will work well. You can use a stand mixer or a standard hand mixer.

You may think that a milk frother would work for this recipe, but it actually does not work as well as you’d think. Use a whisk or a mixer for best results.

You will also need measuring cups and spoons, a mixing bowl, and a coffee cup.

Ingredients You Need To Make Thick Coffee

In making a dalgona coffee, you need to make sure you have all the ingredients needed

Our ingredients list is for a single cup of thick coffee. 

  • 2 tablespoons of instant coffee crystals. You cannot substitute any other form of coffee for this recipe. Ground coffee beans or espresso powder just won’t work because they lack the xanthan gum that is needed for the coffee to hold its form when you use the mixer beaters to whip it. However, any form of instant coffee will work, like decaf instant coffee or instant espresso powder.
  • 2 tablespoons sugar or another sweetener. You can use granulated sugar or brown sugar, or you can also experiment with other forms of sweeteners, like honey or maple syrup. Monk fruit is a low-calorie sweetener that works well in a thick coffee 
  • 2 tablespoons hot water.
  • 1 cup milk. You can use almond milk, oat milk, soy milk, rice milk, or just ordinary cow’s milk if that is what you have on hand. It’s entirely up to you. You can also make this with cold milk or hot milk.
  • 4 or 5 ice cubes. You can leave the ice out if you prefer. This beverage can be served hot or cold.

Step-By-Step Recipe For How To Make Thick Coffee

Here’s our step-by-step guide to making thick coffee.

Step 1. Beat The Coffee

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the hot water with the sugar and instant coffee crystals. Use an electric mixer or a wire whisk to beat and whip the ingredients. After a minute or two, the mixture will begin to get thicker and lighter in color. Continue mixing or whisking for about 5 to 8 minutes.

By this point, the mixture should be able to hold soft peaks. Soft peaks occur when you lift the mixer beaters from the mixture and the foam makes a small point that folds over on itself. 

Step 2. Assemble The Drink

If you are using ice, put the ice cubes in the bottom of your coffee cup. Pour the milk over the ice, and spoon the beaten coffee mixture over the milk. 

Step 3. Enjoy!

Enjoy your homemade iced coffee drink. To drink this beverage, you will probably want to use a spoon to stir the foam into the milk first. 

Variations On The Basic Thick Coffee Recipe

To make a new and interesting version of this basic whipped coffee recipe, you can try some of the following:

  • Add chocolate syrup to your milk at the bottom of the glass before you spoon the thick coffee over it. This will give you a mocha-flavored drink.
  • Sprinkle the top of your coffee dalgona with cinnamon, nutmeg, or maybe even a pinch of cocoa powder. This kind of drink is perfect for photos.
  • Add a dollop of coffee creamer to the milk or a few drops of vanilla extract to make a new flavor twist to your standard whipped coffee.

The Inventor Of Frothy Coffee Drinks

Whipped coffee drinks have been enjoyed in foreign lands for decades, with records of it going back to 1957. People in places like India, Pakistan, and Greece have enjoyed these cool fluffy beverages for quite some time. During the Coronavirus quarantines, people from Macau, a part of China, began posting videos on social media of themselves making these drinks.

Once others saw how easy it is to create thick coffee at home, the new trend was born. There was no need to wait to get a coffee dalgona from a local coffee shop or Starbucks when you could make it at home yourself! People everywhere used quarantines to perfect their thick coffee-making techniques. If you liked this post, find out why beaten coffee tastes better.

The Secret To Good Whipped Coffee

The secret of good whipped coffee comes from instant coffee granules

It can be mysterious if you don’t actually see it yourself. We think of things like heavy cream or egg whites being able to be whipped into a soft foamy mass. How in the world does coffee and a handful of other ingredients go from a dark, runny liquid to a fluffy, creamy mass?

The secret lies in using instant coffee granules. Instant coffee contains a preservative called xanthan gum. This preservative helps to stabilize the whipped coffee so that it will hold the air bubbles that give dalgona coffee its distinctive foam. 

Only instant coffee has the added xanthan gum, and this is why things like espresso or other kinds of regular coffee will not work to make thick coffee. With other kinds of coffee, you just don’t have enough stability to get the extra froth. 

Final Word On How To Make Thick Coffee

There is no need to wait until you can get out to your coffee shop to have a delicious cup of whipped coffee. You can make it yourself in just a few minutes in your own kitchen. It is delicious, so Instagrammable, and quite easy to create with ingredients that you probably already have on hand.

FAQ On How To Make Thick Coffee

Can I use any kind of coffee to make whipped coffee?

No, to get soft peaks to form, you have to use only instant coffee. Instant coffee has xanthan gum, a preservative that stabilizes the coffee as you beat it. Other forms of coffee do not have this additional ingredient. 

Do I have to include whipped cream in my recipe?

To have a great cup of whipped coffee, you do not have to have whipped cream at all. Just follow the recipe above, and it will turn out great!

Is there a lot of caffeine in thick coffee?

Actually, there is quite a bit of caffeine in whipped coffee. When you consider that the typical cup of instant coffee calls for 1 to 2 teaspoons of instant coffee crystals and this recipe uses several times that amount, you can be certain that coffee dalgona has plenty of caffeine.


  • April F.

    April Freeman is a freelance writer who lives with her husband and children on their Middle Tennessee farm where they raise vegetables, fruit, chickens, and cattle. April enjoys writing about food and is always whipping up something tasty in her kitchen. She also is an avid reader of books of all kinds.