The Coffee That’s Taking Tik Tok by Storm

It looks good, but is it worth the hype?


Nicole Shaker, Co-Editor-in-Chief

If you’ve been on Tik Tok lately, you have almost certainly seen satisfying videos of people pouring a beige foamy substance into a Mason jar of iced milk—this is the final product of making dalgona whipped coffee, a beverage traditionally from India, Pakistan, and Macau, that for some reason is wildly trending on this social media app and others. But why?

Well, it first blew up when it appeared on a South Korean TV show called Pyunstorang in January. In it, actor Jung Il-Woo traveled to Macau, tasted the drink, and gave it the nickname “dalgona” due to its resemblance to the traditional Korean sponge candy of the same name. It almost immediately went viral in South Korea, and eventually the trend found its way to the U.S. through the mediums of Tik Tok, YouTube, and Instagram. 

The former is especially enchanted by the beverage, giving it another nickname: “Tik Tok coffee.” That’s how you’ll hear most of the school referring to it, anyway.

Making it is quite simple. All you need is any kind of instant coffee, sugar (you can omit this, but the resulting substance won’t remain foamy for as long), boiled water, and any kind of milk (iced). You put two to four spoons of the first three ingredients into a small bowl together, and then whisk for around five minutes. You should end up with a butterscotch-hued foam. You then pour this foam into a glass around three quarters filled with iced milk, producing a two-toned aesthetically pleasing caffeinated drink. 

Looks might be the only reason for its fame, however. “Out of boredom, I hopped on the Tik Tok coffee hype train with low expectations,” said Danie Sung (’20). “It tasted pretty good, but I wouldn’t say it’s worth the hassle. So, I’ll be sticking to my coffee machine for now.” 

But don’t write off Tik Tok coffee just yet—not until you try making it yourself. “I only drink iced coffee, which can take a while to make,” said Norhan Zouak (’21). “I like this coffee because it’s super convenient and it only takes like two minutes to make.” It is true that quarantined iced coffee lovers are most likely forced to make hot coffee, add ice, and wait for it to get cold (which it never really does unless you leave it somewhere and forget about it). Dalgona whipped coffee solves that predicament because it’s cold right off the bat, and if you perfect it, it’ll taste just like your typical Starbucks order. 

I’ll be honest; I’m very taken with this trendy beverage and have made it almost every day in quarantine. The process of whipping up that foam is just as fun as pouring it into the milk and watching it sink down the sides of the glass. I’ve even taken a few photos—I’m only human. I highly recommend at least trying the drink if you’re a caffeine addict like me, but I’m warning you, you might get addicted.