During the outbreak, a kind of coffee took the world by storm- Dalgona Coffee. The drink in question here is a chilled milky concoction topped with a cream beaten foam made of instant coffee and sugar. While it raged highly on TikTok, other social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram had a heavy trend following too.
Geographically, the drink has origins in India, Pakistan, and Macau, where it is also known as whipped coffee or beaten coffee. A TV reporter earlier this year in South Korea referred to the taste of a whipped coffee similar to a honeycomb toffee based snack- Dalgona. The rage kicked off as TikTok video and then it is history.
However, not many people know that dalgona, or ppopgi in Korean, means “honeycomb toffee”, and for many Koreans evokes strong memories of street food from their childhoods. “When I was a child I remember old guys selling these honeycomb snacks,” says Kenny Hong Kyoung-soo, co-founder of Cafe Cha in Seoul. “I ate them almost every day after school. They were very cheap, just sugar and water, and they had a very sweet taste, followed by a bitter aftertaste.”
The treat was very popular in South Korea. Hong says it was created after the Korean war, during which US Army personnel gave out confectionery to local children. Their parents, unable to spare money for such treats, went about trying to make their own versions.
You may ask, why is the rage taken over India though? Especially those up north, Dalgona coffee is nothing new, just a frothier version of ‘beaten coffee’ or ‘pheta-hua coffee’ our moms made at home by whipping Nescafe instant coffee and white sugar together for a few minutes and then adding the resultant froth to hot milk.