Dalgona & a Cocoa Coffee Recipe

Yes. I did it too. I jumped on board the Dalgona boat, pulling my parents along for a ride – Maa lured by the visuals I kept showing her, Baba convinced with the promise of ‘interesting hot’ coffee.

Following the instructions, I measured out the requisite coffee-milk-sugar in a bowl and spent 15 minutes whisking the life out of the holy troika while the mind wandered down nostalgia lane. I found myself thinking about those two years of post-graduation, the days of sharing a tiny apartment with three other girls, the growing up we did together and the ritualistic coffee + Maggi sessions that marked the exam nights.

dalgona, coffee, fromthecornertable, from the corner table
Timbu, Bebo and yours truly (L to R)

Back then, the need for a fancy cup of cappuccino was satisfied with the desi pheti hui coffee (beaten coffee) – a dash of coffee, sugar, milk (or water) in a mug and whisked hard and long with a steel spoon. Timbu was the expert in this coffee business – using all her might to whisk the lush mix and then meticulously (and equally) dividing the mix into the other 2 mugs before topping it off with milk.

Dalgona coffee, however, required the services of the electric hand blender for those ‘stiff peeks. It was like our desi pheta coffee, only, upside down! I’ll confess I loved the process of whisking the coffee mix for Dalgona. There is something magical in a gradual build-up of the froth and the fragrance of coffee…

But the coffee itself?

As with every other Indian born in the 90s and before, all I had to say was “this is our pheta (beaten) coffee,” albeit a stronger version. A lot has already been written on the Dalgona vs desi coffee saga so I’ll refrain. What is important (to me at least!) is that Baba was unimpressed, his eyes glued to the television set and the Covid-19 updates while Maa battled with her glass of Dalgona. “I prefer that Cocoa Coffee you make. It’s strong but has flavour,” she declared.

I’d have to agree with her. The Cocoa Coffee is something I make often – a cold or hot option, depending on my mood, this coffee is the perfect nightcap. It also works wonders for when I want coffee with a difference OR when I need to boost the mood – which is a lot in these current locked down days.

Dalgona, iced coffee, cocoa coffee,coffee trend, fromthecornertable, from the corner table, copyrightimage

The recipe for the Cocoa Coffee is very simple and the ingredients – instant coffee (or brew), cocoa powder, honey, water, milk – are staples in most houses. I will emphasise on the word ‘most’ here because one needs to remember that the list of kitchen essentials differs per household, region, country and most importantly, availability. If you’ve got the ingredients for this drink handy, do give it a shot. If not, bookmark it for later.

I don’t remember where I learned to make this Cocoa Coffee but I do know it’s an acquired taste. As is the case with a lot of drinks, this coffee too allows you to tamper with the measurements to suit your palate. Since I prefer my coffee strong, I’ll share the way I drink it. I’ve made this coffee with both a strong decoction and a mug of instant and I’d go for the latter. Always!

Dalgona, hot coffee, cocoa coffee, fromthecornertable, from the corner table, copyright image

Go for for regular cocoa powder (unprocessed might be too strong for the palate), don’t swap the honey for maple syrup but a sugar syrup might just work. If using the sugar syrup, taste before you load more – sugar is sweeter. Period. As for milk, for the lactose intolerant, I recommend using almond milk.

Do let me know if you try this recipe. Follow From The Corner Table on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest for regular updates. You could also subscribe to be part of the mailing list.

Cocoa Coffee (Cold)
Prep Time
10 mins

Cocoa & honey work to make a robust coffee.

Course: Drinks
Keyword: cocoa, coconutmilk, coffee, cold coffee, honey, hot beverage, ice coffee, summer drink
Servings: 1 person
  • 3/4 cup Black coffee
  • 1/4 cup Milk
  • ½ cup Ice cubes
  • 2 tablespoons Cocoa powder
  • 2 ½ tablespoons Honey
  1. In a glass, whisk together the cocoa powder and honey for a smooth paste.
  2. Drop ice cubes into the glass.

  3. Pour in the black coffee.

  4. Top up with milk as needed.

  5. Using a stirrer (or spoon), mix as you drink.

Cocoa Coffee (Hot)
Cook Time
10 mins

Cocoa & honey work wonders on this hot coffee.

Course: Drinks
Keyword: cocoa, coffee, honey, hot coffee, milk
Servings: 1 person
  • 3/4 cup Black coffee (hot)
  • 1/4 cup Milk (hot)
  • 1 tablespoon Cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ tablespoons Honey
  1. In a mug, whisk together the cocoa powder and honey for a smooth paste. It’ll take a while but you’ll get there.
  2. Pour in the hot black coffee.

  3. Top up with hot milk as needed.

  4. Using a stirrer (or spoon), mix as you drink.

Also, while you are still riding the Dalgona wave, you might enjoy reading this article, one of the several about good old desi pheta coffee and the trending coffee: South Korea’s Dalgona Coffee is ruling social media and here’s why