I am so glad you’re here so I can show you how to make Beaten Coffee (Indian Cappuccino)! Also called whipped coffee or dalgona coffee, this is one of my favorite coffee drinks, and guess what? You make it with instant coffee!, you guys!
This post will tell you pretty much everything you need to know about making “soft coffee.”
So pull up your chair, grab yourself a snack (try this Brown Butter Blueberry Buckle or these peanut butter sweet rolls), and learn how to whip your coffee!
What exactly is beaten coffee?
I’m glad you asked! It’s a delicious coffee made by whipping instant coffee together with sugar and a bit of water with a spoon to make a thick foam (think shaving cream).
After you have the foam, which will take about 10 minutes of rapid stirring with a spoon or about five minutes with a whisk, you pour in hot water and/or milk to make an incredibly smooth and creamy cup of coffee.
In a word, it is sublime. Seriously. I am a coffee snob, I promise.
So, for me to champion a beverage based on instant coffee is a bit shocking even to me.
I heard about beaten coffee, also known as soft coffee, Indian cappuccino, whipped coffee, Pakistani cappuccino and maybe more names, on the Leite’s Culinaria What’s for Dinner facebook page awhile back.
Everyone who had tried it was raving about it, and since I had some Cafe Bustelo in the pantry, I decided to get in on the action too.
Is it really seriously that good?
Y’all, beaten coffee is completely delicious. I make it with all milk (except for the small amount of water I used to whip the coffee with), but you can also make it with part water and part milk.
Either way, what you end up with is a smooth, thick, creamy, foamy coffee that stays that way right down to the bottom of the mug.
The Difference Between This and Dalgona Coffee
Dalgona coffee has recently gone crazy mostly thanks to viral TikTok videos.
Whipped coffee and dalgona coffee are almost identical.
The only difference really between the two is that in dalgona coffee, you whip the instant coffee, sugar, and water together and then spoon it on top of iced milk (or I assume you could spoon it over hot milk as well).
With beaten coffee, you whip up the instant coffee, sugar, and water together in the mug you’ll be drinking out of and then pour the hot milk (or you could ice it) over the whipped base so it melts into it.
Does Dalgona Coffee Taste Good?
The concentrated whipped coffee that’s the color of honeycomb candy tastes like very strong, very sweet dense foam. For me, I don’t like that intensity. I mean, would you make a regular cup of coffee with 1 tablespoon of instant, 1 Tablespoon of sugar and only 1 Tablespoon of hot water?
Nope. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a concentrate that is meant to be stirred together with your milk.
But if you’re a fan of that kind of intense coffee flavor and sweetness, and you want to sip the cold milk through the foam floating on top, go for it.
I am personally more a fan of blending the foam into the milk, especially with hot milk as in beaten coffee, because I don’t like iced coffee.
So for me, Indian cappuccino, where you pour the hot milk or milk/water over the foam and stir it together is my preferred method.
What kind of instant coffee should I use?
In short, use your favorite instant coffee.
The Classico is bold and delicious. The Kava is super smooth tasting, so if you aren’t a fan of acidic coffee, this might be the one for you.
And the Davidoff is just really, really good. I’m sorry I can’t be more specific. It’s just delicious.
Cafe Bustelo also whips up into an excellent cup of dalgona coffee.
Is there any kind of instant coffee I shouldn’t use?
Caveat: Do not make this with Starbucks VIA or similar super-fine ground instant coffees.
I tried it and even after about 20 minutes of whisking, I couldn’t get it thick enough. The resulting coffee was too thin, even with the foamy milk mixed in.
Plus, I wasn’t a fan of the flavor.
NOTE: the Via will probably whip up just fine if you use a stick coffee frother, but don’t bother by hand.
And speaking of a coffee frother? They’re a game changer, allowing you to make your coffee in about the time it takes to heat up the milk rather than 15 minutes or so.
How to make beaten coffee
(UPDATE: A friend used her new Miracle Whisk to whip the base and she kindly timed it for me at between 4-5 minutes, so that’s a great time-saving option. Thanks Jo-Anne!)
Other choices for whipping that take less time and don’t make you give up: Kuissential SlickFroth (or similar milk frothers).
Reader Linda wrote to say she used one and it took less than a minute to whip up the coffee/water/sugar to a very thick foam.
UPDATE: I now exclusively use my stick frother. It is magic.
Don’t use an immersion blender with the blade attachment though. I tried that once and thought the coffee tasted burnt, probably from the friction of the blades.
Oh, and if you do use a spoon, stir like a crazy person.
Seriously fast stirring is pretty necessary to get the volume and thickness you’re looking for.
Is There a Ready-Made Mix?
Yes there is!
If you want to start with a mix, there’s a product called Sunbean Beaten Coffee Mix which is a “coffee paste” you can buy on Amazon!
It’s definitely cheaper to start with regular instant coffee, but if you want to make a whole bunch for a party, maybe, the Sunbean would be a good option.
Update, March 17, 2020
Friends, I’ve made an up to date live video for you guys so you can see in real time how I make this now with a milk frother.
Enjoy the coffee, and stay well, friends.
Making more than one cup at a time
If you’re making beaten coffee for a crowd, make a ton of the whipped coffee concentrate and then dole it out into mugs before adding milk.
It will keep in the fridge for several days without deflating and getting runny.
That way, folks can use as little or as much as they want so it’s as strong or as mild as they want.
Plan on using 1 heaping soup spoon per 8 oz cup.
Tips for making the best cup of instant coffee
- For a stronger coffee flavor, use more water and less milk. For a milder, creamier coffee, use mostly milk. My favorite ratio is about 1/4 hot water to 3/4 hot milk. If I’m feeling spunky, I’ll use 1/2 water and 1/2 milk
- If you add the water a bit at a time (like 1/2 teaspoon at a time) and stir in between additions, you can still use a spoon and work up a seriously thick cream in about half the time, so maybe 7-8 minutes. So, you have many choices! Y
- Add a bit of cinnamon or other spices either to the coffee/sugar mixture or to the milk, just don’t add any blend that has salt in it–even just a little–or all your bubbles will go away (even though it will still taste good.)
- My new favorite addition is hazelnut extract. You should give that a try.
- You may also want to add a touch of chocolate syrup for a tasty homemade “beaten mocha!”
Step by step instructions
- Put the instant coffee and sugar in a sturdy mug.
- Add about 1 teaspoon of water and stir very quickly with a spoon, scraping the coffee and sugar off the sides of the mug when necessary.
- Once the color lightens up a little bit, add just a little bit more water–maybe 1/2 teaspoon or so at a time–and continue stirring madly between additions.
- You will know you have added enough water (always a little at a time) once the “coffee foam” is about as thick as shaving cream and is completely smooth with no undissolved sugar crystals or coffee crystals.
For one 16 oz mug of coffee I use:
- 1 level Tablespoon instant coffee
- 1 level Tablespoon organic sugar (you can use a bit less or a bit more, to taste)
- approximately 2 1/2 teaspoons water (I used filtered water straight from the fridge.)
How to prepare the milk
Once the coffee is as thick as shaving cream–it should look like glossy meringue at about medium to medium-stiff peaks–heat your milk (or milk/water) combination, whisking the whole time.
Pour the frothy milk in so the mug is half full.
Then, thoroughly stir to allow the whipped coffee to sort of melt into the hot milk. Top off the mug with the rest of the milk, spooning on a bit of froth on top if you want.
Spread the word. This stuff is seriously too good not to share. Just don’t share your own mug!
ANOTHER UPDATE: It is now almost 2 years after I wrote the original post, and I still make beaten coffee at least a few times a month. While I enjoy my pourover coffee using my Chemex, I crave the creamy, milky texture of beaten coffee pretty frequently. Do give it a try. I think you will really like it!
I can confirm that already at least three people I know have made this and are sold. A few more folks are planning on making this today. Maybe you’ll be one of them.
Shortcut (and now my favorite) method
I discovered this method just recently. The whole process takes about 3 minutes. Here’s how I do it.
- Put whole milk in a measuring cup and microwave until hot. For the size mug I have, I use 15 oz whole milk and it takes 2 minutes and 45 seconds to get hot enough. You may have to play around a bit with times and amounts.
- While the milk is heating, add instant coffee and sugar (or sugar substitute even) to your mug.
- When milk is hot, pour about 1/4 cup into your mug.
- Use a stick frother to froth the instant coffee, sugar and milk together until thick and foamy.
- Then stream the rest of the milk in while using the frother, pulling it up through the coffee so it is always near the top of the mixture.
- When you get close to the top of the mug, turn off and set the frother aside.
- Add the rest of the milk.
Other recipes using instant coffee
Since there are only so many beaten coffees you can drink, here are some recipes that use instant coffee or instant espresso for flavor.
- Chocolate Stout Cake–you can’t taste the coffee in the cake, but it adds depth to this moist cake. And don’t miss the burnt caramel buttercream that goes with it!
- Chocolate Glazed Doughnut Bread Pudding–because coffee and donuts are a thing, right? So why not add coffee flavor to the custard for your donut bread pudding?
- Orange Cocoa Coffee Pulled Taffy (Homemade Tootsie Rolls) I love the flavor of chocolate, coffee, and orange, so it was a no brainer to add a touch of instant coffee to my homemade Tootsie rolls
- Rich Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake with Rocky Road Frosting An old fashioned cake that gets a boost from instant coffee. It doesn’t taste like mocha, though. The coffee is just there to heighten the chocolate flavor
If you have any other questions about this recipe or any other, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
You can leave a comment here, and I will be back in touch in about 24 hours.
If your question in more urgent, you can email me and I answer within about 4 hours.
Either way, I promise to help!
Let’s beat some coffee, shall we?
I really hope you love this magical instant coffee drink, you guys!
I’d also love to have you join my PCO newsletter, The Inbox Pastry Chef!
Thanks, and enjoy!
- 1 Tablespoon instant coffee
- 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 Tablespoon water
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- Put the instant coffee and sugar into a large, sturdy mug.
- Start adding the water, about 1/2 teaspoon at a time, beating madly in between each addition with a teaspoon. Once all the water is incorporated, the mixture will be very thick, smooth, and glossy, like a shiny meringue.
- Heat the milk until it is steaming. Froth with your favorite frother, or just use a whisk.
- Pour the milk into your mug. Wait a moment to let the beaten coffee sort of melt into the mug. Stir. Enjoy every sip.
You can scale this recipe and make enough for 4 or even 6 cups of beaten coffee "concentrate" at one time. Just use a heaping spoonful per cup and store the rest in the fridge until you're ready for more!
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Nutrition InformationYield 1 Serving Size 1 mug
Amount Per Serving Calories 71Saturated Fat 1gCholesterol 9mgSodium 40mgCarbohydrates 8gSugar 7gProtein 3g
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Thanks so much for spending some time with me today.
If you do give whipped coffee a try, (Indian Cappuccino, soft coffee and other aliases) please let me know what you think.
Take care, and have a lovely day.