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.”

For you huge beaten coffee aficionados, you may want to try my no-bake whipped coffee cheesecake bars, too!

For ease of browsing, here are all my beverages. Thanks so much for visiting!

An earthenware blue mug of beaten coffee or Indian cappuccino with a spoon in it.

Watch my whipped coffee web story here.

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.

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In a word, it is sublime. Seriously. I am a coffee snob, I promise.

I grind my beans fresh right before brewing and swear by my Chemex and my Aeropress. I will not get coffee out at diners because I know I won’t like it.

So, for me to champion a beverage based on instant coffee is a bit shocking even to me.

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

A hand holding a glass of dalgona coffee spooned on top of iced milk. The shot is outside on a porch in the summertime.

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?

I can recommend using it in whipped coffee cheesecake though.

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.

So far, I’ve made this with the Nescafe Classico and Kava Instant Coffee. I’ve also used Davidoff, which is spectacular if a bit pricey.

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.

What is the best instant coffee to use for whipped coffee?

A brown metal canister of Nescafe Classic instant coffee from Greece.

After making beaten coffee with at least 10 different kinds of instant coffee, the instant coffee that whips the best, and into the thickest foam, is the Greek version of Nescafe.

In Greece, it’s used to make Greek Frappes, and all the reviews I read on Amazon spoke about how it’s the real deal.

Since the texture of the beaten coffee is dependent, to a certain extent, on how thick you can whip the coffee, I recommend using the Greek Nescafe.

It makes a thick creamy hot latte as well as the thickest “Dalgona coffee” you can imagine.

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

Whip instant coffee, sugar and a small amount of water together, either with a spoon (traditional–takes about 10 minutes or so), with a whisk or a hand mixer.

A blue earthenware mug with a thick foam of instant coffee, sugar and water in the bottom with a metal spoon.
This is what the coffee concentrate should look like after you’ve beaten it thoroughly. Super smooth, thick, and creamy.

(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

A collage of 4 images showing how to make beaten coffee with a metal spoon. Text on first picture reads: "Mix instant coffee, sugar and water." Second picture text reads: "Stir madly for a very long time." Third photo text reads: "Whip until it is thick like shaving cream." and Fourth picture text says: "Like this!".
How to make beaten coffee, step by step.
  1. Put the instant coffee and sugar in a sturdy mug.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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. 

Ingredient ratios

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

A pan of milk with a whisk in it and many tiny bubbles on the top.

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.

Finished beaten coffee Indian cappuccino in a blue earthenware mug.

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.

Enjoy.

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 pour-over 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.

Collage of 4 photos using a stick frother to froth instant coffee, sugar and milk until thick and foamy.
In the photo at the bottom left, you can see how dark the coffee is. That’s the initial foaming with just a little bit of milk. In the photo on the bottom right, you can see the color lightening as I add more milk. I have found making beaten coffee this way to be every bit as creamy in a fraction of the time.
  1. 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.
  2. While the milk is heating, add instant coffee and sugar (or sugar substitute even) to your mug.
  3. When milk is hot, pour about 1/4 cup into your mug.
  4. Use a stick frother to froth the instant coffee, sugar and milk together until thick and foamy.
  5. 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.
  6. When you get close to the top of the mug, turn off and set the frother aside.
  7. Add the rest of the milk.

Flavoring Your Beaten Coffee

I generally flavor mine with a little vanilla and some cinnamon.

Recently, I added some butterscotch coffee syrup that I made, and it was spectacular. I substituted it for the water and sugar in the whipping stage. It didn’t whip up quite as thick, but it was still rich and creamy and butterscotchy, which is my favorite.

Serving Suggestions

I think of beaten coffee as a breakfast or brunch treat, so serve with delicious breakfast foods.

Please, please have a big mug of whipped coffee and a big old piece of quiche.

Maybe some cinnamon coffee cake, a breakfast sandwich made on homemade whole wheat English muffins, or, since coffee goes so well with chocolate, consider serving a big old slice of my chocolate stout cake with a side of Indian cappuccino.

Questions?

5 golden stars for rating recipes

Let’s beat some coffee, shall we?

Beaten Coffee (Indian Cappuccino

Jennifer Field
If you love fancy coffee but hate the price tag or having to get dressed to go to the coffee shop, you’re going to love beaten coffee. Rich, thick, smooth, and foamy like a delicious latte or cappuccino, but made with instant coffee. You won’t believe how good it is!
4.60 from 10 votes
Tried this recipe?Please give it a star rating!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Beverages
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 cups
Calories 71 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon instant coffee
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • 1 ½ cups whole milk

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Did You Make Any Changes?

Video

Notes

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!

Nutrition

Serving: 1mugCalories: 71kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 40mgSugar: 7g
Keyword beaten coffee, coffee
Did you make this recipe?Please tell us what you loved!

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.

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57 Comments

  1. O. M. G. It is divine! But I’m way too impatient to beat it by hand so I made the larger amount in my stand mixer. It was beautiful in 5 minutes! Thank you so much for sharing!!

  2. I started practicing beaten coffee since 6 yrs ago and never knew any1 would post about this one day 😛

    Well I guess I must post this on wordpress 🙂

    Thankyou!

  3. That’s Great! In India, we often use ‘Nescafe’ Instant Coffee because it is easily available in all the stores. I use to whip it like 4-5 mins and even more but never achieved that level of thickness.
    If you have Nescafe instant coffee available, plz do give it a try and let us know the review
    Also, can we use sugar powder to speed up the process or normal coarse sugar! Would it make any difference.?

    Thanks

    1. Recently I’ve been using “Bru” (I think that’s what it’s called) that I get at the Indian grocery, and that’s excellent. I’ll have to give Nescafe a try! I actually think coarse sugar works best–“chunky” grains and “chunky” coffee crystals seem to make it easier to whip air in. That’s why I don’t think it worked with Starbucks Via because it’s ultra-fine. I always use Sugar in the Raw/demerara or turbinado sugar with big, coarse grains when I make mine.

  4. Thanks for the post. This is the way I have always had coffee and absolutely love it.
    I’ve experimented a bit with it and had some.pretty good results…like topping the froth with a sprinkle of chocolate powder or instant coffee. Ive also tried adding a dash of flavored creamers. Substituting some regular milk with coconut milk / cream was not bad either, tho probably not for everyone 🙂

    1. Thanks for stopping in, Rajesh! I love this way of making coffee, and I’m a little jealous that you’ve always had yours this way when I have just found out about it! =) I’ve been adding a bit of cocoa and spice to mine, and it is just lovely!

  5. Jenni, many thanks for bringing this beverage forward―it has become a new favorite. We used the Medaglia D’Oro too, and it satisfies with star quality! Had to share it over at my place because, it is as you say, “the bomb.”

    1. Oh, I am so happy, Brooks! I’ve been making it with Medaglia D’Oro now too, and it is so good! A sprinkle of Baker’s Brew from Savory Spice Shop is fabulous, and some coffee marshmallows take it straight into dessert realm! Keep spreading the word–everyone should know about this stuff!

  6. I’ll be trying this over the weekend. Maybe you’ll see a Pintesting post on it? Question, I have a battery operated small whisk called an aero latte – it’s a frother. would that work for this? Can’t wait to try this!

    1. That would probably work just fine, Anne. As the mixture thickens, you may have to switch to a regular Whisk or a spoon depending on how strong the motor is on your frothy. If you test this, keep in mind I made it to my taste. You may want yours stronger or weaker depending on your taste and also on the kind of instant coffee you use.

  7. I used Ferrara espresso and did the whipping with the whisk attachment to my hand mixer. It worked well but I have to say that 1 tbsp of espresso was a bit much for me for a single cup. Next time I’ll divide it among 2 or 3 and we’ll all be happy. Wonderful new way to make cappucino – thanks Jenni

    1. Yes, how much whipped concentrate you use would certainly be based on the strength of the coffee you’re using. I’ll be trying with an Italian Instant espresso tomorrow and will probably split the tablespoon with my husband!

    1. That was my point in the video, that a bunch of folks in other countries make their coffee this way. After having it this way, I felt duty bound to spread the news to an audience largely unaware of “beaten coffee.” It is so good, Anna!

      1. Sorry, didn’t mean it the aggressive way, just “made conversation”. When I was little, Nescafe was considered ‘poor man’s coffee’ and I didn’t see much of it in our kitchen, where Turkish/Greek coffee reigned supreme.
        Growing up, it was a staple of our parties; we would also add soluble coffee, sugar and water to a bottle/jar and shake like crazy – the whole thing turned into a thick froth. Shall I also mention soluble coffee and Coke instead of water?

      2. Oh no, Anna! I didn’t think you were being aggressive at all! I’m intrigued by using Coke with it! Now I’m going to try that (although I’ll have to buy Coke special since we don’t usually have soda)! The jar idea sounds like it would make much shorter work of it than all that stirring too. Thanks for the ideas, Anna! 🙂

  8. I just made a 5x batch of your recipe to stash some in the fridge, using Ferrara instant espresso crystals.. I used an electric hand mixer with only one of its two beaters inserted. At 5 minutes I had a light meringue, at 8 minutes it looked exactly like a thick glossy Italian merginue.

    This is some serious stuff. Jenni, this has got to find its way into a baking recipe. Tiramisu? Panna cotta?

    1. Serious is the word, and I want everyone to try it–so good! It really is almost like coffee pate a bombe, you know? And one of my Portuguese friends said they used to whip theirs with an egg yolk, so there you go. I’m sure it would make an amazing mousse folded in with whites and whipped cream. Tiramisu is a fantastic idea for it, too!

    1. Just at the regular grocery store, although you can get schmancy ones on Amazon, Kathy. I found Cafe Bustelo in the Hispanic Aisle and the Kava in the regular coffee aisle. The only rule is it has to be instant coffee (and not VIA or other super finely ground coffee). Aside from that one rule, just get your favorite instant coffee. 🙂

  9. This sounds AMAZING – and I happen to have a can of Café Bustelo in the pantry that I was despairing of ever using. Off to try this right now!!! Thanks so much for sharing this coffee nirvana with us 🙂

  10. This is addicting and thanks so much for the video.You are the best teacher!! I plan on making this as a treat at least twice a week…Mmmmmmm 🙂

  11. I love a coffee and this sounds great, I’m dairy free so I wonder if soya milk will froth up as much?? Will try it and let you know!! Thank you x

    1. Hi Jenifer ,It tastes heavenly .thank you so much .Usually I prefer my cofee sugarless Can beaten cofee also be made sugarless or is sugar needed for the froth ?

      1. I really think the granulated sugar is important to help whip it up really well. But, I’ve never tried it without, and it’s worth a shot. As well, my friend who is from Portugal said that they used to make it by whipping an egg yolk with the instant coffee, ending up with a rich, coffee custard. You might want to give that a try as well. Do let me know how it goes, Nisha!

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