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Dalgona: The Greek Frappe-Like Coffee Taking Over South Korea

Dalgona, Greek frappe coffee alternative
The Greek frappe-like “Dalgona” coffee has gone viral in South Korea and across the internet. Credit: Public domain

Dalgona, a Greek Frappe-like coffee is taking South Korea by storm! As the hot summer months are closing in upon us, iced coffee enthusiasts are longing for established favorites, such as the Greek Frappe and are coming up with new alternatives, such as the foamy, whipped coffee drink that has been taking over South Korea.

The trending beverage has gone viral as Dalgona coffee, which is its official name, but also as whipped coffee, which is its TikTok name. It began to gain prominence during the social distancing orders in South Korea when people who were forced to stay inside started making videos of creations of this drink at home.

According to Wikipedia, the name is credited to the South Korean actor Jung Il-woo, who ordered a whipped coffee at an eatery in Macau and likened the taste to that of Dalgona, a type of Korean honeycomb toffee.

When the hashtag #dalgonacoffeechallenge emerged, homemade versions of Dalgona coffee began spreading on South Korean YouTube channels before going viral on TikTok.

The Greek frappe-like beverage is itself made by mixing instant coffee with sugar and water. The end result resembles a coffee mousse or coffee milkshake.

The unusual-looking drink has also been dubbed the “inverted cappuccino,” “quarantine coffee,” and “cloud coffee.”

Similarity to Greek frappe coffee

Frappe coffee, also known as a Greek frappe, is a foam-covered iced coffee drink made from instant coffee (generally spray-dried), sugar, ice cubes, and water.

Made either with a shaker or a special mixer, it is one of the easiest-to-make coffee drinks available.

Invented by accident in 1957 by a Nestle Nescafe employee in Thessaloniki, frappe took its official name and became the national coffee beverage of modern Greece around 1979.

It is very popular in both Greece and Cyprus, especially during the sweltering summer months but has spread to other countries around the world as well, particularly wherever Greeks are present.

A symbol of the post-war outdoor Greek coffee culture, frappe coffee to this date remains among the most cherished coffee beverages for Greeks while the Freddo, another Greek invention, has also risen in popularity lately.

Prominent rivals of Greek frappe coffee

During the last decade, the all-time-classic Greek frappe has lost some ground over the emerging Freddo Espresso and Freddo Cappuccino, which have become the new fashionable coffee drinks in Greece.

As its name implies, Freddo Espresso is the iced version of espresso coffee, made with a double shot of espresso coffee shaken in a mixer with ice cubes.

Particularly popular among those who prefer a cold, strong coffee, the Freddo has become the most widely consumed coffee in Greece in recent years.

Freddo Cappuccino, on the other hand, is the iced version of the regular cappuccino coffee, usually topped with a small amount of cold, frothed milk, called afrogala in Greek. Apart from Greece, this drink is widely popular in Cyprus and parts of Italy, as well.

Either can be tweaked with some vanilla ice-cream or liquor for that extra taste.

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