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What is whipped coffee? The social media trend tastes as dreamy as it looks

Once gently mixed, the result is what looks like an upside-down cappuccino.
Emi Boscamp/TODAY

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By Emi Boscamp

Like many others living in New York, the state with the most confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., I have barely left the house in days. Which has, naturally, worsened my addiction to TikTok. (I am one of those old-but-not-at-all-old (I'm 28) users who doesn't post — I just scroll the For You page for hours on end.)

As I was scrolling through the other day, I noticed an appealing trend (in that it was not dance-related) of this dreamy looking drink being made. It was being called "whipped coffee."

@imhannahcho

yes i hand whisked this whipped coffee for like 20 mins bc my mommy wanted to try it 👻 she loved it!! (달고나 커피) ##korean ##fyp ##aesthetic

♬ Put your head on my shoulder cover by karlo - karlogutierrez

With almost 10 million views on her whipped coffee video, user @imhannahcho seems to have popularized the trend on the app. In the video, she dumps equal parts instant coffee, sugar and hot water into a bowl, then stirs and stirs ("for like 20 mins bc my mommy wanted to try it," she noted) until the mixture turns into a cloud-like, caramel-colored mixture. She then fills a glass with ice, pours in a generous amount of milk and tops it with glorious globs of this magical mixture.

Once gently mixed, the result is what looks like an upside-down cappuccino.

Could this concoction really work? And if so, how have I never heard of it until now?

According to the Los Angeles Times, the drink has recently taken off on social media in South Korea as residents try to find ways to connect while social distancing. They call it "dalgona coffee" because of how much it tastes like the Korean honeycomb toffee dalgona. In other places like India, Pakistan and Macao, the beverage is called "beaten coffee" or, like on TikTok, "whipped coffee."

Of course, I had to try it. Really, anything to pass the time holed up inside.

First, I dumped a tablespoon of instant coffee (I used Nescafé) into a bowl, followed by a tablespoon of sugar, then a tablespoon of hot water.

Is this really gonna turn out pretty?Emi Boscamp/TODAY

Then I whisked. And whisked. And then enlisted the help of my partner-in-quarantine, Aidan.

And then I whisked some more ... for an exhausting 3-4 minutes.

Caution: Don't wear white.Emi Boscamp/TODAY

And suddenly, it started getting lighter in color ...

It's working!Emi Boscamp/TODAY

... until, finally, it reached the stiff-ish peaks stage.

Oooooo aaaaaaah!Emi Boscamp/TODAY

Since our local grocery store was out of our usual milk of choice, oat, we went with coconut milk as our base, and then began plopping in the coffee mixture.

Rubber spatula to the rescue!Emi Boscamp/TODAY

With a little gentle mixing, it turned out looking (almost) as pretty as the ones I'd seen on my For You page.

Pretty good, eh?Emi Boscamp/TODAY

As far as taste, it's actually as dreamy as it looks. It's like a coffee milkshake — sweet, velvety and airy — the perfect little break from the mundaneness of social isolation.

Plus, it looks great for the 'gram.

So, if you're looking for a high-intensity forearm workout with your daily dose of caffeine (and who isn't right now?), this is the perfect trend for you.