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7 Best Viral Coffee Recipes from Around the Globe

To celebrate #InternationalCoffeeDay, go global with your next coffee recipe.

by Reem Khaleel Oct 1, 2022

Coffee cheers
Nathan Dumlao

Calling all caffeine addicts! #InternationalCoffeeDay is Oct. 1, and we’re challenging you to trade in your go-to order for an international recipe bound to rock your world. Founded by the International Coffee Organization, this social media holiday first started in 2015 to celebrate all coffee lovers and the amazing people who make it possible to enjoy this caffeinated beverage. (That’s right, we’re talking about the farmers, roasters, baristas, café owners, and beyond who work together to brew the perfect cup o’ joe from the tiniest lil bean.) Instead of sticking with your everyday cup of java on this oh-so-buzzy day, indulge in the viral coffee recipes that unite us from afar. While you’re sure to recognize some classics like France’s café au lait or Italy’s famous cappuccino, others on our list of favorites offer unique flavors and rich histories that are sure to surprise you.

Here are seven of the best viral coffee recipes from around the globe to satisfy your next caffeine craze.

1. Dalgona Coffee (Korean Whipped Coffee) from South Korea

Whipped coffee
Aleksandra Medvedeva

Dalgona coffee was the first viral coffee recipe to hit TikTok during the pandemic. The video that kick-started this South Korean java trend has since garnered over 2.1 million views. Although the sweetened instant whip (which, ironically, takes about 20 minutes and 400 stirs to create) was first introduced as a street snack in Busan in the 1960s, it didn’t begin to grow in popularity until early 2020 after Korean actor Jung Il-woo ordered it on South Korean hit reality show Stars' Top Recipe at Fun-Staurant. Comparing its unique flavor to that of sweet and slightly tart burnt sugar candy, II-woo gave this one-of-a-kind iced coffee his smile of approval. Consisting of equal parts instant coffee, sugar, and hot water, its mousse-like consistency can easily be recreated for a fun spin on your mid-day latte or after-dinner coffee.

Add 2 tbsp coffee, sugar, and hot water to a medium-sized bowl. Using a hand whisk or electric mixer, whip the mixture until it reaches a thick and creamy consistency. Pour 3/4 cup cold milk (vegan and nutty-tasting WhatIf’s BamNut Milk Everyday offers a sustainable alternative to cow's milk and can be purchased at 50% off on International Coffee Day with code REGENMILK50) into a glass with ice cubes, then top with your creamy coffee mixture. Using a spoon, lightly fold coffee whip into the milk, or enjoy as is.

2. Affogato al Caffè (Italian Espresso Affogato) from Italy

Espresso over ice cream

Slightly less popular than Italy’s classic cappuccino is their affogato al caffè, a simple yet delectable take on coffee that was introduced in the 90s as more of a caffeinated dessert than a morning cup of energy. Translated to “drowned in coffee,” affogato al caffè combines decadent vanilla gelato with Italy’s staple espresso to create a beverage that’s basically the adult equivalent of an ice cream float.

Begin by preparing espresso in a moka pot. (You can also use instant espresso, which can be dissolved in hot water the same way as instant coffee.) Next, add two scoops vanilla gelato or ice cream to a rocks glass, then pour over one shot espresso. If desired, top with toasted almonds or chocolate chips before serving.

3. Café de Olla (Mexican Coffee) from Mexico

Clay pots with coffee mixture
Robert Patrick Briggs

Known for its energy boost, café de olla was born in the early 1900s to support soldiers fighting in the Mexican Revolution. The recipe, which mainly consists of coffee, sugar cane, and spices and is traditionally concocted in a clay pot called an olla de barro, is meant to be equally filling as it is delicious. Although the historic clay pot offers the coffee a unique earthy flavor, the recipe can easily be replicated using common cookware like a ceramic Dutch oven or pot. Doing so may not offer your taste buds the same experience as the original café de olla, but variations of the recipe aren’t uncommon, and you’ll still enjoy its unusual combination of coffee and spices.

In an olla de barro or medium-sized pot, bring 6 cups water to a boil. Mix in 6 to 8 oz piloncillo (a raw form of cane sugar with a caramel-like flavor that’s often included in Mexican cooking). If piloncillo is unavailable, substitute with packed brown sugar. With a wooden spoon, stir in 2 cinnamon sticks, 2 cloves, and 1 star anise pod for about 5 minutes or until piloncillo dissolves. Add 6 tbsp ground coffee and continue to stir until ingredients are combined. Next, place the lid on the pot and allow the coffee to simmer on low heat for about 5 minutes. Before serving, strain the coffee through a cheesecloth-lined sieve, a fine mesh instrument and material covering used as a filter. If desired, add a splash of Kalhúa for a happy hour twist.

4. Caife Gaelach (Irish Coffee Cocktail) from Ireland

Irish coffee on a platter of ingredients

Part caffeine and part cocktail, caife gaelach (Irish coffee) offers a boozy twist on your traditional cup o’ joe. Thought to have been created in 1943 by Joe Sheridan, a chef at Foynes Port, one of the biggest civilian airports during World War II and an airbase for transatlantic flights, Irish coffee was purportedly crafted to warm cold passengers on a diverted flight back to the airport during a particularly frigid winter night. Today, the recipe still offers instantaneous warmth.

Pre-warm a glass mug by filling it with boiling water. Then, whip 1.5 oz heavy whipping cream or double cream in a bowl for about 20 seconds using a hand whisk or electric mixer. This ensures that the mix remains fluid and not over-whipped. Place both the mixture and a spoon into the fridge and allow to chill, then brew 5 to 6 oz strong coffee using a French press. Before filling your mug, empty its water contents from earlier, then add 1.5 oz Jameson Irish Whiskey and 2 tbsp brown sugar. Fill halfway with coffee and stir until sugar is fully dissolved. Top with more coffee, then pour refrigerated whipping cream over the back of your chilled spoon. Sprinkle with nutmeg before enjoying with friends for some happy hour fun.

TL;DR: Pop Cask and Kettle's ready-to-brew Irish Coffee K-cup into a Keurig for immediate gratification. No Keurig? No problem! Simply heat water on a stove or in a mug in the microwave. Add the contents of one pod, stir, and enjoy!

5. Oliang (Thai Iced Coffee) from Thailand

Iced coffee with cream

Oliang, aka Thai iced coffee, is the perfect pick-me-up on a hot summer’s day (wink, wink if you’re traveling somewhere warm during the colder months). Meaning “dark and iced” when translated, oliang’s inclusion of dark roast cold brew is essential to its premise, although it’s best known for its sweetness, thanks to its addition of condensed milk. In Thailand, this chilled caffeine fix can be found in street carts, supermarkets, chain restaurants, and even Starbucks.

Add ice cubes to a glass or mason jar, then pour in 1 cup robusta cold brew coffee. Stir in ⅓ cup sweet condensed milk (or full-fat coconut cream as a vegan alternative). Mix in a pinch of cardamom before serving.

6. Café Cubano/Cafecito (Cuban Coffee) from Cuba

Sugar and espresso mixture

Drinking café cubano, which you might know as cafecito or a Cuban espresso, is hailed in Cuba and Cuban-American communities as an important cultural and social activity. In fact, trading stories over Cuban coffee is so embedded within the culture, the colada — which consists of four to six shots of espresso and is meant to be shared — was born simply to promote gatherings and conversation. Its unique flavor and frothy goodness come from the first drops of espresso mixed with sugar, which is meant to be enjoyed in one large sip.

Prepare an espresso shot in a moka pot using 2 tbsp ground medium roast. (Medium roast works best so as not to overpower.) In a pitcher, mix 2 tbsp sugar with the espresso's first few drops to equal less than 1/2 a tbsp. Give the mixture a quick stir, then add the remainder of espresso. Mix more thoroughly once more, then pour into a mug and serve. Want the ultimate café cubano experience? Coordinate a group gathering to share!

7. Cà phê trứng (Vietnamese Egg Coffee) from Vietnam

Egg coffee with art
Hai Yen Nguyen

You can thank cà phê trứngs’ light yet creamy texture from a surprising source: eggs. In 1947 Hanoi, a shortage of fresh milk as a result of the French Indochina War led bartender Nguyen Giang to establish a way to make sweet coffee sans its main dairy pairing. Using condensed milk for sweetness and whipped egg yolk for texture, he crafted a coffee recipe that’s airy, sugary, and frothy and still insanely popular in Hanoi to this day.

Beat 2 extra large egg yolks at room temperature with 2 tbsp sugar into a custard-like consistency. In a mug, brew 2 tsp instant coffee in 1/2 cup hot water. Next, pour the egg mixture on top of the coffee, and top with a sprinkle of cocoa powder before enjoying.


Reem Khaleel

Reem Khaleel is the Editorial Assistant at IntrigueMag and a writer from the Maldives who escapes into fictional worlds by writing her own YA rom-com novels. In addition to IntrigueMag, her writing has been featured on CBR.

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