Who doesn’t like a good coffee drink? Okay, don’t answer that question. I know not everybody does, but you have to admit, more people love a cup of jitter juice in the morning than people that don’t.
Americans drink an average of 3 cups of coffee a day with over 150 million coffee drinkers participating each day. Roughly 9 billion kilograms of coffee, that’s 166.63 million 60 kilogram bags, were consumed worldwide in 2020. It’s a slight drop from 2019’s 164 million bags.
Why the change? Turns out the switch to working from home drove down coffee shop sales while raising rates of home-based coffee drinking. Along with sourdough starters came the popularity of frothy Dalgona coffee that had us mixing until our arms fell off and buying special double-walled glass cups so we can take the perfect Instagram shot.
With the recent COVID-19 patch, Omicron, being released, another long quarantine may not be out of the question. But don’t worry fam, I got you. These coffee recipes are just the thing to keep you energized through another work from home shift.
A Quarantine Classic: Dalgona Coffee
Remember Dalgona coffee? Of course, you do! The Dalgona coffee trend started sometime in March 2020, in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. People grew bored during quarantine and started a slew of food trends that typically wouldn’t catch on because they took too much time to make. During quarantine, though? We had all the time in the world for whipping coffee into perfect, caffeinated clouds.
Dalgona coffee, sometimes called the “quarantine coffee challenge” because everything has to be a challenge these days, takes its name from a popular South Korean street snack called dalgona.
Dalgona, or ppopgi, is a type of candy made from mixing melted sugar and baking soda together in a ladle placed over a fire. The use of the name comes from the similarity of the techniques used in making Dalgona the Coffee and Dalgona the Candy.
Dalgona coffee is made by mixing sugar, hot water, and coffee together and whisking it with a mixer or by hand if you’re particularly masochistic. The process results in this thick, golden caramel fluff that looks as decadent as it tastes. It’s then served with the milk on the bottom and the coffee on top, creating a beautiful coffee sunset gradient as the dalgona melts into the milk.
If you haven’t made Dalgona coffee yet, you can try this recipe from My Korean Kitchen. Need a snack? You can make its namesake candy too — just make sure not to sign up for a deadly game show. Seriously, there are easier ways to pay off your debts.
Drink a Cookie at Home: Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino
Sure, you can just order it from Starbucks with these customizations, but really, if you’re working from home, it’s not like you don’t have enough time for whipping up your own. This Starbucks special can easily be made at home for when you’re tired of regular coffee or as an extra indulgence on your cheat days.
Sipping on one of these babies is like going to cookie heaven. It’s the perfect blend between a good coffee and a chocolate milkshake with cookies on the side. How could anyone say no to that?
Don’t let the long name and chain coffee store name scare you away. This coffee drink is actually pretty easy to make and I don’t mean that in “easy for a barista” terms but in “so easy a monkey could do it” ones.
The recipe only has seven ingredients that you likely already have in your kitchen and it only takes four steps, none of which involve hand beating coffee fluff. Coffee Affection has a recipe for you right here.
Or Try a Summer Favorite: Vietnamese Iced Coffee
Look, I know summer has long since been over and it’s going to be a while before we hit the beaches again. But! Admit it: there’s never a bad time for iced coffee. Vietnamese iced coffee, locally called cà phê đá, is practically Vietnam’s national coffee drink.
While it bears similarities to Thai iced coffee, Vietnamese iced coffee is typically sweeter due to the prevalence of using sweetened condensed milk. Yeah, this is not an everyday coffee drink unless you’re looking for rotten teeth.
Though Vietnamese iced coffee will have to be one of those occasional caffeinated treats, it’s the simplest to make out of all the coffee drinks on this list. At its most basic, Vietnamese iced coffee only uses four ingredients and involves two steps as explained by Joseph and Joyanna in their recipe.
Give Your Coffee a Citrusy Twist: Orange Cold Brew Coffee Spritz
Coffee sangria. That’s it. That’s the recipe.
Have you ever thought of innovating the concept of iced coffee? Well, start thinking of it because you’re about to. Your average iced coffee with a twist is normally just coffee + something else that’s sweet and would make sense to add to coffee. Ice cream, cakes, cookies, maybe a little alcohol. You know the drill. But how about cold brew coffee and oranges?
Orange flavored chocolates are already a thing so why not? This refreshing take on iced coffee mixes brewed coffee, club soda, and freshly squeezed orange juice into one flavor-packed coffee drink you can chill with.
Admittedly, it’s one of the more complicated coffee recipes on this list since you have to make orange simple syrup from scratch. I know, I’m sorry. But think, you’re going to be making the cocktail of coffee drinks. Give the recipe a shot and you might just find enough patience to do it every day.
A Brew to Warm You up This Cold Season: Spiced Coffee
Do you ever wake up with the urge to live out your cottagecore dreams? What about a need to leave behind this mundane world and move to the Shire? With this coffee recipe, you can start spending your work from home breaks visualizing yourself as a wood elf having coffee after a morning’s hunt while looking at the rolling hills and wheat fields below.
Spiced coffee, like its alcoholic sibling, spiced wine, has a long history spanning several cultures. A quick Google search will show you versions stretching from Yemen to India and everywhere in between.
Commonly used spices in spiced coffee are cinnamon, star anise, cardamom, allspice, and nutmeg, most of which are also featured in sangria. Huh, maybe spiced coffee is the sangria of coffee, not an orange cold brew coffee spritz.
Unlike many of the coffee recipes on this list, you can’t cheat this coffee drink by using instant coffee granules. Trust me, you’ll taste the difference and the recipe itself calls for the spices to be mixed together with the coffee grounds in the filter basket. If you don’t have a coffee maker, don’t fret!
According to Taste of Home, you can cheat a little with a French press, a drip coffee maker, or by using the pour-over method. If you used a phin for the Vietnamese iced coffee, you could try that here as well.
You Can Never Go Wrong With a Classic: Latte
Not a fan of more “out there” coffee drinks? Why not settle for a tried and true classic? Lattes have been consumed for centuries and made their first recorded appearance in an 1867 essay by William Dean Howells titled “Italian Journeys” which is about, well, his journeys in Italy. In the essay, he calls it a “caffe e latte” meaning “coffee and milk.”
Modern lattes are made with espresso, but at the time, espresso machines weren’t invented yet. That would be later in 1884. It’s only fitting that a tourist was the first to write about the latte since it was invented for tourists who found traditional Italian espresso too bitter for their taste buds.
Maybe 19th century Italians were used to how long lines in tourist areas can get hence the simplicity of making a latte. With only two ingredients and five easy steps, making a latte won’t take up your entire work from home break. You can follow this recipe for more details.
But How About Coffee for Dessert?: Affogato
Maybe you’ll like your Italian coffee better as a creamy milkshake that starts out as a coffee float.
Affogato is a type of Italian coffee drink that takes a scoop of vanilla ice cream or gelato and combines it with a warm shower of espresso coffee. That’s why it’s called an affogato. The word means “drowned” in Italian and that’s essentially what you’re doing to the ice cream, drowning it in coffee.
Traditional affogato uses coffee from an espresso machine and a ratio of two cups of ice cream to one shot of espresso. That said, times change, and you can totally make an affogato at home without having to spend on an espresso machine.
Possible substitutes for this coffee drink include a stovetop espresso maker called a “moka pot” or just regular brewed coffee, granted that you’re using extra strong coffee as per these instructions.
Apparently, you don’t even have to stick to the typical vanilla sweet treat and coffee blend. There are variations that use different flavors of ice cream and ones that swap the coffee for Kahlua. Hmm, maybe a strawberry ice cream and Bailey’s Irish Cream counts?
Or Heck, Just Eat Your Coffee: Japanese Coffee Jelly
Of course, we can’t talk about coffee drinks that feature desserts without mentioning the coffee dessert: Japanese coffee jelly.
Now, there’s nothing different about Japanese coffee jelly versus your run-of-the-mill coffee jelly because it’s the same thing. Surprise, coffee jelly is originally a Japanese dessert. I still remember when it wasn’t as popular as it is today. You’d typically find it at Japanese restaurants and cafes, alongside a Japanese cheesecake.
Like tourists in Italy, Japanese people weren’t a big fan of the bitterness of the drink that Dutch traders brought with them. This was, after all, literally tea nation. It was only during the Taisho period when coffee jellies became a thing after Japanese men who wanted to emulate Western culture, essentially Western weeaboos, made the dessert to copy European molded jellies. The dessert would gain more traction in 1963 after a successful marketing campaign that advertised it as “coffee you can eat.”
And that’s why it’s listed among these coffee drinks today.
To make coffee jelly, you’ll need unflavored gelation power, brewed coffee, and sugar. The base coffee jelly can be served with either whipped cream or a mixture of condensed milk, evaporated milk, cream, and even tapioca pearls. You can learn how to make this flexible coffee dessert base here.
Got a coffee drink you like that wasn’t listed here? Share the recipe with us in the comments!