The Lock Down Log: What Dalgona Coffee Taught Me

Dalgona coffee - Wikipedia
The creamy coffee-sugar mixture that defines the Dalgona Coffee

I detest fads and short-lived trends. Many a time, I keep away from something only because the said thing is a fad, and not because of an informed choice taken after weighing the inherent merits or demerits. And so, I did not care about the Dalgona Coffee. That was until this morning, when I read about it on the New York Times (along with recipe and instructions) which characterized the Dalgona Coffee as a “pantry-friendly way to try something new when the days can seem all too repetitive.”

I gathered a bowl and a spoon. As instructed, I added two spoons of instant coffee, a similar amount of sugar, and two spoons of hot water. I used the spoon to whip. A couple of minutes into whipping, there was a dark chocolate colored thick liquid in my bowl. (Beginning stages of a project, there is abundant energy and optimism.)

Five minutes later, I still did not see any sign that more effort would result in the creamy light brown texture recipe. My bowl contained a dark chocolate colored thick liquid. My mind conjured up reasons for why its not turning out right – too much water maybe or probably not the right kind of coffee powder. (In the absence of evident progress, self-doubt crept in and my ‘self’ began to attribute reasons for the impending failure.)

My wrist began to ache. I had almost decided to settle for the thick dark brown liquid. (With waning energy levels, I looked forward to making peace with my existing reality.)

My mother, who had just walked into the kitchen, peered into my bowl and asked me to keep going for a few more minutes. She also suggested that I minimize the downward pressure into the bowl and focus more on the whipping action. This reduced the effort I was expending and enabled me to keep going without significant strain. (In the absence of conviction and faith in our goals, external agents can be a blessing who may bestow us with confidence to stay on our path, and also share a useful tip or two.)

Three minutes later, I saw the first strains of Dalgona – light brown creamy mixture. I was reinvigorated. My whips grew confident and stylish. (The visual evidence of success and the glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel made me confident about achieving the goal.)

Two minutes later, I had attained the desired light brown creamy mixture. It was like a miracle. Only a few minutes ago, this outcome did not seem possible at all, there were no signs, and I was ready to give-up. And now, it was here.

Indeed a simple lesson, but one I forget too often.

So keep whipping. When in doubt, seek help. But keep faith and continue whipping!

Good night!