Korean home cafe drinks

Cover imageHome cafe drinks
Image adapted from (left to right): @cherry_s.y, @yuri_luv4u, and @nyang__cafe

Nothing beats visiting a cafe on a day out with your friends. Cafes are also one of the hottest places to hit up for good grub while on a date. But with the ongoing COVID-19 situation, your cafe-hopping plans will probably have to be put on hold till social distancing measures ease up. 

For now, if you’re craving for a drink similar to what’s served in cafes, from unusual lattes to a refreshing lemonade, here are 10 Korean home cafe drinks you can try to make without leaving behind a mess in the kitchen.

1. Popcorn latte

Popcorn latte
Image adapted from: @parkjjugu

Popcorn and movies go together like peanut butter and jelly. To take your regular movie nights up a notch, why not try making a popcorn latte? Instead of having popcorn with a soda on the side, this recipe introduces you to a whole new way of enjoying popcorn – with a classic espresso shot. 

Besides popcorn, an espresso shot, and some milk, this recipe also requires a dash of 1883 Maison Routin France popcorn syrup to bring about an intensified popcorn aroma to the drink. If you like, you can replace the popcorn syrup with another flavour, such as toasted marshmallows, toffee crunch, or butterscotch.


  • Ice 
  • Milk
  • 1883 Maison Routin France popcorn syrup
  • 1 espresso shot 
  • Popcorn (Any flavour) 
  • Whipped cream (Optional)


  1. Prepare a shot of espresso like you normally would. 
  2. Mix a desired amount of popcorn syrup into the milk. 
  3. Pour milk into a glass half-filled with ice.
  4. Slowly add the espresso shot into the glass to create a gradient-like effect. 
  5. Top the drink off with whipped cream and decorate with popcorn. (Optional)

2. Strawberry latte

Strawberry latteImage credit: @cherry_s.y

Koreans use the word latte even for drinks that don’t contain coffee or tea, and fruit lattes are a good example. So don’t order a strawberry latte thinking that it’ll come with a shot of espresso! 

Ingredients (for strawberry jam):

  • 200g of strawberries
  • 20g of sugar 

Tip: You can use store-bought strawberry jam instead. It might be more concentrated and sweeter than a homemade version, so do adjust the amount of strawberry jam you’re adding to the drink accordingly. 

Ingredients (for latte):

  • 4-5 strawberries 
  • Ice 
  • Milk
  • Strawberry ice cream (optional) 

Steps (for strawberry jam):

  • Place 200g of strawberries and 20g of sugar into a pot and heat it over medium-low heat. 
  • Mash the strawberries with a fork and continue stirring until it is completely combined with the sugar. Turn off the heat once the mixture looks like jam and set it aside to cool. 

Steps (for latte):

  • Scoop a generous amount of the strawberry jam into a tall glass. 
  • Add in ice cubes till the halfway mark. 
  • Cut strawberries into smaller cubes and add them on top of the ice. 
  • Add a scoop of strawberry ice cream. (Optional)
  • Pour milk into the glass till it is almost full. 

3. Dalgona milk tea

Dalgona milk teaImage credit: @astagram_0623

We know what you’re thinking: ugh, not another over-hyped Dalgona recipe. The recent viral Dalgona coffee trend has definitely taken the internet by storm, but little known to many, dalgona (달고나) actually refers to a caramel-coloured Korean candy made by combining sugar, water, and baking soda. 

Cafe ChaImage credit: @youyou_luv

Cafe Cha, a popular cafe in Seoul, specialises in the creation of dalgona-inspired desserts and drinks such as dalgona milk tea, which is a perfect mix for those who aren’t a fan of coffee and its bitter notes. 

To give this treat a try, just follow the straightforward recipe below.

Ingredients (for milk tea):

  • 100g of water
  • 50g of sugar 
  • 1 tea bag (black/red/green tea)
  • Ice

Ingredients (for hardened dalgona):

  • 300g of sugar
  • 150g of water 
  • 15g of baking soda 

Steps (for hardened dalgona):

  1. Over medium-high heat, add 300g of sugar and 150g of water into a pot. Stir well and bring the mixture to a boil. 
  2. Once the mixture turns slightly golden, add in 15g of baking soda and keep stirring. 
  3. Continue stirring until the mixture turns dark brown and has doubled in volume.
  4. Transfer the mixture onto a flat baking tray lined with parchment paper. Let it cool and harden. 

Dalgona milk teaImage credit: @cha_seongsu

Steps (for milk tea):

  1. Combine water, sugar, and a tea bag over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil and keep stirring till you achieve a syrup-like consistency. 
  2. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. 
  3. To assemble the drink, simply pour a desired amount of milk into a glass half filled with ice and depending on your liking, add a desired amount of tea syrup.
  4. Afterwards, crush the hardened dalgona into smaller pieces and sprinkle it over the drink. 

Korean hard candyImage credit: @cafe_itta

Many cafes in Korea also sell these hard candies as snacks. Since you’ll probably have some leftovers, you can store it in a zip lock bag or container to snack on later.


4. Strawberry matcha latte

Strawberry matcha latteImage credit: @areum._.moon

This drink, reminiscent of the Italian flag, is perfect if you’re craving for something cooling and refreshing, yet full-bodied at the same time. Mix all three layers together and you’ll be sipping on a matcha latte with a sweet note from the strawberry pulp. 

Also, there’s no hard rules to this recipe. Feel free to adjust the ratio of strawberry jam, milk, and matcha mixture to your liking. 

Ingredients (for strawberry jam):

  • 200g of strawberries
  • 20g of sugar 

Ingredients (for latte):

  • 10g of matcha powder
  • 30ml of water 
  • Ice 
  • Milk 
  • Matcha or vanilla-flavoured ice cream (Optional) 

Steps (for strawberry jam):

  • Place 200g of strawberries and 20g of sugar into a pot and heat it over medium-low heat. 
  • Mash the strawberries with a fork and continue stirring until it is completely combined with the sugar. Turn off the heat once the mixture looks like jam and set it aside to cool. 

Steps (for latte):

  1. Place a desired amount of strawberry jam into a glass. 
  2. Add ice into the glass till it’s half-filled. 
  3. Slowly pour milk into the glass till it’s ¾ full. 
  4. For the matcha layer, combine 10g of matcha powder and 30ml of water and mix well. 
  5. Once done, fill the rest of the glass with the matcha mixture. 
  6. For an ultimate indulgence, top the drink off with either matcha or vanilla-flavoured ice cream. (Optional)

5. Blueberry latte

Blueberry latteImage credit: @pic_niq

Blueberries are packed full of antioxidants and are said to help prevent heart diseases. If you’ve been reaching for a snack one too many times, try going for a healthier option like this blueberry latte instead.

Ingredients (for blueberry jam):

  • 1 cup of blueberries
  • 2 tbsp of sugar 

Ingredients (for latte):

  • Ice 
  • Milk 
  • Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream (Optional)
  • 2-3 blueberries (Optional)

Steps (for blueberry jam):

  • Place 1 cup of blueberries and 2 tbsp of sugar into a pot and heat it over medium-low heat. 
  • Mash the blueberries and cook until it’s completely combined with the sugar. Turn off the heat once the mixture looks like jam and set it aside to cool. 

Steps (for latte):

  1. Place a desired amount of blueberry jam into an empty glass. 
  2. Fill the glass with ice till it’s half full.
  3. Pour milk into the glass till it’s almost full.
  4. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a generous amount of whipped cream at the top before garnishing with 2-3 blueberries. (Optional) 

6. Jollypong latte

Jollypong latteImage credit: @yuri_luv4u

A bowl of cereal is the go-to breakfast choice for many as it’s quick and easy to prepare. But instead of having it plain, creative Koreans have come up with a drink called Jollypong latte, which incorporates cereal and milk with a shot of espresso. 


  • Milk
  • Ice 
  • 1 shot of espresso
  • Jollypong cereal 


  1. Add the ingredients to a glass half-filled with ice in the following order: a desired amount of milk, 1 shot of espresso, and as much Jollypong cereal as the glass can hold.

This one-step recipe also doubles as an all-in-one breakfast combination for those who are in a rush but still need their fuel and dose of caffeine to kick start their day. 

7. Jollypong smoothie

Jollypong smoothie Image credit: @0_04.29

Jollypong smoothie is a non-caffeinated version of Jollypong latte, and it’s way more sinful with the addition of vanilla ice cream. But now that we’ve got extra time on hand to squeeze in a workout or two to burn off those calories, there’s really no better time for us to indulge in some sweet treats. 


  • Jollypong cereal 
  • 150ml of milk
  • 3-5 cubes of ice 
  • 1-2 scoops of vanilla ice cream


  • Pour all ingredients into a blender and blend until you get a smoothie-like consistency. Note that you can adjust the amount of Jollypong cereal to your liking. However, we would recommend a 1:1 ratio of cereal and milk. 
  • Empty the smoothie into a glass and top off with some more Jollypong cereal. 

8. Matcha einspänner

Matcha einspännerImage credit: @in_sunny_0610

Einspänner is a Viennese coffee usually enjoyed by combining two shots of espresso with a thick layer of whipped cream. Drawing inspiration from this drink, many cafes have replaced the espresso shots with matcha to better cater to those who prefer tea. 

And if you’re on a total caffeine cleanse, simply swap out espresso and matcha for the blueberry or strawberry jam we’ve introduced earlier. Just remember to mix the jam with an appropriate amount of milk before topping it off with a thick layer of whipped cream. Anything works, really. 


  • 3 tsp of matcha powder
  • 2 tbsp of honey
  • 2 tbsp of hot water
  • 150ml of whipped cream
  • 1 tbsp of sugar
  • Milk
  • Ice


  1. Combine 3 tsp of matcha powder, 2 tbsp of honey, and 2 tbsp of hot water in a glass and stir till all ingredients are combined. 
  2. Add 150ml of whipped cream and 1 tbsp of sugar into a separate cup, and using an electric milk frother, froth the mixture till you achieve a thick consistency. 
  3. Once you’re done with steps 1 and 2, mix the matcha mixture with a desired amount of milk.
  4. Pour the matcha milk into a clean glass half-filled with ice, till the halfway mark.
  5. After which, slowly pour the thickened whipped cream into the glass.
  6. Dust with some matcha powder for a finishing touch. (Optional)

9. Banana cafe latte

Banana cafe latteImage credit: @_la_petite_joie_

Fans of coffee banoffee pie don’t have to go through all the hassle of baking to satiate their craving because they can have it all in a drink that takes less than 10 minutes to make. 

Banana milkImage credit: @ykky_kk

You don’t have to go out of the way to get the ingredients needed for this banana cafe latte. Head into any Asian grocer near you and you’ll be able to get your hands on this famous Korean banana milk that’s good even on its own. 


  • Ice 
  • 1 bottle of banana milk
  • 1 banana
  • 1-2 shot(s) of espresso 
  • 150ml of whipped cream
  • 1 tbsp of sugar

Banana cafe latteImage credit: @jjin_jgarden


  1. Cut the banana into slices and mash 1/2 of it up. Pour the mashed banana into a glass and set the remaining slices aside for garnish. 
  2. Add ice into the glass till it’s half-filled. 
  3. Pour banana milk till the glass is ½ full.
  4. Afterwards, add a shot or two of espresso, depending on your liking. 
  5. In a separate cup, add 150ml of whipped cream and 1 tbsp of sugar, and using an electric milk frother, froth the mixture till you achieve a thick consistency. 
  6. Add a layer of the whipped cream mixture to your drink. 
  7. Decorate the drink with the remaining banana slices. 

10. Galaxy Lemonade

Galaxy lemonade Image credit: @nyang__cafe

This galaxy lemonade tastes just as good as it looks. Unlike many colourful drinks that add artificial food colouring, this all-natural recipe uses butterfly pea flowers to achieve a beautiful blue-purple gradient. 

While it may look as if a lot of work is required to recreate this drink, it is actually fairly simple to do so. All you need to do is follow 8 simple steps to pull this off.


  • 10g of butterfly pea flowers
  • 600ml of water
  • 4 lemons
  • 30g of sugar 
  • 1 bottle of lemon sparkling water 
  • Ice


  1. Heat 600ml of water and 10g of butterfly pea flowers over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Remove from heat once boiled and set the blue liquid aside to cool. 
  2. After the liquid has cooled down, pour it into an ice tray and place it into the freezer. 
  3. Cut 4 lemons into halves and squeeze out the juice. 
  4. Pass the juice through a strainer to remove any pulp and mix in 30g of sugar. Chill it in the refrigerator.
  5. Pour the chilled lemon juice into a glass.
  6. Crush a small amount of ice in a blender and put it into the glass.
  7. Remove the butterfly pea ice cubes from the fridge and blend it as well. Add it on top of the normal shaved ice. 
  8. Lastly, pour lemon sparkling water into the glass till it’s almost full. You’ll notice a gradient effect taking shape.  

Easy to make Korean home cafe drinks

While you may not be able to head down to your favourite cafes any time soon, you can turn your dining room into a makeshift cafe by recreating these Korean home cafe drinks. Perhaps you might come out of this pandemic with a new found aspiration – running a cafe in your neighbourhood.

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