The Original “Dalgona” Coffee: Macau’s Hon Kee Cafe

The Dalgona coffee – also known as the Quarantined coffee orTik Tok coffee, it got us wondering where it actually originated from? It is said to be derived from India, Pakistan and surprisingly Macau! Let’s deep-dive into this coffee craze and learn more about this drink – the original and authentic way. 

…Into the Forgotten Shipyards of Coloane, Macau

Which part of Macau exactly you may ask? From our video Macau’s Hidden Cafes and their Amazing Stories | 澳門神秘咖啡館和他們的了不起的故事 last year where Josh and Joana showed you a closer look of Macau’s top hidden eateries featuring Coloane’s abandoned shipyard found nestled beside Lai Chi Vun Village which was once home to Macau’s booming crafting industry. Collapsing in the 90’s – this is where the world-famous Dalgona coffee was born. 

We were so thrilled to revisit Hon Kee Cafe, one of our favorite coffee spots to appreciate its history and so we went to explore it with Josh in his new adventure coming soon.

Hon Kee – also known as the Kung Fu Coffee Master 

When you come visit Hon Kee’s Cafe, you get to witness the master behind this special coffee. Also known as the “400x coffee” he learnt Kung fu to strengthen his arm from a shipyard incident. This helped him survive throughout the 90’s shipyard crisis; by making and serving coffee. We are still in awe and inspired by how his story lives on and is now a phenomenal trend!

From Hong Kong actor Chow Yun Fat to Korean star Jung Il-Woo

During the café’s starting days, a foreign couple would always visit Hon Kee’s cafe every year during the Grand Prix event. Hon Kee would serve his regular iced coffee. The couple taught Mr. Hon and suggested him to hand-beat his coffee which led it to a different taste and texture that he wasn’t familiar with. Then, one day when the famous Hong Kong actor, Chow Yun Fat stopped by to order coffee. Mesmerized, he didn’t want to serve the famous movie star just a regular cup of coffee, Hon remembered what the couple had taught him and thus, Macau’s very first hand-beaten coffee came to be.  

Then Korean star Jung Il-Woo came to visit Macau to have some foodie inspirations, he fell in love with it and called it the Dalgona coffee. We wonder which celebrity star will come here next? 

So how did the name “Dalgona” come to be? 

When Korean actor Jung Il-Woo tried Hon Kee’s coffee, he said that it reminded him of a traditional Korean candy called “Dalgona” also known as honeycomb toffee made from slightly burning sugar which gives that sweet caramel taste. I personally haven’t tried the actual candy itself but it’s now one I’m definitely curious to try.   

Coffee texture and taste

Hon Kee’s coffee was once reviewed as “Even better than high end hotel’s coffee” and it’s been a local favorite ever since. Smooth and fluffy dollops of goodness sit on top of a humble hot or iced coffee drink, waiting for you to stir it and intake your caffeine kick for the day. 


You would need 2 tbps of instant coffee, 2 tbsp of sugar and 2 tbsp of hot boiling water and a (Kung fu) strong arm to whip it about 400 times! Or… you could use a hand whisk or electric mixer to beat it until it reaches a creamy and frothy whip. Top it on a glass of iced milk or hot coffee and Voilà! You have your very own Dalgona coffee. 

Would you or did you give this Dalgona coffee challenge a try already? Check out how Macau Foodie @hungerlady does her version dusted with chocolate powder, it looks amazing!

If you gave it a go, tag us at #shootandchop – we would love to see your Dalgona coffee inspirations and let us know what you think of this viral coffee trend. (Featured photos by © @e_for_eat)

Written by: Bel Faustino @belbrosasfaustino