Necessity breeds innovation: How to get your daily caffeine dose at home – Dailyuw

Seattle is known as a hub of coffee culture and while the streets have gone silent due to social distancing and stay-at-home measures, there are still ways for us Seattleites (and those out of state) to get our caffeine fix. 

With the majority of Starbucks locations closed nationwide and campus coffee services limited, you can no longer grab a latte on your way to class or study in Parnassus. But with school starting online, there are still plenty of ways you can get yourself caffeinated for success. Whether you are at home, sheltering in place in a dorm, or far from campus, making a cup of joe every morning can establish a sense of routine in an otherwise unstructured day. 

Instant whipped coffee

One recent trend has exploded all over the Internet: whipped coffee. Thousands of people have posted videos of themselves mixing together the simple recipe of equal parts instant coffee, sugar, and hot water to form a creamy substance that is then poured over milk and ice. 

Called a dalgona, it originally became popular in South Korea. It also resembles a traditional Indian beaten coffee and a Greek frappe in which the coffee, sugar, and water is frothed into an airy topping instead of whipped together. 

“I decided to make dalgona coffee after seeing several famous YouTubers I follow make them,” sophomore Jessica Nguyen said, who also joined in the fun and posted a video of the process on TikTok, another platform that has contributed to the drink’s popularity. Nguyen’s video got over 3,000 views. 

The innovative factor behind this drink is the process of making it: What starts out as dry crystals, sugar, and water has to be whipped several times over into a homogeneous substance. It requires an unexpected amount of arm strength; I used a hand mixer, but it is just as achievable by using a whisk, though it may take longer. 

This is a fun drink to make for those quarantining and relying on a stock of food, as instant coffee does not go bad and is common in many pantries. 

If your drink ends up successful, you too can take pictures and post it all over your social media, impressing everyone with your creative culinary abilities. Or show up to your 9:30 a.m. Zoom class five minutes late with an iced coffee in hand, just for old time’s sake. 


Those looking for a more tasty, rich cup of coffee should turn to espresso, bearing the closest similarity to a handcrafted drink at your favorite coffee shop. This may require the use of an appliance, like an espresso machine, to get a more desirable effect. 

An advantage of making espresso at home is that you can customize your drink to your heart’s content as there is no one to judge you for adding copious amounts of sugar and cream to your coffee. Steaming a milk of your choice is also an option for a latte-like experience.

Making homemade drinks can be therapeutic and, in some cases, actually increase a caffeine addiction for those with nothing else to do. 

“I certainly drink more coffee than I used to, probably double the amount now that I have time to actually make it,” Nguyen said. 


If you’re looking for something a little less caffeinated by cup, tea is your way to go. It’s a warm, refreshing beverage to enjoy in the morning while reading the news or finishing up studying. You can’t go wrong with your favorite brew or a classic black tea

Even novelty drinks like bubble tea can be made at home, although it does require more labor to make the boba from scratch or buy specialty products like instant tapioca balls and milk tea powder. If you want to recreate meeting a friend at Oasis after a long day of class, use flavors like brown sugar to sweeten your drink or combine strawberry and matcha for a visually striking result. 

While seemingly trivial, sharing the process of making drinks has unified those affected by the coronavirus and virtually brought people together while they are physically apart. If you’re still in the U-District, take time to support local restaurants and cafes and look forward to the day when campus and coffee shops will be bustling again. 

Reach writer Hope Morris at Twitter: @hopexmorris

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