The first time I’ve ever had coffee jelly was when I was working in Japan right out of college. I never really drink coffee on a regular basis. And when I do drink coffee, it’s usually iced coffee with lots of cream and sugar. Nowadays, I still don’t drink coffee much and when I do, it’s usually black or espresso. So after getting into Tokyo for a few weeks and making some new friends, we all decided to meet up at a coffee / dessert shop on a weekend. As I perused the menu, which was all in Japanese, I skipped over the coffee and went straight to dessert. Fortunately there were plenty of pictures on the menu so I can make out what I might want to try. Upon first glance, I thought the coffee jelly dessert was grass jelly which is popular in Asia. But then I see it drizzled with cream and I asked my Japanese friend who told me it was coffee jelly. Now mind you, even though I don’t drink coffee regularly, but I love the smell of coffee so I decided to give it a try.
The coffee jelly was presented in a wine glass with the jelly cut into cubes topped with whipped cream and drizzled with some fresh cream. One scoop and I was in love. The coffee flavor is very strong yet not acidic. When mixed with the whipped cream and fresh cream, it definitely tastes like a coffee dessert but the flavors aren’t whipped together like a frappe so you can distinguish between the bitter, the sweet, and the creamy. Needless to say, I found a new love, until I realized that I can’t have coffee in the afternoon because the caffeine kept me up all night.
Coffee Jelly is so simple to make it’s almost a joke. If you’ve ever made Jell-O before, you can make coffee jelly. Basically just need 3 ingredients, coffee, gelatin, and sugar and lots of patience to let the gelatin set in. I usually make a batch because it can keep in the fridge for a week without any problems. Now, if you are super lazy, you can also buy cold-brewed coffee and just add gelatin and sugar. Now, remember, you must ‘bloom’ the gelatin first or else it will be lumpy.
- 2 cups dark roast coffee
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 tbsp gelatin
- ½ cup cold water
- Bloom the gelatin in cold water for 2 minutes
- Brew your coffee to be twice as strong as normal
- Add in sugar and bloomed gelatin to very hot coffee, stir until dissolved
- Pour into molds
- Let it chill in the fridge for at least 6 hours or overnight to allow gelatin to set
- Remove and drizzle with cream or whipped cream prior to serving