What Is Coffee Jelly?

Coffee Jelly is a popular dessert made from gelatin, coffee, sugar, and water. It consists of coffee-flavored jelly cubes served with cream or milk. This sweet treat originated in Japan and is enjoyed for its unique texture and refreshing taste.

Coffee lovers are always on the lookout for new and exciting ways to enjoy their favorite beverage. If you’re one of them, then you might have heard of coffee jelly.

This unique dessert is a popular treat in Japan and other parts of Asia, but it’s still relatively unknown in other parts of the world. So what exactly is coffee jelly? In this article, we’ll explore the origins of this delicious dessert and how you can make it at home.

Get ready to discover a whole new way to enjoy your daily dose of caffeine!

Origins of Coffee Jelly

coffee jelly

It is believed that coffee jelly was first introduced by a Japanese company called Nagasaki Usuda Coffee, which began selling it as a dessert in the 1920s. At the time, coffee was still considered an exotic and expensive luxury item in Japan, so this new dessert quickly became popular among those who could afford it.

Over time, other companies started producing their own versions of coffee jelly and it soon became widely available throughout Japan. Today, you can find pre-packaged cups of coffee jelly at convenience stores and supermarkets all over the country.

The popularity of coffee jelly eventually spread beyond Japan’s borders to other parts of Asia such as Taiwan and South Korea. In recent years, there has been growing interest in this unique dessert around the world thanks to social media platforms like Instagram where food bloggers share pictures of their creations.

History of Coffee Jelly

It is believed to have originated in Japan, where it was first introduced as a way of using up leftover coffee. The dessert quickly gained popularity and became a staple in Japanese cafes and restaurants.

Over time, coffee jelly spread throughout Asia and eventually made its way to other parts of the world. Today, you can find variations of this delicious dessert in countries like Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and even the United States.

Ingredients and Preparation

The type of coffee used can vary depending on your preference. Some people prefer to use instant coffee while others opt for brewed or espresso-based coffees.

The preparation process is relatively straightforward as well. First, prepare the gelatin according to the package instructions and set it aside to cool slightly.

Next, brew your desired amount of strong black coffee and add sugar until it dissolves completely.

Once both mixtures have cooled down a bit (but not too much), combine them in a bowl or container with enough space for the mixture to solidify into cubes later on. Stir everything together thoroughly before pouring into molds or containers that will give you uniform-sized cubes when cut up later.

How to Make Coffee Jelly

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 cups of strong brewed coffee
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of unflavored gelatin powder
  • Whipped cream or milk (optional)

To prepare the coffee jelly, start by brewing two cups of strong coffee. Add sugar to the hot brew and stir until it dissolves completely.

Next, sprinkle three tablespoons of unflavored gelatin powder over the mixture while stirring continuously until it dissolves entirely.

Pour this mixture into a shallow dish or mold that has been lightly greased with cooking spray. Let it cool down for about an hour before transferring it to your refrigerator for at least four hours or overnight.

Once set, cut your chilled jelly into cubes using a sharp knife. Serve them in individual bowls topped with whipped cream or milk if desired.

Popular Coffee Jelly Recipe Variations

There are many variations of this delicious treat, and each one offers a unique flavor profile. Here are some popular coffee jelly recipe variations:

1. Creamy Coffee Jelly: This variation adds cream or milk to the mixture for a richer, creamier texture.

2. Iced Coffee Jelly: Instead of serving the coffee jelly with cream or milk, you can serve it over ice for a refreshing summer treat.

3. Chocolate Coffee Jelly: Add cocoa powder or melted chocolate to the mixture for an indulgent twist on traditional coffee jelly.

4. Caramel Macchiato Coffee Jelly: Mix in caramel sauce and vanilla extract into your coffee before making it into jelly cubes for an extra sweet and flavorful dessert.

5. Coffee Tiramisu Trifle: Layering pieces of sponge cake soaked in espresso syrup with whipped mascarpone cheese mixed with small cubes of homemade  coffee jellies makes this classic Italian dessert even more special!

Coffee Jelly in Beverages

It adds an extra layer of flavor and texture to your favorite coffee drinks, making them more exciting and refreshing. You can add coffee jelly cubes to iced coffee or milkshakes for a unique twist on classic recipes.

One popular beverage that features coffee jelly is the Japanese drink called “coffee milk.” This drink consists of cold milk mixed with sweetened black coffee syrup and topped with cubes of soft, jiggly coffee-flavored gelatin. The combination of creamy milk, strong black coffee, and chewy jelly creates an irresistible taste sensation that’s perfect for hot summer days.

Another way to enjoy Coffee Jelly in beverages is by adding it as toppings on your favorite frappuccino or latte at home. Simply blend ice cream or whipped cream together with some brewed espresso shots until smooth then top it off with some cubed Coffee Jelly before serving.

Serving Suggestions

Traditionally, it’s served with whipped cream or milk to balance out the bitterness of the coffee flavor. However, there are many other creative ways to serve this delicious treat.

One popular way to enjoy coffee jelly is by adding it as a topping for ice cream or yogurt. The combination of creamy and chewy textures creates an exciting contrast that will leave your taste buds wanting more.

Another fun idea is using coffee jelly as a filling for cakes and pastries. It adds an unexpected twist to classic desserts like cheesecake or chocolate cake.

For those who prefer savory flavors, you can also use coffee jelly as a glaze for meats like pork chops or chicken breasts. The sweetness of the dessert pairs well with salty and umami flavors, creating an unforgettable culinary experience.

Pairing Coffee Jelly With Other Desserts

One popular pairing is coffee jelly with ice cream, which creates an indulgent treat perfect for hot summer days. The creamy texture of the ice cream complements the chewy texture of the coffee jelly, while the flavors blend together perfectly.

Another great pairing for coffee jelly is cheesecake. The rich and tangy flavor of cheesecake pairs well with the subtle sweetness and bitterness of coffee, making it an ideal combination for those who love both desserts.

For those who prefer lighter options, fruit salads are also a great choice to pair with coffee jelly. The refreshing taste and natural sweetness from fruits such as strawberries or peaches complement well against its strong bitter notes.

Coffee Jelly & Dessert Pairings

Its unique texture and coffee flavor make it an excellent addition to many desserts, adding depth and complexity to their taste. Here are some popular pairings for coffee jelly:

1. Ice Cream: Coffee Jelly pairs perfectly with vanilla ice cream or chocolate ice cream.

2. Cake: You can add cubes of coffee jelly on top of your favorite cake, such as cheesecake or sponge cake.

3. Pudding: Coffee Jelly goes well with custard pudding or caramel pudding.

4. Fruit Salad: Add cubes of coffee jelly in your fruit salad for an extra burst of flavor.

5. Tiramisu: Use the cubed jellies instead ladyfingers in this classic Italian dessert.

Vegan & Vegetarian Alternatives

The good news is that it’s possible to make this dessert without using any animal products. Instead of gelatin, which is made from animal collagen, you can use agar-agar powder or flakes as a substitute.

Agar-agar comes from seaweed and has similar properties to gelatin when it comes to setting liquids.

To make vegan coffee jelly, simply replace the gelatin in your recipe with an equal amount of agar-agar powder or flakes. You’ll need to dissolve the agar-agar in hot water before adding it to your coffee mixture and allowing it to set in the refrigerator.

For vegetarians who consume dairy products but avoid meat-based ingredients like gelatin, there are also options for making vegetarian-friendly versions of this dessert by using plant-based milk instead of cream.

Instant Vs. Homemade Coffee Jelly

While both options have their pros and cons, making homemade coffee jelly is generally the preferred method for those who want a more authentic and customizable experience.

Instant mixes are convenient because they require minimal effort and can be prepared quickly. However, they often contain artificial flavors and preservatives that can affect the taste of your dessert.

Instant mixes may not provide as much control over the texture of your jelly cubes.

On the other hand, making homemade coffee jelly allows you to choose high-quality ingredients that suit your preferences. You also have greater control over how firm or soft your jellies turn out by adjusting gelatin ratios according to personal preference.

Nutritional Information

While it’s delicious, you may be wondering about its nutritional value. Coffee jelly is low in calories and fat, making it an excellent option for those who are watching their weight.

A serving of coffee jelly typically contains around 50-60 calories and less than one gram of fat.

However, coffee jelly does contain sugar which contributes to its calorie count. If you’re trying to limit your sugar intake, then this dessert might not be the best choice for you.

It’s important to note that the nutritional information can vary depending on how much sugar is added during preparation.

If you’re looking for a caffeine boost from your coffee jelly treat – keep in mind that while there will still be some caffeine present in the dish due to using brewed coffee as an ingredient – it won’t have nearly as much caffeine content compared with drinking regular brewed or espresso-based coffees.

Health Benefits and Considerations

It’s important to keep in mind that this sweet treat does contain sugar and calories, so it should be consumed in moderation. Here are some health benefits and considerations to keep in mind when enjoying coffee jelly:

  • Antioxidants: Coffee contains antioxidants which help protect the body against damage from free radicals.
  • Caffeine: Coffee jelly contains caffeine which can provide an energy boost and improve mental alertness.
  • Sugar content: Most coffee jellies contain added sugar, so it’s important to consume them sparingly if you’re watching your sugar intake.
  • Calorie count: Depending on the recipe used, coffee jelly may have varying calorie counts. It’s best to check nutritional information before consuming.

Storing and Shelf Life

It’s best to consume it within 24 hours of making it as the texture may change over time. If you plan on storing your coffee jelly for longer than three days, consider freezing it instead.

To freeze coffee jelly, place the cubes into a freezer-safe container or bag and store them in the freezer for up to two months. When ready to use them again, simply thaw them out overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

It’s important not to leave your coffee jelly at room temperature for too long as this can cause bacteria growth and spoilage. Always keep your dessert refrigerated until ready to serve.

Cultural Significance in Popular Culture

It is often served as a dessert or snack and can be found in many cafes and restaurants across the country. In recent years, coffee jelly has also gained popularity outside of Japan, particularly in other parts of Asia.

In popular culture, coffee jelly has been featured in various forms of media such as anime and manga. One notable example is the character Rize Tedeza from the anime series “Is The Order A Rabbit?” who is known for her love for black coffee with coffee jelly.

Coffee Jelly’s unique texture and refreshing taste have made it an ideal ingredient to incorporate into other desserts such as cakes, ice cream sundaes or parfaits. Its versatility makes it easy to pair with different flavors like chocolate or fruits which adds another layer of complexity to its flavor profile.


What is coffee jelly made of?

Coffee jelly is made of sweetened coffee combined with either agar (kanten in Japanese) or gelatin, forming a gelatinous dessert that can be cut into cubes and served in various dishes and beverages.

What does coffee jelly taste like?

Coffee jelly tastes like a slightly sweetened coffee with a somewhat bitter flavor and a balanced sweetness.

How would you describe coffee jelly?

Coffee Jelly is a scrumptious dessert featuring coffee-flavored gelatin cubes, accompanied by milk, whipped cream, and shaved chocolate.

What kind of dessert is coffee jelly?

Coffee jelly is a refreshing Japanese summertime dessert made with coffee, powdered gelatin, and sugar, often served with various toppings such as frozen whipped cream, chocolate sauce, or ice cream.

What are some popular variations of coffee jelly recipes?

Popular variations of coffee jelly recipes include incorporating different flavors, such as vanilla, caramel, and mocha, as well as serving it with milk, whipped cream, or ice cream.

How do you make coffee jelly at home?

To make coffee jelly at home, dissolve unflavored gelatin in hot water, mix it with coffee and sugar, then pour into a mold and refrigerate until set.

Where did coffee jelly originate from?

Coffee jelly originated from Japan.