Coffee Jelly Recipe コーヒーゼリー

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Coffee Jelly Recipe | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.comCoffee Jelly (コーヒーゼリー) is a refreshing Japanese dessert which is popular in Japan as well as in some other Asian countries.  It’s usually made of black coffee, gelatin powder, and sugar, but today I used agar agar powder instead of gelatin to make it vegetarian friendly.

Coffee Jelly Recipe | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

Ways to Enjoy Coffee Jelly

This refreshing dessert can be served solid in glass dishes like how I made them today, or you can pour the coffee mixture in a baking pan, cut into cubes and serve them in a bowl.  These half translucent cubes of coffee jelly are sometimes added to milkshakes, ice cream float, or sundaes for additional flavor and texture, and they make the desserts even prettier.

My favorite way to serve coffee jelly is with whipped cream on top.  Want a healthier option?  Try it with a few tablespoon of half & half instead.  You can also serve it with vanilla ice cream to make it into a sundae or with flavored coffee cream.

Coffee Jelly Recipe | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

Coffee jelly is often served in many restaurants and cafes in Japan and you can also find pre-made coffee jelly in an individual plastic cup in supermarkets and convenience stores.  However, this coffee jelly recipe is very easy to make and I hope you will try making this dessert from scratch at home!

Now check out this quick video on How To Make Coffee Jelly!

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Coffee Jelly
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4-5 depends on container
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a small saucepan, combine water and agar agar powder and whisk together. Then bring the liquid to a boil over high heat.
    Coffee Jelly 1
  2. Once boiling, turn down the heat to simmer. Add sugar and instant coffee and cook stirring occasionally for 2 minutes.
    Coffee Jelly 2
  3. Remove from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
    Coffee Jelly 3
  4. Pour into serving dishes. Scoop up any bubbles on the surface with a spoon and discard. Once the coffee jelly cools down, wrap with plastic wrap and keep in the refrigerator for 4-5 hours.
    Coffee Jelly 4
  5. Serve with whipped cream, mint, and a coffee bean on top. The coffee jelly is great with 1-2 Tbsp. of half & half (half milk + half heavy cream) poured on top. You can keep the coffee jelly in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Notes
If you cannot find agar, you can use gelatin powder (NOT vegetarian). The same amount of powdered agar agar can be substituted for powdered gelatin in a recipe (for example: 1 tsp gelatin = 1 tsp agar agar powder).

Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.

 

 

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  1. I had this once in a hotel restaurant in Tokyo. It was just like yours, including the cream but I think it had chopped pistachios on top. I didn’t think the nuts were a good mix but I loved the dessert. Very grown up. :) I’ll give this a try soon.

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  2. donna mikasa

    I had no idea it was so easy to make coffee jelly! I can only find agar in blocks here, can I use that instead of the powder?
    If so, how much would I use? Thank you!

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  3. Kelly

    I love the sound of coffee jelly Nami! I’ve never tried this before but I am such a big fan of coffee flavored treats and love that you used agar agar powder. I can’ wait to tr this out :)

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  4. you do realize how creative and amazing this is right? I mean to have coffee but have jelly too! It is killer and i know it tastes so perfect. Now you can have coffee jelly while my kids have their jello:)

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  5. Hope

    Where I am from, it is hard to come by lots of ingredients, including agar agar, unless you order it online. This looks perfect for a friend’s birthday party tomorrow though so I won’t have time to order any. Would I use the same amount of gelatin powder or do I need to adjust it?

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    • Hi Hope! I’m so sorry for my late response! The same amount of powdered agar agar can be substituted for powdered gelatin in a recipe.

      1 tsp gelatin = 1 tsp agar agar powder

      To set 1 cup (500ml) of liquid, you need 1 tsp. agar agar powder or 1 bar of agar agar.

      Hope this helps! :)

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  6. Kimmi

    The color of this dessert is beautiful, especially the edges where the jelly touches the glass. Everything coffee-flavored is sure to be a favorite on my list of desserts. =) Thanks for sharing this easy-to-make recipe.

    I hope you and your family enjoyed a wonderful Easter weekend as well!

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  7. Ayako L.

    Coffee Jelly is one of my favorite summer time dessert in Japan. Well, any time is a good time for me actually^^!
    However, my husband always scream about this combination of Coffee & Jelly.
    “COFFEE JELLY??? %^&$!!”
    He doesn’t even drink coffee, so what can I say?
    It’s the best and yummiest of all :)
    (That’s my opinion!)

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    • Hi Ayako! Haha I actually had no idea coffee jelly was Japanese/Asian dessert, as coffee is a western drink… I was in shock that there is no such thing exists! And many of comments here say “creative” and “never had this”. This jelly is so good that it should be popular in the western countries too! :)

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  8. In college when I spent a summer with my cousin in Tokyo, I used to love eating the Men’s Cafe Jelly that you can buy at the konbini. I sometimes get a craving but then it passes before I’m near the Japanese market. Nice to have a recipe, and it looks easy. Great video too.

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  9. I’ve never heard of coffee jelly! It does look super-pretty and I love the glass you served it in. I can imagine this is a very refreshing dessert and it’s great it’s vegan-friendly xx

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  10. Nice dessert, indeed looks very refreshing and yet elegant, I remember having something similar when in Japan.
    Thanks for the recipe Nami…hope you are having a great week 😀

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    • Hi Renmi! Hmmm good question. I think you can, but coffee tastes good because it’s sweet with whip cream or sugar in the jelly. I don’t sweeten tea so it’s a little bit hard to imagine… But let me know if you try! :)

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  11. This is a new one on me. I love jellies like this, but have never heard of coffee jelly. I just so happen to have some of that Starbuck’s instant coffee in the pantry along with some agar. Definitely will be making this over the weekend. Just love it!!

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  12. I had tea jelly in little cubic jars at a teahouse in Taiwan last month, it was absolutely cute – the vegetarian version uses milk on top, but I asked it without milk on top. Agar agar powder is very popular ingredient in Asian vegetarian cuisine to make desserts. Your coffee jelly is reminiscent of that jelly I had in Taiwan – I was psyched when I saw this!

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  13. Hi Nami, thanks for this recipe. I don’t know why I have never had this before. It was so delicious and refreshing that I have made it so many times now. Just can’t get enough of it.

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  14. Courtney

    Ahh! I’m also really happy to see this! Coffee jelly was one of my favorite desserts when I lived in Japan, but when I came back to the States, I had trouble finding it. Then I found one you can make from a box, but it tasted awful. This recipe looks really simple so I think even I can make it. I can’t wait~~~!

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    • Hi Courtney! I know, this coffee jelly is so delicious, but I don’t know why we don’t find it in the US… there are lots of coffee lovers here. This one is very good, I hope you enjoy making and eating this! :)

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