Easy Japanese Recipes

Coffee Jelly コーヒーゼリー

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

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 dessert 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!


To quickly update, I donated to International Rescue Committee for March.  As I promised, each month 20% of proceeds from selling my eBook will go to charity.  Thank you for those who purchased the eCookbook.

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Coffee Jelly
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4-5 depends on container
  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.
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.



Posted in: Desserts, Vegetarian

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  • Maureen | Orgasmic Chef April 20, 2014, 3:22 pm

    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.

  • A_Boleyn April 20, 2014, 5:13 pm

    It looks like a very pretty and light dessert.

  • donna mikasa April 20, 2014, 5:47 pm

    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!

    • Nami April 20, 2014, 6:09 pm

      Hi Donna! 1 stick of agar powder (4 gram) is same as 1 kanten stick. So you just want to break off 1/4 and use the rest. I tried making with 4 gram, but the jelly is too hard for my preference. 3 gram is just right. :)

      • donna mikasa April 21, 2014, 12:42 am

        Thank you so much for sharing the conversion! I really want to try this. :)

        • Nami April 21, 2014, 9:54 pm

          Hope you enjoy, Donna! :)

  • Belinda@themoonblushbaker April 20, 2014, 7:17 pm

    This jelly is my cup of tea! I especially love the simple nature of this dessert which can be made even sweet with some condense milk and evaporated milk mix. It is like pudding but easier

  • Alessandra April 20, 2014, 7:22 pm

    Ciao Nami, lovely dessert using agar agar, one of my favourite ingredients :-)


  • Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. April 20, 2014, 9:34 pm

    I’ve never had anything like this, but I really love it!!

  • Betty Ann @Mango_Queen April 20, 2014, 11:34 pm

    This is one of my most favorite things to order when we are in Tokyo. I’m so excited that now I have a recipe to try at home. Thanks for sharing. Hope you had a lovely Easter, Nami!

  • Choc Chip Uru April 21, 2014, 2:39 am

    Coffee jelly? Don’t mind if I do, delicious job :D Seems complex!

    Choc Chip Uru

  • Rosa April 21, 2014, 2:41 am

    Light and delicious!



  • Monica April 21, 2014, 3:41 am

    Never realized these could be made so easily. Thanks for sharing. Your presentation is flawless, as usual!

  • Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) April 21, 2014, 6:19 am

    Coffee Jelly? You seriously always teach me so much and I have fun learning too! Amazing!

  • Jody April 21, 2014, 8:06 am

    What is the refrigerator life of the coffee jelly?

    • Nami April 21, 2014, 9:57 pm

      Hi Jody! Thank you for asking! I’m going to update my recipe with this info. :) It should be consumed within 2 days. :)

  • John@Kitchen Riffs April 21, 2014, 9:21 am

    Fun recipe! I’ve never made this, but it’s quite easy to do. And wonderful flavor, I know — I’ve had it in restaurants. Great post — thanks.

  • Yelena April 21, 2014, 2:42 pm

    Very interesting and unique dessert. Looks divine.



  • Laura (Tutti Dolci) April 21, 2014, 2:46 pm

    This is so pretty, Nami! The perfect dessert for a coffee lover like me! :)

  • Ana Helena Campbell April 21, 2014, 4:29 pm

    I just love how your videos are done Nami! Great recipe and lovely photos!!!

  • Sandra | Sandra's Easy Cooking April 21, 2014, 5:34 pm

    What a fun video, and delicious dessert…it has coffee so it gotta be yummy!!! I am loving your pictures, Nami!

  • Natasha @ The Cake Merchant April 21, 2014, 7:56 pm

    Your videos are great, Nami! I love that it uses agar powder rather than gelatin. I’m going to try making this for sure!

  • Kelly April 21, 2014, 8:04 pm

    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 :)

  • Jeanette | Jeanette's Healthy Living April 21, 2014, 8:39 pm

    Sounds like a light and refreshing dessert Nami!

  • Mich Piece of Cake April 21, 2014, 8:55 pm

    I don’t drink coffee but I sure wouldn’t mind a refreshing coffee jelly like this!

  • Medeja April 22, 2014, 4:33 am

    One of the most delicious ways to get daily coffee dose :)

  • Kitchen Belleicious April 22, 2014, 5:42 am

    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:)

  • Hope April 22, 2014, 8:24 am

    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?

    • Nami April 26, 2014, 9:58 pm

      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! :)

      • Hope April 28, 2014, 3:30 pm

        I went a head and tried it anyway with replacing it exactly. It worked and it was delicious! Thank you so much for this awesome recipe!

        • Nami April 30, 2014, 8:47 pm

          Hi Hope! I’m glad it came out well. Hope you enjoyed this recipe. Thanks so much for letting me know! :)

  • Kimmi April 22, 2014, 9:02 am

    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!

    • Nami April 26, 2014, 10:02 pm

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Kimmi! The spring break has been good so far. :) Hope you enjoy this coffee jelly – so delicious!

  • Ayako L. April 22, 2014, 10:19 am

    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!)

    • Nami April 26, 2014, 10:05 pm

      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! :)

  • Valerie | From Valerie's Kitchen April 22, 2014, 10:32 am

    I think this is a nice, light and refreshing end to a meal. I’m off to watch the video :)

  • Raymund April 22, 2014, 12:27 pm

    Good to see your blog is back online :)
    This is a nice simple dessert for breakfast!

  • Maris (In Good Taste) April 22, 2014, 3:40 pm

    Looks great — I love coffee so I can only imagine that I would equally love coffee jelly!

  • Sandra L. Garth April 22, 2014, 3:59 pm

    I think this would be so tasty with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. Very unique recipe!

  • Kate April 22, 2014, 4:40 pm

    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.

  • Mi Vida en un Dulce April 22, 2014, 6:34 pm

    You always surprise me with récipes like this one, I never imagine having this as a dessert…!!!

  • Katerina April 23, 2014, 12:52 am

    This is a very aromatic dessert Nami! My husband who is a great coffee lover would love this!

  • Ella-HomeCookingAdventure April 23, 2014, 1:42 am

    What a beautiful dessert.. love this idea as never tried it before. I am curious.

  • Hotly Spiced April 23, 2014, 3:36 pm

    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

  • Giulietta | Alterkitchen April 24, 2014, 5:58 am

    I love coffee, but I never thought about making coffee jelly.. But I think I’ll copy this idea for this summer :)

  • Lokness @ The Missing Lokness April 24, 2014, 11:32 am

    Beautiful coffee jelly, Nami! I like the slightly bitter coffee with the sweet whipped cream. When we were in Tokyo, we had one too. So tasty! My parents-in-law love coffee. I think they will love this.

  • Juliana April 24, 2014, 12:20 pm

    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 :D

  • Evelyne@cheapethniceatz April 24, 2014, 1:49 pm

    Too funny, I almost picked this recipe for the contest post where you asked what Japanese recipe we would like to see. So I am very happy to see it now and it looks just so delicious.

  • Renmi April 24, 2014, 8:01 pm

    This dessert looks so so pretty (almost too pretty to eat). Can I use this recipe for tea jellies too?

    • Nami April 26, 2014, 10:51 pm

      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! :)

  • mjskit April 24, 2014, 9:10 pm

    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!!

  • Christine @ Cooking Crusade April 25, 2014, 1:20 am

    lovely recipe Nami! this would be great in cubes in a bubble drink methinks heheh

  • Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking April 25, 2014, 3:36 pm

    I love this simple, elegant dessert, Nami! I don’t have coffee in the mornings, but I do love coffee-flavored desserts… especially if I have an occasion to stay out late! ;) Thanks for sharing and inspiring me. Have a great weekend!

  • Alyssa April 25, 2014, 11:42 pm

    Nami, that looks like such a wonderful and refreshing dessert! Saving for later. I bet it would be great for entertaining!

  • Kelly April 26, 2014, 4:03 am

    That’s a great way to get some caffeine in a hot day! So simple too!

  • Serena | Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch April 26, 2014, 9:41 pm

    Such an elegant dessert! I love that you made it vegetarian friendly too! Delish!

  • cquek April 27, 2014, 7:21 am

    I am heading into the kitchen now.

  • Lynna April 28, 2014, 12:56 am

    Oh, I LOVE coffee jelly! I actually love it as add-on in my boba milk tea. Haha~

  • cristina April 28, 2014, 10:00 am

    I like this idea of coffee jelly! Beautifully and professionally presented, Nami!

  • rika@vm May 10, 2014, 3:02 pm

    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!

  • Alina May 11, 2014, 2:14 am

    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.

  • Megumi June 12, 2014, 3:33 pm

    Wow! Looks delicious! Can’t wait to make this! I’ve always loved Coffee Jelly!

    • Nami June 14, 2014, 6:42 pm

      Thanks Megumi! Hope you like this recipe – it’s easy and delicious, especially on warm days!

  • Courtney November 11, 2014, 3:42 pm

    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~~~!

    • Nami November 11, 2014, 9:24 pm

      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! :)