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A US Company Apologized After Taking Credit For The Viral Korean Dalgona Coffee Trend

"We are sorry and we acknowledge that this was inspired by Korean culture and we completely stand by the Asian community."

Posted on April 13, 2021, at 1:59 p.m. ET

Reda&co / Getty Images

At the start of 2020, a homemade whipped coffee trend went viral on TikTok. The drink is more commonly known as dalgona coffee and was popularized by South Korean actor Jung Il-woo.

Now Katie Angel, who is based in the US, has set up a company called Whipped Drinks, which sells a kit that allows you to create the whipped coffee for $49. But that business venture has come under fire as her website falsely claims that she created the drink.

Screenshot / Whipped Drinks / Via webcache.googleusercontent.com

Dalgona coffee went viral after Jung appeared on the South Korean TV show Stars’ Top Recipe at Fun-Staurant and ordered a coffee in Macau that was made by café owner Leong Kam Hon by whipping instant coffee, sugar, and hot water 400 times. That led to people in South Korea trying out the recipe for themselves.

The dalgona coffee trend then went mainstream on social media apps like TikTok, where people showed how they easily achieved perfectly whipped coffee while most cafés were closed due to the pandemic.

People then called out Whipped Drinks for not giving the appropriate credit.

So we have white people claiming they created dalgona coffee now? “With coffee shops closed and grocery store lines around the block, she (Katie)improvised with premium instant coffee in her home kitchen to make a whipped coffee creation...” https://t.co/ZwKcQfgseL

Twitter: @noahconk

Care to answer why you’re ripping off another country’s culture without properly crediting @WhippedDrinks??? There’s absolutely nothing original about your products. You basically copied a tiktok trend that went viral because of a Korean actor. You should be ashamed of yourself. https://t.co/ogiSlVDbli

Twitter: @modooborahae
Whipped Coffee / Instagram

Following the backlash, Whipped Drinks updated its website to credit the origin of dalgona coffee and posted a statement to the company's Instagram account saying it will be honoring and giving back to the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.

"We are sorry and we acknowledge that this was inspired by Korean culture and we completely stand by the Asian community," the company wrote. "We did not intend to make it seem that we invented dalgona. In the spirit of that, a percentage of proceeds from every sale will go to the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum, building power with AAPI women and girls.⁠"

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.