Japanese Coffee Jelly Recipe

Kohi Zeri (Coffee Jelly) - Set & Chilled
I Believe I Can Fry/Creative Commons
  • 10 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins,
  • Cook: 5 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings
Ratings (12)

Coffee jelly is a jelly dessert flavored made from black coffee and gelatin. Although once common in British and American cookbooks, it now most common in Japan, where it can be found in most restaurants and convenience stores. Coffee Jelly was first made at a branch of a Japanese chain coffee shop in the 1960s and became popular all over Japan. Coffee jelly is light and not too sweet, though you can adjust the sweetness to your liking. It's perfect as an after-dinner dessert.

Coffee jelly is refreshing and cold and makes a great summer sweet. Because of the tasty coffee flavor and simplicity of making it, Coffee jelly once was one of the most frequently made desserts at home. Today, it is more like a nostalgic sweet which was popular a long time ago. You may be able to find the jelly at some cake shops in Japan, mostly during the summer. However, there is always coffee jelly "in a cup", prepackaged at grocery stores or convenience stores just like “Jell-O”.   

You can use strong coffee, but espresso is best, especially because of the wonderful aroma it imparts. It is sweet as is, however, it is even better with some heavy cream or condensed milk. Cream goes well with the texture of the jelly and of course complements the flavor of coffee very well.

When you are making the jelly, be aware that it needs to harden in a container. A shallow pan works well to create a thin layer of jelly (about 1 inch thick) which you then cut into cubes. You can also use other containers, such as small bowls or cups, and serve the jelly without cutting.

If you’re looking for a light and unusual dessert after Japanese dinner, this is the one for you. It's known as a refreshing Japanese summertime treat but you can enjoy it all year long.

What You'll Need

  • 2 cups coffee
  • 2 tablespoon sugar (adjust the amount of sugar based on your preference)
  • 1 tablespoon gelatin powder (mixed with 4 tablespoons of water)
  • Optional: whipped cream

How to Make It

  1. Put coffee and sugar in a saucepan.
  2. Heat to almost a boil.
  3. Stop the heat.
  4. Put the gelatin mixture and stir well until it dissolves.
  5. When it's cooled down, pour into serving cups or containers.
  6. Cool in the refrigerator until set.
  7. Top with some whipped cream before serving if you would like.

Suggestions

  • Try serving coffee jelly with frozen whipped cream and chocolate sauce.
  • It's also quite delicious with ice cream, regular whipped cream or flavored coffee cream.
  • It can be served solid in glasses or cubed in bowls.