LA Company Criticized For Claiming to Have Created South Korean Dalgona Coffee

dalgona

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to include a statement Sung Yeon Choimorrow, executive director of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, saying that Whipped Drinks has not reached out to the non-profit organization to ask for consent to be listed as a beneficiary.

The owner of an LA-based company has recently come under fire after claiming to have created the popular South Korean drink dalgona coffee.

Rise to fame: The drink’s recent popularity can be attributed to South Korean actor Jung Il-woo, according to Indy100.

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  • During one episode of the TV show “Stars’ Top Recipe at Fun-Staurant,” Jung orders a special whipped coffee made by café owner Leong Kam Hon in Macau.
  • Several South Korean YouTubers and other social media users recreated this drink while under quarantine in 2020, with many of them posting videos with the hashtag #dalgonacoffeechallenge. 
  • The drink then went viral on social media apps such as TikTok. 

Recent controversy: The company Whipped Drinks initially claimed on its website that its owner, Katie Angel, invented dalgona coffee.

  • Angel supposedly “improvised with premium instant coffee in her home kitchen to made a whipped coffee creation to rival any Los Angeles barista.” 
  • The company’s products, such as its Whip Kit, range from $24 to $64. 
  • Social media users took to online platforms such as Twitter to call out Whipped Drinks.

The aftermath: Whipped Drinks apologized on Instagram on April 12 for not crediting the origins of dalgona coffee. 

  • Whipped Drinks also declared 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.⁠
  • The company’s website, which was recently updated, now says that Angel “fell in love with the viral whipped coffee trend, also known as dalgona coffee, that originated in South Korea and gets its name from a popular street toffee.” 

NAPAWF told NextShark in a statement that Whipped Drinks has not reached out to the non-profit organization to ask for consent to be listed as a beneficiary nor do they want to be a beneficiary of their profits.

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Sung Yeon Choimorrow, executive director of NAPAWF, said:

“No one from Whipped Drinks has reached out to us and NAPAWF will not be accepting any donations from Whipped Drinks. We oppose the long history of white supremacist culture appropriating and profiting from the cultures of communities of color, while the systems that prop up whiteness deny us the resources we need to thrive.

NAPAWF builds power with Asian American and Pacific Islander women and girls so that our stories are heard and our experiences seen. We won’t be made invisible by racism and sexism that extracts from our communities or allyship that is performed.”

Feature Image via J’adore자도르

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