How to Make Coffee Jelly Filipino Style

How to Make Coffee Jelly Filipino Style

Learning how to make coffee jelly Filipino style is easy: the work takes less than 15 minutes, and the final product is ready in just 3 to 4 hours. Coffee jelly is a great quick fix if you need to bring dessert to a party or hope to entertain guests. Most people haven’t tried coffee jelly before; you’re sure to wow your friends and family with this super simple yet exciting new dish.


The Philippines is just one of many countries that love coffee, and coffee jelly made Filipino style is a delightful chilled treat. The Philippines is one of the few places that can produce all four of the main varieties of coffee, and therefore is a place that has a rich tradition of coffee production.

The mark of Filipino coffee jelly, as opposed to other types of coffee jelly recipes, is the can of condensed milk used for the cream base. Filipino coffee jelly has a very sweet flavor which complements the bold nature of the coffee.


Gather the Ingredients

Some of these ingredients you’ll have on hand, but you’ll probably need to hit the stores for some condensed milk and gelatin or Gulaman. Gelatin and Gulaman are very similar for the sake of this recipe, but there are some differences between gelatin and Gulaman that you should be aware of.

You’ll need:

  • One can of condensed milk
  • One can of table cream
  • One package of gelatin or Gulaman
  • Four spoonfuls of instant coffee
  • Sugar

The Gelatin or Gulaman Eldorado Coffee

The Gelatin or Gulaman

You’ll need a packet of unflavored gelatin. When learning how to make coffee jelly Filipino style, you should use a packet of unflavored Gulaman if you can. Gulaman might be a bit harder for you to get your hands on than unflavored gelatin, but if you can, it will make the coffee jelly more authentic. Gulaman is a Filipino cooking ingredient made of dried seaweed (agar). It is used to make gelatin-like deserts and various sweets.

No Coffee Maker?

While many specialty coffee treat recipes require a coffee maker, or even a special kind of coffee maker, you can learn how to make coffee jelly Filipino style without using a coffee maker. There might be a coffee maker for every lifestyle, but Filipino coffee jelly doesn’t require one at all.

The recipe calls for instant coffee, which allows you to seamlessly combine all of the ingredients in a single pot. If instant coffee is not your thing, you can grind your own beans fresh and brew the coffee yourself. Simply adjust the amount of water to be sufficient for brewing coffee. The recipe calls for 5 cups of water-- if you choose to brew, use 1 cup to brew the grounds, and then add 4 cups afterward to make the jelly.

If you want the coffee flavor without the caffeine, you can always get a great decaf coffee to use in the mixture.

You can also go for an espresso coffee jelly by using shots of espresso instead of spoonfuls of instant coffee. Invest in some quality espresso grounds, and substitute 2 shots of espresso for every spoonful of instant coffee that you would’ve used.

Making the Jelly Coffee Filipino Style

Mixing the Ingredients

In a casserole dish, combine 5 cups of water with the package of gulaman, 4 spoonfuls of instant coffee, and your preferred amount of sugar. For a more bitter coffee jelly, use 2 spoonfuls of sugar. For a sweeter coffee jelly, use 6-7 spoonfuls of sugar. If you want stronger coffee jelly, you can use 6-7 spoonfuls of instant coffee as well. 

You can achieve a thicker gelatin by using 4 cups of water instead of 5. This is the stage where you can experiment with the recipe to create your desired result.

Making the Jelly

After mixing the ingredients, turn on the heat and stir continuously until you’ve brought the mixture to a boil. It is important to keep stirring to make sure that the coffee, sugar, and Gulaman remain evenly mixed and don’t start to clump in certain spots. Cooking gelatin properly is an exact science that you can perfect as you continue making the coffee jelly time after time. 

After bringing the mixture to a boil, cut the heat, and pour it into a room-temperature container and allow it to cool. After the mixture cools for a little bit, refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours until completely set.

Finishing the Coffee Jelly

Pull the mixture out of the refrigerator and make sure that it has completely set. If it has, take a knife and begin slicing the jello into cubes. Make sure that the cubes retain shape and don’t fall apart as soon as you cut into the jelly. If it falls apart, put the jelly back in the fridge and wait another hour before trying again.

Once sliced into cubes, take a bowl and mix the cubes with the can of condensed milk and the can of cream. Let it sit in the refrigerator to chill and combine for about an hour, or until you are ready to serve your finished concoction. 

Creative Variations

Healthier Coffee Jelly

You may have noticed that Filipino coffee jelly has a ton of gelatin, sugar, condensed milk, and cream. If you want the authentic treat, then it’ll need to be enjoyed on cheat day. But if you love the many health benefits of coffee and want your coffee jelly to be an extension of those health benefits, you’ll need to make a few adjustments.

Try using less sugar, and substitute the condensed milk and cream for a non-dairy milk that has been frothed and cooled. Instead of making the coffee jelly with instant coffee, make it with freshly brewed coffee, and lean into the robust flavorings of the bitter coffee instead of the sweetness of the dish. There are a number of creative ways to substitute condensed milk as well, if you want to break down the ingredients and pick which ones are healthy enough for you.

Your health concerns shouldn’t be limited to your body; let’s make the beverage healthier for the environment as well! Try an alternative to plastic straws to cut down on waste and make a more earth-friendly coffee jelly.

Gelatin Pearls Eldorado Coffee

Gelatin Pearls

What if your coffee jelly had the consistency and shape of fine caviar? Use the coffee jelly recipe combined with a gelatin pearls recipe to craft a fun and totally unique version of coffee jelly.

Once you’ve made the gelatin pearls, use some plating techniques to make the dish really pop.

Summer Coffee Jelly

It can be tough for the coffee lovers in all of us to find exciting new items to try out on hot summer days that aren’t just another iced coffee. Finding ways to drink summer coffee can be a challenge, but Filipino style coffee jelly is a chilled treat which is perfect for the summer months!

To make the cool treat an even better summer classic, focus on the presentation of the dish. Put the jelly in the freezer for about an hour before cutting it so that it will be even firmer and colder. Note that when you freeze gelatin for too long, it loses its shape and form just as if you overheated it. So don’t overdo the freezing-- a short period of time to lower the temperature will be more than enough. Cut the jelly into larger cubes and serve in glasses with spoons. Add a shot of espresso to the condensed milk and cream combination so that even the liquid has that strong coffee flavor. We hope you and your friends enjoy this tasty treat!

Final Thoughts

We hope these different methods of creating Fillipino-style coffee jelly are as delicious for you as they were for us! 

Interested in seeing a new recipe or blog post about all things java? Contact us and let us know! We love hearing from you, so feel free to drop in. 

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