During the hot and humid summer months in Japan, a popular desert is coffee jelly, or coffee jello or coffee gelatin, or which ever way you wish to call it.  The Japanese pronounce this as co hee zelly.  I always wondered why they said zelly.  There is a “j” in their alphabet, so it’s not a pronunciation issue.   My guess is that the first person who translated the word said zelly and it stuck.  Regardless of how you call it, I think coffee jelly is a refreshing, adult desert.

In general, Asians don’t like their desserts as sweet as Americans, so we tend to use a lot less sugar in our recipes.  This one is no exception.  So, before you place the mixture into a container, make sure you taste it and adjust the level of sugar to your preference.  I do understand that everyone’s taste buds are different because one of our sons constantly reminds me of this fact.  His famous excuse for not eating vegetables, is that, ” it’s not me, my taste buds don’t like it.”  How do they ever find these lines??

Also, the consistency of this gelatin dessert is less firm that what one would expect.  In Japan it’s served on the softer side because that’s how they like it.  Hope you give it a try!

Japanese Style Coffee Jelly
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 6
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Refreshing summer dessert for an adult palate
  • 2 cups/500 ml of hot freshly brewed coffee (Using a drip coffee machine it's the number 6 line on your pot)
  • 3 packets Knox gelatin
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • heavy whipping cream
  1. Pour hot coffee into a bowl
  2. Add the 3 packets of gelatin. Stir and dissolve. It takes a while.
  3. Add 2 tablespoon sugar. taste and adjust.
  4. Pour into individual glasses or in a flat container.
  5. Place in refrigerator to chill until firm.
  6. You may slice the gelatine in the container into squares, then serve in a dish
  7. To serve, pour heavy whipping cream on top.

Photo: Pixabay

2 thoughts on “Japanese Style Coffee Jelly”

  1. Hi,

    What do you do with the other 4 cups of coffee? Or did you mean pour all 6 in a separate bowl? Looking forward to trying this recipe!

  2. Oh my goodness, you are absolutely right. I didn’t write the recipe very well. Sorry. I meant 6 cups of brewed coffee in the coffee maker, which is equivalent to 2 measuring cups of liquid. So yes, use all the coffee. Thanks for pointing this out. I will make the correction.

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