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Coffee jelly (コーヒーゼリー kōhī zerī) is a popular gelatin dessert in Japan. It is a mix of an alga jelly with sweetened coffee, and was developed in the Taishō period (1912–1926).
Japanese coffee jelly is made from sweetened coffee added to alga, a jelly made from algae and called kanten in Japanese.
It is often cut into cubes and served in a variety of dessert dishes and beverages. Cubes of coffee jelly are sometimes added to milkshakes, at the bottom of an ice cream float, or to garnish an ice cream sundae. Coffee jelly is often added to a cup of hot or iced coffee, with cream and gum syrup added. Condensed milk is poured over cubes of chilled coffee jelly in a bowl.
Coffee jelly can be made using instant mix or from scratch. It is served in restaurants and cafés, and is sometimes a part of students' lunches served at public schools in Japan.
Japanese coffee jelly was developed during the Taishō period (1912–1926) in imitation of European moulded jellies. It appealed to modern young men with tastes for Western fashion.