I’ll be the first to admit that the thought of combining egg and coffee made me feel queasy. I’m talking about raw egg in your coffee. Not that cool hack of cooking an egg in your coffee maker. That’s cool, but this is much cooler.
The Hanoi-style egg coffee (cà phê trứng) has been blowing up among travelers returning from Vietnam recently – but it’s been around for decades, we are only just “discovering” it now.
Keep reading if you’d like to learn about a few other egg coffee recipes that will change your mornings.
Why Add Egg To Your Coffee?
Let’s take a moment to talk about egg coffee benefits.
Enriching your coffee with egg can be both delicious and good for your health, especially if you’re physically active. Mark Sisson, the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, says whisking a raw egg (1) into your coffee makes the beverage amazingly smooth and rich while also providing nutritional value. Sisson says adding an egg to his morning coffee helps him train harder because the egg provides protein, while coffee is known for boosting your metabolism (2).
It makes sense: eggs are well-known emulsifiers, used in baking and sauce-making for that very reason. Whisking them into coffee makes for a deliciously rich consistency.
Eggs are also valued as a healthy breakfast food because they contain plenty of protein, vitamins, and minerals (3). That leaves just one problem: simply cracking a raw egg into your latte tastes like shit.
That’s where history steps in – through hundreds of years of combining eggs and coffee beans, a few recipes have emerged that pair the two so well, you’ll likely crave this new form of coffee after one well-brewed experiment.
Below are five egg-cellent recipes (sorry) you can try at home!
1. Cà Phê Trung (Vietnamese Egg Coffee)
The Vietnamese Cà Phê Trứng is a delicious, almost cappuccino-like marriage of coffee and egg. Sometimes described as “liquid tiramisu,” the combination of egg and sweetened condensed milk makes this a rich, dessert-like treat. Without the egg, it’s simply a Vietnamese coffee – recipe here.
The history of egg coffee (4) lies within the Vietnamese Cà Phê Trung.
This iconic Hanoi beverage was invented by Mr. Nguyen, a bartender in the Sofitel Legend Metropole hotel, during an acute shortage of fresh milk in the 1940s. The egg yolk was used to replace the foamed milk in European-style coffees.
Mr. Nguyen later founded Café Giang (5) in an alleyway in Hanoi’s Old Quarter, and this establishment still buzzes with locals and travelers to this day. It is now operated by Mr. Nguyen’s children and grandchildren.
I’ve been lucky enough to try the Cà Phê Trứng at Giang Café, and it definitely stands up to the rave reviews it’s been getting from travelers in recent times. Smooth, rich but not overpoweringly sweet, it’s a perfect pick-me-up on a sticky Hanoi afternoon.
Although the Nguyen family recipe is a well-guarded secret, it is possible to recreate this iconic beverage at home using some of its key ingredients.
Sometimes it’s hard to get your hands on freshly roasted Vietnamese beans… unless you’re in Vietnam. If you can find it from a Vietnamese supermarket or online, Trung Nguyen, Vietnam’s most popular coffee brand, is perfect for this recipe. The next best option: fresh roasted dark beans (such as French roast) – here are a few options.
Ideally, you would also use a Vietnamese coffee filter – phin – to brew the coffee. If you don’t have one, you can use espresso, a strong pour over brew, or coffee made in a French press. (Just please don’t use instant coffee.)
This recipe makes two cups – share this article with a friend you’d make ca phe Trung for!
2. Scandinavian-Style Coffee Brewed With Egg (Sweden)
I believe THIS is what you need to show someone who asks “what is Swedish coffee?” It may be the ancestor of the “cowboy coffee” from the American West, where egg whites (and shells) clarify the grounds after boiling over a campfire.
This traditional Scandinavian-style coffee, with the egg mixed into the coffee grounds before brewing, was brought to the US by Scandinavian immigrants. It remains popular in Midwestern church gatherings to this day. In the States, it even has the nickname “Church Basement Coffee,” because it is traditionally served in Sunday gatherings.
This recipe was probably invented to salvage low-quality coffee grounds in times when expensive coffee grounds were recycled several times or the brewing methods were crude and over-extracting. It is an interesting piece of cultural history.
The egg makes the coffee grounds sink to the bottom of the pot, clarifying and smoothing the coffee. The resulting cup of coffee is light, smooth and mild.
Note that Scandinavia is traditionally a region of almost exclusively light roast coffees, so you should also go for a light roast for an authentic flavor.
The following recipe will make 2 cups. Share this post with a friend who you’d like to try this with:
- One egg (do the right thing, use free-range organic)
- 20g of coarsely ground coffee
- 400ml boiling water
- 300ml cold water
- Break one egg. Put it in a bowl with 1/4 cup of cold water and the ground coffee and mix until smooth.
- Add the egg-coffee ground mixture to 400g of boiling water in a coffee pot and simmer for 3-5 minutes.
- After the coffee has boiled, add 100g of cold water and let it settle for 2 more minutes.
- Skim off any visible coffee particles from the surface.
- Strain the coffee through a fine-mesh sieve to reduce the grounds in your cup.
- Serve hot or iced.
Below is a video on how to make traditional Norwegian-style coffee brewed with egg:
3. Primal Egg Yolk Coffee (Yes, it’s Paleo, Keto, etc.)
This recipe by Mark Sisson (6) can be varied according to your tastes. You can add extra flavorings if you like.
Mark lauds this coffee as both healthy and tasty – especially with the extra ingredients you can experiment with. He recommends using pastured (free-range) egg yolks.
You can add various ingredients to make it more interesting. Add coconut oil or butter at the blending stage to make sure they emulsify and aren’t stuck sitting at the top of your cup. If you’re adding powdered spices like cinnamon or turmeric, sprinkle them on the top of your cup at the end.
When you’re pouring the coffee from the blender into your cup, a nice foam should appear. Adding spices to this foam makes it extra nice.
- 1 large mug (350 ml) of filtered black coffee (NOTE: Pod coffee just does not cut it)
- 3 egg yolks (do yourself a favor; use organic free-range eggs)
- 1 teaspoon of sugar… I prefer to use a pinch of sweetener
- A pinch of salt
- A few optional extra ingredients for taste: Ground cinnamon, Turmeric, Vanilla essence, Butter, coconut oil.
- Blend the coffee and egg yolks for 3 minutes.
- Add a teaspoon of sugar and a pinch of salt.
- Blend for a few seconds more.
- Pour and enjoy.
If bulletproof coffee sounds like something you’d like, give it a go while you’re at it. It’s tasty and full of goodness to get your engines firing all day.
4. Kopi Telur (Indonesia)
Kopi Telur, or Padang-style coffee with egg, is a traditional recipe from Sumatra, Indonesia. Refreshingly sweet, it provides a delicious caffeine kick on a hot afternoon.
Naturally, Sumatran coffee is perfect for this recipe, but if you cannot find it, any dark coffee low in acidity will suit.
- Half a cup of strongly brewed coffee
- One egg yolk
- A tablespoon of condensed milk
- 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1.5 teaspoons of honey
- Have your freshly brewed coffee at the ready.
- Combine honey, vanilla extract and the egg yolk in a tall glass.
- Add 1/4 cup of boiling water into the glass while beating slowly with a thin whisk. Keep whisking until the mixture becomes smooth and foam-like.
- Pour condensed milk into the center of the foamy mixture.
- Then pour the brewed coffee into the center of the milk.
- This should produce a three-layered glass: the “custard” of honey, vanilla, and egg in the bottom; coffee in the middle; and foam at the top.
- Drink with a straw.
5. Egg Brandy Coffee (Sri Lanka)
This decadent recipe (7) combines coffee, raw egg, and brandy into one delicious beverage. According to popular belief, it provides strength and helps get through colds and other illnesses. You can also just make it as a pick-me-up after a long day at work!
If you’re not a fan of brandy, you could experiment with different types of alcohol. Another warming drink like whiskey would probably be your best bet.
- A cup of coffee – brewed the way you like it
- 3 cubes of sugar
- One egg
- A shot of brandy
- Beat the whole egg in a bowl until smooth.
- Brew your coffee and add 3 cubes of sugar.
- While beating consistently, add the freshly brewed and hot coffee into the egg.
- Add the shot of brandy.
- Drink while it’s almost scaldingly hot – this is to provide maximum strength and stamina.
So, Would You Try Egg Coffee?
Although egg coffee might sound odd to the uninitiated, it is traditional in many parts of the world. (Note that this is nothing like the soft drink called an “egg cream,” which combines milk, chocolate syrup, and soda water – that is, neither eggs nor cream.) Combining the health benefits of eggs with the deliciousness of coffee is a stroke of genius in my books.
You may have heard of Cuban egg coffee too – I’ll update this list with it shortly. Planning to try one of these recipes – or all of them? Let me know how you like it!. And if you are in the mood for more awesome global coffee recipes check this article.