A natural thing to do when you are given a cup of coffee and an egg is to consume them separately. But what if I tell you a whimsical idea of adding an egg into coffee just because well- you are a coffee fiend.
Would you, do it?
As it turns out, adding eggs into coffee is not a novel idea; the Vietnamese have served this as a staple since the 1950s. It is quite on the rise recently, especially with an increasing number of tourists venturing into South-East Asian culture. Moreover, Vietnam coffee is popular for its distinct aroma and flavour robustness due to the way it is roasted and to some extent, due to the type of coffee used – Robusta coffee. Travelling to Vietnam seem to be a distant idea for now to some; I thought why not learn the recipe and make myself one at home?
While searching for recipes online, I found out that apparently: Swedish coffee egg is a borderline normal thing too. It is made by mixing ground coffee with a raw egg – some add the shells in too – then boiled and strained; different from the Vietnamese coffee with eggs recipe. I won’t be doing a review for that now as I am more interested in the Vietnamese style.
I tweaked a few recipes to accommodate my preference. With that said, let’s get cracking; shell we?
What You Need
- Vietnamese coffee*
- Vietnamese coffee drip filter set*
- 3 tsp condensed milk (depends on your preference)
- 1 egg
- Vanilla essence (optional)
* These are hard to get in a retail market – other than in Vietnam, of course. You may have to buy them online, or ask your peers to buy some for you if they are in Vietnam.
Alternatively, you can use a French press or a cafetera. For a Vietnamese coffee substitute, opt for a Robusta coffee which you can buy at any retail stores or coffee shops. Robusta tend to be more bitter than Arabica – which is ideal to balance off the sweet egg cream.
How to Prepare (Duration:10-15 mins)
- Put 3-4 teaspoon of Vietnamese coffee into the filter set. Push the filter down and add a considerable amount of boiled water. Wait for about 4-5 minutes. You can go here for a visual instruction.
Pro-tip: If you happen to use a French press, make sure you fill only a quarter to less than half, as you don’t want the texture of your coffee to be too watery. I used this method for my second attempt; it was A-OK.
- While waiting for your coffee to brew, separate the egg yolk from the whites. You will only need the egg yolk.
- In a bowl, add 3 teaspoons of sweetened condensed milk and the egg yolk. You can add a ½ teaspoon of vanilla essence if you want to enhance the sweet flavour, but I chose not to.
- Whisk for about 3 to 4 minutes. You can either whisk manually or use an electronic mixer. I would recommend the latter method because it saves time and energy to produce a satisfying result. You’re looking for a fluffy, creamy texture and light yellow colour.
Pro-tip: Add one more egg yolk if it takes forever to achieve a result.
- In a clear glass (for the sake of art), pour ¾ brewed coffee first and then, the egg mixture. Let it sit for 1 minute. Pour in the remaining coffee.
- Voila! Enjoy your “eggy” coffee.
The second time was similar to my first trial even though I used an electronic mixer. The key to a successful result is patience. Whisk for about 3-5 minutes.
It is essentially a Vietnamese version of cappuccino, except this is extremely creamy. It has a distinct Vietnamese coffee taste that I still can’t seem to articulate. I will say this: the taste resembles that of tiramisu. In terms of the smell, the egg overpowers; the egg masks the nutty aroma that is typically associated with Vietnam coffee. The intensity of the coffee – the bitterness and sweetness – is enhanced in the aftertaste. Overall, the taste is pleasantly sweet with a hint of nut-like flavour; it has a rich creamy texture; and a piquant aftertaste.
Would I do this every day? I don’t think so. I don’t care so much about the calories in the egg yolk; it is a good source of protein after all. It just takes a lot of time and effort, relative to brewing a regular cup of coffee. It is worth the effort, though. I felt like I learnt a whole new concept just by making this my own rather than ordering one from a cafe.
More importantly, it’s one way to appreciate a culture without having to travel miles away. It’s a quick way to fulfil a coffee lover’s wanderlust.