Traditional Swedish Egg Coffee

Traditional Swedish Egg Coffee recipe

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 20 mins
Servings: 10 servings
Yields: 8 cups
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
7 Calories
0g Fat
0g Carbs
1g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10
Amount per serving
Calories 7
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 19mg 6%
Sodium 17mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 0g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 10mg 1%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 16mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Swedish egg coffee is a unique way of brewing coffee with an egg. According to legend, this recipe originated en route from Sweden to America in the late 1800s. It has become a long tradition for Lutheran church gatherings of Scandinavian-Americans in the Midwest and was dubbed "church basement coffee" for the large quantity it usually makes. To make Swedish egg coffee, a raw egg is added to the coffee grounds before brewing the coffee, creating a potting soil-like mixture. Some diehard egg coffee lovers use the crushed eggshell as well, but that's optional.

Adding the egg helps clarify the coffee, allowing the grounds to separate from the water easily. The egg white extracts the bitterness from the grounds and enhances the caffeine. The result is a light, clear brew with absolutely no bitterness or acidity and a velvety texture that's easy to drink. You'll notice that after a few minutes of simmering, the grounds will clump together and float to the top, which is why the coffee has such a mild taste. Adding the cold water toward the end creates a French press effect, causing the mass of grounds to sink to the bottom of the pot. To make Swedish egg coffee, you can use either an enamel coffee pot or a saucepan.

Coffee is always a great way to start off the day—go ahead and enjoy your egg coffee with the perfect accompaniment—a cinnamon roll or bagel.

Ingredients

  • 9 1/4 cups water (divided)

  • 3/4 cup freshly ground coffee (medium to coarse grind)

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 cup cold water

  • Optional:

    1 large eggshell

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Traditional Swedish Egg Coffee ingredients, water, coffee, egg

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Bring 9 cups of the water to a rapid boil in a saucepan or enamel coffee pot.

    water in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  3. While waiting for the water to boil, stir together the ground coffee, remaining 1/4 cup water, and the egg in a small bowl or measuring cup. (While we use the entire egg, you can omit the eggshell and use only the egg yolk and white if you prefer.)

    ground coffee, water, and egg in a small bowl

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  4. When the water is boiling, carefully pour in the egg and coffee mixture. Turn down the heat and simmer for 3 minutes, being watchful that it doesn't boil over.

    boil the egg and coffee mixture in a pan

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  5. The coffee grounds will gradually bind together into a single mass that floats to the top of the pot. Once this happens, immediately remove the pot from heat.

    egg and coffee mixture in a pot

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  6. Pour in the 1 cup of cold water and let the coffee sit for 10 minutes. This allows the coffee grounds to settle to the bottom of the pot.

    coffee with water in a pot

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  7. Once the grounds have sunk to the bottom, pour the coffee through a fine-meshed sieve or strainer into cups and serve.

    pour the coffee grounds and egg mixture through a fine-meshed sieve

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Raw Egg Warning

Consuming raw and lightly-cooked eggs poses a risk of food-borne illness.

Tips

  • The longer you let the coffee simmer, the stronger the flavor grows without becoming bitter.
  • The coffee ground mixture can easily boil over so make sure to watch the pot and lower the heat when necessary.