Vietnamese Egg Coffee

vietnamese egg coffee

The Spruce / Pete Scherer

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Brew Time: 5 mins
Total: 20 mins
Serving: 1 servings
Yields: 4 cups
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
237 Calories
10g Fat
27g Carbs
11g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 237
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 12%
Saturated Fat 4g 22%
Cholesterol 225mg 75%
Sodium 143mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 27g 10%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Protein 11g
Calcium 171mg 13%
*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.)

“Egg coffee?” To the average western ear, the phrase may trigger a strange, possibly unpleasant image. “Custard coffee” might be more accurate, but it sounds more like ice cream or some sort of flan. No, egg coffee is, rather, the famous thick, strong and dark vietnamese brewed coffee topped with a sweet, light and airy foam of egg yolk and condensed milk. Imagine a beverage form of tiramisu and you will likely get pretty close to the vibe of good Egg Coffee.

Go to Vietnam and you will encounter this rich, caffeinated beverage confection in the bustling urban quarters of Hanoi, where the storied Cafe Giảng makes the original version. The first Egg Coffee was concocted by Giảng in the 1940s during a shortage of fresh milk, the preferred coffee additive at the time. Deprivation fired up Giảng’s creativity, and the scrumptious, popular result endures today. When the sky opens up in monsoon season, get into a cafe as fast as you can and shelter through the storm with an Egg Coffee.

Egg Coffee is very easy to prepare if you have an electric mixer. It can be done without, but you may lose an arm in the process. The main this is to make the coffee thick and strong. This drink is really about the pleasure of mingling opposites. The foam of condensed milk and egg yolk is super sweet, rich yet airy, while the dark coffee is intense and somewhat bitter. 

Traditional Vietnamese coffee drippers compress the finely ground french roast coffee so that the water above drips slowly through, extracting every last bit of that french roast intensity. The result is almost syrupy. If you do not have a vietnamese dripper, espresso is the best alternative, but french press and regular drip methods are just fine. If you are not a fan of strong coffee, do not worry. A lighter roast or brew might not be authentic but it will still be delicious.

Ingredients

  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 60 grams french roast coffee, finely ground
  • 1 liter hot water
  • Optional: Cocoa powder (for sprinkling)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Combine the egg yolk and condensed milk in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat with the wire whip on high for about 10 minutes. It may not look especially frothy. To test, you may spoon a small amount on top of a glass of water. If it floats, great. If not, whip for a few more minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, prepare the coffee. Brew according to your preferred method.

  4. Reserve about half a cup for later, then divide the remaining brewed coffee among four cups. If desired, set each cup in a small bowl of hot water to prolong the warmth of the coffee.

  5. Gently spoon some of the whipped egg mixture onto the top of each coffee. Pour a bit of the reserved coffee through the foam in each cup. Serve immediately.

Raw Egg Warning

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