Love It Or Hate It Vietnamese Coffee With Egg?

In Vietnam there are so many delectable dishes and flavors but what about Vietnamese coffee with egg?

On first thought… combining a wonderfully aromatic coffee with an egg seems disgusting, even unthinkable! And hey, I don’t blame you if that thought makes you feel like you want to throw up! Even I didn’t think that I could bring myself to try one and stomach it.

Now, while I do love my coffee and my eggs – SEPARATELY – would I love it or hate as a combination in a beverage? 

On our recent trip to Vietnam, where we had a blast of course… I had to go back and get an egg coffee. So yes, I’ve had it before. Yet, what would it be like this time round? 

While egg and coffee may sound repulsive together… keep reading this We Drink Eat Travel blog to discover something new that may blow your mind and tastebuds!

Plus, you’ll discover 7 interesting things you should know about the Vietnamese coffee with egg. And, I’ll run through a couple of the top places to have egg coffee in Hanoi. So why Hanoi you ask? Read on and you’ll find out why…

    1. Egg Coffee is Not a New Creation.

    As Australians we do love our coffee like many other people around the world. Yet, if you mention having an egg coffee… people’s jaws drop and their eyes bulge out of their heads! And, we have to reassure people that we’re not crazy.

    Now, some of you may be thinking that are some weird and whacky things in Vietnam. Yet, egg coffee is like any other normal beverage for them.

    Plus, believe it or not… in Italy they have an egg coffee too. You’d think that the Italians would be in disgust at something like this! 

    Yet, they made their own egg coffee creation basing it on their dessert, Zabaglion. It would combine the rich Italian coffee with whipped egg and voila… they have egg coffee by the name of, Zabaglione al Caffé.

    Now, while the Italians may enjoy their egg coffee… it’s said that the original egg coffee was in Hanoi. 

    One of the first reports of the Vietnamese coffee with egg was back in 1946. And, so you know… you may see it in the Vietnamese language as, cà phê trứng. 

    It’s said that this coffee invention was from a gentleman by the name of, Nguyen Van Giang. His trade at the time was a barista at the historic, Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel… during the French-Indochina War. 

    And, during that time when there was a shortage of milk… Nguyen Van Giang was ever resourceful and would substitute it with eggs. Then, this was the beginning of the Vietnamese egg coffee in Hanoi… and beyond.

    2. What are the Ingredients in a Vietnamese Egg Coffee?

    The basic ingredients are egg yolks, sugar, and sweetened condensed milk. Normally it is made with robusta coffee, which is great… as we prefer this type of coffee. And, oftentimes robusta will be the coffee bean of choice, due to its strong nutty flavor profile. 

    And, when it mixes with the sweet egg mixture they complement each other… providing a delectable balance of flavors.

    I’ve heard of variations where vanilla or even vodka is put in the mixture as well! And, some say that’s to help reduce the egg aroma as well as elevate the flavor. Yet, in my experience I haven’t been able to smell the aroma of the egg.

    While I’ve always had the egg coffee made as per how the barista wishes… it would be interesting to try it without the added sugar. It’s common in Vietnam and throughout Asia to have sugar added to drinks, even juices! And for me, sometimes it can get sickly sweet.

    Yet, the way I’ve had it made for me is magnificent.

    3. How Do They Make the Egg Coffee?

    Now, when we were in Hanoi on our last trip… we did watch one of the café owners make an egg coffee from scratch. And, it sure didn’t look difficult. But then again, they have been making them for decades!

    Of course, each person will have their own technique and ingredients when making it. Yet, one way is this:

    1. Prepare a cup or mug of black coffee, which is usually robusta. In Vietnam this could be via a phin filter, espresso machine, or French press for example. Or shock horror if it’s instant coffee!
    2. For the egg component: combine 2 egg yolks, 1 teaspoon sugar and 3 tablespoons of condensed milk… and whisk until creamy.
    3. Add half of the black coffee into a cup.
    4. Add all the egg mixture on top of the black coffee.
    5. Add the remaining black coffee into the cup.

    4. What does the Vietnamese Coffee with Egg Taste Like?

    If you’ve ever had coffee in Vietnam… you may notice that some of the coffees can taste bitter, especially when it’s black with no additions. Mind you, most of the time when we have coffee it’s black with not even a pinch of anything!

    Now, the consistency of the egg mixture topping isn’t frothy like the milk top of a cappuccino, for example. And no, it’s not like the top of a latte either. Imagine a thicker consistency, with a delectable creamy texture. The flavor is sweet and it’s oh so yummy! 

    If you didn’t know otherwise… I’d say that you wouldn’t even think eggs were the main ingredient in making the creamy topping.

    While we do prefer our ca phe den (black coffee), or sometimes the ca phe sua (black coffee with condensed milk)… having an egg coffee every now and again is a delightful change. And, as avid travelers we like to experience new and different things!

    5. Is it Safe to Drink Vietnamese Coffee with Egg?

    OK, so some of you may be wondering… are the egg yolks raw or cooked when the coffee is being made? In short, they’re raw. 

    Now, this may be a concern for some of you. And hey, I don’t normally like having raw egg yolks at the best of times. And, you’ll NEVER see me having raw eggs… like some of those bodybuilders out there! I’m almost dry-reaching thinking about it.

    So, when making the Vietnamese egg coffee, what you’ll find is that in some places… they’ll put your cup of egg coffee in a bowl of hot water. This can help to take the edge off the rawness of the egg… as well as to help keep the coffee warmer for longer.

    Of course, if it makes you uneasy about having raw egg, check with the barista first. They may have a solution for you. Otherwise, don’t risk it. The last thing you want is the potential for food poisoning… especially if your stomach hasn’t had exposure to something like that before.

    6. What is the Price of a Vietnamese Egg Coffee?

    Now, depending on where you go in Vietnam, obviously the prices of this coffee will vary. 

    For example, one of our favorite coffee places in Da Nang, Thanh Hà Coffee… you can get their egg coffee for 35,000 VND. That’s about USD $1.40 or 1.25 Euros or GBP 1.10. So, that’s real cheap.

    Remember how I said at the start I’ll share with you a couple of the top places to have egg coffee in Hanoi? Well, here you go…

    First up, one the most popular places is, Cafe Giảng. You can find it on 39 Nguyễn Hữu Huân Street, in Hanoi’s Old Quarter… down a small alleyway. 

    And, it’s one of the top places to go not only for tourists but for locals too. The main reason why? Here, is where the original Vietnamese egg coffee extraordinaire, Mr Nguyen Van Giang… had his own coffee house established. We did try our first ever egg coffee here, and it sure was an eye-opener. You can try it here for 35,000 VND. 

    Yet, on this occasion we had our egg coffee fix at a place by the name of, Cafe Dinh. You can find it at 13 Đinh Tiên Hoàng Street.

    It’s a cute and nostalgic place, with many old photos and paintings here too. Take a seat on a tiny wooden stool with a tiny wooden table. 

    One of the things that was surprising was that it was peaceful, even when it was almost full. Then, as the place your egg coffee on the table, it looks picture perfect.

    Now, if you get there at the right time… you could enjoy your egg coffee with the prime position at the front of the coffee house, which overlooks Hoan Kiem Lake. You can get the Vietnamese egg coffee here for 25,000 VND. 

    7. Love It or Hate It? Alternatives to Vietnamese Egg Coffee.

    If you’ve never been to Vietnam, once you arrive… you’ll begin to notice that there are HEAPS of cafes and little street stalls selling coffee. And, one of the main reasons why is… Vietnam is the 2nd biggest producer of coffee beans in the world, behind Brazil.

    And boy, they sure do have some amazing coffees in Vietnam. Plus, you can get good quality coffees for super cheap… starting from around 15,000 VND for example! So, that converts to about USD $0.60 or 0.55 Euros or GBP 0.45.

    Now, you can get egg coffee in different areas of Vietnam. In fact, on our recent trip to Vietnam… we found that more cafes have a more variety in their coffee menus and to include egg coffee.

    Yet, for those of you gagging at the thought of it, don’t worry! Plus, if you’re a vegan then egg coffee is definitely something you won’t be trying. 

    That’s why one of the great things is when you’re in Vietnam… there are plenty of other alternatives apart from the egg and standard coffees you can try. For example, you could indulge in an avocado coffee, salt coffee, yogurt coffee… or a delicious coconut coffee.

    Plus, if you want to get adventurous, there are even places in Vietnam… that host special friendly competitions where you can create your own coffee flavor. And, that new imaginative flavor could make it to the café’s special coffee of the month… or even a permanent fixture of their menu! 

    So, when in Vietnam you can check out local tours… where you can have an in-depth experience in egg coffees, if that takes your fancy!


    We Think that the Vietnamese Egg Coffee is “Eggscellent!”

    After this “eggscellent” We Drink Eat Travel blog (ha ha I had to put that in)… I trust that it will help you decide if you want to try a Vietnamese coffee with egg on your travels.

    When hearing about it the first thought might be of disgust… especially as raw egg yolks is one of the main ingredients. You may be thinking that the Vietnamese have made a concoction that no-one could ever like. 

    Yet, if it was good enough as a tasteful beverage, for many back in the 1940’s French-Indochina War until now… there must be something special and tasty about it.

    The way the baristas get that creamy texture and sweet flavor of the egg topping is amazing. And, in combination with a strong, fragrant robusta coffee… it creates a wonderfully delicious and balanced unique coffee.

    Plus, it’s so cheap to have an egg coffee in Vietnam. We’ve seen it as low as 25,000 VND and it’s yummy! And, depending on where you go, you could drink this coffee in a nostalgic Vietnamese coffee house… or even by the beach, while enjoying the sounds of the waves lapping onto the shore.

    And, if you’re unsure about having a Vietnamese egg coffee, no problems! With Vietnam being the 2nd biggest producer of coffee in the world… you’ll be sure to find something to enjoy. Whether that be flavor combinations from avocado through to coconut to salt… you’ll have lots to choose from.

    Even so, one thing is for sure… the coffees in Vietnam can be potent. Sometimes I’ve been buzzing for hours afterwards.

    So, to all you coffee lovers, CHEERS!

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