Eggs and coffee are a classic breakfast combination. Just not usually in the same cup.
Whilst the thought of cracking an egg into your morning brew doesn’t naturally conjure up the
most pleasant of images, those who have tried the sweet, rich combo are instant converts. So, if
you want to enjoy it too, read on as we break down exactly how to make egg coffee.
What is Vietnamese Egg Coffee?
The great flavor of egg coffee, a favorite in Vietnam, is down to the fact you don’t just crack an
egg into your coffee. Instead, egg yolks are whisked with sweetened condensed milk until they
form soft peaks.
This is then poured on top of hot, insanely strong, espresso.
It’s a super simple, easy to make coffee packed full of deliciousness.
The foam can be eaten with a spoon before drinking the coffee. Or you can drink the coffee
through the foam like a cappuccino then spoon the tiramisu-style deliciousness left at the
If you visit Vietnam, one of the big things you’ll notice about the coffee is how strong and sweet
Condensed milk being added to coffee is just standard – whether it’s hot or iced coffee. This,
teamed with the locally grown robusta beans, creates a big, punchy shot of coffee that will
possibly keep you up for weeks at a time.
This is a good thing as there’s so much to see and do in Vietnam that you won’t want to be spending much time sleeping, if you can avoid it.
Although making Egg Coffee started in Hanoi in Northern Vietnam, it has quickly spread
throughout the country. Now, it is especially popular in Ho Chi Minh in the south of the country.
Vietnamese Egg Coffee Recipe
Ingredients (makes 2 coffees)
1 egg yolk
4 tbsp sweetened condensed milk
2 double espresso shots (preferably from Vietnamese Robusta beans)
Method: How to Make Egg Coffee
- Whip the egg yolk and condensed milk until light and fluffy. You want to be able to form
soft peaks. This can be done either by hand or by using an electric whisk to save you
- Pop on your espresso machine and brew 2 double espressos or use a Phin –
Vietnamese drip filter
- Spoon the egg mixture onto your espressos, it will form a distinct layer on top of your
Origin of Vietnamese Egg Coffee
Such a delicious and decadent morning treat has different origins than you might imagine:
cà phê trúng – egg coffee – originates in Hanoi, Vietnam.
In 1946, during what is known as “The French War” or “The First Indochina War” local groups,
including the Vietnamese Communist party, fought for control of Vietnam from the colonial rulers
who were reoccupying the country following the Japanese surrender.
Supplies of foodstuffs, such as fresh dairy, were extremely limited. So, a resourceful young
Vietnamese bartender called Nguyen Van Giang used whisked egg and sugar as a dairy
replacement in the guest’s coffees at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel in Hanoi where he
It was rare for local Vietnamese people to be given jobs by foreign companies. So Giang must
have been fairly impressive to be in that position in the first place.
The new egg coffee proved so popular that Giang was able to open his own coffee shop, called
Café Giang, to serve the drink.
Where to Get Egg Coffee in Vietnam
Nowadays, it’s usually condensed milk that is used with the egg yolk rather than sugar to make
egg coffee. The combination creates the delicious foam.
And, if you want to enjoy it too, you can find cà phê trúng in cafes across Vietnam.
If you aren’t a big coffee drinker, they also make egg hot chocolate at the Giang cafes. They
make this using local chocolate, creating the ultimate in indulgence.
The Original Vietnamese Egg Coffee Recipe
The original recipe is a closely guarded secret by Nguyen Van Giang’s family.
They will tell people they add coffee powder, a little butter and cheese to their signature mix. But
will not elaborate any further.
If you’ve got the time, and are feeling experimental, then practicing how to make this opulent
egg coffee treat seems as good a use of time as any. Though maybe not the healthiest.
History of Coffee in Vietnam
The history of coffee in Vietnam starts with the French and their passion for the drink. The
passion for coffee of Western Europeans is intrinsically linked to the spread of coffee around the
The French first started trading with Vietnam in the 17 th century. But with the losses of colonies
in the Caribbean around the turn of the 19 th century, focus was moved east and the full
colonization of “French Indochina” was complete by 1887.
Coffee was first brought to the region in the mid-1800s from Bourbon (now known as Reunion),
a small island in the Indian ocean.
Production was small to begin with, possibly due to the French being more interested in
conquering land than agriculture early on. But plantations were founded across the country and
production was quickly ramped up.
Following wars in the 1940s, 60s, and 70s for independence from Colonial rule and to unite
Vietnam as one nation, the coffee industry was nationalized. Plantations were set up in the
highlands and members of the Kinh ethnic group – the dominant group in Vietnam – were
resettled from Southern Vietnam to work them.
Relaxation of laws around private enterprise led to a boom in coffee production in Vietnam in
the mid-1990s. During this time, production almost tripled between 1995 and 1999.
You may be surprised to learn that, in 2018, Vietnam was the 2 nd biggest coffee producing
nation in the world. They produce roughly 20% of the world’s coffee.
Around 97% of the coffee grown in Vietnam is Robusta. Other varietals are only becoming
popular, slowly, due to growers making single origin coffees.
Coffee in Vietnam is usually made using a small metal drip filter that sits on top of the cup. The
medium to coarse ground robusta coffee is placed in the filter then the hot water is added. The
resulting brew is intense, dark and rich.
Other Types of Coffee with Egg
It’s not just the Vietnamese who combine eggs and coffee. In fact, it is more popular than you
might think with other recipes found around the world:
- Norwegian/ Swedish Egg Coffee: A very smooth cup of coffee, with a very different recipe to
the Vietnamese. Here, coarse coffee grounds are combined with whisked egg – including the
shell. This is boiled together, before adding a cup of ice-cold water to make the solid clumps
stick to the bottom. The liquid is poured through a fine sieve or French press before serving.
- Sri Lankan Egg Coffee முட்டைக் கோப்பி : The already decadent egg coffee is given an
extra, delicious, kick thanks to the addition of brandy. In this egg coffee recipe, strong coffee is
made with several sugar cubes. The coffee is stirred into beaten egg, then the brandy added.
- Kopi Telur (Indonesian Egg Coffee): A refreshingly sweet caffeine hit using Sumatran coffee
beans. The Kopi Telur is made by layering unfiltered coffee, foamed egg yolks, and sweetened
condensed milk and usually enjoyed as part of a snack rather than alone.
So, there you have it. The complete guide on how to make egg coffee, it’s origin and where to