At first, these two flavors seem really unrelated. However, if you once try this special coffee, their harmonious combination can blow your mind away: not too sweet, not too bitter, the creamy taste of egg foam combined with the passionate aroma of condensed coffee. If you go to Hanoi without trying this exclusive drink, you are deemed having not been there.
Egg coffee, which is a longstanding creative drink of people in Hanoi, has become globally famous thanks to the special ardour of the tourists for this drink. One has said that he will always remember the unique taste of the extremely hot egg coffee contained in a simple ceramic mug; and every time when someone mentioned Hanoi, he will immediately associate the place with this drink.
The recipe for a cup of egg coffee is rather simple. First, fresh chicken eggs are a must in order to avoid the fishy smell. The second ingredient – coffee should be the premium coffee of Vietnam with condensed liquid and strong passionate aroma. Then extract the egg yolks (the whites are removed) and whip by hand or using an electric mixer until you can smell the aroma like cakes. Finally, pour hot coffee into the cup, egg foam will gradually float onto the top. That is how your egg coffee is prepared.
The method is actually not very complicated, however, you need to be extremely delicate and meticulous to have a good cup of egg coffee. Maybe this is the reason why in Hanoi there is only a limited number of favorable café of this drink. In fact, this recipe is by no means special or requires any secret technique, however, the sophisticated ingredients are a real challenge. The trick lies in the balanced ratio between egg, coffee and milk so that their combined taste is harmonious, not too sweet or bitter, creamy of foam (without any fishy smell) and passionate of coffee.
The creamy taste of egg foam mingled with the strong aroma of coffee delivers the unique flavor of this drink. Your coffee is served hot and you are recommended to drink it as soon as possible before it becomes fishy and unpleasant. Later, the recipe is added with a little amount of cacao powder as a topping. This new recipe is not only tastier but also makes the coffee appearance more attractive.
Like many other traditional dishes of Vietnam, people enjoy egg coffee slowly and leisurely. They slowly stir the floating soft foam on the top and then sip that creamy taste spoon by spoon, slowly feel the strong flavor in their mouth. The cup used as containers is usually small types that are fit in the hands. The amount is just enough for you to enjoy but makes you crave for another one.
Though it is simply a cup of coffee made from egg, milk and black coffee, it still remains as a strange attraction for those who have tried. Egg coffee is particularly a must for those who cannot bear the bitterness of filter coffee but still want to enjoy the legendary taste of Vietnamese coffee. The sweet and creamy flavor of egg foam will reduce the ‘unpleasant’ taste of bitter coffee but still remain its strong passionate aroma.
Egg coffee was introduced first around the early 20th century. The ‘father’ of this exclusive type of coffee is Mr. Nguyễn Văn Giảng. Mr. Giang once worked as a chef for a 5-star hotel Sofitel Legend Metropole during the French colonial period. Inspired by the popular drink of Western culture called Capuccino, Mr. Giang further create its variation called egg coffee with more familiar and charming ingredients.
On the famous website for tourists – Tripadvidor, a Malaysian tourist with the nickname tikay239 has stated his feeling after trying a cup of egg coffee: That is a unique taste of coffee and an interesting experience in Hanoi. Later when I come back this place, I will definitely come to this café once again for this special drink.
Shared on a tourism website AFAR, Ms. Jodi Ettenberg was full of praise for egg coffee in Hanoi, stating that this is a wonderful exploration in her trip. Having tried coffee in various places, however, she found that coffee in Hanoi, especially egg coffee, left her the strongest impression.
As egg coffee has existed for a rather long time in the culinary culture of Hanoi, it cannot become a fever like other newly-introduced dishes. This drink only slowly diffuse among the locals and the tourists, however, its unique feature has partly contributed to the rich culinary culture of Vietnam. Currently, in addition to two famous addresses on Nguyễn Hữu Huân St. and Yên Phụ St. (also called Giảng Café – the café that created this drink), you can also find this special drink at Đinh Café or café Phố Cổ. Beisdes, egg cacao of a smoothie shop called Hồng (Hàng Chỉ St.) is also a highly recommended place.