Try the Delicious Vietnamese Egg Coffee (Ca Phe Trung)!

Last Updated On : October 2021
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Vietnamese Egg Coffee

Does Vietnamese coffee really have egg in it? 

Yes, there’s no getting away from it. This Vietnamese coffee type does contain egg yolks! 

But wait! If you start pulling faces in disgust instead of reading on, you’ll be missing out on the creamiest, most unique coffee you can try. This is truly one of the best drinks I’ve had hands down! It’s like drinking liquid tiramisu!

This guide will give you all the information you need on this egg coffee and how to make it at home. 

In this guide we’ll cover the following:

  • Origins of Vietnamese egg coffee
  • What is Vietnamese egg coffee, and...
    • Its taste
    •  How to serve it
    • Any variations
    • A simple Vietnamese egg coffee recipe
    • FAQ’s

What is Vietnamese Egg Coffee?

Typically, Vietnamese egg coffee (or Ca Phe Trung) consists of coffee, sweetened condensed milk, egg yolk, and (sometimes) butter. However,  there are many variations! We will cover these below and more.

But first, let’s start with a bit of history!

History of Vietnamese Egg Coffee

The story goes that in the 1940s during the French war, there was a shortage of fresh milk in Vietnam.

Nguyen Van Giang worked in the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel in Hanoi and using his initiative came up with an alternative for milk in the coffee. And that’s how the Vietnamese egg coffee or ca phe trung was created.

Everyone loved it and he left to open his own shop, Café Giang, that is now managed by his son. He has three cafes in Vietnam where you can get the original Vietnamese egg coffee.

So, What is Vietnamese Egg Coffee?

Nguyen never gave away his recipe, so it is up for debate what the original recipe contained. But ingredients can include egg yolk, butter, sugar, and sweetened condensed milk (sometimes cheese).

What Does Egg Coffee Taste Like?

There isn’t an actual eggy flavor of the coffee. It is rich and sweet with the texture of a pudding like crème brûlée.

The top has a thick and yellowy foam that invites you to dive down through the layers.

How to serve egg coffee

It comes in a small cup like an espresso cup, either hot or cold.

It is important to whisk it properly or you could end up with a very unpleasant cup of coffee resembling scrambled egg.

It is best to make the coffee with a Phin. Check out our blog on how to make Vietnamese coffee with a Phin and the best Phin we recommend.

Trung Nguyen Vietnamese Coffee

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How do you drink Vietnamese egg coffee?

Just like any other coffee, pour it into your coffee cup (a small one), and enjoy. But hopefully while you’re on an amazing vacation in Vietnam and enjoying the real deal. If you aren’t this lucky then you can easily make it at home.

Variations of Egg Coffee

As noted, there are many egg coffee recipes that are similar to the Vietnamese one.

Let’s start with a simple variation. Vietnamese egg coffee can be iced

Whipped cream can be used for a lighter version or if that’s all you have in your kitchen.

For those who are on a Keto diet but still want to try this unique coffee, monk fruit can be used instead. You might find it hard to find this fruit though.  

There are other types of egg coffee that originated from different parts of the world.

One of the most interesting ones is the Zabaglione al Caffé. It is an Italian egg coffee. Zabaglione is a type of Italian custard using whisked egg yolks heated with fortified wine.

Usually, Marsala wine is used. Just like heating chocolate, you put a pot over hot (but not boiling water) to mix the wine or liqueur and the eggs until foamy and add to the espresso. 

Sugar can also be added to the egg mixture for some added sweetness and toasted bread can be dipped into the coffee.

 A second variation of egg coffee is Norwegian egg coffee, also known as Swedish or Scandinavian egg coffee.

The recipe for this egg coffee is slightly different than the Vietnamese one.

Ground Coffee is added to the beaten egg. You then boil water and add the mixture to the water until there is no foam. You can add some cold water to settle the coffee grounds and pour it through a strainer.

The result is a smooth coffee with no egg taste.

The Scandinavians are said to have brought this recipe to America and it continues in the Lutheran communities who may call it a Lutheran Church Basement Coffee.

How to Make Vietnamese Egg Coffee?

We highly recommend you try this type of coffee drink. Follow this simple recipe to try it at home!

Ingredients (serves 4)Quantity/Ratio
Vietnamese Ground Coffee or Strong Coffee Beans (darker roasts are better)4 x shots
Egg yolks4
Sweetened Condensed milk150ml
Vanilla extract (optional)1 tsp

Method of Preparation

  1. Grind your quality coffee beans just before brewing for the best flavor. I recommend against using instant coffee, it will not taste nearly as good. Plus is instant coffee really coffee? Instead, use strong coffee (a dark coffee).

  2.  Brew your coffee. Vietnamese coffee is best made using a Phin (a Vietnamese coffee filter). I can vet for the phin below, but Vietnamese coffee can be approximated with a French press or espresso machine. For more instructions on how to brew your coffee using a Phin check our post here.

  3. To prepare the egg mixture (or egg cream), whisk the egg yolks and sweetened condensed milk (and vanilla extract if using this) until pale and foamy which could take between 5 and 10 minutes. (So, best to use an electric whisk to prepared this whisked egg yolk concoction...)
    Tip: You can substitute the sweetened condensed milk with an unsweetened one, and add brown sugar instead. Or if you want a lighter version of this coffee drink substitute the condensed milk with whipped cream. Part of the fun is to experiment!

  4. Pour the freshly brewed coffee into each glass, leaving some of the coffee. The remaining coffee will be used to finish off this drink.
    Tip: before pouring, toss the glasses in hot water to warm them up. This will keep your coffee hot for longer.

  5. Add the egg mix.

  6. Pour the remaining coffee through the foam

Pro Tip!

 The egg mixture can be poured into iced coffee too. You will get a delicious vietnamese iced coffee.

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions about Vietnamese Egg Coffee

Can you make it without condensed milk?

You can substitute the sweetened condensed milk with whipped cream for a lighter version.

Is this coffee keto friendly?

Unfortunately, no, it has carbs. There is a low-carb version using monk fruit if you still want to try this coffee type without ruining your diet.

Is it safe to drink Vietnamese egg coffee?

While there is a risk of salmonella with raw egg in the egg cream, due to the boiling water when making the coffee, this should kill any bacteria. People with weakened immune systems, children, pregnant women, and the elderly should still be careful.

How many calories are in egg coffee?

There are around 173kcal in a typical cup of this eggy vietnamese coffee.  No surprises this is high in calories, the egg cream alone contains egg yolk and condensed milk! As long as you’re not drinking one of these every day, there’s no reason you can’t treat yourself.  

Vietnamese Egg Coffee Tray

Bottom Line

Vietnamese egg coffee is a unique brew that is thick and creamy with a kick from the espresso. It’s worth the time it takes to make this hug in a mug.

Let us know if you’ve tried this amazing coffee drink. It is truly unique and one of my favorite drinks of all time. 

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