Food Review: Cà Phê Trứng (Vietnamese Egg Coffee)

So I originally came across this dish via Vice, and you can check out that video here. It intrigued me, and as someone who drinks a lot of coffee and loves unique dishes, I was excited to try it for myself. Unfortunately I don’t think I’ll be able to travel to Vietnam, any time soon, so instead Tori B Bearly was nice enough to make me one using the convenient recipe, also available via Vice, which you can check out here.

Before I talk about what I thought of the Vietnamese Egg Coffee, I wanted to share a little about the history of the beverage. The Vietnamese Egg Coffee, or Cà Phê Trứng was created by Mr Nguyen Giang, he came up with the recipe because he needed a substitute for milk due to the milk shortage caused by the First Indochina War (also known as the Anti-French Resistance War), which lasted from December 19th 1946 until July 20th 1954. Giang first began making the coffee while bartending at Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel.

Nguyen Van Giang opened his own cafe, known as Giang Café, in 1946, which is located on a small lane on Nguyen Huu Huan Street, in the old quarter of Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam. The Café is still open today, and is still operated by his family. The Coffee itself has also evolved over the years, with innovations like blending helping to make the drink even better, removing the eggy flavour, instead focusing on something light and sweet. According to an interview with Tri Hoa Nguyen, Giang’s son, who has perfected the art of making the Vietnamese Egg Coffee, he welcomes imitation, and so has no issue with people making their own versions of the drink, he feels that he has cracked the secret to making it perfectly, and even his own sister who runs a competing cafe, cannot make it as well as him.

So with that in mind, let’s move on to what I thought of the Egg Coffee, as we have also made our own version, that being said I am incredibly interested in trying the original and definitive version, and so if and when I get the opportunity to try the real deal I will update this post with my thoughts. 

Vietnamese Egg Coffee
So because Tori did not have decades of experience making this dish, nor were they privy to the secrets Tri Hoa Nguyen uses to make the perfect Egg Coffee, it did have an eggy overtone to it, but honestly I actually found it to be very palatable, and it was tempered and balanced out by the sweetness of the condensed milk, and the heavy robust flavour of the coffee. I usually prefer a latte if I’m drinking coffee but honestly, this all together puts any latte I’ve ever had to shame, it’s very creamy and sweet, and it really goes down well. Considering the effort it can take to really create a layered look between the condensed milk and the coffee, your instinct might be to keep them separate but both myself and Tri suggest you mix it all up, maybe after taking a few pics for Instagram, so you can fully enjoy the flavour of this dish. Overall I would strongly recommend this. 

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