An cup of egg coffee for a full day of energy

Nga Do
Walk down any street in Vietnam, and it quickly becomes apparent this is a country that's crazy about coffee. From people sipping and sitting on low plastic stools on the sidewalk while gossiping with friends, to those who prefer the pricier, hipster-style cafes popping up around Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, the need for caffeine is inescapable. Try a cup of coffee in the morning, it's really great.

Everyone at Hanoi's humble Cafe Giang however, is after something more than just a caffeine fix. They've come for "cà phê trúng," or egg coffee, a Hanoi specialty in which a creamy soft, meringue-like egg white foam is perched on dense Vietnamese coffee. While destinations across the city now serve it, this cafe claims to have invented it.

An cup of egg coffee for a full day of energy
Photo by David McKelvey
There are hot and cold versions. The former is served as a a yellow concoction in a small glass. It's consumed with a spoon and tastes almost like a coffee flavored ice cream -- more like a dessert than coffee.

The hot version comes resting in a small dish of hot water to maintain its temperature. The strong coffee taste at the bottom of the cup seeps through the egg -- the yellow layer on top -- and is quite thick and sweet, though not sickly.

Benefits of egg coffee

Cracking an egg in your coffee comes with some benefits to your health. Of course, coffee alone is famous for boosting your metabolism, boosting your energy levels, and protecting you against certain diseases. But what happens when you add just one more ingredient?

Eggs are an incredible source of micronutrients – they contain everything necessary to build a baby bird from scratch. I’m not calling you a baby bird, but that’s something right? The yolks that are used in the coffee (you’ll see below that the whites are discarded) are rich in Vitamins A, D, E, and K, among necessary dietary minerals and antioxidants. Eggs also have beneficial effects on one’s cardiovascular health, metabolic health, and one’s memory and cognitive functions.

Photo by shankar s.
Coffee is not just a drink in Vietnam– it’s a way of life.

The coffee bean was initially introduced to Vietnam by the French, but planting the colonial seedlings was all they did. Since then the Vietnamese have completely made it their own. Most of the coffee plantations of the country are in the hills of Daklak, Gia Lai and Da Lat, all located in Southern Vietnam’s Central Highlands. Not only does the cool microclimate of these mountainous cities create the perfect conditions for the coffee plant to thrive but it also gives the bean a unique taste.

What never ceases to amaze me about Vietnamese coffee culture is that unlike in the west, where coffee is had in the morning to wake up a slow brain, or later in the day with the purpose of wanting to continue being awake, coffee to the locals is not solely a morning thing. In fact, it appears that coffee shops here are actually mostly active in the evenings. To the Vietnamese, having a coffee is also a “sit down” experience they share with family, friends or coworkers. The concept of taking it “to go” is not very common.

If you want to explore Vietnam culture and would like some more fun info about what to see, do and eat (and a bunch of interesting cafes!) in Vietnam, follow us at:

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