Brought into Vietnam in the 1850s by French Catholic priests, coffee quickly became one of Vietnam’s main agriculture products with many plantations in its central highlands. Following Europeans who lived in big cities in Vietnam, the local tea people slowly adopted coffee with regional variations. But due to limitations on the fresh milk, as dairy farming was still in its infancy, the French and middle-class Vietnamese used sweetened condensed milk with dark roast coffee from drip filter.
Since the war ended, the morning cup of coffee quickly became a local habit. With variations that make use of yogurt, smoothie, and eggs. Vietnamese coffee has developed a style of its own, particular the egg coffee.
Humbly hidden on a small lane on Nguyen Huu Huan Street in Hanoi’s Old Quarter is one of the most wanted coffee shop – Caphe Giang, it is always crowded with both locals and foreigners who come for the famous Caphe Trung, or Egg Coffee.
Founded by Mr. Nguyen Giang, a former bartender at the French colonial Sofitel Legend Metrople Hanoi Hotel, in 1946. Back to that time, Vietnam was about to enter war against the French, milk was scarce so he used egg yolk to replace milk.
Caphe Giang, calling itself an egg coffee lane, is a charming place hidden behind modern furniture and other coffee shop. The architectural style of this family which run the cafe reflects an auspicious blend of Western and Asian influences. The cafe is especially famous for its egg coffee, surprisingly delicious and resembling a tiramisu in taste. The coffee is a must-try for curious Hanoi’s tourists.
Nguyen Chi Hoa, current owner of Caphe Giang, said that the egg coffee recipe developed by his father remains almost the same since the early days; with chicken egg yolk, Vietnamese Robusta coffee, sweetened condensed milk, butter, and cheese. The coffee is brewed in a small ceramic cup with a filter before adding the well-whisked mixture of the yolk and those ingredients. The cup of egg coffee is then placed in a bowl of hot water to retain its temperature. That’s all it takes!
While drinking egg coffee, people should slowly stir bobbed froth of whipped egg with the coffee below. The sweet of condensed milk and the tasty of egg are in harmony with bitterness of coffee that leaves behind the mesmerizing scent.