Looking for a new way to satisfy your coffee cravings? Then this Vietnamese Egg Coffee (cà phê trứng) with its sweet dense cream topping and bold espresso-like coffee is exactly what you’re looking for. The flavors of the sweet whipped topping and rich nutty Vietnamese coffee dance on your tastebuds creating an irresistible flavor harmony that instantly wakes you up.
This Vietnamese egg coffee recipe can be adjusted based on your sweetness and coffee strength preference. You can easily adjust the amount of condensed milk and the amount of coffee grounds used. And if you love Vietnamese coffee, you will enjoy it more inside some of my baked treats such as my Chocolate Mini Bundt Cakes and Vietnamese Coffee Tiramisu Layer Cake.
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You will love this egg coffee
If you’re like me then straight black coffee just doesn’t do it for you. You want a cafe drink that delivers energy AND flavor.
This bold cup of coffee topped with sweet and frothy whipped egg yolks blended with condensed milk delivers. The airy sweet cream is balanced perfectly by the bold Vietnamese coffee so you get a drink that’s not too sweet or too strong. Vietnamese egg coffee is as much of a dessert as it is a drink.
If you are a fan of dalgona coffee, Starbucks frappuccinos, tiramisu, or trying different cafe options then you’ll absolutely love this drink!
🔍 What does Vietnamese Egg Coffee taste like?
The whipped topping has distinct similarities to flan with its shared ingredients. Rather than being dense like a custard, this whipped topping is fluffy and creamy.
Vietnamese coffee is notably strong and known for its similarities to espresso. This coffee is made from a Robusta blend with a signature nutty and bold flavor profile. Traditional black coffee typically has 50-200mg of caffeine for an 8oz cup. But Vietnamese coffee boasts 265mg of caffeine for the same 8oz cup making it famous for being strong.
Together these two flavors dance in harmony to create a rich whipped coffee drink that’s not too sweet or overly strong. Just imagine the big sister of a dalgona coffee. This is her.
🌏 The History of Vietnamese Egg Coffee
When the French War war broke out in Hanoi, Vietnam in 1946, larger cities found it difficult to get basic foods and supplies. This caused the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel to quickly run out of milk which was essential for making Vietnamese coffee.
The hotel bartender, Nguyen Giang, discovered he could achieve the same creamy coffee by frothing egg yolks as a substitute for the milk shortage. And it was a hit. So much that Giang ended up opening his own cafe with his invention of cà phê trứng shortly after. And the famous cafe is still open to this day in Hanoi where you can get an original Vietnamese egg coffee to enjoy.
🛒 Ingredients and Substitutions
- Vietnamese Coffee: When I discovered Nguyen Supply's Robusta and Arabica blend I never turned back. However there are a bunch of different brands out there. A popular brand my Vietnamese friends and family tends to enjoy is Cafe Du Monde.
- Vietnamese Coffee Substitute: If you do not have Vietnamese coffee or a coffee phin, the best alternative to use is a shot or two of espresso. Vietnamese coffee is quite bold, traditional drip coffee would be too light and watered-down. The richness of the Vietnamese coffee or espresso is necessary to stand up to the sweetness of the egg cream to achieve a balanced flavor.
- Condensed Milk: the condensed milk is the staple sweetener in a traditional Vietnamese coffee. It provides a rich sweetness while also adding a creaminess factor. The Vietnamese coffee is deep, bold and rich making the sweetness of condensed milk pair perfectly.
- Egg Yolks: the whipped egg yolk cream a delicious thick and foamy creamy. It’s slightly denser than frothed milk creating a dessert like experience.
- Granulated Sugar: Sugar aids in making a thicker and more stiff foam. Without sugar the peaks of the whipped foam would fall flat and not hold their structure the same.
- Boiling Water: For Vietnamese coffee, the ideal temperature to brew is 205°F or 96°C.
🍽 Essential Kitchen Equipment
- Phin Filter: You will need a phin filter to brew Vietnamese coffee the traditional way. I love using the Nguyen Supply's phin filter because it is easy to use and simple to clean.
- Kettle: You can use whichever method you prefer for heating up the water to a boil. However, when I bought my electric Stag kettle I fell in LOVE. It is incredibly chic, the water heats up really quickly and comes in so many cute colors!
- Mug or Heat Proof Glass: Try to find a glass that has a wide enough brim to hold the phin filter but not too wide where the filter will fall through.
- Small mixing bowl: Any small bowl that allows you to whip your egg yolk, sugar, and condensed milk together will work.
- Electric Whisk: Alternatively you can use a standard whisk for a longer duration, but an electric whisk will save you time and energy and I highly recommend it.
📝 How to make Vietnamese Egg Coffee (cà phê trứng)
Brew Vietnamese coffee
Making traditional Vietnamese Coffee with a phin filter is an incredibly simple process that yields delicious results. Once you taste Vietnamese coffee it will become a staple in your morning routine!
- Heat water. Bring water temp to 205°F or 96°C.
- Add coffee grounds. Add 2 tablespoons of ground coffee to the phin filter with the phin plate underneath. Even out grinds, gently drop in gravity press.
- Bloom coffee grounds. Place the phin filter and the plate over your heatproof cup. Pour about ½ inch of boiling water over the gravity press and sit to bloom for 30-40 seconds.
- Brew coffee. Pour up to 3.2 oz of water or fill water to the top of the phin filter. Place the lid on the filter and wait for the coffee to brew. The first drip should drop before 2 minutes. The coffee should finish dripping around 5 min - 5 min 30 seconds so in the mean time proceed to whipping the egg cream.
Whip the egg cream
In a small mixing bowl add your sugar, egg yolk, and condensed milk. Using an electric mixer whisk for about 3-4 minutes until thick and fluffy. Test the fluffiness by placing a dollop of whipped cream in a cup of water—it should float. If it doesn’t continue whisking until the cream can float.
Top your coffee. Once the coffee has stopped dripping, carefully remove the phin filter which will be quite hot. Using a spoon, scoop the cream onto the top of the fresh brewed coffee. Stir, sip, and enjoy!
☕️ Make ahead and storage
You can make the Vietnamese coffee ahead of time for an iced version and store it in the refrigerator for up to 1 week in an airtight container. When ready to enjoy, simply pour over ice and top with freshly made egg cream for a delicious iced Vietnamese egg coffee.
💬 Frequently Asked Questions
Vietnamese coffee, also known as cà phê, is the traditional coffee that is served in Vietnam. At its simplest, Vietnamese coffee is made using medium to coarse ground dark roast Vietnamese-grown coffee with a small metal Vietnamese drip filter. This yields a bold roast that is strong, nutty, and chocolaty.
Vietnamese coffee is also classically served two ways as either cà phê (hot Vietnamese coffee) or cà phê sữa đá, which translates to Vietnamese iced coffee. Both of these versions use sweetened condensed milk to create their bold rich and sweet flavor.
Yes. For a less bold coffee opt for 1.5 tablespoons of ground Vietnamese coffee. Or for a stronger coffee use 3 tablespoons of ground Vietnamese coffee.
A phin filter is a traditional metal filter that is a cross between the pour-over and French press and brews a rich and bold coffee. The Vietnamese coffee filter gives a stronger brew than that of an American drip machine and is different than that of a French press.
The phin consists of 4 parts: 1) a round perforated plate that fits on top of a coffee cup; 2) a brewing chamber, that sits on top of the plate; 3) a perforated filter that fits inside the chamber that pushes the grounds down, and 4) a cap that insulates the heat.
Phin filters also come in various sizes, usually with a handle or little knobs, so you don’t burn yourself.
First, add your individual serving of finely ground coffee into the brewing chamber. Lightly sift the chamber to level the grounds. Drop the filter insert on top of the grounds to allow gravity to pack them.
Then pour hot water until just a half-inch above the filter and allow the coffee to bloom for 45 seconds. Next, fill up the chamber all the way with hot water and place the cap on top.
A typical phin filter takes 5 minutes to finish dripping. Carefully remove the hot phin filter before enjoying your fresh cup of coffee.
Simply brew your Vietnamese coffee and place in the fridge inside an airtight container for up to a week. When ready to enjoy, pour over ice and top with freshly made whipped egg cream. Stir and enjoy!
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Vietnamese Egg Coffee (cà phê trứng)
- 2 tablespoon Vietnamese coffee grounds
- 1 cup hot water
- Heat water. Bring water temp to 205°F or 96°C.
- Add coffee grounds to filter. Add 2 tablespoons of ground coffee to the phin filter with the phin plate underneath. Lightly shake to allow grounds to settle evenly. Gently drop in gravity press.
- Bloom coffee. Place the phin filter and the plate over your heatproof cup. Pour about ½ inch of boiling water over the gravity press and sit to bloom for 30-40 seconds.
- Brew coffee. Pour hot water to the top of the phin filter. Place the lid on the filter and wait for the coffee to brew. The first drip should drop before 2 minutes. The phin should finish dripping in usually 4-5 mins. The phin filter will be hot so be careful when removing it.
- Whisk the sweet egg cream. While the phin is still dripping, in a small mixing bowl whisk together the egg yolk, sugar, and condensed milk. Using an electric mixer until the mixture becomes thick and foamy. This should about 5 minutes.1 egg yolk, 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, 3 tablespoon condensed milk
- Top coffee with cream. After carefully removing the hot phin filter, scoop out the sweet egg cream on to the top of the freshly made coffee. Mix together before drinking and enjoy!
- Use an electric kettle for a perfect cup of brewed coffee. If the water temperature is too low the coffee flavors won’t be released enough yielding a weak cup of coffee with a slight sourness. If your water is too hot the coffee will be over-extracted yielding a bitter cup of coffee.
- Test the fluffiness of the egg cream by placing a dollop onto a glass of water. The cream should float on the surface. If the cream doesn’t float continue to whisk the cream until it is able to float.
- If Vietnamese coffee grounds or a phin filter aren’t available, opt for strong espresso as a substitute as this flavor profile will work best with the sweet egg cream.