Egg coffee is an interesting combination of simple ingredients has become a huge hit with visitors to Hanoi, as well as remaining a quintessential favorite for Hanoians.

 

 

The Vietnamese have been fond of coffee since it was introduced by the French in the 19th Century. Vietnamese café culture has long since surpassed that of France, and it is not unusual for Vietnamese men to visit three different coffee shops each day everyday (perhaps more on Saturday and Sunday).

 

But Vietnamese café culture hit a problem in the 1950s when the political situation became increasingly volatile and instability struck the economy and land cultivation. Industrious mountain farmers were able to keep coffee cultivation going but milk, largely a product of import, became more and more scarce.

 

Some Vietnamese made do with black coffee, but for many this just didn’t do the trick. The story goes that resourceful Hanoian coffee shop owners, looking for a way to see the condensed milk go further, starting whisking egg whites with the milk creating an extremely sweet but undeniably delicious way to smooth out the bitterness of the coffee bean. And so Hanoian egg coffee was born!

 

Locals developed a taste for this bizarre combination of ingredients, so even when milk became easier to get hold of in the 1990s, some still craved the uniquely frothy combination of egg white and condensed milk. One can still find the odd coffee shop around Hanoi that specializes in the beverage.