Did you know that in the world there is a particular kind of coffee prepared with egg? Its name is Scandinavian Egg Coffee and it became widespread in America, specifically in the Midwest, following the massive Scandinavian immigration occurring between the 19th and 20th century. At first, this combination might seem rather risky – especially if you think that the recipe could even include the eggshell, as well as the yolk and the white of the egg – and yet the result would appear to be anything but unpleasant. Are you curious to hear more about the history of this drink and how to prepare it? Let’s take a look together!
Scandinavian Egg Coffee: what it is and how to prepare it
The Scandinavian Egg Coffee was apparently brought to the Midwest – a large area of the USA located in the central-Western part of the country – by the Scandinavian immigrants who came to the United States between the 19th and early 20th century. This unusual preparation seems to have come about from necessity, in other words to improve the flavor of the poor quality coffee, and it is also known as Swedish Coffee, Norwegian Coffee or Church Basement Coffee (the last of which derives from the fact that it was served during the Lutheran church meetings that the immigrants went to).
A light-colored coffee with a delicate flavor thanks to the use of eggs
But how is it prepared exactly? The Scandinavian Egg Coffee is made by adding a whole egg to the ground coffee – and maybe even the egg shell too – creating a mix that looks something like earth, which is then boiled in water. The idea of using the egg is no coincidence, but actually comes about from certain specific properties of the egg white. For those of you who don’t know, egg white is a clarifying agent: which means it is able to absorb the impurities present in a liquid (it can also be used to clarify broth) and, in the castoff this recipe, is its useful because it binds with the ground coffee during the boiling process and sinking to the bottom of the liquid; what’s more, the egg white also absorbs tannins and that typical bitterness in coffee, producing a smoother, less bitter drink.
The egg shells, too, play an importante role: in particular, the calcium carbonate they contain reduces the acidity of the coffee. After the boiling phase, the preparation is completed by adding a little cold water: that way the the mass of coffee and egg sinks more easily to the bottom of the pan, leaving the part to be drunk on the surface; the drink itself has a much lighter color than your typical coffee, closer to an amber-red color and, as we said, with a less bitter and acid flavor.
Scandinavian Egg Coffee: the recipe
Do you want to try this unusual preparation? Here are all the ingredients and the steps you need to make our very own Scandinavian Egg Coffee at home!
Ingredients for 4 people
● 1 egg
● 2.82 oz of Filicori Zecchini ground coffee
● 507,21 fl oz of water
1. First of all, put the water in a saucepan and bring to the boil.
2. In the meantime, prepare the mix of egg and coffee: to do this, simply mix the ground coffee, the egg and its shell in a bowl, using a fork or a pestle to crush and blend everything together well; also, we recommend pouring in a small amount of cold water in order to obtain a denser mixture.
3. Then, add this mixture to the previously boiled water and bring back to the boil for a few minutes; after that, turn off the heat and leave it to rest for about 10 minutes, covering the pan with a lid.
4. At this point, you simply need to pour everything into an infuser, filling it to about two thirds full, while the remaining part will be filled up with cold water which, as we said, has the task of sinking the mass of egg and coffee.
5. After leaving to infuse for a further 10 minutes approximately, the drink is ready to be filtered and served in the glasses.
Not just Scandinavian Egg Coffee: Vietnam, too, has its own egg coffee.
Perhaps you didn’t know this, but Vietnam also boasts its own variety of Egg Coffee: it’s called Ca Phe Trunge, and according to those who have tried it, it’s closer to a dessert than a classic coffee. In a previous article about Vietnamese coffee we referred to this curious drink that, despite sharing some of the same ingredients as the Scandinavian Egg Coffee, has a quite different preparation and flavor.
The strange thing is that, also in this case, the invention seems to have been dictated by necessity: in fact the recipe was apparently created in the 1940s by a barista in Hanoi, who had the idea of adding egg to the coffee in order to make up for the lack of milk.
Were you already familiar with Scandinavian Egg Coffee and the Vietnamese version? What do you think of these unusual drinks?