A reporter for CNN went to a small shop on Nguyen Huu Huan street to be heard about the history of making egg coffee which visitors have listed as one of the “must-try” drinks when visiting Hanoi.
Vietnam has been famous for different styles of coffee, from coffee on the sidewalks (street coffee) to coffee at luxury coffee shops. However, the guests of Giang, a “modest” coffee shop on Nguyen Huu Huan street love to enjoy a cup of egg coffee, a specialty of Hanoi. This tasteful special drink is made from whipping yolks and Robusta coffee. Although other coffee shops also serve this drink, it is originated from Giang coffee where the great-grandfather Giang did make the first cup of egg coffee in the early 20th century. In addition, CNN also suggested some addresses that you might consider such as Ding, Loading T, Leu coffee, etc.
The cup of egg coffee is often a small and short one, fit to a palm hand. They always add a teaspoon in the cup so that you can enjoy the cream, an "appetizer" before drinking coffee.
The cup is served into a bowl of warm water so that it can keep the cup hot. After being poured the whipped cream (made from the egg) into the cup, the coffee at the bottom of the cup will be “stronger”, and of course, bitterer.
Located on Nguyen Huu Huan street, two-floor Giang coffee shop is owned by Mr. Dao. This shop impresses its guests by simple decoration and cozy and quiet atmosphere that unintentionally urge you to come back once. The corner at the foot of the staircase is where Mr. Dao manages the business. The space behind it, the kitchen, are put egg whipping machine and other essential tools.
Mr. Dao ‘s father, Mr. Giang (Nguyen Van Giang) did create this “marvelous” coffee when he was working as a bartender at Metropole hotel in 1946. At that time, he had to use eggs instead of fresh milk to make coffee. He said “all foreign and local guests in the hotel loved that strange drink. So, my father decided to quit his job to set up his own shop and serve his own coffee”.
When listing the ingredients for this amazing coffee, Mr. Dao just counted by his fingers and smiled, "Eggs, condensed milk, coffee powder, butter ... but I can not share the whole thing because this is an esoteric formula".
Mark Lowerson, the coordinator of Street Eats Hanoi who often takes guests from all over the world to Hanoi to explore the cuisine, pays great compliments on egg coffees. "Most of our guests love such amazing drink. When I describe it, none of them believe in the “wonderful” taste of mixing egg yolk with coffee. I have not seen any guests that dislike this tasteful coffee. Almost all the visitors want to go back to Hanoi to enjoy it every day. Even, people who do not drink coffee are also astonished by the taste of egg coffee".
Mr. Dao said: "I’m very happy and proud because many visitors know our brand get there to enjoy a cup of coffee. The difference of processing method has made egg coffee familiar to tourists to Hanoi, becoming one of the “must-try” drinks. Some shops imitate our method but can not imitate the exact taste.”