It isn’t uncommon for baristas to assume that Swedish egg coffee, also known as “Scandinavian egg coffee” or “Nordic egg coffee,” originated in Sweden just as Turkish coffee comes from Turkey and Spanish-stylecafé con leche started in Spain. But in fact, Swedish egg coffee didn’t originate in Sweden or anywhere else in Scandinavia, but the American Midwest during the 19th Century. However, the first Americans to consume Swedish egg coffee were midwesterners of Scandinavian descent.
What Is Swedish Egg Coffee?
Traditional Swedish egg coffee is made by cracking an entire egg, including the shell, into a cup, mixing the egg with ground coffee, and then letting the mixture simmer on the stove. The idea is for the egg to remove impurities from the coffee, resulting in a smoother cup of coffee.
What Does Adding Egg to Coffee Do?
According to baristas who enjoy Swedish egg coffee, the egg decreases the bitterness in coffee when it removes the impurities. It is the egg white specifically that removes the impurities, whereas the eggshells will reduce the acidity. So, if one were to add only the egg white and egg yolk to the ground coffee but not the eggshells, the result would be a cup of coffee that has had its impurities removed but is still acidic.
The use of eggs in desserts adds to their richness, and they have a similar effect in Swedish egg coffee — which is known for its richness and its creaminess as well as its smoothness.
Is Swedish Egg Coffee safe to drink?
Some baristas, understandably, may be reluctant to try traditional Swedish egg coffee or consume any egg that hasn’t been thoroughly cooked. The hot water used in traditional Swedish egg coffee will cook the egg, but according to some food safety experts, it may not cook it enough to totally eliminate the possibility of exposure to salmonella — as the hot water used to make coffee usually doesn’t reach the boiling point.
However, some studies have indicated that coffee grounds have antibacterial effects. And baristas who enjoy Swedish egg coffee recommended getting the freshest pasteurized eggs available if one is going to try the traditional version of the midwestern beverage. Modern variations can include boiling the egg.
Traditional Swedish Egg Coffee Recipe
Cooking time: 20 minutes
- 3 tablespoons, coarse-ground coffee (a similar grind to what is used when brewing with a French press)
- 10 ounces, water (for brewing)
- 3 ounces, cold water
- 1 egg (yolk, whites, and shell)
- Pour 10 ounces of water into a saucepan and place that saucepan on a stove.
- Begin heating the water on medium heat.
- Place the coffee grounds in a mug or a bowl.
- After cracking an egg, add the egg — including the eggshell — to the mug or bowl that contains the grounds.
- Mix the egg/coffee grounds combination thoroughly, then leave it alone for half a minute.
- Once the water that has been heating on the stove has reached a boil, add the grounds/egg mixture to the saucepan and reduce the heat to a simmer. Let this mixture simmer for four minutes.
- Turn off the heat and leave the saucepan alone for 1 minute.
- Add the cold water, which should make the coffee grounds and egg crust sink to the bottom of the saucepan.
- The part of the saucepan that should be consumed will be at the top of the saucepan. Pour it through a sieve and into a cup. Serve.
Must-Have Swedish Egg Coffee
Cooking time: 20 minutes
- 1 egg
- 1 and ½ tablespoons, coarsely ground coffee
- 1 cup, water
- 1 cup, ice-cold water
- sugar (optional)
- milk (optional)
- Place the cup of water thatisn’t ice-cold in a saucepan and heat it on the stove until it reaches a hard boil.
- Crack the egg. Place it in a cup and stir it.
- Add the ground coffee to the egg and stir some more.
- After the egg/ground coffee mixture has been thoroughly stirred, place it in the boiling water and let it boil for 5 minutes.
- After five minutes, quit boiling the combination and add the cup of ice-cold water.
- Filter through a strainer.
- Add milk and/or sugar, if desired. Serve.
Indonesian Version of Swedish Egg Coffee
Cooking time: 15 minutes
- ½ cup, strongly brewed coffee
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon, condensed milk
- ¼ teaspoon, vanilla extract
- 1.5 teaspoons, honey
- Place the egg yolk, honey, and vanilla extract in a tall glass.
- Add ¼ cup of boiling water to the glass.
- Beat the combination vigorously until it becomes foam-like.
- Add the condensed milk.
- Pour the coffee into the center of the milk.
- Serve the Indonesian variation of Swedish egg coffee and drink it with a straw.