Wednesday, June 26, 2013

This is an interesting recipe for a coffee lover like me. Reading it I had visions of egg-drop-soup-like threads of egg floating in my morning coffee. But not so. 

You may find the recipe hard to read; I did. (This is from The Housekeeper’s Encyclopedia by Mrs. E.F. Haskell.)

Allow one heaping tablespoonful of ground coffee for each person, and one for the boiler. If eggs are plenty take half enough to wet the grounds; if not, add sufficient cold water to mix thoroughly; beat the coffee and egg until it shows foam; egg if used too freely congeals the coffee and retains the strength. Scald the boiler, and shake out all the water; pour on sufficient boiling water to serve the first table, allowing a cup for evaporation and waste; as soon as it boils, stir down the grounds that rise until all inclination to boil over has ceased; after this boil five minutes hard, with the pot closed; then take it from the fire, and drop a half teaspoonful of cold water, and no more, in the pot; let it stand where it remains hot, but not boiling, from three to five minutes.

I did some research to find out why, exactly, people would put egg in coffee. Turns out this is a traditional Scandinavian way to prepare coffee.

Here is the supposed science behind the recipe. The egg beaten with the coffee grounds encourages the grounds to sink to the bottom of the pot. In addition, the protein in the egg binds to the bitter polyphenols in the coffee which fall to the bottom of the pot. As a result the coffee will be clearer with a mild taste.

In case anyone would like to try this, here is a recipe that’s easier to follow than the one above.

9 cups water (to boil) plus 1 1/4 cold water
3/4 cup freshly ground coffee (medium to coarse grind)
1 egg


1) In a saucepan or enamel coffee pot, bring 9 cups of water to a rapid boil.

2) Stir together ground coffee, 1/4 cup water, and 1 egg.

3) When the water is boiling, pour in the egg/coffee mixture. You may notice a lump of coffee grounds rise to the surface. This is supposed to be okay.   

4) Continue to boil for 3 minutes, then remove the pot from the heat and add 1 cup of cold water. Let the coffee settle for 10 minutes and the lump of grounds will settle to the bottom of the pot.

5) Pour through a fine sieve into cups. (Or if you’re hardcore, just pour the coffee from the pot and chew the grounds.)

Makes 10 cups coffee.

If anyone does make this, or if you've had this kind of coffee, I'd love to hear from you!


  1. I've never tried it myself, but my husband, who grew up in Minnesota (where many Scandinavians settled) used to talk about making coffee this way, when he was an older Boy Scout. I always thought it was something people did when they were camping. I'm pretty sure they didn't strain the coffee. The cup of cold water was supposed to help the grounds settle to the bottom of the pot.

  2. I read this recipe in a Christian fiction book. Had a hard time believing this really worked.

  3. Well whaddyano. How veddy interesting. Eggs. . .coffee. . .blech! Can't do it, though it sounds interesting.

    Just hand me a mocha instead.

    Cool stuff, Candace!


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