Egg Coffee, Boiled Coffee - or: Why Would Grandma use Eggs to Make Coffee?

There are two kinds of 'egg' coffee.  One uses the whole egg, including shells, the other just uses an egg white.  Neither of which seem to be used much today and there is a lot of misinformation and confusion over how and why an egg would have anything to do with brewing coffee.  I've even heard of some mistaken souls break and beat a whole egg in their coffee cup and add brewed hot coffee to it...  and wonder why anyone would drink what basically is coffee egg drop soup. 

Well... no one would.  You're doing it wrong. 

My heritage is Swedish and German and although it's well known for being a Swedish or Norwegian coffee, the side of my family that used egg in their coffee was the German side.  Also, my father-in-law (who comes from a German background) made coffee this way.

The first reason for using egg shells and/or egg whites in coffee is to give the coffee clarity as well as improving the flavor.  The second reason is for a boiled coffee, the egg traps the grounds, which is again, for clarity but serves a purpose as well.  Until percolators and coffee brewers came into use, using an egg to make boiled coffee was a given.  After brewing styles improved, the need for the egg was lost. 

Today you might only need to utilize egg coffee if you are camping making "camp coffee" or "boiled coffee" in a pot or pan or if you want to give it a go in a pour over coffee for fun.  These are 2 versions to get you started and are out of a cookbook from the 30's.

Boiled Coffee with Egg White

Use 2 tablespoons coffee to each 3 cups of water.  
Use cold, clean water and grind the coffee beans just before using to a moderately fine grind.  

Add half of the white of an egg to each 2 tablespoons coffee and put into a perfectly clean coffee pot.  
Add enough cold water to moisten the coffee. 
Pour the measured water over. 
Cover the pot closely and boil 10 minutes. 
Pour in half a cup of cold water, draw the pot to the side, off the heat and allow it to stand 5 minutes to settle the grounds.
Never let the coffee boil after the cold water has been added.
Pour carefully into cups to serve piping hot, keeping the grounds on the bottom, trapped in the egg.

Egg Coffee
Put 6 cups of water to boil in a kettle.  
Meanwhile, break an egg into a cup, crunching up the shell as well.  Add about 1/4 c water to the egg and beat with a fork.
Place 4 T fresh ground coffee into a coffee pot.  Pour about 1/4 of the egg mixture into the grounds.
Put the rest of the egg mixture into the refrigerator for later use.
When your water comes to a boil carefully pour it over the coffee in the pot.
Place the pot on very low heat and very, very slowly bring it to just the point of boiling. 
Remove from heat, pour in about 1/4 cup very cold water and let sit for 5 minutes to settle grounds.  
If you wish you can now pour the coffee through a fine sieve or simply pour slowly into serving cups to keep grounds trapped on the bottom. 

One of my grandmother's would save the egg shells from baking and cooking to crush and place over the grounds in her percolator.  As a child I remember watching her do this as she used a percolator well into the early 80's as she loved the flavor of the percolated coffee over the taste of the coffee made in the Mr. Coffee machine she was given by her kids.   In many churches where the 'church ladies' in charge of making the coffee in the urns for after service coffee and donuts, you will still find them breaking an egg and adding it to the grounds in the large urn. 

Whether or not the egg white and shells lower the acidity of the coffee, I don't know.  That would involve testing I don't have access to, nor do I really care enough to go down that road!  However, the older folk that I know in my own life that grew up making coffee this way will tell you it made the most delicious cup of coffee that was light, not too acidic and often times didn't even need the addition of sugar or cream it was so good on its own.

I have a camp coffee pot in our camping storage bin that I'm thinking I may need to pull out and give it a try.   Just for kicks.  I'll let you know..........

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Coffee... with your face on it? Get your latte with an image of... you!

Originally published in 2013 - the link I had was now dead, 7 years later.  

Never mind. Carry on.

edible ink, computer, smart phone and...  drink your own image in your latte

A cafĂ© in Taiwan may have solved everyone’s least favorite part about getting coffee. Not the fact that people spill coffee everywhere at the cream station. No, it’s the part where the barista misspells your name on the side of your cup! To fix this dire issue, Let's Cafe kiosks in Taiwan now offer a cup of coffee with your picture on it.

That's right, actual pictures. Right now, these unusual coffees are just offered in Taipei, but maybe these latte portraits will be headed stateside soon enough. So...would you like to drink your face?

Camp Coffee Makers - What about a Collapsible Drip Coffee Maker? GSI Outdoors has one

GSI Outdoors 79480 Collapsible Java Drip Coffee Maker

My own personal 'camping' coffee maker is a traditional, light weight, cheap, aluminum pot.  It works fine but it does take up space and the bottom always has to be scrubbed to get the black soot off.  For backpacking or travel or hotel use, it's not an option.  Just for 'family' camping trips where we are bringing bins of 'things' to begin with. So... looking for other options this morning I found a collapsible coffee maker.  

Don't settle for instant, when you're on the trail or in camp.  The GSI Outdoors Collapsible Java Drip lets you enjoy freshly brewed coffee, just as you would at home. Folds flat and weighs next to nothing, for easy packing.

Collapsible drip cone holds #2 or #4 paper filters to brew 1 to 12 cups of coffee.  The unique flanged design helps center the drip cone over mugs, cups and wide-mouth bottles for stable, spill-free brewing.  Lid doubles as a trivet after brewing.

  • #2 & #4 Filter capacity brews 1-12 cups of coffee
  • Collapsible silicone bellows design expands from 1-Inch high, 5.6-Inch diameter disc to a sturdy, full height drip cone
  • Unique, fit-ring design centers drip cone over mugs, cups and wide mouth water bottles for stable spill free brewing
  • Weight 4.8-Ounce
  • Includes collapsible 4 drip cone, snap-on cover

The only complaint I've found has nothing to do with the product usage, but that it has a silicone smell when you first take it out of its packaging.  But one wash with dishsoap and hot water and it's gone and you are good to go.

Here is a tip a reader on Amazon had shared, which I think is a good one:
Pour about a 1/3 of your water slowly over the coffee to let it bloom, wait a few seconds then the rest making sure you soak all the grounds. I get my water to a full boil to make sure its plenty hot.

You might also be interested in more traditional 'camp' coffee pots as well as an upgraded 'wow' version:


The internet's 'grumpiest cat' is now coming out with it's own coffee... Grumpy Cat Coffee

Almost everyone knows who Grumpy Cat is thanks to a video that went viral in 2012 in order to prove to Reddit users this was indeed a real 'grumpy cat' and the owners had not photoshopped her! Before long the video's had launched this sour-puss into kitty stardom.

Not only did the original Grumpy Cat from Arizona soon have a fan page and t-shirts but now, is bringing grumpiness to your iced coffee!

Grumpy Cat on Twitter

According to the official Twitter feed and news sources, this icy drink launching under the Grumpy Cat brand will be coming to us soon!

Grumpy Cat expands empire with iced coffee called Grumppuccino

Available in Mocha, Vanilla and Coffee flavors, if you follow them on Twitter, they promise to have a 10% off promo coupon available as soon as the drinks officially hit the market.

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