Vietnamese street food : Ca phe trung (Egg coffee)

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The ability to spend afternoons, lazing around drinking coffee whist reading books and noting your days activities is a noble pursuit. For those that are time rich and often cash poor it’s an important part of the day, a time to recharge – To plan your expeditions and to note your explorations. Hanoi is a great place for this, with great coffee culture.

Egg coffee, or cà phê trung is a truly Hanoian variation of the Vietnamese coffee obsession.

Regular Vietnamese coffee, served French press style is topped with a mixture of whipped egg yolk and condensed milk, to make a variation on European coffee culture, a Vietnamese variation on a cappuccino, if you will.

Hanoi's egg coffe, ca phe trung.

Hanoi’s egg coffe, ca phe trung.

The real star is the egg, it’s thick, creamy and sweet, almost moussey. At the time I noted “makes me think of dippy eggs” because the rich, yolky taste really lingers.

cà phê trung is a great pick me up, a mid-morning caffeine shot before tackling all that Hanoi has to offer, or a bolt of energy for the afternoon. I found that one is more than enough, the sweetness, and richness can become a little sickening.

Café Giang in the Old Quarter of Hanoi is thought to have invented the drink, when milk was a hard to get ingredient and the venue has been serving it for many years on Nguyen Huu Huan Street, which, in the typical historic style of the old quarter focuses (heavily, but not exclusively) on one trade – drinks.

Check out Café Giang at 39 Huu Huan Street, it’s set back through a little alleyway close to the junction with  Hang Mam, the staff speak some English and an multilingual menu is available. Expect to pay : 25’000VND per cup.

Some useful phrases
Sin chow – hello
Mot – one
Hai – two
Gam urn – thank you

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