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Egg coffee, what's this?

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In multiple older cookbooks I have gotten that are Swedish/Scandinavian, there's a recipe for "egg coffee". They write that adding egg (I just cannot imagine this for the life of me!) and even eggshells to the brewing coffee makes it clearer. This sounds just so odd, not to mention old-fashioned. It also seemed from reading them, intended for percolaters, not newer drip methods.
The egg is beaten, and "just a dash" added to the grounds. Sounds like a teaspoon to me, but my dash may be your pinch!

Has anyone ever drunk egg coffee? Does this change the taste, or anything? The idea of seeing floating bits of scrambled egg in my coffee leaves me wary, to be honest. I will try it this weekend, as my curiousity is going to win out finally. I just hate wasting anything, foodwise.

Any tips would be much appreciated! TIA.

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  1. Same idea as for clarifying soups, it sounds like. I'd omit the yolk for taste reasons...or just use a press pot.

    1 Reply
    1. re: trentyzan

      That's what I was going to say - egg shells are used when clarifying consomme soups . I think it's called a "raft." But, I've not heard of using the whole egg, just the white.

      Makes sense that this is done with coffee to clarify.

      The sticky egg whites will bind all the particles and coagulate, after which this coagulated "lid" will float on the surface of the liquid and can be removed.

      Some chefs just use the egg shell as it also contains albumin that binds.

      In older days (and in some places today) many made coffee in a French Press or Press Pot. See, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_p...
      Sometimes, they had no filters and the grounds would sift into the liquid. These days, the coffee filters in coffee makers replace the need for a "raft."

      1. From my recollection, Cowboy Coffee is prepared with egg shells only. I was told the egg shells made the coffee less bitter.

        Many years ago on a family camping trip in the Thirty Thousand Lakes Region of Canada, we went fishing in the early morning hours with guides provided by the hotel we were staying at. After catching some fish, the guides would take us ashore and prepare a breakfast meal with the freshly caught Bass or Pike.....they also made the coffee directly on the embers of the campfire.....and I can remember distinctly the egg shells being added to the coffee pot before being placed in the campfire. I can also remember the adults on the trip discussing the practice of including the egg shells with the grinds......I do not believe they used either the yolk or whites, but it would not surprise me if they did use only the egg whites mixed in with some grounds to catch the grinds during the heating process......similar to the technique cooks use to clarify consomme'.

        1. I think this is the same process used to clarify wine in what's called fining.

          Sometimes you'll see a small phrase on wine labels that says the wine is "unfined and unfiltered," meaning it has not been processed with fining agents such as egg whites (or carbon etc.) to remove stray particles and/or unsavory flavors. I didn't know they did that with coffee!

          1. My mother in law did this for years. She thought it made her coffee taste great and better than anyone elses. We all thought it was just bad coffee. I'd never do egg shells or eggs. I don't think it does a thing for improving the flavor of coffee-at least it didn't for her coffee. As far as making it clearer- well maybe but to me the flavor of coffee is what is the most important. Great fresh coffee beans and good water-simple but that is what makes the best coffee. I agree with you, I wouldn't want to waste my eggs on this method either. If you do try this, let us know what you think!

            1. I learned the eggshell technique from my grandparents when I was a teenager. The coffee and eggshells went into a hot pot of water in a blue speckled pot. It made a decent cup with the tins of Hills Bros. or Maxwell House that were available then. But most households began to use percolators and coffee went downhill for a couple of generations!
              Coffee was actually better before canned pre-ground and percolators became available: Beans were home roasted and hand ground in 1850, much like coffeegeeks do today.

              1. In his later novel Travels with Charley, John Steinbeck uses a similar recipe as he prepares coffee for guests he meets in his journey across the country in a camper/trailer named Rocinante and his french poodle Charley. Did anyone else catch this?