What Is Egg Coffee?

An article in the Minnesota online magazine Eater brought back memories of family farm gatherings with good eats and lots of coffee. The magazine reminds us that you might crack an egg into your coffee.

I remember watching my grandmother make us egg coffee when we’d visit her summertime cabin home on the orange-tinged shores of Lake Esquagama, Minnesota. She’d crack an egg into a small bowl and beat it until thoroughly blended, then mix the egg into dry coffee grounds (we were a Hills Bros. family, but Folger’s sometimes stood in at the cabin). The mixture was then put into a large stove-top coffee pot and brought to a boil. Once it was good and roiling, she’d turn the heat off and allow the grounds to steep for 10 minutes.

After resting the pot, she’d dump a coffee cup’s worth of cold water into the pot and then gently pour several cups of coffee.

The point of the cold water at the end is that it caused to coffee grounds to settle to the bottom of the pot. This description fits coffee made by my aunts Frieda, Marian, the other Frieda, Anna, Sylvia, Katherine, Lizzie or my mother, Wilma. But in Southern Minnesota on German farmsteads they just cracked the egg and tossed it in the pot, shell and all. The end result was as described in Eater, delicious coffee with the bitterness removed.

From the Era of Egg Coffee

Larger Grind, Less Bitter Taste

Another way to reduce the bitterness in coffee is not to grind it too finely. CBC News discusses the secret to a perfect cup of coffee.

According to researcher Kevin Moroney, the size of the grounds is “vitally important” to the extraction of coffee. The larger the grind in drip coffee the less bitter the taste, partially because there are more gaps between the grinds and the hot water can circulate more easily.

The bitterness occurs when the surface area of the grain is high (a fine grind), preventing water from easily flowing between the grounds and increasing the amount of coffee extracted from the beans.

However, you will get less caffeine with less finely ground beans. So, if you want to wake up grind the beans a lot and if you want taste and to be able to sleep at night use less finely ground beans.

Arabica Coffee

And no matter how you prepare your coffee the best organic coffee leads to the best results and that is Arabica organic coffee.

There are two basic species of coffee, Arabica and Robusta. Arabica coffee is generally believed to be the first type of coffee to be cultivated. So, if you buy Arabica organic coffee you are buying into a tradition stretching back over a thousand years. The so called coffee shrub of Africa is believed to have originated in the mountains of Yemen although there is also evidence that the species originated in the highlands of Ethiopia and the Sudan. When you buy Arabica organic coffee you are choosing the species of coffee with superior taste according to many experts. Café Arabica also contains less caffeine than Robusta. Although wild Arabica coffee plants can reach 12 meters in height coffee growers typically prune the plant to no more than 5 meters and often as short as 2 meters high to make the coffee easier to pick. Arabica coffee grows best at just under a mile in altitude although it is grown at sea level and as high as 7,500 feet. This healthy organic coffee species does well with a meter or meter and a half of rain a year, planted on hillsides with good drainage.

So, remember to buy good quality organic coffee and remembrance of grandmas and aunts from times long past try a little egg coffee from time to time.


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