Monthly Archives: October 2012

How to make coffee that doesn’t suck: Swedish Egg Coffee

So, it turns out this is all wrong. The instructions were wrong. I re-wrote the instructions, and they’re posted on my REAL blog. Check out my new, awesome blog at Trust me, it’s way better.

Swedish egg coffee is one of my favorite brewing methods. It makes an extra-mellow, non-bitter cup of coffee and can be scaled up to huge amounts of coffee for huge amounts of people. It’s a fantastic way to tantalize kids and adults at Scout camp, which I did this weekend, and it’s a great way to make coffee for people who don’t like bitter coffee. It’s a strong flavor for those who like strong coffee, but not so strong that you need milk to tone it down.

According to legend, Swedish Egg Coffee was a recipe carried “on the boat” from Sweden to America back in the late 1800’s. Coffee filters didn’t exist like they do today, so your option for coffee was percolator coffee, which is bitter and acidic and generally pretty awful. Definitely not appropriate fare for us culinarily timid Swedes. Enter egg coffee.

It’s wicked easy. In fact, it’s probably the easiest coffee I’ve ever made. You can make it on a stove, you can make it on a fire. You can make it in a teapot or in a cup or in a coffee can. I used a percolator pot for the sake of convenience and made it over a camp stove at Scout camp this weekend. It took about twelve minutes.

  1. Get a pot, preferably one of those aluminum pots with a spout on it, but really anything will do. Fill it with water, but keep track of how much water you use.
  2. Do one or two tablespoons of coarse-ground (like a percolator grind) coffee per 6 ounces of water in the pot, depending how strong you like it. Just dump the coffee into the water.
  3. Boil for 5-10 minutes.
  4. At the end of the 5-10 minutes, give the pot a solid stir and get it swirling. Turn off the heat.
  5. While it’s still swirling, crack a single egg and dump the whole thing, shell and all, into the water. Use one egg for every ten cups of liquid.
  6. Filter through a French Press or coffee filter or your teeth or whatever.

Not only does the egg solidify around most of the grounds, it neutralizes most of the bitterness and acidity so you get a REALLY mellow cup of coffee. It’s an old immigrant trick and a lot of the Minnesota Lutheran churches still make it. As far as smooth, mellow coffee goes, it’s about as good as it gets.

I’ll warn you, the leftovers in the bottom of the pot look awful. Here’s a picture I took of the remnants at camp this weekend. It’s just boiled egg and coffee, but it still looks terrible.

Looks like dead birds in an oil spill but man oh man, is it delicious.

If you make some, let me know how it turns out!


Posted by on October 1, 2012 in Uncategorized