Sumatra’s Sweet Secret: Kopi Telur Coffee Drink
As strange as it may sound, we’ve probably all heard of the egg as a condiment for coffee. Whether it’s a high-protein coffee served at your local gym or the best dessert in Hanoi ca phe trung, the combination has become a mainstream favorite in some circles, and more ways to enjoy the sacred marriage of these breakfast staples continue to emerge.
kopi telur has long been a favorite in Padang, the capital and largest city of Indonesia’s West Sumatra province. Much like its distant Vietnamese cousin, ca phe trung, the drink consists of eggs, coffee and condensed milk, but it’s the Indonesian roast from Sumatra that balances out the creamy richness of the dairy. To understand kopi telur, one must understand something about the Indonesian archipelago’s relationship to the coffee culture that serves as the basis for the drink as well as the cafes that regularly serve kopi telur.
Indonesia is undoubtedly one of the most popular sources of coffee, but while many of us like to steam cups of black coffee made from single-origin Sumatran beans in the dawn or affectionately call our afternoon cups of coffee “Java“, few coffee drinkers are familiar with the whirlwind of activity encapsulated by the group of islands that gave us those terms.
The Republic of Indonesia is a country made up of more than 17,000 islands covering 741,000 square miles of landmass, earning it the title of the largest island nation in the world. The country’s sprawl makes it home to more than 700 languages, 1,300 ethnic groups, and several hundred species of plants and animals, making it one of the most diverse nations in the world.
Due to climate and geography, each island has its own approach and relationship to coffee growing and coffee growing. With coffee plantations in Java, Sumatra, Bali, Timor and Sulawesi, Indonesia is the world’s fourth largest coffee producer just behind Brazil, Vietnam and Colombia. And Indonesia’s coffee plantations are 90% owned by families and small businesses.
Padang is one of the few Indonesian cities known for its freshly thriving cafes. Coffee is a fairly common drink – with some natives opting for roadside instant coffee – but the openness and specialization of cafes is a recent development, especially since coffee culture in Indonesia is generally associated with a upper middle class that has only grown in the last 20 years. years.
Indonesia suffered from extreme poverty until the 1970s, but then maintained an impressive annual growth rate of around 5% of GDP until the COVID-19 pandemic slowed the economy in 2020 .
Home to more than 10 million people, Jakarta, the Indonesian capital, is located on the northwest coast of Java, the most populous island in the world. The city’s coffee businesses range from independent company Kopi Mank to corporate giant Starbucks, and kopi telur is one of the few distinctively Indonesian drinks included on the menus of cafes that source Sumatran beans in independent farms scattered across the countryside of Sumatra. Kopi telur is a great way to enjoy coffee for breakfast or dessert. In Indonesia, it is usually used to punctuate hearty dishes served with rice in a Nasi Padang meal.
To make your own kopi telur, all you need is boiling water, an egg yolk, condensed milk, and dark roast, plus additional flavorings of your choice.
For this recipe, combine honey and vanilla. The floral and tart notes embedded in the thick body of a fresh Sumatran cup really shine against the sweetness of condensed milk, making it a highly recommended choice for the coffee of this drink, but feel free to substitute any any earthy dark roast you prefer.
To make, vigorously whisk boiling water into an egg yolk with the honey and vanilla. Once frothy (about two minutes into the process if whisking by hand), pour in the condensed milk. Pour hot coffee into the hole left by the milk. The appearance of this drink may be reminiscent of a macchiato with three distinct layers present. The cream should sink to the bottom and the coffee should hang in the middle, with a thick layer of foam on top. Serve hot or cold.
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of honey
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/4 cup hot water
- 1 tablespoon sweetened condensed milk
- 4 ounces dark roast
- Vigorously whisk the hot water into the egg yolk, vanilla and honey until frothy. Pour the mixture into a glass.
- Pour the condensed milk into the mixture.
- Pour the coffee into the hole left by the condensed milk.
This article first appeared in the Winter 2022 print edition of Coffee or Die Magazine like “Sumatra’s sweet secret.”
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