Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for people dropping grass-fed butter and coconut/MCT oil into their high-quality coffee, blending it all up into a high-octane mug of frothiness, but I just can’t get into it. If we’re talking coffee additives, I prefer my butter in the form of cream. That’s me. I definitely see the appeal of it, though, and I’m sold on the merits of the drink and its components. It’s just not for me.
However, the idea of adding non-traditional fatty food items to coffee intrigued me, so I decided to explore other options. Eventually, I landed on eggs.
Scroll all the way to the end for a step-by-step recipe
Benefits of Eggs and Egg Yolk
Egg yolks are excellent emulsifiers
There’s the egg yolk lecithin, a famous emulsifier, plus several different egg yolk proteins with emulsification properties. Good yolks are prized by top chefs around the world primarily for their emulsifying ability. Egg yolks smooth out sauces, salad dressings, and relations between bitter enemies like oil and water. That’s right: egg yolks are the great unifiers of the food world. Throw some olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper into a bowl, whisk it all together, and you’ll have a lovely stratified bowl of fluids of different shades. Oh, they might appear to blend together into a dressing for a second or two, but once you look away, the old immutable divisions will rear their heads and the dressing will disappear. Add an egg yolk or two, though? You’ll get a silky smooth salad dressing that remains so for time immemorial.
If you don’t have a blender but still want a smooth, creamy coffee drink, hand-frothing an egg yolk with a fork or whisk will get you there. Hand-frothing butter and coconut oil requires vigorous labor and may not even achieve full emulsification.
Eggs are incredible sources of micronutrients
While I love grass-fed butter, cream, and coconut oil, they aren’t exactly micronutrient-dense. The best butter contains beneficial nutrients like vitamin A, omega-3s, vitamin K2, and butyric acid, while coconut oil is a unique source of medium chain triglycerides, but for the most part we eat those foods because they are sources of stable, healthful saturated fats. They provide energy. Egg yolks, on the other hand, are baby bird building blocks. They contain everything you need to build an entire working animal from scratch – all the vitamins, minerals, protein, and fatty acids that make life work. And, if you get a pastured egg – which you should if you know what’s good for (and your omelets) – your yolk will be supercharged, with extra choline, vitamin E, vitamin A, vitamin K2, omega-3 fats, vitamin D, and beta-carotene from all the bugs and greens the chickens ate.
I love eggs, particularly the yolks, and enjoy adding them to everything. They’re a solid, dependable, go-to breakfast item, they’re good for you, and they taste great. What more can you want? That’s why they ended up on my list of foods I couldn’t live without, and that’s why they ended up in my coffee. In the end, I just love eggs, and since I already add them to just about everything, I figured “why not coffee?”
Are there any potential problems with adding eggs to coffee?
Oxidation springs to mind. Not only are you subjecting egg yolks to heat, you’re also whipping oxygen into them. It seems like the perfect storm of lipid oxidation, no?
I’m actually not too worried. First of all, the coffee really isn’t very hot. It’s well under boiling.
Third, the actual blending/frothing only takes place for a few seconds. It’s relatively short-lived, probably not long enough to be a problem.
Fourth, the vitamin E in egg yolks is there to prevent oxidation. It’s quite good at it. Coincidentally, this is why you should get pastured eggs if possible. The yolks of pastured eggs contain upwards of four times the vitamin E found in standard battery egg yolks.
What about raw egg white’s tendency to bind biotin? Raw egg whites have the well-publicized ability to bind biotin (found in the yolk) and prevent its absorption. Luckily, the binding ability of avidin begins to break down at 158 ºF (70 ºC) and is almost completely degraded at 185 ºF (85 ºC). Since coffee is ideally brewed with water running between 190 and 200 ºF, the finished product should be able to keep avidin from binding your biotin.
How to Make Egg Coffee
I stumbled upon something I had never heard of until recently – Vietnamese Egg Coffee – and decided to experiment in the kitchen. Now, let’s get right to the recipes themselves. As you’ll see, they’re not all that complex. You’re basically just adding eggs or egg yolks to coffee.
Adding Other Ingredients
I also tried out a few other additions to the brews, to see how they meshed with the eggs. Consider adding these:
Butter and coconut oil – If you dig Bulletproof coffee, adding egg yolks makes it even better.
In the course of research for this post, I ingested five eggs plus five extra yolks along with several cups of moderately strong coffee. I don’t know if it was just an excessive amount of coffee or if the caffeine was potentiated by the phospholipids in the yolks, but I felt like I was under the influence of… something. Although it was a good feeling, a productive feeling, to be sure, I could see it getting out of hand if taken too far. This is potent stuff. A cup or two is probably ideal, at least for me.
Is it Okay to Add Sugar?
Don’t worry about a little sugar, even the white stuff. The amount I added, a teaspoon, is just four grams of sucrose. And, if you use an actual food like honey or maple syrup, which have different (improved) metabolic effects compared to plain white sugar, the potential downsides of ingesting sugar are lessened even more. Besides, you can always use a non-caloric sweetener like stevia, which has its own set of benefits.
This is a great drink to have if I have a busy day ahead of me where optimal productivity is required. Whole egg coffee seems to work well pre-workout, boosting energy, motivation, and providing a nice source of branched-chain amino acids for the training ahead.
What about you, folks? Want to give this a shot? Ever tried this yourself? Got any tips to improve my recipes? If you do try it, let me know in the comment section how it works out!
Forget adding butter and coconut oil to your coffee. To truly supercharge your morning brew, add a few pastured egg yolks. This recipe is ideal for anyone who has a busy day ahead of them as egg coffee seems to work well pre-workout, boosting energy, motivation, and providing a nice source of branched-chain amino acids for the training ahead.
Primal Egg Yolk Coffee
1 1/2 cup (350 ml) coffee
3 pastured egg yolks
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp of salt
Brew coffee (35 grams of coffee beans – I used a light roast, single-origin bean) in a French press by dumping the grinds in, adding about 350 ml of water, stirring quickly, covering and letting it sit for three minutes.
Separate the yolks from the whites.
Once the coffee is ready, dump it in a blender, set it to “low,” and drop in the yolks.
After a few seconds, add sugar, a pinch of salt, and let it blend a bit more.
Then pour it, there should be a head of foam.
Try swapping the sugar out for honey, maple syrup, or stevia.
Want to use a whole egg instead? Replace the pastured egg yolk for 2 pastured whole eggs and reduce the coffee to 1 cup (240 ml).
Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.