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Swedish Egg Coffee



Have you ever considered how people made coffee before coffee makers, or even percolators, were available? When I was rather young, an older co-worker told me about his railroad days, when the crew would make a large batch of coffee in an industrial boiler by throwing coffee grounds, water, and eggs into it. This was a common workaround for percolating and filtering, as seen even today in the Lutheran church that sells Swedish egg coffee at the Minnesota State Fair.

Even in the mayhem of the State Fair, those three words on Salem Lutheran’s marquee are enough to stop the uninitiated cold. Yes, egg coffee. Jim Zieba, who’s been brewing the stuff at Salem since the 1970s, explains:

“The egg is mashed into the grounds, and the grounds are boiled in, kind of like campfire coffee,” says Zieba. “The coffee being slightly acid and egg being alkaline, they cancel each other out, and you get a very mild clear cup of coffee. A lot of people, they just love it for some reason.”

Yes, eggshells are included. Get the instructions for making egg coffee, which is not necessarily Swedish, at the Takeout.


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I literally just did a Google search about this last weekend. A friend was mentioning another friend who had this type of coffee while growing up in North Dakota. They would use the egg/shells to refresh a day old pot of coffee. I had never heard of egg coffee before, so I had to look it up.
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Eggs and eggshells have been used to clarify drinks since time immemorial. The Rothschilds used it to clear up their wine back in the day.
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