Apple CEO’s Hanoi Visit Sparks Egg Coffee’s Global Popularity

Hanoi's famous drink has won over even the most demanding guests, from high-profile politicians to ordinary tourists, due to its unique flavor and ability to cool down the body on hot days.

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US tech giant Apple CEO Tim Cook‘s two-day visit to Vietnam, which commenced on April 15, has garnered global headlines. The CEO spent his initial day in the country savoring egg coffee in Hanoi’s Old Quarter, strolling around Hoan Kiem Lake and engaging with local content creators.

Active first day in the capital  

Tim Cook enjoying egg coffee with ‘Queen of Vietnamese R&B’ My Linh and her daughter, singer My Anh, in Hanoi’s Old Quarter.
Photo: Tim Cook (@tim_cook) – X

 “Xin chao, Vietnam! Thank you to the extraordinarily talented musicians My Linh and My Anh for such a warm welcome. And I loved the egg coffee!” – he posted on X at midday on  April 15, shortly after his arrival in Vietnam.

Accompanying the post is an image of Cook, dressed casually in a simple dark t-shirt, engaged in an enthusiastic conversation with ‘Queen of Vietnamese R&B’ My Linh and her daughter, singer My Anh, at what appears to be a restaurant at 48 Hang Be Street in Hoan Kiem District.

After departing from the restaurant, he and his entourage embarked on a walk around the Hanoi Post Office on Dinh Tien Hoang Street. “Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi is as beautiful as it is iconic!” – he wrote in another status on X.

Later, the Apple CEO had a meeting with director Phuong Vu at his music studio Antiantiart, conversed with developers and popular singer Suboi, before visiting schools in Hanoi. 

Vietnam’s digital economy continues to experience robust growth, Cook said, adding that many leading electronics and technology companies in the US and worldwide are expanding their investment, production, and business activities in the country. He also highlighted Vietnam’s highly skilled workforce of technology engineers and employees.

Tim Cook’s cup of egg coffee at Madame Hien restaurant in Hanoi. Photo: CafeBiz

Sources from Apple disclosed that during the trip, the CEO aims to increase spending on suppliers and achieve further progress in the initiative to provide clean water to local schools. In 2024, the iPhone maker will also expand its vocational training program for individuals with disabilities to promote integration and create more opportunities for them in the supply chain.

“From collaborating with local suppliers to supporting clean water projects and educational opportunities, we remain committed to further strengthening our connections in Vietnam,” Cook stated.

A refreshing ‘egg coffee ever’

The image of Tim Cook drinking egg coffee in Hanoi has garnered over 550,000 views, with close to 2,000 comments and shares on X. Simultaneously, searches for “egg coffee” on Google in Vietnam have skyrocketed.

The Hanoian beverage is frequently featured and praised in travel vlogs. In 2022, Grammy-winning American musician John Legend visited Hanoi for the first time and sampled egg coffee. He shared an image of his cup online, which featured a pattern depicting Sword Lake’s Turtle Tower – a symbol of the city – next to his initials “JL”.

  John Legend’s egg coffee prepared by the chef of Dinh Cafe in Hanoi 

That  same year, Pricilia Carla Yules, Miss Indonesia 2020 and Miss World 2021 Top 6 finalist, decided to learn how to make the drink herself in Hanoi after falling for its taste. A year later, as a UNICEF ambassador, Choi Si-won of South Korean boy group Super Junior also visited a cafe on Nguyen Huu Huan Street that’s renowned for its egg coffee.

On its website, CNN describes Ca phe trung or egg coffee as “a Hanoi specialty in which a creamy soft, meringue-like egg white foam is perched on dense Vietnamese coffee.” 

The article also introduces the drink’s two variants. The cold version is “served as a yellow concoction in a small glass”, “consumed with a spoon and tastes almost like a coffee flavored ice cream.”

The hot version, on the other hand, “comes resting in a small dish of hot water to maintain its temperature.” As for the flavor, “the strong coffee taste at the bottom of the cup seeps through the egg – the yellow layer on top – and is quite thick and sweet, though not sickly.”

According to Mark Lowerson, who operates Street Eats Hanoi, international tourists find egg coffee affordable and intriguing.

 Egg coffee is adored by both locals and foreign tourists. Photo: Giang Dinh

“For the vast majority of our customers, the egg coffee experience is a revelation,” he says. “The wow factor is significant. When I begin describing it, they can’t comprehend the combination. ‘Egg’ and ‘coffee’ together? It’s rather challenging to visualize those two ingredients in the same cup. It’s always entertaining,” Mark wrote.

He continued: “I’ve never encountered a customer who disliked it. The majority of them devour it and vow to return for one every day during their stay in Hanoi. Even individuals who don’t normally drink coffee may be pleasantly surprised.”

Ca phe trung is believed to have originated at Cafe Giang, owned by a renowned family with a long history of selling coffee in Hanoi. It has consistently been one of the capital’s most popular street beverages and a favorite among tourists. The cup of black coffee topped with a captivating yellow layer of egg cream has become an emblem of Hanoian cuisine.