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Apr 16, 2024 / 20:57

Apple CEO visits Hanoi, makes egg coffee go viral

Hanoi's famous drink has won over even the most demanding guests, from high-profile politicians to ordinary tourists.

US tech giant Apple CEO Tim Cook's two-day visit to Vietnam, which began on April 15, has made headlines around the world. The CEO spent his first day in the country sampling egg coffee in Hanoi's Old Quarter, taking a stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake and meeting local content creators.

Busy first day in the capital  

Tim Cook having 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 very 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 a photo of Cook, casually dressed 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 leaving the restaurant, he and his entourage took 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 met with director Phuong Vu at his music studio Antiantiart, talked to some developers and popular singer Suboi, before visiting schools in Hanoi. 

Vietnam's digital economy continues to grow strongly. Many leading electronics and technology companies in the US and around the world are increasing their investment, production and business activities in the country, Cook said, adding that Vietnam also has a 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 revealed that during the trip, the CEO will seek to increase spending on suppliers and make new progress on the initiative to provide clean water to local schools. In 2024, the iPhone maker will also expand its vocational training program for people with disabilities to promote integration and create more opportunities for them in the supply chain.

"From cooperating with local suppliers, to supporting clean water projects and educational opportunities, we are committed to continuing to strengthen connections in Vietnam," Cook said in the statement. 

A fresh ‘egg coffee ever’

The picture of Tim Cook drinking egg coffee in Hanoi has been viewed more than 550,000 times, with nearly 2,000 comments and shares on X. At the same time, searches for "egg coffee" on Google in Vietnam are soaring.

The Hanoian drink is often featured and praised in travel vlogs. In 2022, Grammy-winning American musician John Legend came to Hanoi for the first time and tried egg coffee. He shared the image of his cup online, with a pattern on the surface depicting Sword Lake's Turtle Tower - a symbol of the city - next to his initials "JL".

  John Legend's egg coffee made 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 famous for 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 versions. The cold one 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 runs Street Eats Hanoi, international tourists comment that egg coffee is affordable and has an intriguing feature.

 Egg coffee is loved by locals and foreign tourists alike. Photo: Giang Dinh

“For the vast majority of our clients, the egg coffee experience is a revelation” he says. “The wow factor is high. When I start describing it, they can’t put two and two together. ‘Egg’ and ‘coffee’, together? It’s pretty hard to get a coherent image of those two ingredients in a cup together. It’s always fun," Mark wrote.

He continued: “I’ve never had a client not liking it. Most devour it and swear they’re coming back for one every day they’re in Hanoi. Even people who are not normally coffee drinkers can be surprised.”

Ca phe trung is said to be a creation of Cafe Giang, owned by a well-known family with a very long tradition of selling coffee in Hanoi. It has always been one of the top street drinks in the capital and a favourite with tourists. The cup of black coffee topped with a captivating yellow layer of egg cream has become an icon of Hanoian cuisine.