Tuesday, November 17, 2009

How do you like your coffee, Sir? - WW

 I often have foreign guests visiting and I love to bring them to our local spots or eateries to experience the life on this tiny island.
Some of these friends must start the day with a cup of coffee (I'm not a coffee drinker and I cannot understand how these friends can be such coffee addicts). I brought them to try our beverages at local coffee stalls.  

In Singapore, 'tea' is called 'teh' and 'coffee' as 'kopi'. They are found in kopitiams (coffee shops) and hawker centres, the humble kopi and teh are served in no-frills glasses or sometimes in porcelain cups and saucers. These traditional pick-me-ups cost from 60 cents to S$2.00.  Much cheaper than the high class coffee joints.

the local coffee stall

At a traditional coffee stall, no sophisticated coffee machines and equipment are used to brew them.Our local method is to use a muslin bag where tea leaves and coffee powder are strained.

local beverages

Below are different ways to have your kopi and teh  at a local coffee stall. Try them. :)

kopi/teh (coffee/tea with sugar and condensed milk);
kopi O/teh O (coffee/tea with sugar only);  
kopi O kosong/teh O kosong (if you like it bitter); 
kopi C/teh C (coffee/tea with sugar and evaporated milk);  
kopi kosong/teh kosong (coffee/tea with milk, no sugar);
kopi peng/teh peng (coffee/tea with sugar, milk and ice, the younger crowd loves these);

 teh C and teh peng plus a toasted slice of garlic bread... mmmm...

and the cappuccino-inspired kopicinno/tehcinno (milk at the bottom, coffee/tea in the centre, milky froth on top)

My love!

How do you like your coffee, Sir/Madam?

First Commenter - Jama


  1. I'm not a coffee drinker but love the fragrance of the freshly made coffee, especially in the mornings. I like to drink tea O at home , teh with milk and less sugar if outside. Better if they have teh tarik,lagi shiok!

  2. Congrats Jama!
    For being the first commenter of this post.

    I love the aroma of roasting coffee beans and that of a cup of freshly brewed coffee but I don't drink coffee.

    I love teh tarik too! I often go to the Indian drink stall at Kampong Glam for my teh tarik fix. yum.....

  3. I grew up not having coffee when I was in Sibu, they say it is too heaty.

    Now I drink instant coffee, with white coffee mate. I don't like your kopitam coffee, too strong and black for me.

    Here, some people are crazy about coffee. If I do drink, I drink cappucino. I don't really care for the barista coffee.

    Via Jama's post, actually your MRT is very good.

    Singapore is clean, green and efficient. If only it is not so hot.

  4. I am a coffee junkie. I like mine White coffee kaw! :D

  5. Ann,
    East Malaysia has good coffee too. I was given some coffee from Tenom, Sabah. My hubby finds it very aromatic. I can't find it in Singapore, have to trouble my Malaysian friends to buy it from Sabah.

    I cannot understand some of my friends' craze for coffee .... my hubby loves coffee too but he is not that addictive.

    You probably have tried the coffee from one of the traditional kopitiams. The locals love it for it is thick and aromatic.

    I know our MRT is good and it's convenient but it is too crowded for my liking. And I hate the sight of some men squeezing themselves against the women.

    We can't do anything about the high temperature outdoors..... and it's getting hotter each year.

    I prefer to stay indoors. :P

  6. Tekkaus,
    You are one of those who's crazy over coffee!! :P
    Why ah? What's so nice about a drink!?

  7. Doreen,
    Wah, yuen-yang (a combination of coffee and tea)!

    I like this combination served in Hong Kong cafes.

  8. I love coffee. All our house guests ever want to do is go shopping in Manhattan.

  9. Kopi peng for me and that toasted garlic bread looks crispy and yummy!When I was a kid I remember people bought coffee from the neighbourhood makan corner shop where the hot take away coffee was served in a plastic bag and a straw!LOL!Sometimes tongues got burnt!

    However I adore capuccino so that kopiccino tehcinno looks right up my alley.

  10. Whoa!

    So that's how you call the different coffee types in Singapore. The first morning we were there last year, our friend told us coffee is called Kopi-O and ordered one for each of us. Now I know there are different ways to have them.

    Thanks for the info. Next time I'm there I'll try Kopi C and Kopi peng. =)

  11. My all-time fav is Teh C ala old kopitiam style.

  12. well..i don't drink coffee or tea..i would be wide awake with that..

  13. How would I like to be served? Well, how about a cup of teh c kosong, two half boiled eggs and two slices of toast for me, thank you.

  14. I like mild coffee! :)
    Great shots shared, great street photography.

  15. Thanks for sharing some (for me) new ways of having coffee. I love it black and strong mostly (=several cups a day), sometimes with boiled milk and spiced the indian way, but when going out I like cappucino or espresso.

  16. I like my coffee most ways as long as it's strong and full of caffeine. Good post.

  17. i like tehC or kopiC the most. but if compared, i still prefer chocolate in the morning. :)

  18. mmmmmmm! I would love to try that coffee with the sugar and milk and toast! I am hungry now!

  19. Good morning ECL! I'll have one kopi ais today pls!

  20. I oso like teh ais and kopi o ais...see my mood mah!

  21. Digital Flower Pictures,
    Most of my foreign friends love the shopping in Singapore. But as the host, I would sneak in local food spots for a taste of our local eats. :P

  22. jean,
    Kopi peng cools you down in the hot Singapore weather.

    When you come back, I'll recommend you some very traditional coffee stalls for their kopi, kaya and toast.

    I thought if you ta pao (takeaway), the hot kopi is poured into a used condense milk tin. How to drink hot kopi from a plastic bag?

    The kopiccino /tehcinno is a local concoction which is very good! Must get the right stall. :)

  23. pinkroma,
    Yes, next time try the different types of our local beverages. They cost less and are tasty. You will love them.

  24. Mei Teng,
    I love a good Teh C! arghhhh.... need to get a cup now.

  25. wenn,
    I would be wide awake when I drink kopi and tea too. I usually have my tea before 6pm so I can sleep at night. :)

  26. stanley,
    Yeah! The traditional Chinese Singaporean breakfast, it's easy enough for me to serve you personally. :D

  27. stanley,
    Do you have a blog which I can link to?

  28. Indrani,
    Long time no see!
    My bad too, cause I was too busy with work and didn't have time to go bloghopping these days.

    How do you make a mild coffee? Use less coffee powder?

  29. jams,
    Personally, I prefer these local drinks to those at Starbucks or Coffee Bean. :P

  30. Lottie,
    My pleasure.

    Several cups of black coffee a day!? Those will keep me awake for 3 days!! :D

    I have tried spiced Indian tea but not coffee. Would love to try it.

  31. Carver,
    Good. You will like our local versions. :)

  32. levian,
    I would love hot chocolate every day but it's too heaty. :P

    Teh C for me every morning. Yeah!

  33. heidi,
    That seems to be the favourite for my readers. :)

  34. Maurica,
    7 early 8 early you drink kopi ais!?
    Have a hot cup of coffee lah.... no good for health to have a cold drink in the morning.

    Drink less cold drinks.

  35. Coffee and tea is addictive but I do not drink coffee now as it gives me headache. I take some tea C once in a while. Here in Penang tea plus coffee is call Cham Peng..

  36. Happy WW, Liza!
    A chilled glass of coffee is great on a hot day ... but if taken on a frequent basis, can be harmful to your health.

  37. Sweet Jasmine,
    I try hard not to be addicted to my teh C. :P

    Why call Cham Peng? It sounds like 'add ice'.

  38. I like mine mild, not too sweet, smooth, aromatic ... ahh ... just give me tea.

    I'm a tea person.


  39. Yes ECL I now remember empty condensed milk cans being used to carry the HOT coffee and there was a hole in the middle of the can's top(opened but left a little to re-close it)and a sort of raffia string was somehow attached to the hole so as to carry it. However one day the makan shop changed(no more free cans?)it to horrible square clear plastic bags with thin plastic strings as handles that really managed by some voodoo miracle to withstand the heat of the coffee.The funny part was the straw that the vendor always pushed thru the opening of the bag.I don't know why maybe he thought it was classy or funky?LOL!People sometimes forgot how the coffee was and drank it thus howling as their tongues got burnt!
    Anyway I had noticed later on some other coffee stalls converting to the little plastic bags. Ah the good old days....

  40. jean,
    There are still some coffee stalls that use the empty condensed milk tins to hold the hot coffee. I have to go get one for my next blog post. Yeah!

    owww... getting your tongue burnt by the hot kopi is no joke.

    I drink hot tea with a straw when I order from drink stalls. (I don't drink from the cup due to hygiene reason.) My tongue sometimes get burnt if I'm careless and boy, I felt as if I lost my tongue. :p

    Whenever I see someone holding a plastic bag of hot beverage, I'm always paranoid that the thin string will break and the hot content would scald the poor person. :P

    I always wonder how the coffee stalls get that many condensed milk tins.....

  41. Thank you ECL for stating the difference between kopi O and Kopi C, but what is the difference between evaporated and condensed milk?

    Now I know how to order an iced kopi (kopi peng), was always too embarrassed to ask before!

  42. i don't drink coffee. it gives me terrible indigestion.

  43. i love green tea. i especially like the fresh green quality of the leaves and aroma.

  44. Yikes ! coffee with tea, for an Italian wife unthinkable, lol !
    Finally I have time and Internet to send you some hugs from Egypt ! I saw the pyramides for the first time and the sphynks too. We have wonderful weather and enjoy our holidays very much !

  45. One last thing ECL, I just noticed in the picture of the local coffee stall, that there are empty condensed milk cans hanging and ready for use! I must have breezed thru the pictures too quickly as I often do 3 or 4 things at the same time while on the Net.
    Yay for the bit of the past still fighting progress!

  46. I like my coffee, 'tarik tinggi tinggi', ha ha ha!

  47. It gets brrr...cold here in the nights. I could use a teh-terek right now! greetings from PERU!

  48. I am a coffee drinker but I had to cut it down for now. I love it strong with a good mixture of sugar, milk & cream. =)

  49. Hi,
    I´m a coffee addict...but I also appreciate a good cup of tea. I like black coffee, strong and aromatic. I prefer using brown sugar to sweeten it and I like to mix it with a cinnamon stick.
    In my country, an expresso is called "Bica", my favorite.
    Good weekend!

  50. I love tea, but it must be unsweetened, no milk.
    I also love American style coffee: not strong, and black, please.

    Although it doesn't matter, as long as it's being served by George...


  51. Hi ELC! oh I'm a coffee lover and i must start the day with a cup of coffee too :-P

  52. the cappuccino-inspired kopicinno/tehcinno looks so yummy!!

  53. You can save the coffee. I'm taking that delicious garlic toast!!

  54. I can only drink one cup of coffee a day! Any more than that, I'll get all jittery and shaking all over! Maybe it's the caffeine?

  55. Also after drinking coffee, sure must go toilet for the big one! A very effective cure for constipation! Haha!

  56. Oh, that's OldTown I see in the photo! I love their garlic bread!! And that's about the only thing I like there! Haha!

  57. Old Town coffee not too bad, but a little sweet, no?

  58. That kopicinno with the layers look delicious!! : )


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