HDB Towns/ Estates

Starter Kit to Ordering Kopi

Ordering coffee at neighbourhood coffee shops and hawker centres may be daunting for those used to ordering ice blended beverages from swanky coffee chains.

In place of latte and miachatto, there are new terms to learn. From kopi o kosong to kopi kah dai, and all the variants in-between, it can be mind-boggling and tongue-tripping!

But with our guide to help you, in no time at all, you will be ordering kopi like a local pro!

(Photo credit: Pinterest)

Step 1: Select your coffee preference:

Kopi = Coffee with condensed milk
Kopi C = Coffee with evaporated milk (sweetened)
Kopi O = Black coffee with sugar
Kopi O Kosong = Black coffee without sugar

I personally prefer my coffee to be sweet, so a cup of Kopi will do the trick πŸ™‚ For those who are cautious of your sugar intake, then a cup of Kopi-O Kosong will be a healthier choice.

Step 2: Customise your drink

Next, add in additional expressions to adjust the drink to your taste. This includes selecting the amount of sugar level, or deciding if you would like a hot or iced beverage:

Kosong = No sugar
Ga Dai = Extra sugar
Siu Dai = Less sugar
Po = Dilute the drink with water
Di Lo = Strong; no water added
Peng = Iced beverage
Da Bao = Take away (Here’s a quick tip – do not be surprised if your drink comes in a plastic bag with a straw, this is all part of the local coffee shop experience!)

(Photo credit: sipandgulp)

Now, string the phrases together, and order away! For example, if you would like to take away an iced unsweetened black coffee, then you should say β€œKopi-o Kosong Peng Da Bao”.

Teh Too!

If you are more of a tea lover, simply switch the word β€˜kopi’ with β€˜teh’, which stands for tea. And viola – a new list to customise your afternoon tea!

With some skills and practice, you will definitely get your desired kopi drink on your table smoothly! Plus, these iced coffees are budget-friendly, and are the perfect companions to toasts and half-boiled eggs for a weekend breakfast with your family.

If you enjoyed this article, leave us a comment at the MyNiceHome Facebook page. We would love to hear from you! πŸ™‚

By Theresa Ong
November 29, 2017


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