What is kopi? Or do you mean ‘copy’? No! Kopi means coffee in a Hokkien dialect. If you are a coffee drinker, then you should know the different types of kopi meaning, especially in Singapore and Malaysia.
Since young, I have always had a hard time learning the different types of coffee names and even now I still get confused with them. To be honest, coffee is not my thing and I have never needed to learn. Whenever I am in a kopitiam (coffee shop) or food court, my mum will ask me to buy her a kopi, and I will have to ask her many times before I remember the words Kopi-O. She only buys kopi and never makes her own kopi. It’s a routine for her – one cup a day in the morning.
Anyway, it has been a while since I last shared a blog about my Chinese culture and my home country of Singapore. This time around, I am going to share about Singaporean food and drink. I am so looking forward to going back to Singapore in August to eat my favourite seafood hor fun, sambal kang kong, ice kacang and many more. Maybe order kopi一杯if I remember how. Just cover your ears, when the aunty or uncle shouts for your drink. They are always so loud.
Growing up in Singapore, I have never seen local kopitiams use fresh milk. Fresh milk in coffee is normal in Starbucks, Coffee Beans, McDonald’s, KFC, Burger King etc. The kopitiams I grew up with would use either condensed milk or evaporated milk for your coffee. I’m not sure why they don’t use fresh milk in coffee. Maybe fresh milk can’t stay fresh in the hot weather or maybe some people prefer the sweet flavour of the thick condensed milk in a bitter coffee? Or maybe it’s to keep costs down?
Without further ado, these are the usual types of kopi available in any kopitiams.
Standard Type – without sugar
Kopi: Black coffee with condensed milk
Kopi-Gao: Strong black coffee with condensed milk
Kopi-Di-Lo: Very strong black coffee with condensed milk
Kopi-Poh: Weak black coffee with condensed milk
Black Type – without milk
Kopi-O: Black coffee with sugar
Kopi-O-KoSong: Black coffee without sugar and milk (my mum’s favourite as she is diabetic and has to watch her sugar intake)
Kopi-O Siew-Dai: Black coffee with less sugar
Kopi-O Ga-Dai: Black coffee with more sugar
Brown Type – with evaporated milk
(evaporated milk is unsweetened and runnier than condensed milk)
Kopi-KoSong: Black coffee with evaporated milk, but no sugar
Kopi-C/Kopi-Si: Black coffee with sugar and evaporated milk
Kopi-C/Kopi-Si KoSong: Black coffee with evaporated milk, but no sugar
Kopi-C Siew-Dai: Black coffee with less sugar and evaporated milk
Kopi-C Ga-Dai: Black coffee with more sugar and evaporated milk
Kopi-Peng: Black coffee with sugar and condensed milk on ice.
Peng is in the Hokkien dialect which means ice/cold. To be honest, I wouldn’t usually order this drink in hot weather as the ice will just melt instantly and make the coffee weak tasting. Sometimes you can even see the separation of the water on the top and coffee at the bottom. It is best to order the chilled coffee from western drinks stalls.
How would you like your coffee?