Apart from Non-Coffee Drinkers, who wouldn’t enjoy a cup of Gourmet Coffee from Starbucks, Coffee Bean, San Francisco Coffee etc.etc.etc. I certainly do crave the occasional Latte or Cappuccino!
However my all time favourite coffee has got to be the local Kopi which is the local term for coffee. It has a far superior aroma and taste, moreover it is dirt cheap! 90 cents to a dollar for a cup. ( i.e. as at 19 Mar 2010 who knows what price it will be at with inflation )
But I guess this cuppa is not for everyone, as most foreigners or should I say tourists find our coffee too strong for their liking. Strange because the majority of locals sometimes find it weak and request for stronger as in KOPI KAO! ( thick) ( or ‘gee lat’ aka add strength)
OH and if you half understood what all the shouting at the local coffee shops (though now a slow dying breed) is all about, you’d find how systematic, efficient and even at times hilarious the order takers and Drink makers are, which adds to the whole vibrant atmosphere! Basically what happens is that the Order taker will shout out your order in their dialect (more often it is in Hokkien) to the Drink makers, then proceed to other tables to take more customer orders before proceeding to collect the accumulated orders and thereby serving them.
These are a few of the most common and a few uncommon orders barked out loud, which you would hear at any one of these local coffee shops….
- KOPI ( pronounced copee ) – coffee sweetened with condensed milk
- KOPI SI – coffee with evaporated milk
- KOPI O aka KOPI OH – coffee black
- KOPI SIEW TAI – Coffee less sugar
- KOPI KA TAI – Coffee more sugar
- KOPI KAO aka KOPI GEE LAT – strong coffee or coffee with added strength
- KOPI POK – Weak coffee or less strength.
- KOPI KOSONG – Coffee without sugar.
- KOPI SUA – Ideal for the couple as it means you want a pair of coffee. ( Two Cups)
- KOPI PUA SIO aka KOPI PUA SIO LENG – warm coffee ( lukewarm coffee )
You can combine them to order your perfect coffee as in KOPI O KAO SIEW TAI! aka strong black coffee with less sugar.
Just replace the word KOPI with TEH for the Tea variety of orders.
Other interesting orders you might here apart from the regular soft drink names….
- TAK KIEW – kick ball referring to MILO a local favourite hot chocolate drink ( most likely derived from their adverts)
- PUET SI GOR LAT – 8456 phonetically calling for PEPSI COLA
- KOK – Coke
- LIANG TEH – Herbal tea
- KEK WHEY – Chrysanthemum tea.
Now isn’t it all delightful?