Understanding coffee shop lingo is no easy feat, especially with the barrage of terms available to customize your cup of joe. In this article, we break down the common kopitiam lingo for you so that the next time you’re at a coffee shop, you can order like a true blue Singaporean!
|TYPES OF COFFEE|
|Kopi O||‘Kopi’ means ‘coffee’, and ‘O’ translates to no milk. Therefore, Kopi O is black coffee served with sugar.|
|Kopi C||Coffee made with evaporated milk and sugar.|
|Kopi||Coffee made with condensed milk.|
|Siew Dai||Less sugar/sweet|
|Gah Dai||More sugar/sweet|
|Peng||Iced. You can add this suffix to any of the terms above to get your beverage with ice/cold. For example, a black coffee without sugar and with ice will be Kopi O Kosong Peng.|
|Pua Sio||Literally translates to 半烧 (half warm). Some of the hot water is replaced with room temperature water to give you a lukewarm beverage that’s ideal for drinking.|
|Gao||Thick coffee. The coffee they serve at coffee shops is usually diluted with some hot water before serving. To get a stronger dose of coffee with less water, order it gao.|
|Po||Thin coffee. If you want to hold on the caffeine, order it po, where more water is added to dilute the coffee.|
|Di Lo||Extra Thick coffee. This gets you coffee poured straight from the metal kettle, without any dilution.|
|Sua||Get a double order of the same beverage.|
|Dabao / Bao||Get your beverage as a takeaway.|
Prefer tea? Replace ‘Kopi’ with ‘Teh’. Mix and match the above terms to customize your coffee/tea! Some examples:
- Kopi C Gao Siew Dai = Strong/Thick Coffee + Evaporated Milk + Less sugar
- Teh O Kosong Peng = Tea + No milk + No Sugar + Ice
- Kopi Po Gah Dai = Thin Coffee + Extra Condensed Milk
- Teh Peng Dabao = Tea + Condensed Milk + Ice + Takeaway
- Teh C Siew Dai Pua Sio Dabao = Tea + Carnation Milk + Less Sugar + Lukewarm + Takeaway
|OTHER COMMON BEVERAGES|
|Milo / Tak Kiu||A powdered chocolate malt beverage made with condensed milk and water. Tak Kiu is Hokkien for “kicking a ball”, and this describes the packaging of a Milo tin.|
|Milo Kosong||Hot milo without milk and sugar.|
|Milo Dinosaur||Iced milo with an additional scoop of milo powder on the top.|
|Teh / Kopi Tarik||Tea/Coffee with condensed milk, pulled back and forth to create a frothy top. This process helps to perfectly incorporate the milk into the tea/coffee, giving the drink a better flavour. It also helps to cool the beverage down to an optimal drinking temperature.|
|Teh Halia||Tea with condensed milk and ginger. The added ginger gives the tea a tinge of spiciness.|
|Yuan Yang||Kopi + Teh. A harmony of coffee and tea to give you the best of both worlds.|
|Kopi/Teh Cino||Milk with a layer of tea or coffee on top. Kopi/Teh is made the normal way and layered on top of hot milk to give you an extra milky beverage.|
|Diao He||Chinese tea. The term literally translates to ‘fishing’, similar to how one dips a tea bag into hot water to make tea.|
|Michael Jackson||Freshly brewed soya bean milk with grass jelly.|
Now that you’ve gotten a crash course on coffee shop lingo, you are all set to conquer the kopitiams of Singapore with your new-found knowledge. Sharing is caring; don’t forget to share this guide with your friends, and bookmark this page for future reference!
Where should I get my ‘kopi‘ fix?
Prive ACM is a classy joint that looks just like your run-of-the-mill coffee shop (albeit a very well-kept one), but you won’t see any kopitiam uncles here! Chill on the banks of the Singapore River and sip your favourite coffee while chowing down on comforting local and western meals.
Find it at 1 Empress Place, Singapore 179555.
Earn 2X Chope-Dollars with code TASTYBLOG.
Peranakan delights aren’t the only thing you’ll find at the National Kitchen by Violet Oon. After all, a restaurant dedicated to Singapore’s cuisine wouldn’t be complete without our favourite coffee shop drinks. Celebrate Singapore’s culture with the unique flavours of Peranakan and Eurasian cuisine, all with a cup of kopi.
Pssst… if you’re still craving for more caffeine, then you have to check out our Ultimate Coffee Guide where we dish out some of the best cafes in Singapore with absolutely delicious grub and thirst quenchers.