I love espresso, but on some days you just crave for our local coffee called kopi.
Kopi goes great with toasted bread with butter and jam. Some days I prefer this local homely breakfast over pancakes, bacon and eggs. It doesn’t make you feel too full but it’s truly comfort food.
If you prefer your Kopi black, you order it saying kopi O (pronounced Oh as in zero). Kopi is not made from arabica beans but a cheaper variety mixed with barley with the result being an aromatic dark strong brew. I like mine milky and kopi is usually made with spoonful of sweet condensed milk, while your coffee at Starbucks for instance uses fresh milk. Somehow this condensed milk goes so well with the strong local coffee that it doesn’t quite taste the same with fresh milk. So it has to have at least some condensed milk, if you’re attempting to prepare it at home.
I heard that the original coffee made during colonial times by the Hainanese involved a process of frying the coffee beans with butter and sugar for a distinct flavour. When I was in Indonesia I saw patrons adding lumps of butter to their coffee. Butter definitely adds to the taste. The coffee is brewed by pouring boiling water over these ground coffee beans and through a cloth filter.
Sitting at an old breezy coffeeshop can also be a charming and relaxing experience and anyone who visits this city should try it. The best part of it all is that a cup of kopi can cost as little as 80 Singapore cents.
Update: Found a cool kopi chart by Danesh on how to order various types of local coffee in Singapore.