#46. When You’re In the Mood for Kopi Rather Than Espresso

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.

photo by bookjunkie

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.

photo by bookjunkie

Update: Found a cool kopi chart by Danesh on how to order various types of local coffee in Singapore.

About bookjunkie

Blogging about my daily life in Singapore helps with my mid life crisis.
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5 Responses to #46. When You’re In the Mood for Kopi Rather Than Espresso

  1. kierstens says:

    How do you order Kopi if you don’t want any sugar? Also, where was the second photo taken? That place looks great!

    • bookjunkie says:

      hahaha i think you just say Kopi O no sugar.

      It was taken at a quaint little coffee shop at China Square just outside the weekend flea market area as you walked out from Spinelli 🙂 I did a post about it earlier. If you are into collectible toys and vintage stuff this is the place to have a look see.

  2. 365days2play says:

    I thought it was Kopi O Kosong …ie Black Coffee without sugar. Anyway those are just short cuts….you could always say “Please may I have a cup of Kopi without any milk and without any sugar, thank you”.
    And the guy will say “Huh?”

  3. gssq says:

    I believe what they add to the beans is chicory not barley (also what we call Barley is Job’s Tears)

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