Kopitiam are local coffee shops that have been around since the colonial era. These coffee shops started their humble origins as small stalls in early settlements of plantations and neighbourhoods, selling drinks and meals to the migrant labour population. Kopitiam owners introduced a selection of dishes hybridising colonial and local culinary influences, from drinks like brew coffee to chicken chop. Here are some of the popular drinks that you can find at your local Kopitiam!
Can’t choose between coffee or tea? You can get the best of both worlds in a glass of ‘kopi cham’, a cold drink that combines both coffee and milk tea. A sweet, creamy drink with an extra jolt of caffeine, kopi cham is a popular drink found in most Malaysian Kopitiam. To break it down precisely, kopi cham is made of 45% coffee, 45% tea and 10% condensed milk — a balanced ratio for a harmonious flavour of coffee and tea with a luscious, milky texture. Kopi cham can be served hot or cold, suitable for any weather.
Teh-C peng is a mixture of tea and evaporated milk. Evaporated milk is similar to condensed milk, and the only difference is that there is no sugar added. In West Malaysia, a usual cup of Teh-C usually has two layers made of tea and milk, but East Malaysians take the drink to another level. In Sarawak, kopitiams serve Teh-C-peng special with an extra layer of gula Melaka beneath the creamy tea and milk combination — this special drink can even come in 5 layers!
Kopi-gao is a pitch-black bitter brew made of thick coffee with a dash of condensed milk — robust with caffeine to perk you up in the morning! This coffee is usually brewed with Robusta beans roasted with just sugar and margarine. After the beans are ground, Kopitiam workers brew aromatic cups of coffee by placing ground coffee beans into a long muslin sock, then pouring hot water through it. This brewing process is repeated a few times to extract the maximum flavour from the beans.
No, the coffee is not white in colour; rather, it refers to the unique way of roasting and brewing techniques that results in a cup of pale brown-coloured coffee topped with creamy foam. Compared to the traditional black coffee roasted with margarine and sugar, the white coffee is roasted only with margarine at low temperature, which gives it a lighter hue and a fantastic aftertaste. Craving for a smooth, aromatic cup of white coffee? Enjoy this Kopitiam delight at home with NESCAFÉ Blend & Brew White Coffee that retains traditional white coffee’s smooth and creamy texture — with 30% less sugar offering!