Updated: Sep 10
Singapore is famous for many things but one of the things it should receive greater recognition for is its coffee - "kopi".
Strong, thick and sweet. Made from robusta beans (not arabica as preferred in Europe and North America), locally roasted, the coffee is often taken with condensed or evaporated milk. The grounds are simmered in a pot, filtered with a 'sock' and served hot. And it always tastes better when served in the small floral, ceramic cup.
There are many ways to order it and these are the most common:
Kopi The default order, coffee with condensed milk; 113 calories
Kopi Peng Iced; 113 calories
Kopi Gao Strong
Kopi Kosong without sugar
Kopi Siew Dai Less sweet; 104 calories
Kopi Gao Siew Dai Strong and less sweet
Kopi C with evaporated milk; 87 calories
Kopi C Kosong with evaporated milk, no sugar; 47 calories
Kopi O Black with sugar, 66 calories
Kopi O Kosong Black no sugar; 5 calories
(Caloric data from the Singapore health services and a variety of not always verifiable, online sources)
Another enjoyable part of kopi culture is that of the kopitiam - the coffee shop. Enjoying kopi with friends or family and also having a relationship with the stallholder or the other regulars. Kopitiams and smaller kopi stalls are a hub of social life and activity. Some have become successful chains, Killiney Kopitiam and Ya Kun being the best known at home and abroad. Many will serve snacks, likely toast with kaya (coconut) butter or eggs. Some may serve beer and other cooked food items: curry, noodles dishes and pau - filled buns.
No matter what your preference there is always one type of kopi, or another, that will meet your needs. I take my kopi gau siew dai and - bold claim alert! - without a doubt this is the best way to enjoy coffee in the world.
Last word - we cannot ignore Malaysia's role in this shared kopi culture. Actually, many say that it is even better than the kopi found in Singapore. Wherever you are in the world - search for a kopitiam and enjoy!
Coffee consumption can improve long-term health outcomes. For some it is their greatest dietary source of health promoting, anti-oxidant polyphenols.
Achieve your Health Goals
Your health, physical – mental – social - is complex and affected by multiple factors within and outside of your control. Our consults and programmes address the whole person, the root causes of ill health and maximising your health performance & vitality.
Take the first step. Book a Whole Health Consult to assess, identify and prioritise key factors (known and unknown) that affect your health. And receive personalised recommendations on how to address them.
Want to put recommendations into action? Learn more abut our programmes for individuals or teams.
Shin S, Lee JE, Loftfield E, Shu XO, Abe SK, Rahman MS, Saito E, Islam MR, Tsugane S, Sawada N, Tsuji I, Kanemura S, Sugawara Y, Tomata Y, Sadakane A, Ozasa K, Oze I, Ito H, Shin MH, Ahn YO, Park SK, Shin A, Xiang YB, Cai H, Koh WP, Yuan JM, Yoo KY, Chia KS, Boffetta P, Ahsan H, Zheng W, Inoue M, Kang D, Potter JD, Matsuo K, Qiao YL, Rothman N, Sinha R. Coffee and tea consumption and mortality from all causes, cardiovascular disease and cancer: a pooled analysis of prospective studies from the Asia Cohort Consortium. Int J Epidemiol. 2022 May 9;51(2):626-640. doi: 10.1093/ije/dyab161. PMID: 34468722; PMCID: PMC9308394.