Auntie! Kopi-C Siew Tai!

Haha, this thought came across my mind this morning as I was having breakfast at the local coffee shop. In this particular world of ours, I believe that there are few, if not Singapore is the only country who has unique beverages made from everyday drinks.

This is not to say that there are no foreign countrys with their local drinks, but from a Singaporean perspective, I simply find it unique that for 4 types of beverages, we have so many varieties in total! And what’s best about ordering the local tea or coffee at the coffee shop is that the drink aunty or uncle will wail in their loud voices :

"KOPI-O, LIANG BEI!" – Two cups of coffee without sugar.

Sometimes, it will be in the dialect they are familiar in, and boy when each time the drink aunty or uncle wails, will memories of the past strike a chord in me. I believe that this unique aspect of Singaporean culture is not obvious to many but the sound of good old nostalgia is still struck. While each day, we embrace fusion delights such as the Singapore Sling, or even more commonly soft drinks and other beverages, have we momentarily forgotten the roots of our beginnings? Well, as the generation moves on, perhaps its just an unavoidable fact of transition from the phase of warm and tender drinks to that of the fizzy era.

Nonetheless, I won’t say that this feature of Singapore will become lost, but rather more subdued in nature. Still, it will be an interesting quirk while lifting a smile on the faces who remember the past.

And what are the common  4 beverages found in almost any coffee shop? Try guessing without reading on…lol

They are…

-Kopi ( Coffee )

-Teh (Tea)

-Milo (Chocolate Drink by Nestle)

-Horlicks (Malt Drink)

Here is a list of the common top 4 beverages, with the varieties and what they actually mean.

Traditional Name What does it mean?
Kopi-O Plain Black Coffee no sugar
Teh-O Plain Tea no sugar
Milo-O Milo with no sugar
Horlick(s)-O Horlicks with no sugar
Teh Milk Tea
Milo Milo
Horlick(s) Horlick
Kopi-C Thick Black Coffee with sugar
Teh-C Thick Tea with sugar
Kopi-C Siew Tai Light Coffee with less sugar
Teh-C Siew Tai Light Tea with less sugar
Kopi-O peng Plain Black Coffee
Kopi peng Iced Coffee
Teh peng Iced Milk Tea
Teh- Ahlia Tea with ginger
Teh-Tarik Pulled Tea

and the list goes on….