Local Kopitiam

Rediscover the Timeless Charm & Nostalgic Flavours

Kopitiams are a type of coffee shop found in parts of Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and Southern Thailand. They are traditionally operated by the Chinese community and frequented for their food and drinks. The best-selling breakfast set at local kopitiams consists of a set of kaya toast, half-boiled eggs, and a cup of freshly brewed coffee.

Kaya Toast 

A kaya toast consists of two slices of steamed or toasted bread served with a slice of frozen butter and kaya inside. It is best enjoyed when dipped into half-boiled eggs.

The story of kaya toast began when the Hainanese, a dialect group from China, found themselves working as chefs on European ships due to difficulty in finding jobs. As they worked as a chef on European ships, they learned how to prepare typical British breakfasts, serving eggs, jam, and toast. 

However, the Hainanese decided to make jam with locally sourced ingredients as an alternative to fruit jams, which were difficult to obtain back then. Hence, they tried different ingredients and discovered kaya when they put together coconut milk and pandan leaves. 

Half-boiled Eggs

Half-boiled eggs are loved by many, often served with soy sauce and pepper to one’s liking. 

The runny yolk tastes better than hard-boiled ones and can be served together with the kaya toast as some would prefer to have their kaya toast dipped in the half-boiled eggs for a mixed flavour that enhances the taste of the kaya toast.

Traditional Coffee

Coffees in kopitiams are served using a vintage green floral cup that comes with a saucer, which one could choose to pour their coffee into the saucer so that it would cool down over time. Unlike most Western brews, local kopitiams serve coffee using coffee beans with a higher caffeine content. 

Moreover, local kopitiams would roast the beans together with butter and sugar. Doing so not only caramelises the beans to give them a unique aroma but also enhances the flavour of the coffee.

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MSP151 Lokapedia: Local Kopitiam

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Size: 21cm(w) x 10(h) cm

Material: Matte Artcard

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