The essential guide to ordering kopitiam drinks

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Ah, the kopitiam– that quintessential Singaporean food court with an abundance of delicious grub.

Kopi (“koh-pee”)

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What it is: Black coffee with thick, sweet condensed milk.
Alternatives: Kopi Siew Dai (“koh-pee see-ew dye”) if you want it less sweet; Kopi Gah Dai (“koh-pee kah dye”) if you want it sweeter; Kopi Gao (“koh-pee gow”)if you want it stronger.

Kopi C ("koh-pee see")

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What it is: Black coffee with less-sweet evaporated milk and sugar.
Alternative: Kopi C Kosong (“koh-pee see koh-soh-ung”) for a non-sugar version.

Kopi O (“koh-pee o”)

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What it is: Black coffee with sugar only.
Alternative: Kopi O Siew Dai (“koh-pee o see-ew dye”) if you want it less sweet, Kopi O Gao (“koh-pee o gow”) if you want it stronger.

Kopi O Kosong (“koh-pee o koh-so-ung”)

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What it is: Black coffee without sugar and milk.

Kopi Gu You (“koh-pee goo-yoo”)

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What it is: Black coffee with condensed milk and a small slice of butter (yes, really).

Teh (“tay”)

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What it is: Tea with condensed milk and sugar.
Tip :Use the same ordering terms as with kopi when customising your teh.

Teh Tarik (“tay tar-rake”)

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What it is: Pulled tea with condensed milk and sugar that is cooled by pouring and “pulling” it between two cups, which creates a rich, frothy drink.
Alternative: Teh O Tarik (“tay o tar-rake”) comes with only sugar.

Milo Dinosaur

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What it is: Iced drink made with Milo powder, condensed milk and sugar, topped with even more Milo powder.
Alternative: Milo Godzilla comes with an additional scoop of ice cream.
Tip: To order iced versions of the drinks here, just add “peng” – it means ice in Chinese – to the end of the bev’s name (e.g.teh peng)

This article was first published in The Finder.