“Kopi Gau Kosong Peng!!!”, that thunderous bellow of badly pronounced hokkien across the coffee shop one leaves too many dumbfounded. You’ve definitely heard it (or some variation of it) before, somewhere, in your younger days, but you never really understood what it meant.

Well, you are not alone. The young generations today are not familiar with dialects; conversing with grandparents in their native tongue is a common struggle. If simple speech is a problem, the younger ones can forget about ordering their very own correctly-customised caffeine boost.

However, fret not! This article will provide you with a simple guide for ordering your favourite coffee like a pro:

Kopi Terms

First, let’s take a look at commonly used “Kopi terms” (terms to customise your coffee) before we learn to chain them together to form an order for that perfect cup.

  • O (Awwww)– Black with Sugar .
  • Peng (Pen-ink) – Iced.
  • Po – Thinner, weakened with water
  • Gau (Gar-woooooo)– Stronger/Heavier
  • C (Yes, just pronounce it as the alphabet “C”) – With Evaporated Milk; sweetened.
  • Kosong (Cold-song) – Without Sugar or Milk.
  • Gah Dai (Gar Die) – With Extra Condensed Milk.
  • Xiu Dai(Seeyo Die) – With Less Sugar.

While some of these terms may sound pretty odd, a little practice is all you need to get it right. It’s not that tough! For our non-Chinese friends, these “Kopi terms” may seem challenging to enunciate but don’t be afraid to make mistakes. We all know what practice makes – persevere and you shall be rewarded!

Steps to order a coffee

So are you ready for the next challenge? String these Kopi-terms together to place an order at the counter. There are numerous ways these “Kopi-terms” may be arranged:

Step 1: Choose the type of drink you want. In this article we focus on only Coffee, but you can actually mix some of these “Kopi-terms” with other drinks like Milo and Tea (There) too!

Step 2: Followed by adding your “Kopi-term”.

So for example, if you are craving for a cup of Iced Americano without sugar, your order should sound like this: Kopi Kosong Peng (no sugar/milk, iced) . Taaadaaaa, a cup of iced black coffee without sugar will be on your table in no time.

Here’s another example for you, if you are looking for an equivalent cup of long black, without sugar, the way you should order your coffee is Kopi-O.

Surprise surprise! It wasn’t that difficult was it? You’re now ready to order so don’t wait any longer, grab a cup today