How to Order Kopi

Your one-stop infographic for ordering coffee in Singapore.

Copy me, copy you, kopi see

“Kopi” in Malay means “Coffee”

My personal favourite is Kopi C. A coffee made with carnation milk instead of condensed milk. The carnation milk is a brand of tinned evaporated milk which is less thick and sweet compared to evaporated milk.

Kopi Chart

Kopi-0Black Coffee with SugarLong Black with Sugar Added
KopiBlack Coffee with Condensed MilkNone – The condensed milk is very sweet
Kopi CBlack Coffee with Evaporated Milk and sugarNone
Kopi KosongBlack Coffee without sugar or milkLong Black – no added sugar
Kopi Gah DaiBlack Coffee with extra condensed milkNone – very sweet!
Kopi Siew DaiCoffee with Condensed Milk but less sugarNone
Kopi O Siew DaiBlack Coffee with less sugarLong Black – about half a teaspoon to a teaspoon of sugar
Kopi PoCoffee with Condensed Milk but weaker (they add more water)None
Kopi O PoBlack Coffee with Sugar but weaker (they add more water)Americano with sugar and hot water added
Kopi GauStrong Coffee with Condensed MilkNone
Kopi O GauStrong Black Coffee with SugarLike a triple expresso with sugar
Kopi Di LoCoffee Extra ThickNone
Kopi SuaDouble Order of Same CoffeeNone
Kopi PengIced Coffee with Condensed MilkNone
Kopi O PengIced Black Coffee with sugarIced Americano
Kopi Gau PengStrong Iced Coffee with Condensed MilkNone
Kopi O Gau PengStrong Black Coffee with SugarIced Triple Expresso with Sugar
Kopi Kosong PengIced black coffee without sugarIced Americano without Sugar
Kopi Gau Kosong PengIced Strong Black coffee without Sugar or milkIced triple expresso without sugar

Kopi Terms


  • O – Black with Sugar (pronounced as a short version of “Awe”). From Hokkien dialect.
  • C – With Evaporated Milk; like a latte – a lot more milk than regular coffee (pronounced “See”). Means “Fresh” in Hainanese dialect.
  • Kosong – Without Sugar or Milk. “Kosong” in Malay Language means “Empty”
  • Gah Dai – With Extra Condensed Milk (pronounced as Ga – Die). From Hock Chew (fu-zhou) dialect.
  • Xiu Dai – With Less Sugar (pronounced as Seeyou-Die). From Hock Chew (fu-zhou) dialect.
  • Po – Thinner/Weaker. From Hokkien dialect.
  • Gau – Stronger (pronounced a mix between “gow” and “cow”). From Hokkien dialect.
  • Di Lo – In Hokkien Dialect means “Pour All The Way”
  • Sua – In Chinese Hokkien Dialect means “Follow”
  • Peng – Iced. From Hokkien dialect


If you want thinner iced black coffee with sugar, you’ll say: Coffee + Black + Thinner + Ice = Kopi O Po Peng

The above works for tea as well. Replace Kopi (Coffee) with Teh (Tea).

How To Order Kopi Like A Pro

kopi A fantastic infographic by Farkhansalleh-d4eejlo

Kopi taboa Traditional Coffee Takeaway

kopitabao Another very cool infographic by Vanessa Poh

Do check out the Forest Collective uniquely Singaporean Kopi temporary tattoos:



  1. Jo Hanna22/05/2014

    I also need to learn this! :P

  2. […] they are stated clearly on the menu. Kopi-O? Kopi-C? Teh-Susu? I have no idea what they mean. refer to this if you want to […]


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