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

Name Meaning Equivalent
Kopi-0 Black Coffee with Sugar Long Black with Sugar Added
Kopi Black Coffee with Condensed Milk None – The condensed milk is very sweet
Kopi C Black Coffee with Evaporated Milk and sugar None
Kopi Kosong Black Coffee without sugar or milk Long Black – no added sugar
Kopi Gah Dai Black Coffee with extra condensed milk None – very sweet!
Kopi Siew Dai Coffee with Condensed Milk but less sugar None
Kopi O Siew Dai Black Coffee with less sugar Long Black – about half a teaspoon to a teaspoon of sugar
Kopi Po Coffee with Condensed Milk but weaker (they add more water) None
Kopi O Po Black Coffee with Sugar but weaker (they add more water) Americano with sugar and hot water added
Kopi Gau Strong Coffee with Condensed Milk None
Kopi O Gau Strong Black Coffee with Sugar Like a triple expresso with sugar
Kopi Di Lo Coffee Extra Thick None
Kopi Sua Double Order of Same Coffee None
Kopi Peng Iced Coffee with Condensed Milk None
Kopi O Peng Iced Black Coffee with sugar Iced Americano
Kopi Gau Peng Strong Iced Coffee with Condensed Milk None
Kopi O Gau Peng Strong Black Coffee with Sugar Iced Triple Expresso with Sugar
Kopi Kosong Peng Iced black coffee without sugar Iced Americano without Sugar
Kopi Gau Kosong Peng Iced Strong Black coffee without Sugar or milk Iced 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 Hanna said:

    I also need to learn this! 😛