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The Gryphon Blog

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How To Order Tea Like A Local

August 3, 2016

Singapore has come a long way since its independence from Malaysia in 1965. But despite all of that, both countries still share a common ground in language, culture, racial diversity and most importantly food.


Traditionally and till date, coffeeshops or better known as Kopitiam (Kopi for coffee in Malay and Tiam for shop in Hokkien) are widely found in neighborhoods and business districts in each country.


Although today majority of the coffeeshops are made up of smaller stalls to cater to the different racial cuisines, a traditional Kopitiam typically serves a variety of simple meals such as eggs, toasts with kaya plus kopi (coffee) and teh (tea) at an economical price.


Coffee and tea. Yes, these aren’t served just black and plain. Like the ang moh way of having coffee and tea, Kopitiam offers a code list of how you can order your tea like a local. As we’re so glued to the Western way of saying things, like, ‘tea with milk on side’, ‘unsweetened tea’ or ‘iced teas’, here’s our 4 favourite terms to order ours to stay grounded like a true blue Singaporean.


The 4 common terms usually used are


Teh-O Kosong
Also known as hot tea without milk and unsweetened, think about a simple, sophisticated brewed tea. 


Also known as sweetened hot tea with evaporated milk and sugar. In other words, hot latte.


Teh-O Peng
Also known as sweetened iced tea without milk.
Everyone’s favourite summer drink just like the rest of the iced teas.


Teh-C Peng
Also known as iced tea with milk and sugar. In ang moh terms, Iced Tea Latte!
(That milk creeping through the ice and into the tea is satisfyingly sexy).


It’s really not that hard to grasp these lingos plus it adds a little local touch your day. How do you normally order your tea at the Kopitiam? Share your views and we might do a shout out on them.   

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