Coffee around South-East Asia

Everyone prepares their coffee differently. There are some who prefer it with milk, some who prefer it plain and even decaffeinated. But have you ever wondered how others do it? Are you willing to new and exotic ways to enjoy your daily brew of coffee?

Let’s dive into the different ways that people from countries in Asia drink their coffee.

Starting with:

Hong Kong - Yuan Yang

The origin of this famed drink is a widely known controversy as some mentioned that it came from the Dutch and popularised in the eastern countries with people serving it from Hong Kong and all the way to Malaysia and even Singapore.

This concoction is usually served 3-parts black coffee and 7-parts milk tea but your recipe can vary based on your preference. Our journalist normally has her cup perfectly balanced with half a cup of milk tea and half a cup of coffee. Carrying an interesting aroma, a cup of Yuan Yang tastes sweeter than a normal cup of cappuccino as the milk used is condensed milk.

Vietnam - Cà phê đá

If you wander in the alleyways of Bến Thành Market located in Vietnam’s capital, Hồ Chí Minh City, you will find tins after tins of coffee beans from different sources. Each with its own unique packaging and labels trying its best to grab your attention and hopefully wind up in your hands, ready to be brewed back at home in your coffee machine.

Amongst the variations of beans, the one thing that many Vietnamese can agree on is their Cà phê đá. This cup of coffee is prepared with coarsely ground dark roast coffee, brewed into a cup of condensed milk using a French Press. With its climate being a rather hot and humid one, many prefer their Cà phê đá to be served with ice.

Thailand - โอเลี้ยง / Oliang

In the Land of Smiles, specialty Robusta beans have been a staple in their coffee culture for years. And they are proud to serve it. With a pinch of salt. Literally.

With a cup of freshly brewed Thai black coffee, sugar, and condensed milk, some people add a pinch of salt to the brew. Why the salt? Because itactually suppresses the bitterness of the Robusta beans and enhances the natural flavours of the coffee.

Singapore - Kopi

Amongst the hustling and bustling metropolitan city of Singapore, one can find an abundance of choices for coffee. Anything from Starbucks to Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, to specialty cafes hiding in the corners of Haji Lane and the one huge contributing factor to Singapore’s popular food culture - the kopitiam or local coffee shop.

The kopitiam normally comprises of many individual stores, each selling their own food dishes. But one thing in common in all kopitiams is the beverage stall.

Almost all beverage stall prepares the local kopi (coffee) the same by using a stocking to filter the coffee and a pot with an elongated neck to enable the barista to “pull” the coffee from one pot to another and filtered with the same stocking. They also use Robusta beans instead of Arabian ones.


And there we have it. Different ways that each country prepares their coffee tells more of a story than some storybooks can give as it shows a glimpse of said country’s history. Are there any particular country’s coffee that you would like us to write about? Let us know by commenting down below or hitting us up on our Instagram or Facebook!

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