Espresso? French press? Ristretto? Cold brew? All terms that don’t mean much to the OGs of Singapore’s coffee culture. Eschewing hipster-esque notions (Deconstructed flat white? UGH), the folks behind our robust coffee shop kopi believe that it’s a basic drink for the everyman — a daily routine that’s as essential as eating food.
What’s sad is that the local way of brewing coffee is a dying art in the face of more gourmet methods that have quickly permeated coffee culture here. “If we don’t keep passing this skill and knowledge in 5, 10 or 15 years time, the industry will disappear,” said Jason Soon, owner of Kim Guan Guan Coffee Trading Pte Ltd.
“The coffee industry in SIngapore would lose its roots. We can buy Italian machines that are more comprehensive, but it won’t give the coffee beans its Singaporean taste.”
In an enlightening video produced by Our Grandfather Story, take a look at the literal sweat and tears that go behind every decent cup of kopi you’ve had at kopitiams.