5 Traditional Asian Coffees Perfect for Singapore

With the sun’s exceptional heat prowess in Singapore, one often finds themselves thirsty, grumpy and overwhelmed with fatigue. There is one beverage to cure these symptoms – coffee! With rainbow lattes and 3D animal latte art taking the internet by storm, we felt traditional coffees too, deserve a spot in the limelight. Unfortunately, these traditional Asian coffees can hardly be found in Singapore, so we are left to read on and drool.

Or, if you’re desperate enough, you could always book the next flight out and enjoy a short getaway. By Violet Koh.

Coffee and Sago Cooler

Country: Philippines
Ingredients: Coffee, creamer, sugar, water, sago (tapioca pearls), Gulaman (aka agar-agar)

Can’t decide between bubble tea or coffee? Fret not, have your cake and eat it as you enjoy colourful chewy pearls in your caffeine! This refreshing drink sounds perfect to sip away to on a lethargic afternoon.


via Sunny Side Circus


Country: Thailand
Ingredients: Oliang powder coffee, hot water, sugar and milk to taste

More commonly known as Thai iced coffee, the drink is prepared from a mixture of coffee, brown sugar, and a variety of grains and seeds. The coffee is brewed with a coffee sock and after steeping, can be served with condensed or evaporated milk. Though it seems like Thai Milk Tea is a larger crowd pleaser, nothing cures the caffeine addiction like coffee does!



Kopi Joss

Country: Jogjakarta, Indonesia
Coffee, sugar and a piece of red-hot charcoal

You might already be familiar with Kopi Luwak, but there’s more to Indonesia’s traditional coffees than cat poop, and Kopi Joss is one of them. Also known as charcoal coffee, this beverage was first made by a local coffee stall owner known as Pak Man. The idea came to him when he was suffering from stomach discomfort while making coffee, and the hot coal he added to the drink made him feel better. Kopi Joss is served like normal coffee with the addition of a piece of red-hot charcoal dumped into the cup. Believed to soothe upset stomachs such as bloating and queasiness, this drink sounds like an antidote to stuffing our face with too many oily delicacies!



Country: West Java, Indonesia
Ingredients: Coffee, coconut milk, ginger, palm sugar, pandan leaves and toddy palm fruit

A soothing sweet drink that is served hot, bajigur is peddled by vendor carts that travel around with stoves. This beverage would be perfect for rainy nights and is believed to reduce pains caused by rheumatism, treat digestive problems and reduce fatigue (that’s where coffee comes in).


Es Apulkat

Country: Indonesia
Ingredients: Avocado, chilled brewed coffee, chocolate syrup or sweetened condensed milk

Our last coffee on the list makes for a treat, because we actually do have it in Singapore! Found in local Indonesian restaurants like Tambuah Mas, Es Apulkat is a drink likened to an avocado frappuccino (if there was one). This creamy and thick beverage would be perfect for quenching your thirst and feeding your caffeine addiction. Alternatively, you could make it yourself; all you need are the above ingredients and a blender.