10 Reasons Why Kopitiam-Style Coffee Is Still The Best

Brewing Memories



To all the Kopi Kakis, this one’s for you. While all your other friends are joining the snaking queues at Starbucks, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, and the endless rows of hipster Western cafes, you guys are the ones staying true to your first love - old-style, traditional Nanyang Kopi. How can you help it? Every sip reminds you of sweet home.

You kopi lovers know that old-school taste that delights your taste buds, and you’ll be surprised about the amount of effort it takes to achieve the perfect cup of Nanyang coffee. The good people of Toast Box pride themselves in serving up only the freshest and most flavourful cups of your favourite kopi, and while they’re boldly exploring new drink combinations, they promise to stay true to their roots.

With Toast Box recently voted as the Top Brand in Influential Brand's 2015 survey in the Asian Cafe category, we decided to look at 10 reasons why kopitiam-style coffee will always be the best in our hearts. Gourmet coffee and Frappuccinos ain’t got nothing on good ol’ kopi!


1. Nostalgia in a cup


Bittersweet memories of a time long gone - that’s what good ol’ Nanyang kopi is made of. Doesn’t matter if you’re 18 or 80, take a sip of Nanyang kopi and you’ll instantly be reminded of Sunday breakfasts with Grandpa or playful conversations with old-time friends. It’s nostalgia served up in a little white cup.


2. Appeals to all generations of Singaporeans


Source: Toast Box

What I find most appealing about Nanyang kopi is how everyone enjoys it. It’s more flavourful than gourmet coffee that you get in Western cafes, so even younger first time coffee drinkers find it easy to down. And don't forget that it's a favourite of the older generation too.

Walk into Toast Box and you’ll see families, office workers, elderly housewives and even students catching up over a cup of local caffeinated goodness - not something you'll often see outside of a dinner table!


3. High quality beans


Source: Toast Box

You might not think about this, but as much as major coffee brands tout their "imported coffee beans", coffee beans used for old school kopi can be of really good quality too. Toast Box partners numerous plantations in Indonesia and Malaysia where the weather is cool and the rainfall is in abundance; perfect for growing coffee beans! It’s not just the physical conditions, but the entire process from cultivating and harvesting to roasting and grinding and brewing that’s important in retaining the quality of coffee beans.

Toast Box oversees this whole process, ensuring that the piping hot cup of goodness before you is made from beans of the highest quality.


4. The coffee masters are experts


Source: Toast Box

The skilled hands behind the counter are so well-trained you won’t believe it. Toast Box employees go through many stages of training and tests before they graduate and become fully-fledged coffee masters. They are only accredited after achieving an error rate of less than 5%!


5. Tried and tested for the perfect blend


Source: Toast Box

It’s taken months of experimenting to produce Toast Box’s signature blend of Robusta, Arabica and Liberica beans. It was a tedious process of trying and tasting, and they even worked with skilled coffee consultants and veteran coffee drinkers to create the ultimate flavour and texture.

To allow coffee lovers to enjoy the authenticity of Nanyang kopi at any time of the day, Toast Box spent months creating these convenient 2-in-1 Instant Kopi-O sachets. No detail was spared in ensuring the perfect blend; even the coffee powder to sugar ratio was carefully measured to ensure its concentration.


6. Unique roasting method gets the best out of the beans


Nanyang kopi is unique due to its roasting method. The torrefacto roasting method requires the coffee beans to be coated with a layer of caramelized sugar before being processed, unlike other types of gourmet coffee which only involve the dry roasting of the beans. This makes Nanyang kopi naturally sweeter and more aromatic than most other coffee.

At Toast Box, dry roasting and the torrefacto roasts are used to create the amazing signature taste we all know and love.


7. Frequent quality checks


Toast Box maintains stringent quality control for its kopi. The Operations Manager pays random visits to various outlets daily, and taste tests up to 3 cups of kopi at each outlet to ensure freshness and consistency for each cup.

I've even heard of how one Operations Manager once tasted a cup which a customer returned due to a mixed-up order to see if the quality remains the same! That's dedication to good coffee right there.


8. Carefully brewed in controlled batches


In the past, coffee beans were ground in huge batches of up to 4kg at a time before being brewed. Today, Toast Box adopts the ‘Ground as You Brew’ method, where the coffee beans are ground in smaller portions to maintain the freshness and quality of the powder. They adopted this method since 2005, so you can be sure they have more experience at this than other coffee chains.

Even in the outlet itself, the coffee is treated with utmost care to retain its freshness and aroma. It is never in the pot for more than 25 minutes, and even the mundane processes of pouring and stirring are done meticulously.


9. Have it any way you want it


Source: Toast Box

This is the best part about kopi - you can have it anyway you want it! Whether you like your coffee strong, sweet, or milky (you can even choose between condensed and evaporated milk), Nanyang kopi suits all tastebuds. If you have more particular tastes, you can order a Kopi Gu You - a cup of Kopi-O with a slice of butter.


10. The perfect complement to a hearty breakfast


We can try all the wonderful breakfasts around the world, but nothing will ever beat this humble and tasty combination of kaya and butter toast with runny eggs. Of course, this hearty morning meal will NEVER be complete without your favourite kopi. Never.


About Toast Box


Source: Toast Box

From the type of coffee you drink, to creating the perfect ambience for you to lim kopi, Toast Box has you covered. Even the Toast Box logo is deliberately designed to look like the rounded corners of a toast. Perhaps it’s in their zealous efforts in perfecting every intricate detail that allowed them to emerge as a Top Brand in the Asian Café Category.


About influential Brands


Influential Brands is a consumer insight driven awards programme which provides a platform for brands to celebrate their achievement; for consumers, businesses and stakeholders to recognise the brands’ efforts in arriving where they are today. The study conducted by Influential Brands is purely consumer driven and the Top Brands are selected by consumers through their perception and preference, demonstrating the level of impact and influence of the brands in each consumer’s life.

Influential Brands seeks to identify consumer preferences, their behaviours, values and to understand how the ever-changing environment affects consumer experience in the purchase journey. The programme is tailored to enrich the brands’ relationship with their consumers through ongoing meaningful conversations and engagement.

This is part of Influential Brands 2015, where we highlight the most influential brands in Singapore.


Also watch us on TheSmartLocalTV!

8 Things You Need to Know About MediShield Life
21 New and Fun Things To Do in October 2015