About Gold Kili Kopi Kia
Over the weekend, Gold Kili crowned Singapore’s first ever “Kopi Kia“, or “Kopi Mei” to be precise.
Mdm Tan Guat Ngoh, a 40 year old housewife, beat 20 other participants at Gold Kili’s inaugural competition at VivoCity on Saturday June 14. She impressed the three judges with her skill and speed in making kopi and kaya toast. Mdm Tan brought home the grand prize of $3,888 in cash, as well as a 24 carat gold plated trophy.
The first runner up, Ms Andrea Lim, 24, received a goodie bag worth $800 and a trophy. Second runner-up Ms Hang Nguyen, 29, went home with a goodie bag worth $500 and a trophy. The third runner-up received a goodie bag worth $100, and the rest of the participants went home with a goodie bag worth $60.
Gold Kili has been distributing coffee powder to kopitiams all over Singapore since 1985. To show their appreciation for this time-honoured profession, they launched this campaign to celebrate the iconic Kopi Kia while raising money for The Straits Times Pocket Money Fund.
The competition attracted contestants from a diverse age pool with the youngest contestant being a youthful 18 years of age and the oldest a 65-year-old. Despite this, you could definitely see the camaraderie between young and old, as everyone cheered each other on.
The contestants had 2 hours to learn how to make the perfect cup of kopi and kopi O from their kopi masters. This was no easy task, as making kopi the traditional way by pulling it through the sock was not something many of the contestants had done before. It was also quite common for the smell of burnt toast to fill the air, as they had yet to perfect the timing behind making kaya toast.
Each of the contestants had 15 minutes to prepare a minimum 10 cups of kopi, another 10 cups of kopi O, and eight slices of kaya toast. 60% of their score depended on how many items they could prepare. However, a significant portion of their score was also dedicated to taste and technique, which many of the speedier contestants lacked.
The host, local actor and Chinese opera performer Nick Shen, did an excellent job as he cheered each contestant on. We recently sat down for an interview with Nick Shen to find out more about his love for Chinese Opera, and you can read more about that here.
Madam Tan, the winner of the event, said, “When the emcees were calling out the winners for the consolation prizes, I kept hoping that they wouldn’t read out my name. I had hoped to be in the top three. It felt really shiok when I realized I was the winner. I didn’t expect it. My Kopi Master said we should use our heart when making the coffee, so I told myself to be calm of heart during the competition.”
Hope for the Next Generations of Kopi Kias
Thankfully, I was very heartened to see so many young contestants participating in Gold Kili’s Kopi Kia competition. While they might not have won, I do hope that they continue pursuing this in some capacity, to be the local baristas that we need in our kopitiams.
I encourage you to sign up for the Gold Kili Kopi Kia contest next time it comes around. $3,888 is definitely a very attractive prize but more than that, the contestants got to enjoy themselves and discover the true art of kopi making.
Here a video we filmed when Christabel and Gwen went over to the Gold Kili office to learn how to make coffee!
This post was brought to you by Gold Kili.