This is my favourite drink to kickstart the morning, with my preference towards kopi-gao (coffee extra thick). Here are the ones I think are the best out of those I have tried. The criteria I go for are usually: low acidity (in taste), low or no aftertaste in the mouth after drinking, smoothness, thick body and fragrance. Most of these are in the west side of Singapore.
1. Hylam Street Old Coffee
ABC Brickworks Food Centre
Blk 6 Jalan Bukit Merah, #01-53
I tried it upon seeing other reviews for this stall. Oh my gosh, I was glad I ordered 2 cups at one go. They serve coffee in only one size, even smaller than the small size in Ya Kun. But it was wonderfully thick, fragrant and smooth with no aftertaste. They only open in the morning till about noon, with coffee made by an uncle. Recently I went in the afternoon and their stall was open, but made by a lady instead, hence the taste differed.
2. Jin Zhou Leng Re Yin Pin
Blk 505 Jurong West Street 52, #01-38
My favourite stall, that makes kopi-gao just the way I like it, smooth, not too sweet and no weird aftertaste. It is also a bonus when the stallholders are friendly, polite and make a point to remember their customers’ preferences. They only close on Mondays, but once in a long while they take off-days on Wednesdays too.
3. Pearl Coffee Hot & Cold Drink
Blk 505 Jurong West Street 52, #01-50
Located in the same hawker centre as the above mentioned. The same lady makes all the coffee. Her manner of coffee making appears to be quite precise and standard as she adds the amounts accordingly to the type of coffee you want: gao, C (carnation milk instead of condensed milk), O (americano), Bo (thin). They actually have longer queues than No.2 Jin Zhou, but No.2 Jin Zhou scores higher points from me for their taste and friendliness. If you don’t drink coffee, they also make the best ice milo I have ever tasted. Thick and less sweet. Thumbs-up!
Many locations in Singapore
Western coffees usually don’t quite cut it for me. I think the reason being the gao or thickness factor and also the smoothness that condensed milk gives. But Starbucks’ brew can be strangely satisfying at times.
All the above opens at 7am in the morning. As a guideline, stalls in hawker centres usually close on Mondays, so it is a safe bet to go on other days instead.
Other stalls to recommend if you are in the vicinity, in no order of preference:
Drinks stall at New Century Cafe
Blk 19 Ghim Moh Road, #01-263
Tai Hwa Coffee Stall
335 Smith Street, #02-152