What does C in Teh-C mean?

2 Nov

Excerpt from the article:

What does C mean?

“..It was brought to our attention that a couple of years back, a local newspaper reported that C refers to Carnation, which is a brand of canned evaporated milk most commonly used by coffeeshops here. Since Kopi-C is essentially a combination of coffee and evaporated milk, it seems logical.”

(Was reading through the responses and someone pointed out “please note that the “standard” condensed milk used in those good-old-days was Milkmaid brand, NEVER Carnation”. True indeed!)


WRONG! Read on to find out!


“..But, coffeeshops also use Carnation’s condensed milk to sweeten regular coffee. Why then did they not refer to such coffee as Kopi-C, but simply Kopi?

Ask the Hainanese (preferably those who are aware of their heritage) and they will have a different explanation for the word C.

C is a Hainanese pronunciation for xian (鲜), which means fresh in English,” says Mr Wee Jee Seng, executive secretary of Kheng Keow Coffee Merchants Restaurant and Bar-owners Association. Xian was a short form for xian nai(鲜奶), which means fresh milk. “Mention fresh milk and people today will think of the milk cartons sold at supermarkets. But before these milks were available, evaporated milk was the freshest one could get,” says Mr Ong Siew Ping, former Chairman of the same association.

Until today, coffeeshop owners follow through this habit. “We use lian nai (炼奶 or condensed milk) to make kopi, and xian nai to make kopi-C,” says Mdm Pang Yet Lan, who has been running coffee stall for more than 20 years.”


Ah.. Now we know!

Okay.. Finished my lunch! Time to make myself a nice cup of kopi~~♥


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