THE traditional coffeeshop or kopitiam is synonymous with Malaysians as each one of us would have, at some point in our lives, tried a cup of strong black coffee or savoured hot toasted bread with butter and kaya.
The word kopitiam was born from the word kopi (Malay word for coffee) and tiam (Hokkien word for shop).
Starting today, for 10 weeks, we will feature kopitiam from various states in the country, starting with an old favourite in Klang, Selangor.
FANS of local coffee enjoy the double roast with butter as it gives a rich, full-bodied and intense flavour.
One place to relish the unique taste of double roasted coffee is at the Taman Eng Ann Restaurant in Klang.
Owner Lim Guat Lan, 47, said the double roasted coffee with butter was a family recipe that was unique.
“The recipe concocted by my late father Lim Jit Hin close to 50 years ago still has a following.
“I never asked him about the recipe but the local factory that prepares the ground coffee still continues with the traditional process.
“As far as I know, the double roasted coffee brings out the moisture from the beans with butter added into the slow roast process,” she said.
Lim said the beans are roasted until it begins to smoke and caramelise, giving a smoky-sweet taste to the coffee when brewed.
“Our coffeeshop was founded by my father in 1963 and it was called Heng Lee Coffeeshop then.
“Being Hainanese, he was proud of the coffee he made. Old coffeeshops like ours started by serving coffee, tea, soft-boiled eggs, toast and steamed bread slices. People just loved it. For those in a hurry, they would just pour the hot coffee onto the saucer to cool it before drinking,” she said.
Old timers can sometimes still be seen drinking coffee from the saucer.
Lim took over running the coffeeshop after her father’s demise and now she runs it with her husband Low Teck Leong, 56, and three workers.
She said sometimes people asked her to describe the taste of the coffee.
She said it was difficult to do so as the taste was unique and it is hard to explain in words.
“You have to experience it rather than hear about the experience from another person.
“Our coffeeshop is still in a time warp, we have not done any refurbishments as our old timers want us to keep the mosaic floors. I keep it as it is to honour my father and show him my love,” the mother of three said.
She said premium butter was also used to keep the taste consistent.
“Our coffee powder is kept in air-tight jars to ensure condensation does not occur. Coffee lovers find the black brew and toast a heavenly treat. Some come in to sip coffee or gather to meet friends,” she said.
She added that the restaurant was a popular spot with everyone from politicians and businessmen to journalists and representatives from Chinese guilds making their way there.
Lim said regular patrons loved the soft-boiled eggs that were generally smaller, fresher and tastier with slightly bigger egg yolks.
She added the toast or steamed bread went well with a combination of home-made kaya and butter.
“Kaya is freshly made daily. Everyone enjoys a bite of our toast as the butter will slowly ooze out because of the heat from the bread,” she said.
Taman Eng Ann Restaurant is open throughout the week from 6.30am to 4.30pm except on Tuesday. It is located on Jalan Kasawari 5 in Taman Eng Ann.
For details, call Lim at 012 6793 799.