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Coffee….. Without sugar in Malaysia

By on February 11, 2013 in Malaysia

I really must find out how to say ‘coffee with NO sugar please’. Every cup of coffee (kopi) I have ordered so far has come with a lot of sugar in it. Even some of the instant coffees come premixed with sugar.

The only place I have so far been able to buy a sugar free coffee is Starbucks.

This evening at Killiney (a local restaurant) I thought I had managed it. I asked for an iced coffee with no sugar. This confused the waiter. He went away and another waiter came over and confirmed I really wanted iced coffee with no sugar.

The coffee duly arrived, and although it was very good, it was loaded with sugar. I failed again.

Is there anyone out there that can tell me how to order coffee without sugar? Please…?

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Nick's continued wanderings can be followed on Twitter: @nickswanderings.
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  1. Alan Cann says:

    Google Translate no good?
    Show them the text on your phone?

    • Nick says:

      Not a bad idea… Might try that…. According to Google Translate "kopi tanpa gula sila". I know that kopi is right, as is sila….

    • Alan Cann says:

      I've had many an interesting "conversation" with taxi drivers by waving my phone at them. Of course one day Google is going to get me into serious trouble 🙂

    • Nick says:

      I have used the same approach. On a number of occasions all I have had to show the driver is a photo of the building or place I won't to go that I have 'snagged' from Street View or Google Images (or the TripAdvisor page!)

  2. Nick says:

    Another suggestion for 'coffee without sugar'. That was via Twitter:

    "From: @aji411 sir, u have to say kopi kosong. Kosong means empty but it means no sugar too."

    I will give it a go… Thanks @aji411

  3. Nick says:

    A suggestion from Edeline:

    "Lol. Yes, most drinks are too sweet.

    so, coffee, less sugar (so probably sweet enough for normal people) = kopi kurang manis This is quite normal nowadays to ask for.

    coffee, no sugar.. hmmm – try kopi tak mau gula (coffee, don't want sugar)

    Good luck to your friend. Hope he evades diabetes…"

    Basically I am trying to "evade diabetes" but I just like to taste the coffee and the tea when I drink them and not the sugar.

  4. Nick says:

    Also, on Twitter I received:

    "@Timcdlucas @aji411 Imagine lots of places might use condensed milk making non-sweet milky coffee impossible."

    And this has also been pointed out by several other people….

  5. Nick says:

    Some more coffee advice (thanks to a friends friend in New Zealand:

    "Kopi typically means coffee with milk and sugar.

    Kopi-o ,means black coffee without milk but with sugar

    Kopi-O-Kosong – means black coffee without milk and without sugar! Kosong means empty in Malay."

    Interesting that there doesn't seem to be one for 'coffee with milk and no sugar'

  6. Nick says:

    From Jay Jay:

    Kopi tak mau gula