Let’s take an honest look at some interesting facts about malaysian coffee culture, or better known as traditional kopitiam in Malaysia. It is a fact the traditional chinese kopitiam is phasing out fast in the last couple of years. These old world charm joints are inevitably moving out from our Malaysian life, just like Morris Minor, cinemas, jukeboxes and joget girls.
Even though I’m in my mid-fifities now, I used to and I still love to patronize these so-called old world charm of kopitiam. But I have accepted that life has to move on; so are these traditional coffeeshops.
The preference and taste of younger Malaysians are different from their parents or grandparents. They prefer to read Japanese Manga, not Lat’s cartoons, play computer games, not reading books or make friends via social networks,and not writing to pen pals.
Now they have been replaced by those cleaner and more comfortable modern kopitiam. And definitely more expensive too. The days of coffee shops owned by Hainanese towkays and manned their “singing waiters” in white Pagoda T-shirts together with their baggy bermuda shorts are over.
Accept the fact that these old Chinese-run coffee joints have to die a natural death together with their loyal customers who are now in their fifties and above. These days it is only the old folks (yours truly is one of them) who still gaga over their favorite old drinking joints.
Comparatively, many of these kopitiam are not cheap, clean or comfortable than those modern cafes. I know most of you dare not even step into their tiny stuffy and smelly toilets (if you call that God-forsaken cubicle, a place to ease yourself).
Let’s be fair, not all kopitiam serve great aromatic kopi-O (black coffee) these days. Some of their coffee is so oily, that you can even see “rainbow” over your cuppa. And not forgetting those coffee-stained cracks on some porcelain cups.
Recently I read that these traditional kopitiam plan to reposition and re-branding themselves, hoping to keep their business alive. As reported in the Malaysia latest news, many coffee shop proprietors have prompted Malaysia and Singapore Coffeeshop Proprietors’ Association to seek Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s help so that he would not leave out this industry in his Economic Transformation efforts.
Yes, I know and I agree that traditional kopitiam have been a major part of Malaysian lives for decades. This unique Malaysian establishment is going to be merely a foggy memory for those older generation of Malaysians. Just a few more decades, when these present old Malaysian folks leave here for good (yeah, mati lah!), I believe not many younger Malaysians today can remember or bother to remember about this traditional kopitiam Malaysia. The thing is they were not even born in the kopitiam era. Don’t these old geezers get the drift? I mean don’t they understand?
Anyway, calling all still-living older Malaysian folks, let’s pick up the porcelain cup of your favorite kopi-O kaw and say kaw-kaw goodbye to traditional kopitiam Malaysia