Legal Alien: How To Be An Expat - NO HARM DONE
There are two choices an expat can make:
- Embrace the unexpected or
- Stick to your comfort zone.
The idea of ‘another culture’ can be alien or unrelatable, then suddenly you’re plonked in the middle of one. You have two choices, welcome new experience or retreat to the familiar. Do the first one, it’s a lot more fun.
That’s the story of our Singapore Kopi-O.
Landing in Singapore 10 years ago, I had no expectations. You can binge watch ‘Friends’ to learn English and mistakenly think that all of the US is like Central Perk (and you’d be wrong…) but Singapore doesn't have a similar sitcom to benchmark. The approach is trial and error.
There’s no better way to discover a culture and community than trying to order the unknown from a local eatery. Ask questions, attempt to pronounce foreign words, grab a cup of whatever’s recommended and people watch. This is how I made friends, learnt Singlish and fell in love with Singapore.
It’s also how I discovered the delicious delights of Kopi. Let me tell you, I was amazed how a seemingly simple beverage was such an integral part of the fabric of this place. The experienced hands of the aunties and uncles pouring the dark liquid from pot to pot with effortless ease was mesmerising. Groups would gossip over different looking drinks, all apparently variations of kopi or take away, in what my mum would call a ‘sandwich bag’.
This high energy experience seemed forgotten when you stepped away from the streets. In offices, hotels and homes you’d see Western high street names like Nespresso with their dulled imported coffees and feel like they were missing a trick. I conveyed this to my new found friend group and the response was unanimous: we want Kopi.
Our flagship flavour was born from embracing the unexpected and finding opportunity in discovery. Asia has great coffees and a rich, unique culture of beverages and it became my mission to make these available in a convenient, planet friendly format for the home and workspace.
Kopi-o? You’re welcome!