A toast to new flavours

The matcha coconut toast's subtle green tea flavour pairs well with the coconut cream.
The matcha coconut toast's subtle green tea flavour pairs well with the coconut cream. ST PHOTO: EUNICE QUEK

For breakfast, the Singaporean in me will always pick kopi and toast over over-priced Eggs Benedict in a hipster cafe.

Our local coffee and tea seldom disappoint and they pack more punch, both in terms of caffeine and flavour, than many watered- down drinks I've had in cafes. Plus, they are much cheaper and I don't need the latte art, thanks.

So it is heartening to see third- generation hawkers also embrace the local kopi culture at Coffee Break in Amoy Street Food Centre, where they balance both tradition and modern flavours very well.

Ms Faye Sai, 29, her twin sister Anna and their brother Jack, 32, took over the stall at the food centre from their father five years ago.

For purists, they prepare the classic kopi and teh ($1.30) the traditional way - using a cloth sock.

The flavours are smooth and robust, even when I get the iced versions of the drinks.

They don't serve eggs, but I love the twist on the usual kaya toast ($2.50).

Fancier flavours include black sesame, key lime creme and matcha coconut ($3 each).

I like the black sesame and matcha coconut. Both are house- made spreads on crisp and thin wholemeal toast, with a slice of frozen butter sandwiched in the middle.

The nutty flavour of the black sesame goes perfectly with the creamy butter and I finish all four slices quickly. In the matcha coconut, the subtle green tea flavour pairs well with the coconut cream.

I'm not sure if I like the key lime creme option as the slightly sour flavour of the key lime does not go very well with the butter. It might work better if the lime flavour stood out more.

The modern takes on coffee and tea are also hits. I love the sea salt caramel latte ($3.80), which has just the right amount of caramel and does not overpower the coffee.

Other fancy flavours include vanilla milk with almond ginger ($4), taro milk coffee or tea ($3) and butter pecan latte ($3.80).

Fuelled by their success, the Sai siblings will open an outlet in Kent Ridge in September and are looking for more staff.

You could consider adding kopi or teh barista to your resume.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 03, 2016, with the headline 'A toast to new flavours'. Print Edition | Subscribe