For many Malaysians, hanging out with friends usually means a trip to the mamak, kopitiam or warung. Essentially coffee shops, each boasts their own unique versions of popular beverages and the appeal of these traditional comfort drinks (and food!) transcends race, religion or socio-economic status.
Mamaks were started by Indian Muslims, most of whom have ancestors who came over in the early to late 1800s. The word “mamak” means “uncle” in Tamil and is a respectful way to address an older person. “Teh tarik” is a mamak specialty, where hot milk tea is poured from a height, repeatedly, from one container to another, to create a thick, frothy beverage. Agility and accuracy are essential in mamaks.
Chinese migrants mostly arrived in the middle to late 19th century and started kopitiams (literally “coffee shops”) after acquiring a taste for coffee from the British who ruled Malaya at the time. Most families who ran kopitiams developed their own (secret) recipe and technique for roasting coffee beans, usually with a (secret) blend of margarine, sugar, salt and other (secret) ingredients.
The warung is a traditional family-run café found in Malay villages, usually made of wood, bamboo and thatch. Specialties at the warung include beverages like “Milo ais” and “teh ais” which perfectly complement Malaysia’s favourite breakfast – nasi lemak, a fragrant dish of rice cooked in coconut milk. Every warung owner worth his “ikan bilis” (anchovies) would offer respectable nasi lemak and superb “rendang”.
With the influx of foreign coffee franchises, it has become difficult to buy authentic traditional beverages, especially in shopping malls and offices. Bungkus Kaw Kaw’s mission is to make these familiar favourites widely available again, made fresh-to-order in the original, full-flavoured way, at an affordable price.
And like all self-respecting mamaks, kopitiams and warungs, we have our own home-made secret recipes and pride ourselves on pulling no punches in giving you the strongest, perfect traditional brew.