Kluang RailCoffee announced on 25 August 2020 on their Facebook page that their instant coffee is now on sale in Singapore! Having missed Kluang for many many months now due to all the travel restrictions associated with COVID-19, I decided to finally give their instant coffee a try the expensive way in Singapore Dollars to see how it compares with the real thing, since it’s rather impossible to go to Kluang to get my weekend fix now.
Kluang RailCoffee Singapore Delivery
Kluang RailCoffee in Singapore can only be purchased online for now, and it is not known if it would hit retail stores. Also, I don’t think it’s widely in supermarkets in Malaysia anyway – it’s only available from their outlets.
Delivery is via Ninja Van for my Kluang RailCoffee purchase from Shopee, which took 2 days from the date of my order, which was almost immediately after Kluang RailCoffee announced on their Facebook page.
Kluang in a box.
Since purchases can only be made in 3s, I ordered a set of Original Kluang Rail Coffee Serbuk Kopi Uncang and a set of Original Kluang Rail Coffee 3 in 1. Way more than what I needed for a taste test, but, oh well.
Delivery via Ninja Van is free for an order of more than S$20, and costs S$1.49 for an order less than S$20.
S$42 for this (~RM128.32) is more than the cost of travelling from Singapore to Kluang, having a good meal at Kluang RailCoffee, and the transport back from Kluang to Singapore. Just saying.
Original Kluang Rail Coffee 3 in 1 (8s x 36g)
Each pack of Original Kluang Rail Coffee 3 in 1 comes with 8 sachets. This costs S$18.60 for a set of 3 packs.
The thick and fat sachet of the Original Kluang Rail Coffee 3 in 1 weighing 36 grams.
The preparation method of the Original Kluang Rail Coffee 3 in 1 is rather straightforward – just like any other 3 in 1 drink out there.
Luckily for me, I have a perfect cup ready to hold just 180ml of water.
With 36 grams of coffee power, milk, and sugar, it fills up almost one-third of my KRL JR205 Nambo Line mug.
Making some Original Kluang Rail Coffee instantly.
On first taste, the unique chocolate-y taste of the Kopi I always get from Kluang Railway Station was right there, replicating it almost on point. It feels like I was back at Kluang – well, almost.
There was an unfamiliar and strange aftertaste of mint. That’s right, it felt rather minty after downing each sip of 3 in 1 Original Kluang Rail Coffee. 180ml of water also made it a bit too sweet for my liking, and my threshold of sweetness is rather high. To Kluang RailCoffee’s credit though, it is indeed advertised as “Strong” right on the package. Unfortunately, powdered milk could not replicate the condensed milk used in the actual outlets.
My verdict? Reasonably okay for an instant coffee, bringing my mind halfway back to Kluang. No other coffee (not an obvious mocha) could replicate that unique chocolate-y taste that Kluang RailCoffee does both in their outlets and in this sachet. I would recommend a bigger cup for 250ml of water to make it less sweet and less gao.
Original Kluang Rail Coffee Serbuk Kopi Uncang (20s x 15g) – First Try
Each pack of Original Kluang Rail Coffee Serbuk Kopi Uncang comes with 20 coffee bags. This costs S$23.40 for a set of 3 packs.
The preparation method of the Original Kluang Rail Coffee Serbuk Kopi Uncang is also rather straightforward – remember to fish out your coffee bag once you hit your desired thickness of coffee.
Each coffee bag contains 15 grams of coffee powder.
Next cup of coffee immediately after the first one.
Let the coffee brew for 4 to 5 minutes to your desired thickness, and remember to swirl the bag around to check the coffee’s consistency.
On first taste, unfortunately, it was totally unfamiliar from Kluang. It unfortunately tasted rather sour. Perhaps it needs some milk and/or sugar to go along with it as advised on the packet, but unfortunately it didn’t work nicely as a black coffee as it is. But somehow, the sour taste went away after a while, and I was able to finish the cup in the end anyway. Maybe temperature played a part.
Original Kluang Rail Coffee Serbuk Kopi Uncang (20s x 15g) – Second Try
Considering that the first try turned out sour, I decided to go all the way by quite literally boiling my coffee up from room temperature this time, ensuring a definite 100 degree boiling temperature wen brought up to a boil.
… to a vigorous brew.
The pot needed two sachets in the end to bring up the thickness.
Yes, this tastes way better than the first try. The sourness is gone, leaving a black coffee reminiscent of Kluang. I guess temperature really played a part. Don’t follow the instructions on the packet then – boil up the coffee.
Overall Verdict of Instant Kluang RailCoffee
While the 3 in 1 Kopi brought me virtually halfway back to Kluang, the same unfortunately can’t be said for the Kopi O Kosong, which was a disappointment as aside from the high price of them sold in Singapore, and how much I miss going to the actual Kluang Railway Station, the quality versus the actual coffee in Kluang just didn’t cut it for me.
Which also in a way precisely explains the beauty of Kluang RailCoffee.
Even with multiple outlets in Kluang, I have always made it a point to have my meal at the original outlet in Kluang Railway Station unless I went on a day or time that it was closed. Even when the quality of both Kopi and Roti Bun – arguably two out of three most important dishes there – deteriorated over the years especially after the expansion of both outlets and menu, the crowds somehow kept growing and I still go back even though the quality deteriorated.
Perhaps it’s the familiarity of the station and friends there, or sipping coffee just by the railway tracks under the station’s shelter or a zinc roof, or getting surprised by a random cargo train passing through with crew hopping off quickly to buy a drink and snack from – you guessed it – Kluang RailCoffee, the whole experience of getting coffee from such an institution was simply never meant to be replicated in a 3-in-1 sachet.
And you can bet that Kluang RailCoffee at Kluang Railway Station would be one of the first places I would visit again once international borders are freely reopened again.
Buy Original Kluang RailCoffee in Singapore
If you are still interested to try out Kluang RailCoffee in Singapore, here are the links to their official Singapore distributor’s (Three Kraters) selling platforms: