Video by Jessica Leibowitz/Gothamist

Kopitiam, a small Malaysian café on Canal Street, is a unique little hole-in-the-wall serving up hand-pulled coffee—a preparation method you don't often see in NYC.

Malaysian coffee (which here will cost you 4 bucks a cup) is different from your average cup o' American Joe—it's less acidic, for one, and that's because in Malaysia they use fat to roast the coffee beans. Kopitiam's owner and chef (check out their painstakingly-constructed thousand layer butter cake!) Kyo Pang, a Penang native, told us: "Traditionally for us it’s very common that we use fat to roast the coffee because the fat actually takes away the acidity of the bean. So it doesn’t taste as acidic as the American coffee. So some people, they relate our coffees to Vietnamese coffees or Thai coffee because we use condensed milks, evaporated milks, so the similarity is right there, but the way of roasting the beans is completely different."

Pang serves two traditional options: a white coffee and a black coffee. The white coffee uses beans that are roasted with olive oil and salt. It’s then brewed and hand-pulled with condensed milk for a drink that’s soft, sweet, and only lightly caffeinated. Pang prefers this drink, which she got hooked on at an early age, she says. "Since I was very little... I got hooked up to it, white coffee. That’s it. I never changed. In the morning, I need to have one." And most of the neighborhood is with her—"The white coffee is very addictive... we have half of the neighborhood people who are very addicted to white coffee. Because it’s very different, you know, it’s not like a latte. It tastes very soft, and you still feel the caffeine."

The white coffee. (Gothamist)

The black coffee, kopi-o ("kopi" means coffee, and "o" means black), uses beans that are roasted with butter, margarine and salt. It’s brewed with both condensed and evaporated milk; Pang compares it to a caffeine-spiked hot chocolate. If you're looking for a real energy kick, get this one.

We dropped by recently for a look at her impressive hand-pulling techniques, which you can see in the above video—she told us, "In Malaysia, every year we have competitions, people trying to be creative the way they pour it with dancing, you know. It’s part of a cultural thing."

Kopitiam, located at 51B Canal Street in Manhattan, is a Malaysian coffeehouse that opened last October. In addition to coffee, they also serve traditional dishes like kaya butter toast, soft-boiled eggs in soy sauce, and sweets.