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What Is White Coffee? (Discover)

What Is White Coffee? (Discover)

White coffee refers to a type of coffee that is made using lightly roasted coffee beans. The term “white” in white coffee does not refer to the color of the coffee itself but rather to the light roast of the beans. White coffee is typically associated with a specific style of coffee preparation that originated in Malaysia.

In this method, the coffee beans are roasted at lower temperatures for a shorter duration than traditional coffee roasting methods. This results in a lighter roast profile and a unique flavor profile.

White coffee is coffee that has been roasted to a lower temperature and is just halfway through. You get a bean that is whitish in color and higher in caffeine by roasting it at this far lower temperature because you roast out less caffeine.

Origin of White Coffee

The origin of white coffee as a specific style of coffee preparation can be traced back to Malaysia. White coffee originated in the Malaysian city of Ipoh, in Perak. It is closely associated with Malaysian Chinese coffee culture.

White coffee
White coffee

The story behind white coffee dates back to the early 20th century when Hainanese immigrants from China settled in Ipoh and brought their coffee-making techniques with them.

These immigrants introduced a unique method of roasting coffee beans using palm oil margarine instead of traditional butter or lard. This roasting process resulted in a lighter roast profile and a distinct flavor.

Nowadays, white coffee is famous in Malaysia, particularly in Ipoh, where it is often served in traditional coffee shops known as kopitiams. It has also gained some recognition and popularity in other parts or regions of Southeast Asia and beyond, with specialty coffee shops and cafes offering their interpretations of white coffee.

White coffee has also garnered attention in other parts of Southeast Asia, including countries like Singapore and Indonesia; it can be found in specialty coffee shops and cafes catering to a diverse range of coffee preferences.

White coffee has also gained recognition and availability in specific international markets outside Southeast Asia. It can be found in select coffee shops or online retailers offering unique specialty coffees worldwide.

While white coffee has its roots in Malaysia, its popularity has extended beyond its origin and can be enjoyed by coffee enthusiasts worldwide.

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The Roasting Process of White Coffee

The roasting process of white coffee involves a light roast profile with low roasting temperatures and a short roasting time. The beans are gently roasted to preserve delicate flavors and minimize acidity. After roasting, the beans are rapidly cooled to halt the roasting process.

The goal is to achieve a milder, less acidic taste than darker roasts while maintaining the unique characteristics of the coffee beans. Specific techniques and parameters may vary, but white coffee is typically characterized by a light, gentle roast that highlights the beans’ natural flavors.

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Is White Coffee Made From White Coffee Beans?

White coffee is not made from white coffee beans, commonly known in the specialty coffee industry. “White coffee” refers to a specific style of coffee preparation that involves using lightly roasted coffee beans, not unroasted or white coffee beans.

The beans used to make white coffee are typically regular coffee beans that have undergone a specific roasting process. The term “white” in white coffee does not refer to the color of the beans but rather to the light roast profile they undergo during the roasting process. White coffee beans are unroasted or raw coffee beans.

They have a light greenish color and are not suitable for brewing as coffee. Natural coffee beans must be roasted to develop the flavors and aromas of coffee. Therefore, white coffee is made from regular coffee beans that have been lightly toasted, not from white coffee beans.

Different types of coffee beans
Different Types of Coffee Beans

Taste or Flavors

The taste of white coffee can vary depending on the roast level and the brewing method used. However, white coffee is generally known for having a unique flavor profile compared to darker roasted coffees.

Here are some characteristics commonly accompanying the taste of white coffee:


White coffee often has a pronounced nutty flavor. You may notice hints of almond, hazelnut, or other nutty notes in the taste.


The flavor of white coffee is typically milder and smoother than darker roasted coffees. It tends to have a less acidic and less bitter taste.


White coffee can have a natural sweetness to it, which is sometimes described as caramel-like or honey-like. This sweetness can contribute to a pleasant aftertaste.

Subtle flavors

Lighter roasting allows the inherent flavors of the coffee beans to come through. Depending on the specific beans and origin, you may detect subtle fruity, floral, or herbal notes in white coffee.

Light body

White coffee often has a lighter body compared to darker roasts. It means it may feel less heavy or full-bodied on the palate.

Caffeine Content

The caffeine content in white coffee can vary depending on the coffee bean type and the brewing method. However, in general, white coffee is known to have a higher caffeine content compared to darker roasted coffees.

Caffeine is partially broken down during the roasting process, and the longer and darker the roast, the more caffeine is typically lost. Since white coffee undergoes a lighter roast, less caffeine is lost, resulting in a higher concentration.

Types of White Coffee

1. Coffee Beans

White coffee can be made from different varieties of coffee beans, including Arabica and Robusta. The specific origin of the beans may also vary, resulting in other flavor profiles and characteristics.

2. Blends

Some white coffees may be a blend of different coffee beans or different roast levels. Blending can be done to achieve a specific flavor balance or to create a unique taste experience.

Specialty Variations

Within white coffee, specialty coffee shops or roasters may experiment with different variations, such as flavored white coffees. These variations can include adding natural extracts or flavors to enhance the overall taste.

Nutrition Facts About White Coffee

White coffee nutrition facts can vary depending on the specific beans used, the serving size, and any additives or sweeteners that may be included. Generally, white coffee itself, without any added ingredients, is a low-calorie beverage.

Here are some approximate nutrition facts for a typical cup (8 ounces) of black-white coffee:

Nutrition FactsDetails
CaloriesLess than five calories
FatNegligible amount (almost 0 grams)
CarbohydratesLess than 1 gram
ProteinLess than 1 gram
Fiber0 grams
Sugar0 grams
Sodium0 milligrams
CaffeineThe caffeine content in white coffee can vary but is generally higher compared to darker roasts. It can range from 100 to 200 milligrams per 8-ounce cup, depending on various factors.
Nutrition Facts of White Coffee
A coffee Filter is used to filter coffee
A coffee filter is used to filter coffee.

How Many Kinds of White Coffee?

  • Single-Origin White Coffee refers to coffee made from coffee beans sourced from a single geographic region or farm. Single-origin white coffees allow you to experience coffee’s unique flavor profiles and characteristics from specific areas.
  • A blend of White Coffee lending different types or origins of coffee beans can create a unique flavor profile in white coffee. Coffee roasters may combine beans with varying taste profiles to achieve the desired balance or complexity in the final product.
  • Flavored White Coffee can be infused with natural extracts or flavors to enhance the taste; it has popular flavor options, including vanilla, caramel, hazelnut, and chocolate.
  • Specialty White Coffee realm of specialty coffee, white coffee variations can be found, where coffee roasters and shops experiment with different beans, roasting techniques, or flavoring methods to create unique and high-quality white coffee offerings.
  • Malaysian/Ipoh White Coffee is a specific style of coffee that originated in Ipoh, a city in the state of Perak, Malaysia. It is a beloved part of Malaysian coffee culture and has gained recognition both within Malaysia and internationally.
  • Flat White Coffee is a popular espresso-based beverage invented in Australia and New Zealand. It is made with a duo shot of espresso and steamed milk. The milk used is typically whole milk, although variations can use other types of milk, like skim or plant-based alternatives.

How to Make White Coffee?


  • Two tablespoons of white coffee beans (preferably from Malaysia)
  • Hot water
  • Sweetened condensed milk or regular milk (optional)


  • Grind the white coffee beans to a fine or medium-fine consistency. You can use a coffee crusher for this purpose.
  • Heat water to around 195-205°F (90-96°C).
  • Place the ground white coffee in a coffee filter or a coffee brewing device designed for single servings, such as a drip brewer or a pour-over cone. Pour the warm water above the coffee grounds and let it steep for about 3-4 minutes.
  • Once the coffee has finished steeping, remove the coffee filter or stop the brewing process according to the instructions of your brewing device. You can strain the coffee into a cup or directly serve it in a cup with the coffee filter.
  • If desired, add sweetened condensed milk or regular milk to taste. Traditional white coffee is often served with sweetened condensed milk, which gives it a creamy and slightly sweet flavor. Mixing the coffee and milk until well combined.
  • Enjoy your white coffee is now ready to be enjoyed! Sip it while it’s hot and savor its unique flavor.
A cup of white coffee
A cup of white coffee
Let’s watch this video about white coffee.


  • White coffee refers to a specific style of coffee preparation with a light roast profile, resulting in a milder and less acidic taste than darker roasts.
  • It originated in the Malaysian city of Ipoh and is closely associated with Malaysian Chinese coffee culture.
  • White coffee is typically made from regular coffee beans that undergo a specific roasting process, not from white or unroasted coffee beans.
  • The flavor of white coffee is often described as nutty, mild, slightly sweet, and with subtle flavor notes. The flavor profile can vary based on the beans, roasting technique, and other factors.
  • The caffeine content of white coffee is generally higher compared to darker roasted coffees due to the lighter roasting process that preserves more caffeine.
  • White coffee is primarily consumed in Malaysia, particularly in traditional coffee shops called kopitiams. Still, it has gained recognition and availability in other parts of Southeast Asia and internationally.
  • Variations of white coffee can include single-origin options, blends, flavored white coffees, and specialty variations offered by coffee shops or roasters.
  • White coffee offers a unique taste experience and is appreciated by those seeking a milder and distinct coffee flavor.

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