What is White Coffee?
You have surely heard of the classic light, medium, and dark roasted coffee, but few are knowledgeable about White Coffee. Although there are some popular coffee drinks that are known as White Coffee, the true White Coffee we’re referring to is the coffee beans that are light, or “white” in color because of how they have been roasted.
Malaysian/Ipoh White Coffee, Indonesian Kopi Putih White Coffee, and Flat White Coffee are common café drinks around the world. Malaysian White Coffee is made with condensed milk and palm oil margarine, turning the color of the coffee much lighter. Indonesian Kopi Putih White Coffee is made from lightly roasted beans and typically contains a non-dairy creamer that contributes to the white color. Finally, the more familiar Flat White Coffee is made with espresso and silky smooth microfoam frothed milk. The White Coffee that we are discussing is made from very light (slowly) roasted coffee beans and is becoming an increasingly popular choice in North America.
White Coffee has a unique flavor profile and higher caffeine content than many types of coffee. The beans are harder, so it is typically sold as ground coffee because these tough beans could damage your coffee grinder at home. The difference between White Coffee and other coffee beans is how long and at what temperature the beans are roasted. The longer the beans are roasted, the darker and less dense they become. White Coffee is made from beans that are very lightly roasted at a lower temperature, making them pale in color and harder to break. White Coffee can be made from Arabica or Robusta beans, originating as green beans just like normal coffee.
At Home Brewing
Rather than paying for an extra espresso shot at the coffee shop, try brewing your own White Coffee at home! Although it is debated how much more caffeine is in White Coffee than other roasts, it is agreed that it contains more caffeine than coffees roasted for longer. Some say White Coffee gives you 50% more caffeine, some argue for less, while others argue that there could be up to 75% more! Caffeine content in coffee is determined by how dense the coffee beans are. In general, the longer the beans are roasted, the darker they become, and the lower the caffeine content. The darker the roast, the more the flavor changes from the natural flavors in the green coffee beans. So, that means that White Coffee gives you a flavor profile closer to the original in the green beans. Because of this, some describe the smell of White Coffee to be grassy or hay-like.
The flavor of White Coffee can be described as light and nutty. Since it is such a light roast, it will not have the same rich, roasted, bitter flavor or deep aroma that you get when drinking medium or dark roast coffee. When brewed, you will notice that White Coffee will taste, smell, and look lighter. Its consistency is more comparable to tea than regular coffee.
There are more health benefits to drinking White Coffee over other coffee. White Coffee retains more chlorogenic acid (an important antioxidant) than regular coffee. This benefit occurs in White Coffee because of how lightly the beans are roasted. The darker the bean, the more the chemical profile of the coffee changes. Therefore, the lighter the roast, the more similar the chemical profile and nutrient content will be to the original green coffee bean. Many White Coffee drinkers also advocate for its low acidity. It is easy to drink and causes less stomach discomfort than regular coffee.
Have I convinced you yet? Here are some tips on how to make the best White Coffee at home. Buy the White Coffee already ground so that you do not damage your at home coffee grinder. If you prefer medium or dark roasts in general, it might be a good idea to brew the coffee half and half—a scoop of your favorite medium or dark roast and a scoop of White Coffee to better balance the flavors. Some people even like to add their brewed White Coffee to smoothies for the added health benefits and caffeine. If you order White Coffee at a café, the barista will likely brew the White Coffee as espresso and add other things, such as milk or sugar to make it more flavorful. If you plan to brew your White Coffee at home, try adding your own milk or cream and some sugar to sweeten it up.
As you have learned, White Coffee has different characteristics than typical coffee. Here are some helpful tips for brewing White Coffee at home. Do not pack the White Coffee grounds in too tightly when putting them in your espresso machine. The grounds will expand as they brew. Many people prefer to brew their White Coffee in a Chemex because the slower brewing process helps to bring out the flavors more than a drip coffee brewer. A French press is another good option for brewing, as you are able to experiment with steeping time to optimize the flavor profile to your taste. A moka pot can also be used to make a strong cup of White Coffee, but not as strong as an espresso machine.