What is White Coffee and how to prepare it

Coffee has been drunk for centuries, but there is still much to be discovered, and white coffee is proof of that.

White coffee looks like latte, but tastes like coffee without milk. It is a new way of drinking coffee that is becoming increasingly popular in the coffee lover community and also among the curious who want to discover and try new variants.

What is white coffee?

White coffee is made from regular coffee beans, from Robusta and Arabica. So it is not coffee that has been mixed with any substance to bleach it. The secret of its color and its name lies in the coffee beans themselves and above all in a special way of roasting. This type of roast is called a light roast and

Can lead to this coffee also being referred to as light coffee.

Roasting of white coffee

In contrast to normal coffee roasting, which takes place between 230 and 250 degrees Celsius, white coffee roasting is carried out at 160°C and the beans are removed before the first crack. These reactions do not take place with white coffee, which is why it does not take on a dark brown color.

What happens in coffee when it is roasted?

In these chemical reactions, the compounds that give the coffee bean its color, such as B. chlorophyll and anthocyanin’s, broken down and the bean turns from green to yellow or gold.

If the roasting time is increased, what is known as the “Maillard reaction” occurs. This leads to the formation of melanoidin, a brown pigment compound that can change the taste of the food.

At this point, the aroma also changes from a vegetal to a popcorn-like smell.

As the temperature rises, the free water in the coffee is lost. The water in the bean begins to evaporate, creating pressure inside the bean. This causes the beans to crack, and because of this sound, it is also known as the first crack.

In addition, chlorogenic acid is lost during roasting and 10-20% of the original amount of trigonelline is converted to niacin. Niacin has bioactive functions such as antidiabetic, antioxidant and hepatoprotective properties.

Characteristics of White Coffee

This particular way of roasting coffee beans gives it some peculiarities that distinguish it from other roasts:

  • Color: Although white beans are lighter in color than the traditionally roasted beans, they are not truly white but more of a light brown.
  • Hardness: White coffee beans are harder precisely because they are roasted at low temperatures.
  • If you want to grind white coffee beans at home, you should keep in mind that you need a special coffee grinder, as white coffee beans can destroy your grinder.

How does white coffee taste?

When you try white coffee for the first time, you may notice a stronger and more intense flavor than when brewed normally (i.e., with medium or dark roast beans). This is due to the way the coffee reacts during the roasting process.

On the other hand, the natural sugar contained in the coffee does not caramelize at the low roasting temperature, which reduces the bitter taste.

In addition, due to the short roasting time, the chlorogenic acids do not evaporate, which can lead to a more acidic taste.

Another characteristic that you will notice when tasting white coffee is its nutty flavor, which is stronger than regular roast coffee.

However, it is possible that the taste will vary depending on the quality of the beans and their origin, as well as the coffee maker used. The taste can also vary, e.g. B. was prepared in a French Press or a drip coffee machine.

How to Prepare White Coffee – 3 Ways

Preparing white coffee is very easy as it is prepared in almost the same way as regular coffee.

We use 1 level tablespoon of coffee, which equals 15 grams, for every cup we brew.

Below are 3 ways to prepare, depending on which coffee maker you have – or don’t have – for this recipe.

How can you prepare white coffee without a coffee maker?

Ingredients for white coffee

To prepare 2 cups you will need:

  • Ground white coffee (2 level tablespoons)
  • 500ml of water
  • Cloth filters

Preparation steps white coffee

  1. Heat 750ml water in a saucepan. It shouldn’t overheat, but turn it down to a low setting and turn it off before it boils, i.e. when small bubbles and steam begin to rise.
  2. After a few seconds, add the ground white coffee and stir.
  3. After blending the coffee, cover with a lid and let steep for 4 to 5 minutes. If you let the mixture stand, the coffee has time to develop its aroma.
  4. Then remove the lid and mix again.
  5. Once the coffee is blended, it is filtered into a cup. We use a cloth filter.

The coffee should be filtered at least seven times because white coffee beans are harder than regular coffee beans and repeated filtering makes for a better drink. Filtering seven times seems excessive, but the hardness of white coffee makes it less soluble than fully roasted coffee.

How do you prepare white espresso?

This version requires an espresso machine, which is why it is recommended for coffee shops.

To prepare a cup of 50 to 60 ml you need 18 to 20 g of ground white coffee.

Preparation steps White coffee espresso

  1. Fill the portafilter with ground white coffee.
  2. The coffee must be pressed into the filter holder because white coffee beans, due to their hardness, do not absorb water like normal coffee beans.
  3. Insert the portafilter into the espresso machine and start extracting the coffee immediately. This is important because the espresso machine is already preheated. If one waits to extract the coffee after inserting the filter holder, the coffee may burn, resulting in a bitter and stronger taste than expected.
  4. To get the nutty taste, prepare the White Espresso with two extractions. The first shot is used to brew the coffee. Turn the device on for 4 seconds and then turn it off. In this way, the coffee begins to develop its aroma. After waiting 20 seconds we proceed with the extraction. This second shot makes the coffee thicker and tastes better.
  5. Now it is ready to be served.

How do you prepare white coffee in a French press?

Ingredients for white coffee in a French press

To prepare 2 cups you will need:

  • Ground white coffee (2 level tablespoons).
  • 500ml of water.

Preparation steps White coffee in French press

  1. Disassemble the coffee maker and make sure there is no old coffee left. If we find old coffee residues, we clean the press.
  2. Then fix the press and preheat it by rinsing it with hot water. But don’t forget to discard the water before the next step.
  3. Add the 2 tablespoons of white coffee to make 2 cups or any amount.
  4. Add the water at the ideal temperature, i.e. between 90 and 96ºC. Be careful, this temperature is reached about 30 seconds before water boils.
  5. Let the water saturate the coffee and stir gently (a turn or two) with a spoon.
  6. Close the lid of the press and wait about 5 minutes.
  7. Push the plunger down firmly and squeeze slowly to separate the coffee from the beans.
  8. Serve our white coffee immediately.

Variations of White Coffee

White coffee is made from the same coffee bean as regular coffee, but the roast is different. The type of white coffee roasting described so far is the most widespread in the world and comes from Yemen, in the south of the Arabian Peninsula. It is the place in the world where coffee has been grown for the longest time, i.e. it is the cradle of coffee, so to speak. It is estimated that it has been planted there for commercial purposes since the 1500s.

Until the arrival of European settlers around 1700, almost all of the world’s coffee was produced in Yemen.

However, white coffee is not the same all over the world. Below we will examine two variants that show the diversity within this drink.

Malaysian White Coffee

This variant has its origins in northern Malaysia, in the city of Ipoh.

The coffee beans are roasted in a wok, a frying pan typical of this part of the world, which means a lower roasting temperature than the usual 90°C.

The beans are roasted with the palm oil-derived margarine instead of the combination of margarine, sugar and wheat used for dark roasts.

If you use the light coffee beans, they are ground and served with condensed milk after brewing. The result is a sweet, caramel-flavored drink that’s usually drunk after dinner.

Its color isn’t exactly white either. In addition, its texture is smooth and creamy.

White coffee in Jordan and Lebanon

In these countries it is called “kahwah bayda” and is a drink based on regular coffee.

It is prepared by mixing 2 cups of coffee with 2 cups of water and 4 tablespoons of orange blossom water, and sweetening with 2 tablespoons (30g) of sugar or rose water.

It is occasionally used in place of regular coffee. Historically, the consumption of “kahwah bayda” has been credited with having a calming effect.

What can white coffee be combined with?

White coffee can also be blended with aromatic components. In Yemen, for example, there is a tradition of using a spice blend called hawaij, which consists of aniseed, fennel seeds, ginger and cardamom. A dessert spoon is enough, but you can add as much as you like.

We can also add ingredients like ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon and we can also mix it with ice cream.

While white coffee doesn’t require milk or cream, don’t rule out those options to customize the taste to your liking.

Where to buy white coffee, price and brands

The white coffee market is small but growing. Although this guarantees high quality, it also makes procurement more difficult.

Most brands sell the ground product and not the whole bean because roasting and grinding the beans at home can be difficult for us as consumers.

The easiest way to buy white coffee is through the internet and trusted online marketplaces.

The main brands that sell white coffee are:

  • Poverty Bay Coffee Co.
  • Wired Willey’s.
  • Espresso Classico
  • Coffee Appassionato

Health Benefits of White Coffee

Studies on white coffee and its health effects are not yet as well known as the drink itself, but there are 3 major benefits that can be attributed to it:

  • White coffee contains more caffeine, which increases our energy and alertness. Caffeine can also help with weight loss.
  • It contains more antioxidants than regular coffee, such as cafestol, trigonelline, melanoidins and quinine.
  • It also contains more chlorogenic acid than normal coffee, which is said to have numerous positive properties, such as: B. the lowering of blood pressure and anti-inflammatory properties.

Is White Coffee Less Addictive Than Black Coffee?

Withdrawal symptoms from not drinking coffee, such as B. Headaches are attributed to the acidity. The shorter roasting time of white coffee has a positive effect on this acidity, so drinking white coffee as an alternative to black coffee can prevent possible withdrawal symptoms.


White coffee is a new way of drinking coffee that may benefit those of us who want to make a change or try new types of coffee. It offers a truly exotic flavor and look that makes it tempting to attempt, to say the least.

Its small market may seem limiting, but it is also up to us to encourage its consumption, although it is precisely this small market that guarantees a certain quality that black coffee sometimes lacks.

We hope this guide has helped clear any doubts or discover a new coffee and encouraged you to try the increasingly popular White Coffee.