White Coffee – Origin, Caffeine & Health Benefits

What is White Coffee


“White coffee” can mean many things, from an exotic drink made with rose water and brown sugar trough a type of latte called flat white coffee to the rare and mostly unknown white coffee beans consisting of barely roasted or baked arabica beans which are used for the preparation of various drinks like mixing with different teas or just making a straight coffee which would be a genuine white coffee. It isn’t  as strange as the kopi luwak “poo” coffee, but surely deserves you attention too.


What are White Coffee beans?

Are they caffeinated? Do they taste like coffee? The difference is that the Coffee beans are gently baked rather than roasted. White coffee is halfway roasted compared to the time ordinary coffee is roasted and at a lower temperature.Thus they keep their pale light almost white color. It also keeps more of its healthy compounds and has higher caffeine content.

The taste is quite nutty and light which is understandable given the beans have been barely roasted. Basically white coffee is made of coffee beans that are roasted to yellow roast level.

Every roaster can add their twist or individual adjustments to the roasting process, but the main thing is that it’s  just very lightly roasted high quality arabica beans.


White Coffee roadt

Difference with regular or dark Roasted Coffee Beans

Regular coffee beans get their dark colour from being roasted at high-er temperature. The roasting process makes them expand, makes the natural sugars caramelize and begins a wide variety of chemical reactions within the bean. At this point the beans “crack” and begin to look, smell and taste like familiar, dark coffee beans.

White coffee on the other hand is dried and roasted at low temperature for a limited time, which gives it a unique taste and aroma, almost nothing compared with darker roasted coffee. If you first try white coffee and are not sure whether you like it or not you can make the process more gradual by adding some of your normal brewed dark coffee to make your first coup(s) of white coffee more familiar and help you decide.

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How are white Coffee Beans Baked

Rather than roasting them, specialty rosters take a blend of high quality Arabica coffee beans and apply a dry heat for a relatively longer period of time(though not as long as dark roasted coffee) at a lower temperature. This unique and innovative process does not allow the beans to fully develop into coffee, but rather to dry out and bake.

The result is a tan coloured coffee bean which is smaller and much harder than a roasted bean. This baked bean has a sweet and subtle flavour with nutty, tea-like undertones. White Coffee is caffeinated, and has a taste that is so unique, most people don’t even believe it’s coffee! So, make sure you try it out:-)


Where Does White Coffee Originates?


We should clarify that white coffee isn’t anything that special in therms of origin. It’s made from the same coffee beans regular coffee is made. Though, roasters use mostly and preferably only the best high quality arabica and sometimes robusta beans when they roast white coffee. The only main difference is the roasting temperature and time. Other than that, there’s no any significant difference with “normal” coffee. Who knows, if white coffee gains some more traction it may become the new regular coffee preferred by coffee lovers.




How to Make (Roast) such Coffee Yourself at home?


First, its unlikely most of us will ever roast their own coffee, but some people have the needed equipment and recourse, kudos to them. If you are going to bake or roast white coffee at home, then you should follow a few basic requirements.


– White coffee is under roasted at about 325 degrees (162 C°) Therefore it keeps more of its caffeine and flavor profile

– The beans are actually dried out and baked at lower temperature and this gives them their distinct white-ish pale color. So, no confusion if you normally thought coffee beans are green before they are roasted. They are green initially, but turn white when they are dry roasted at the lower temps needed to make white coffee, well..white.

See also  What is Coffee: History, Species and Types of Coffee Roasts



White Coffee Caffeine Content



As we mentioned, white coffee has higher caffeine content due to lower roasting temperature and shorter baking time. This allows for caffeine along with other unique chemicals to be retained, thus giving the coffee its distinct flavor and experience.

For this reason, it has nearly 50% more caffeine than regular roasted coffee. If you like a coffee with a stronger punch then white coffee may be your new favorite.




How to Brew it?


White coffee is brewed the same as regular coffee. It just has a pale, more translucent appearance and color along with its unique flavor. You can make white coffee more dense and thick if you have a second extraction, pour over or leave it to brew for longer.


Benefits of Drinking White Coffee?


Aside from having 50% more caffeine than regular coffee, white coffee retains more healthy compounds and antioxidants, which are burned during the higher temps the darker coffees are roasted (though dark coffee has its merits and benefits too and that’s why we love it in the first place, right :-)). It’s the same principle with anything that has gone less or non heat processing, be it food, drink, tea, etc..


Where Can you Buy such Coffee?


White coffee is gaining popularity lately, so you should be able to find it in specialty coffee stores or roasters in major cities or online.


White coffee recipes


As we mentioned earlier the name white coffee can refer to few different type of drinks, so below we are sharing several drinks that share the same name and can be called “white coffee”. Though coffee made of white coffee beans is the true white coffee and usually people mean just that. The other drinks with the same or similar name just include coffee in their preparation and one has no connection to coffee at all.

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So, how to make the real white coffee from lightly roasted coffee beans. First get yourself some high quality white coffee beans and grind them with a powerful grinder. White coffee beans are harder than your regular roast coffee, so make sure you have a robust coffee grinder or just ask your roaster to grind them for you which they usually do.


You brew white coffee the same way you make your regular cuppa. Just brew it based on your brewing preferences and enjoy its flavor and benefits.



Lebanese white coffee “kahwah bayda” or white coffee with rose water.

This actually isn’t coffee at all, they just gave it that name. It’s caffeine-free and is made by adding rose water  or orange blossom water and brown sugar to hot water. The result looks similar to coffee with some milk in it, thus probably they called it “white coffee”.


Malayisian white coffee or Ipoh white coffee is just regular coffee or instant coffee mixed with creamer or milk and was therefore called white coffee just by its appearance. It can be a little misleading, but I can’t blame them. If something looks white (though it’s because you added milk in it) you are free to call it white coffee, tea or whatever you are adding milk to.


In Yemen, they also have white coffee, which is made from ground coffee bean shells. They often add spices and sugar. it’s actually made of coffee (only the coffee bean shells though) and looks white.


In conclusion


So, no matter which type of coffee you prefer and you can try them all if you wish, the actual white coffee made from under roasted coffee beans is definitely something every coffee lover should experience at least once. If you happen to like it (you probably will) then you would have yet another excuse to delve into this and continue your journey into the coffee world with a new-ish companion.

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