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How to Brew White Coffee: Guide | 7 Easy Methods

While walking down the coffee aisle, have you ever thought to yourself, “What exactly is white coffee?” The normal roast coffee variety is the go-to for most, but white coffee provides some nice variety. Of course, we can choose from different kinds of creamers and flavorings to add to coffee, as well as different brewing methods and techniques.

Table Of Contents
  1. Introduction to White Coffee
  2. What is White Coffee?
  3. The Popularity of White Coffee
  4. Health Benefits of White Coffee
  5. White Coffee vs. Regular Coffee: What's the Difference?
  6. Exploring Different Varieties of White Coffee 
  7. 7 Easy Methods to Brew White Coffee 
  8. 3 Simple Tips for Brewing the Perfect Cup of White Coffee
  9. Common Mistakes to Avoid When Brewing White Coffee 
  10. Can I Add Milk or Sweeteners to White Coffee? 
  11. White Coffee FAQs

Introduction to White Coffee

White coffee opens up some new possibilities. While coffee is an incredible beverage that dates back centuries, showcasing a rich tapestry woven in countless variations, even the most dedicated coffee snobs (in a good way) may still stumble upon unfamiliar brews from time to time. 

In this article, we’ll discuss white coffee, how to brew white coffee, its benefits, and a whole host of frequently asked questions. First, let’s dig into what white coffee is. 

What is White Coffee?

White coffee, despite its name, isn’t white. Rather, it boasts a beautiful light hue that’s distinct from the richer, darker tones of traditional coffee. Many caffeine enthusiasts are attracted to white coffee for its uniquely delicate flavors and subtle aromas. But where did this intriguing variety of coffee originate from, and how is it produced? 

History of White Coffee 

“White coffee” is a term that first rose to prominence in Malaysia. The term started gaining popularity in the Ipoh region, where coffee roasters began producing a lighter roast in response to people who required a softer and less robust coffee flavor.

The term ‘white coffee’ was then adopted to portray the singular qualities of this coffee – its lighter color, milder flavor, and richer aroma. In recent years, it’s become quite popular. 

White Coffee Beans 

Like traditional coffee, white coffee is also sourced from coffee cherries, specifically the Arabica and Robusta varieties. However, it’s entirely possible that other types of coffee cherries might be used as well. These two are just the most popular. 

  • Arabica: Known for its delicate flavors and lower caffeine content.
  • Robusta: Popular for more robust coffee blends and higher caffeine content.

White Coffee Roasting Process 

The uniqueness of white coffee isn’t just in the beans used but also in how those beans are roasted. Unlike traditional coffee, which is roasted to different degrees of darkness, white coffee is obtained by roasting beans at a much lower temperature. 

Under normal circumstances, coffee beans are roasted at temperatures ranging from 356°F to 482°F. However, for white coffee, the beans are roasted at temperatures not exceeding 325°F. Consequently, the beans retain a lighter color and produce a different flavor spectrum, which is typically described as nuttier and slightly sweeter than dark roasts. 

Additionally, white coffee beans are harder and denser due to the minimal roasting process. This often requires a special grinder, as standard coffee grinders may not effectively process these beans, at least not as efficiently. 

The Popularity of White Coffee

White coffee – a smooth, unique type of java is growing into a popular choice for coffee enthusiasts. But what is it about this pale counterpart that strikes a chord with the global audience? Let’s delve a bit deeper. 

Why the Buzz? 

Imagine waking up to a brew that’s light, fragrant, and almost creamy or slightly caramel-like. It’s a change from the robust, sometimes bitter flavors of regular coffee beans that have been roasted longer. That, right there, is one key appeal of white coffee. My husband can’t stand any kind of coffee. Perhaps I’ll have him try this variety at some point. We’ll see. I won’t hold my breath.

  • Unique Taste: White coffee is slow-roasted at a lower temperature, resulting in a less bitter and more aromatic drink. This appeals to those who desire a milder coffee experience.
  • Variety: It offers a welcome break from the typical dark roast. Coffee enthusiasts love to have an assortment of options for different moods or desired flavors, and white coffee is a delightful addition to that repertoire.
  • Smoothness: The coffee’s smoothness is another reason for its popularity. The gentle roasting process preserves more of the beans’ natural sweet taste, resulting in a milder, gentler experience.

Health Benefits of White Coffee

White coffee, like all types of coffee, comes packed with several health benefits due to its rich nutrient profile. Let’s delve into some of these benefits you might enjoy on your journey of brewing and consuming this one-of-a-kind beverage. 

Shared Benefits with All Coffee 

Both regular and white coffee share a spectrum of health benefits attributed to their abundance of beneficial plant compounds. 

Coffee consumption is linked to a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease: A research study shows that those drinking coffee regularly have up to a 60% lower risk of developing Parkinson’s disease (among males).

Here’s an excerpt from the study:

A 21‐year follow‐up study (875 women and 534 men, age 50 years at the beginning of the study) found that moderate consumption (3‐5 cups, volume not identified) of coffee substantially reduced the risk of AD (62%‐64%) and dementia (65%‐70%) later in life, compared to low coffee consumers (0‐2 cups). 

Some additional shared health benefits include: 

  1. Rich in Antioxidants: Coffee beans are rich sources of antioxidants, which can neutralize harmful free radicals in your body. These antioxidants contribute to better overall health and can help to reduce the risks of several diseases.
  2. Boosts Mental Alertness: A cup of coffee, irrespective of its color, contains caffeine known to improve energy levels, mood, and various aspects of brain function, such as memory, reaction times, and general cognitive function.
  3. Can Help Burn Fat: Caffeine present in coffee can aid with fat burning, as it can boost your metabolic rate.

Interestingly, studies also show that the risk of stroke or heart-related death is usually lower among individuals who drink at least one cup of coffee a day

Specific Benefits of White Coffee 

While white coffee inherits several benefits from its coffee heritage, it also brings unique advantages to your cup.

  • Lower Acidity: When compared with regular coffee, white coffee has a lower acidity level, making it a better choice for coffee lovers with sensitive stomachs or acid reflux issues.
  • Richer Nutrient Profile: Due to its lighter roast, white coffee tends to retain more of the coffee bean’s original nutrients, including its antioxidants and vitamins. This makes it an even healthier choice.
  • Natural Taste: White coffee has a slight fruity flavor with a hint of nuttiness, providing a delightful and mild taste, which coffee enthusiasts often prefer over the more bitter taste of regular coffee.

These health benefits make white coffee a delightful beverage and a beneficial addition to your daily routine. As with anything in life, enjoy it in moderation.

Also, coffee shops are great when you’re on the run, but really, try creating your own home brewing ritual. Even better, enjoy your morning brew relaxing with a nice read. Be sure to try various techniques and additional flavors and spices, too. For example, adding some pumpkin spice blend is wonderful for those cool, crisp Autumn mornings.

White Coffee vs. Regular Coffee: What’s the Difference?

White coffee and regular coffee are sourced from the same kinds of beans but undergo different processing and roasting techniques. This results in significant differences in their taste, aroma, and overall flavor profile. 

Let’s begin by understanding the term ‘white coffee.’ It refers to beans roasted at a lower temperature than what’s conventionally used. The beans are barely roasted, giving them a lighter color, hence the term ‘white.’ These beans are then ground and brewed. On the other hand, regular coffee is fully roasted, often to a dark brown color and even to a near black in the case of some espresso roasts. 

AttributeWhite CoffeeRegular Coffee
Roasting TemperatureAround  325°FBetween 356°F to 482
ColorLight Gray or TanDark Brown to Black
Caffeine ContentHigher (by ~5%)Lower
Flavor ProfileNutty and less bitter with subtle sour notesBright acidity, robustness in character, and more bittersweet
AromaSubtle and less intensifiedStrong depending on roast level

A factor worth noting is the caffeine content. White coffee actually contains more caffeine than regular coffee. Because it is roasted at lower temperatures, more caffeine is retained in the beans. If you’re looking for a slightly stronger caffeine kick, white coffee has an edge over traditional roasts. 

Each boasts its own unique qualities and individuals may enjoy one over the other, or both. For those who don’t much like the bitterness of coffee, white coffee may provide a different flavor profile that’s more balanced, with a hint of fruitiness.

Exploring Different Varieties of White Coffee 

 As a coffee enthusiast, you might have noticed that the taste and aroma of white coffee can greatly differ. This can be attributed to a few key factors: 

  • Roasting process: The beans of white coffee are roasted at a lower temperature than dark roast coffee. This results in a lighter body and a distinct nutty flavor, unlike the strong, bold flavor of dark roast. Among white coffee varieties specifically, slight variations in roasting times and the temperatures used can lead to subtle differences. 
  • Origin of the beans: The geographical and climatic conditions where the coffee beans are grown can significantly influence the characteristics of the coffee. For instance, beans grown in the high-altitude regions of Ethiopia produce a floral and fruity flavor, while beans from Brazil might have a more chocolaty taste.
  • Additives: White coffee can be enjoyed plain, but sometimes it’s mixed with other ingredients, such as condensed milk or various herbs and spices, which can further enhance or alter its flavor.

Is White Coffee Suitable for Everyone? 

The answer to this question largely depends on personal preference and health concerns. Much like its black counterpart, white coffee contains caffeine. However, as we mentioned earlier, it retains more caffeine than darker roasts. Hence, if you’re sensitive to caffeine or have been advised to limit your intake, consume white coffee in moderation, as with any coffee beverage (unless you go decaf).

“Coffee is a language in itself.” – Jackie Chan

Is White Coffee Healthier than Regular Coffee? 

There is a widespread belief that white coffee is healthier than regular coffee. But is this really the case? 

Let’s weigh it out: 

White CoffeeRegular Coffee
Rich in antioxidants due to the lower roasting temperatureLoses some antioxidant properties during the roasting process
Higher caffeine content could potentially boost energy levels effectivelyLower caffeine content could be beneficial for those with caffeine sensitivity
Fewer acid levels, making it a better option for people with acid reflux problemsHigher acid content
Likely higher acrylamide contentLower acrylamides (decreases as it’s roasted longer)

As evident from above, both coffee types have unique advantages and drawbacks. Ultimately, the choice boils down to individual preferences and health factors. Happy brewing!

7 Easy Methods to Brew White Coffee 

There are so many different ways to enjoy white coffee, especially with various coffee makers and brewing methods available. 

Method 1: Traditional Pour-Over 

There’s just something about the pour-over method that’s super appealing. It almost feels more homemade or something; there’s just something special about pouring hot water over the coffee grounds and then watching as it drips into the coffee mug. With white coffee, the method’s super simple.

  • Grind your white coffee beans to a medium texture.
  • Place the grinds in a pour-over filter on top of your favorite mug.
  • Slowly pour hot water over the grinds and let it drip naturally.

Remember, the slower the pour, the more nuanced the taste. Take your time! Sometimes, I’ll do an initial pour, wait 1-2 minutes, the contiue pouring again very slowly. This will draw out more flavor overall. 

Method 2: French Press 

When it comes to the French Press, it’s hard to get much simpler. This method is perfect for white coffee as well.

  1. Add coarsely ground white coffee to your French Press.
  2. Fill the press with hot water and allow the coffee to steep.
  3. Press the plunger down slowly and pour it into your favorite cup.

With this method, it’s all about simplicity. Be sure to use a quality French Press.

Method 3: Cold Brew 

Hot coffee is only one side of the coin. There’s so much more variety, so if you’re not used to cold brews, definitely give this a try. Cold Brew white coffee really brings out a nice, sweet, low-acidity brew. 

  • Put your coarse ground white coffee into a cold brew maker.
  • Add cold water & refrigerate it overnight for a refreshing, pleasant brew.

Patience is the secret ingredient to a good cold brew!

Method 4: Espresso Machine 

If you want a quick, punchy, flavorful kick, using an Espresso Machine can work wonders with white coffee.

  1. Add fine ground white coffee to your espresso machine’s portafilter.
  2. Brew as per your machine’s instructions and enjoy.

There’s nothing like the smell of espresso in the morning, followed up by a nice dose of caffeine from an espresso shot to start the day. Home espresso machines make this possible, thankfully!

Method 5: Single-Serve Coffee Maker 

Super simply, a Single-Serve Coffee Maker is a convenient addition to your kitchen, especially with the convenience it offers. We prefer using non-plastic pods. There are some stainless steel ones available for purchase online.

  • Add the white coffee to the coffee pod/capsule.
  • Brew as per instructions & enjoy the ease of a quick serve.

A cup a day keeps the drowsiness away.

Method 6: Turkish Coffee 

Want to try something a bit more international? Try the Turkish style. This kind of bew uses the immersive brewing method and will give you a bold, full flavor, plus you’ll get more caffeine. 

  1. Add extra-fine white coffee and sugar (if you wish) to your cezve (Turkish coffee pot).
  2. Stir the mixture over low heat until frothy bubbles start to form.

Anyone who likes coffee is missing out if they haven’t tried Turkish coffee.

Method 7: Instant White Coffee 

The easiest of them all, Instant White Coffee offers authentic flavor without the fuss. I typically shy away from instant coffee whenever possible. 

  • Add instant white coffee granules to your cup.
  • Stir in boiling water and enjoy a convenient cup anytime, anywhere.

If you’re on the move and don’t have time for a more intimate coffee-making experience, instant’s a good option.

*Bonus: Making White Coffee in a Moka Pot 

You might be curious, “Can I make white coffee in a moka pot?” Yes, indeed! Here’s a straightforward guide on how to accomplish it: 

  1. Grind your white coffee beans: For a moka pot, you want a slightly coarse grind. Not as chunky as for a French press, but definitely not as fine as for an espresso machine.
  2. Fill the filter basket: Just like preparing a standard coffee, the basket of your moka pot should be filled with coffee grounds. The amount of coffee and water varies depending on the size of your moka pot, so refer to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. Fill the bottom with water: The water should go up to the valve or a bit below but never above it.
  4. Assemble the pot: Now, screw the upper part onto the base. Be cautious not to over-tighten it.
  5. Brew the coffee: Place your moka pot on the stove on medium heat. Wait until you hear a gurgling sound – that’s your signal that the coffee is ready.
  6. Combine ingredients: Finally, bring your white coffee to the perfect taste by adding evaporated milk and sugar (if desired). 

3 Simple Tips for Brewing the Perfect Cup of White Coffee

 Let’s examine three essential tips that could elevate your white coffee experience. 

Tip 1: Choose Quality Beans 

As with all of coffee brewing, white coffee is no different – the quality of your beans matters. To truly enjoy a cup of white coffee, you must begin with high-quality, fresh coffee beans. You’d be amazed at the difference it makes in terms of flavor and aroma. 

Remember: White coffee beans are even lighter than what we usually refer to as ‘light roast’, they should resemble a creamy off-white color. The beans should be dried but not roasted to the point of crackling.

Tip 2: Grind Just Before Brewing 

 There’s a secret to releasing the full-bodied flavor of white coffee: grind your beans just before you brew them. Coffee grounds start to go stale within minutes of exposure to the air, and this degradation is noticeable. That’s why, for the best results, you should aim to grind your beans immediately before starting the brewing process.

FineEspresso, Moka pot
MediumAuto-drip, Pour over
CoarseFrench press, Cold brew

Tip 3: Optimal Brewing Temperature 

The brewing temperature is crucial to achieve a perfect cup of white coffee. Contrary to a regular coffee brew, the best way to brew white coffee is at a significantly lower temperature. To fully extract the mild and nutty flavors characteristic of white coffee, use water heated to around 93°C (200°F), slightly less than the temperature you would use for regular coffee. Avoid boiling the water, as it can cause bitterness. 

  1. Preheat your coffee equipment before brewing to maintain a consistent brewing temperature.
  2. Remember to let your water cool slightly after boiling it before pouring it over your coffee.

If you follow the above simple steps, you’ll be off to a great start. If you’re new, the more you brew, the easier it’ll be to get the perfect cup of coffee. 

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Brewing White Coffee 

Like traditional coffee, brewing white coffee requires a certain level of finesse, and mistakes can easily creep in without proper guidance. Here are the most common pitfalls to keep an eye out for: 

  1. Using the wrong grind: Unlike traditional coffee, white coffee beans are notoriously hard, and it’s essential to use a coarse grind to avoid damaging your grinder.
  2. Overheating: White coffee beans require a lower brewing temperature. Avoid exceeding 200 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid burning your beans and inducing a bitter taste.
  3. Incorrect water ratio: The delicate, nutty taste of white coffee can easily be overpowered by too much water. Aim for a ratio of 1:16 (coffee to water).

Can I Add Milk or Sweeteners to White Coffee? 

You might be wondering, “Can I dress up my white coffee as I usually do with my traditional brew?” Why, of course! Feel free to customize your drink to suit your taste buds. Here’s a quick rundown: 

  • Milk: A splash of milk (or plant milk like almond milk) can add a creamy richness to your white coffee. Just ensure the milk is fresh to maintain the integrity of the flavors.
  • Sweeteners: If you have a sweet tooth, sugar, honey, or other sweeteners are also an option. Just remember, less is more when it comes to sweetening white coffee. Also, opt for natural sugars and sweeteners; no artificial sweeteners, please.

And what about creamer, you ask? Be aware that creamers can sometimes create a chunky texture in your coffee. If you’re curious about why that happens or just curious about creamers in general, dive into my post about it here

White Coffee FAQs

Now that we’ve delved into what white coffee is, its origins, brewing methods, and differences from regular brown coffee, let’s consider some common questions. We love FAQs.

1. Is the caffeine content in white coffee higher than in regular coffee? 

Given the lighter roasting process, white coffee beans have a slightly higher caffeine content compared to their darker roasted counterparts. The roasting process usually breaks down caffeine, so beans get less caffeinated as they go darker. This means white coffee can give you a bit more of a caffeine kick! 

2. Can I brew white coffee using espresso machines? 

Absolutely! You’ll need a grinder that can handle the hardness of lightly roasted beans, though. Remember that your grind should be very fine, similar to the consistency of powdered sugar. 

3. Are there flavored white coffees? 

Yes, there are. Flavored white coffees usually have added natural or artificial flavors after the roasting process. Some popular variants include vanilla, caramel, and hazelnut. We try to stay away from highly processed and artificial products and recommend you do the same! Don’t buy something with cinnamon flavor; just adding cinnamon powder is a great way to introduce an amazing spiced flavor to your java!

4. Does white coffee stain teeth like regular coffee does? 

Unfortunately, white coffee can still stain your teeth over time. The tannins that cause staining are still present in coffee regardless of its roast level. 

5. Can I use white coffee beans in cold brew methods? 

Definitely! White coffee can be brewed using any method, including cold brew. However, keep in mind that it may take longer to brew due to the hardness of the beans. Be sure to check out our seven ways of making white coffee earlier in this post, plus the bonus method with a Moka pot. 

6. Is white coffee less acidic than regular coffee? 

Yes, white coffee tends to be less acidic than its darker counterparts. This is due to the less intense roasting process, which contributes to a smoother and more mellow flavor and less acidity. 

7. Can those with sensitive stomachs drink white coffee?

Due to its lower acid content, white coffee can be a better choice for those with sensitive stomachs or those who experience heartburn or acid reflux from regular coffee. 

9. How should I store white coffee beans? 

Absolutely! White Coffee beans are best stored in a cool, dry place. An airtight container is ideal to keep the aroma and flavor intact. Avoid places with direct sunlight or moisture, as they can affect the freshness and taste of your coffee. 

10. Can I brew white coffee using a regular coffee maker? 

Yes. White coffee can certainly be brewed using a regular coffee maker. You might need to grind the beans a bit finer than usual due to their hardness. However, it’s important to adjust the brewing time or temperature as white coffee requires a longer brewing time or slightly higher temperatures to extract its unique flavors.

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