Let me guess, you might ever heard of white coffee and never care to question what it is. Or you may never even heard of it. I know for a fact that whenever you go into a coffee shop to get that daily cup of joe, there’s a one in a million chance that you hear someone ordering a “white coffee”.
In your local coffee shop, the standard orders like an Americano, a latte, a cappuccino, and the likes are the more popular things people enjoy daily. But come on white coffee? It’s rare to find someone enjoying white coffee every day because it is one of those more low-key mysterious coffee drinks that isn’t getting the hype it deserves.
When people hear the phrase “white coffee”, their thought process is probably all over the place. Is it just coffee and milk? Are the coffee beans a snow-white colour? Is it just normal coffee with a fancy name? You might think this a new coffee trend people came up with during the quarantine, but white coffee is around for longer than you think. It refers to various coffee drinks and coffee beans in different parts of the world.
In some countries, it means coffee with milk or sweetener, while in others, it can refer to the lightly roasted coffee beans. In this article, we’re going to dive into some surprising facts about white coffee that might be more shocking than the fact you’ve never heard of it before.
- What White Coffee Can Mean in Different Parts of the World
- This coffee Isn’t Snow White Color
- A Low-Temperature Roast
- Grinding White Coffee Isn’t Easy
- Brewing White Coffee Is the Same as Brewing Any Cup of Coffee
- Don’t Confuse White Coffee with A Blonde Roast
- White Coffee’s Caffeine Content
- The Taste
- Health Benefits
- Side Effects
What White Coffee Can Mean in Different Parts of the World
Again, white coffee refers to many different types of coffee drinks and beans all over the world. The difference can be in how the drink is prepared or how the beans are roasted.
For example, in Malaysia, the Ipoh white coffee that originated from the Old Town of Ipoh. Ipoh white coffee has become a well-loved coffee drink for its sweet and velvety taste. This drink was loved by Chinese migrants who worked in the tin mines in the 19th century. Malaysia’s Ipoh white coffee is made from coffee beans roasted in margarine and mixed with sweetened condensed milk when served. The way it is roasted and served gives the coffee drink its signature light-coloured appearance everyone associates with.
Another white coffee variety is from Yemen. This Yemen white coffee came from an old tradition that uses lightly roasted coffee beans. It’s grounded and brewed the same way normal coffee beans. But then the special spice blend called Hawaji is added, which takes the coffee drink to a whole new level. The Hawaji spice blend is usually made from cumin, turmeric, and cinnamon. This spice blend was added to coffee by Yemenite farmers as it aids digestion, helping them get back to work easily right after a big meal. In this case, the lightly roasted beans are what gives the coffee its distinct lighter colour.
The white coffee that this article will mainly focus on is gaining a fan base in most coffee shops worldwide. It uses coffee beans that have a different roasting process than our dearly beloved dark roasted coffee beans.
This coffee Isn’t Snow White Color
If you’ve never roasted your coffee beans, there is a possibility you’ve never seen raw coffee beans. You might think that white coffee is made from actual white coffee beans.
As logically as that may sound, but isn’t made from brewed white coffee beans. White coffee beans are made from under-roasted or lightly roasted coffee beans. Giving the beans a more beigey colour instead of the usual dark brownish colour seen on dark roasted coffee beans. It can also refer to a cup of coffee with milk or some sweetener which will also give it a light beige colour.
A Low-Temperature Roast
We all know that the most important thing in the coffee bean roasting process is the temperature. For the fan-favorite dark roasted coffee beans, the temperature needed to get a dark roast is around 240°C or 482°F. This reason gives the dark roasted beans a dark chocolatey, almost black appearance. For the medium roast or the regular roast, the temperature can be achieved is around 220°C or 428°F. Which will give the beans a more medium brownish color. However, for our star, the white coffee beans or the under-roasted coffee beans, the temperature to reach is, of course, the lowest at around 163°C or 325°F, giving the beans the lightest color out of the three variants.
Grinding White Coffee Isn’t Easy
Since the coffee beans roasted to become white coffee aren’t fully roasted like dark roasted coffee beans, the beans are much tougher and denser. There is a high chance that you will ruin your everyday grinder if you tried to grind the white coffee beans in there.
White coffee beans require a special, more powerful grinder than your typical everyday grinder. Usually using commercial grinders. Or you can also buy pre-grinded white coffee in stores now due to its growing popularity.
Brewing White Coffee Is the Same as Brewing Any Cup of Coffee
Well, it’s not entirely the same, but you get what I mean. The coffee beans need commercial grinders to grind them, so you can imagine that these hard and dense coffee beans will also need some type of stronger brewing method than your classic coffee beans. However, coffee shops sell ground white coffee that can be used for most normal coffee machines at home and even for hand drips too. However, if you order a white coffee at a coffee shop, there’s a high chance the taste is what you expect after reading this article.
There is a definite reason why most shops still don’t have this delicious drink on the menu, and that’s because even though the brewing process is the same as any cup of coffee, it’s still hard to get a good cup of white coffee from a novice barista.
Don’t Confuse White Coffee with A Blonde Roast
Even though both coffee beans are light roast, but they are completely different. The taste, the colour, and even the acidity of white coffee and blonde roast are similar.
To summarize it all up, white coffee and blonde are super-duper similar. But the main difference between the two is that the blonde roasted coffee beans are actual fully-roasted beans. While the white coffee beans are under-roasted.
White Coffee’s Caffeine Content
Yes, it is considered to have a higher caffeine content than medium or dark roasted coffee. Coffee beans’ caffeine content affect by how long it was roasted and its temperature. As we all know, the longer the beans roast, the less caffeine it will have. So white coffee has the highest caffeine content of all, with dark roast having the lowest content. There’s a misconception that it contains 50% to 70% more caffeine. However, the numbers are closer to 5.4% only.
The taste of any coffee can affect by the duration and temperature of the roasting process. The longer it roasted, the more the flavour will take after the roasting process. For the dark roast that uses the highest temperature, you can taste more of a bitter flavour and pick up a hint of a smoky burnt taste rather than an earthy coffee flavour.
The medium roast, which is in the middle, can exhibit a more earthy flavour than the dark roast and produces a more aromatic, acidic coffee flavour. While the white coffee, which uses the lowest temperature, retains the coffee beans’ earthy flavour the most and has a nutty acidic coffee flavour.
Thanks to its light roast, it is said to have more health benefits than medium or dark roasted coffee beans. This type of coffee is less roasted, which means its chlorogenic acid content is still higher than most roast. Chlorogenic acid is an antioxidant known to help regulate digestion and maintain blood pressure. The antioxidant also helps purify the blood, which helps the skin glow and keep it smooth. White coffee is good for weight loss and even lessen the risk of developing diabetes. And, of course, due to its higher caffeine content, as well as it will help keep you high and alert in any situation.
Even with its long list of advantages, white coffee still has its shortcomings. Drinking white coffee can help maintain blood pressure, but overconsumption can increase blood pressure. Overconsumption can also lead to headaches and other complications. It can cause heartburn and palpitations. For pregnant women are encouraged to avoid white coffee as it can affect the fetus’s growth and lead to a miscarriage.