What is White Coffee? (Taste, Health Benefits, How to Make)

What Is White Coffee

For many coffee lovers looking for a high dose of caffeine, a light roast is always the way to go. But, in the last few years, a competitor has emerged which is the white coffee, and many baristas believe it has a slightly better ability to boost your energy.

When you first here of white coffee, the chances are that coffee with lighteners such as milk, cream, and non-dairy cream is what comes to mind. And while this kind of beverage is often referred to as white coffee in most places, it is not the same coffee formally known as white coffee.

White coffee is more about the kind of roast the beans get and not how the coffee is brewed or the kind of lighteners added to it. Below, we explain in more details what is white coffee and why it is becoming a favorite of more and more coffee lovers.

Table of Contents

What Is White Coffee?

Despite what the name suggests, white coffee is not white. And while it is lighter than normal coffee, it still has a distinctive dark color.

White coffee is a lighter roast coffee than the regular light roast, and there is a consensus that it is a kind of coffee that involves very under-roasted coffee beans. But this roast can be quite hard to achieve, and it will take most coffee lovers several trials and errors.

There are conflicting accounts as to where this coffee originates from with some claiming that it came from Yemen where it was a traditional brew that was served flavored with hawaji. Other coffee historians believe that white coffee has its origins in Ipoh, Malaysia.

But regardless of which account you choose to believe, the fact is that despite becoming popular only a few years ago, it has been around for a long time.

How to Make White Coffee

How to Make White Coffee


Most of the effort when it comes to making white coffee often goes into the roast because the brewing methods are similar to regular coffee. However, if you do not get the roast right, you will not be able to make good white coffee.

To make white coffee, you will need to roast your beans at a lower temperature and for around half the time you would with regular coffee roasts. And to be more specific, you need to half bake your coffee beans.

The coffee will be roasted at around 325 degrees which is quite low given that fully roasted coffee will require a temperature of at least 450 degrees.

And while you can roast beans for this coffee at home, this takes quite some skill, time and energy, and so you might be better off buying pre-roasted white coffee beans.

Once your beans are ready, you can go ahead to brew your coffee as you would normally do as there are no special brewing methods recommended for this coffee. However, Moka pot, espresso machine, and AeroPress seem to make better white coffee.

How Does It Taste?

White coffee taste has had more descriptions than most other types of coffee and coffee aficionados always have different views on how it tastes.

However, with this coffee, you can expect a nutty taste with pronounced acidity and with little bitterness which is a result of the minimal roasting time.

Also, because the natural sugars in the beans will not be caramelized due to the lower temperatures and short roasting time, the coffee will not have a bitter aftertaste, and the acids in the beans do not evaporate, and so you end up with some brightly acidic flavors.

One of the things that make light roasts special is that they highlight the subtle characteristics of single-origin beans. With the extreme light roast in white coffee, these subtle flavors will be enhanced further to ensure you experience the nuances of the coffee beans from a particular origin.

Does White Coffee Have More Caffeine?

Does White Coffee Have More Caffeine

When buying any coffee, one of the first questions that many coffee drinkers will want to be answered is how much caffeine it contains. With white coffee, this is also the case, and the amount of caffeine in this coffee is one of the key things that make it popular.

Because the more you roast your coffee beans the more the caffeine decreases, it should be obvious that white coffee will contain more caffeine than regular coffee.

However, while some coffee drinkers will claim that this coffee will have up to 70% more caffeine than regular coffee, this is not true. Most white coffees will only contain about 5% more caffeine when compared to regular coffee.

The 5% difference is not very significant and many people will hardly even notice it and should hence not be the only reason you choose this roast. If you want to increase your caffeine intake, the right idea is to choose beans known for high caffeine content such as Ethiopian coffee beans.

Health Benefits of White Coffee

Depending on the brand or who you buy from, white coffee will have a higher overall quality which means it is often a healthier choice when compared to fully roasted coffee.

Because white coffee contains more caffeine than regular coffee, it will also give you a slightly better lift which is perfect when you want to remain alert or are just looking for something to give you some energy.

And besides the lift, white coffee will also be less acidic and retain more antioxidants than regular coffee because coffee tends to become more acidic when being roasted.

Since white coffee will only be roasted halfway, it will retain the good chlorogenic acid which is a potent antioxidant. Furthermore, many coffee drinkers will find that white coffee tends to be smoother and gentler on the stomach.


As a coffee aficionado, it is always a great idea to try out new coffee types and beverages now and then as you can discover one that will take your coffee experience to a new level. And white coffee is one of those that every coffee lover should try out.

Despite what the name suggests, it is not white but only slightly lighter than regular coffee, and it is made by roasting the beans halfway and at a lower temperature. Better yet it also contains slightly more caffeine which gives you more lift.

But, even as you plan to try out white coffee, you should keep in mind the fact that getting the perfect roast is not always easy, and so the best idea is to buy pre-roasted beans. However, with a little patience and practice, you should be able to roast perfect beans for white coffee.

Thanks for letting us know!
Was this page helpful?