white coffee

White Coffee: White Coffee Beans Explained

White Coffee

You may be shocked to learn that there is something called "white coffee" and that you have never heard of it before. Well, odds are, you probably don't drink coffee much outside of your home. All along the East and West Coast, more and more cafes are starting to adopt a white coffee alternative, which is not the same thing as a Flat White.

In the guide we will go over what it is, where it came from, how it compares to regular black coffee, what it tastes like, the caffeine content, why some think it makes the best coffee and where to buy it. Whether or not you want to try it after reading our review is entirely up to you. Although it can be brewed like most coffee, it is typically served as an espresso shot, which is why you may want to look for the best espresso machine to pair with it.

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What is White Coffee?

what is white coffee

Some people might think white coffee means coffee containing milk in some form. That is not the case. Actually, White Coffee refers to the type of beans used for brewing the coffee and how those beans have been prepared. If you are wondering if the beans are white in color, you'd be right. This is the reason it's called White Coffee. 

Around 100 years ago, it was discovered that low grade coffee beans that gave a harsh taste could be improved by partially roasting them. This partial roasting turned the beans white and released a succulent nutty flavor that has become popular ever since; however, white beans are difficult to roast properly to get the right flavor. 

Roasting coffee beans is a craft that requires a lot of specialist knowledge to get right. Roasting the beans often results in various flavor changes and can be easily ruined. Getting the balance right for partially roasted white beans requires a great deal of skill. It should be noted that white coffee is not the same thing as blonde roast coffee or light roast coffee.

Where Does White Coffee Come From

Where Does White Coffee Come From

White coffee is the latest trend in coffee shops around the world, but it's been in existence for a long time. White coffee was invented in Yemen around 100 years ago. Yeman is a country in Western Asia and is the second largest sovereign Arab state, in case you were wondering.

The beans for white coffee are roasted at 325⁰F and must be ground using special commercial grinders. Once brewed, the coffee is a pale beige color with a nutty flavor and low levels of bitterness. This coffee is recommended for espresso use and was traditionally served with hawaji, a spice from Yeoman. 

White coffee should not be confused with Flat White, which refers to the balance of espresso coffee and milk. Instead, white coffee refers to the roasting process for the beans, which is incredibly light. The roasting is so light that the beans don't adopt the brown color associated with roasted coffee beans. 

White Coffee vs Black Coffee

White Coffee vs Black Coffee

White coffee is widely considered to be healthier than regular black coffee. It's thought that the lower roasting temperature of white coffee leads to an increase in chlorogenic acid and antioxidant molecules. These properties are excellent for cardiovascular health and for reducing inflammation. This is why white coffee is often sold as a healthier option than regular black beans. 

It can be difficult to determine the various tastes of white coffee beans, in contrast to regular coffee that has more distinctive flavors. That said, there are differences in the white coffee beans that can be attributed to various world regions. It's better to order your white coffee by geographical region to get the best idea of the country's flavor. 

As a rough guide to the flavors of white bean coffee, Colombia and Brazil have milder, nuttier flavors, while African beans from Kenya and Ethiopia are a bit more earthy. For an aromatic white coffee, you should try Indonesian beans from Sumatra. 

What Does White Coffee Taste Like

What Does White Coffee Taste Like

Typically, white coffee tastes very particular, in contrast to black beans that have a wide assortment of characteristic flavors. This is probably due to the quality of beans used for white coffee and the roasting process. Usually, white coffee is described as having a nutty flavor with pronounced bitterness acidity and low bitterness. The bitterness is eliminated from the bean during roasting. 

The roasting process for white coffee beans is responsible for the very specific taste of the coffee. Firstly, the bean's natural sugars are not caramelized like with black beans roasted at higher temperatures. This means there is no bitter aftertaste with white beans. Also, there is zero evaporation of organic acids from the beans giving the coffee a bright acidic flavor. 

How to Roast White Coffee

How to Roast White Coffee

The light roasting processes used for white coffee are typically used to bring out the distinctive flavors of single-origin beans. These are beans that originate in a particular region and are not mixed with other beans for different flavors. Single-origin beans have unique characteristics that can be gently brought out with a light roast. 

Using a light roasting process on single-origin beans is the best way to identify the bean and the region it's from. By roasting the beans at a temperature of around 325 Degrees Fahrenheit, the distinctive flavor of the bean is released without burning up the healthy properties. This process allows the white coffee beans to be identified by their approximate region. 

How To Make White Coffee

How To Make White Coffee

White Coffee is typically not brewed the same way that regular coffee is, in fact, white coffee is typically used for espresso based beverages. So, if you want to know how to pull a shot of espresso with white coffee, we have included a little guide on how to do so.

  1. Grind the coffee beans if they are not already pre ground. The consistency should look and feel like brown sugar.
  2. Loosely place the ground coffee into your espresso portafilter. Do not tamp it down!
  3. Run a shot of water through the grounds. This first shot will not be used, so feel free to dump it.
  4. Leaving the portafilter in the machine, run a single or double shot through your portafilter again. This second shot is what you'll use as the base of the espresso drink.
  5. Serve your white espresso shot the same way you would with regular espresso. Enjoy! 


The white coffee brewing process originated in Yemen and was traditionally served with a spice called 'hawaij.' This is a ground spice made from cumin, black pepper, turmeric, and cardamom. It adds a new dimension of flavor to the white coffee brew and is still popular in regional coffee shops and elsewhere. 

The spice, popular in the Arab region and most often used in soups and stews, brings a warm spicy flavor to white coffee. The most distinctive taste that comes through is the ginger and cardamom. You can also taste the cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg in the background. 

If you drink white coffee containing hawaij, you will experience a very traditional coffee that tastes like no other. The distinctive blend of cumin, black pepper, turmeric, and cardamom in this traditional mixture paired with the nuttiness of the white coffee beans, create an unforgettable coffee experience. 

Caffeine in White Coffee

Caffeine in White Coffee

It is commonly assumed that white coffee has a higher caffeine content than regular coffee. There is some truth to this, but it's also something of a misnomer. In theory, coffee beans should lose their caffeine content the more they're roasted, meaning that black beans are lower in caffeine; again, this is partially true. 

While there is a marginal difference in the caffeine content, it is quite minuscule and even less significant when comparing the growing processes in different regions. Tall beans grown in Ethiopia, for instance, will have more caffeine than Brazilian beans. This is because they sit longer on the tree and absorb more nutrients. 

If you compare a light roast bean to a dark roast one, you will commonly find a difference of around 5.4% extra caffeine in the light roast beans. This is an almost negligible difference, not enough to affect the flavor or neurological effect significantly. This difference should not determine whether you choose light or dark roast coffee. 

Best White Coffee

The most accessible place to buy white coffee on the Internet is from Amazon. It provides a wide range of white coffee beans, both ground and whole bean. If you're searching for an excellent white coffee to try, look no further than Amazon as they have quite a wide selection. When buying these fascinating beans, we recommend that you guy them ground as they are quite hard and difficult to grind with even the best coffee grinder.

1. Wired Willey's White Coffee 

Wired Willey's White Coffee

White coffee is a superb alternative to the dark roast coffee that's so familiar to most specialty coffee drinkers. We tend to drink dark roast so often that it becomes our default idea of roasted coffee. We know there are several dark bean options to choose from, and this can occupy much of our time. Few realize that white beans are available, and they offer a new dimension of taste.

Wired Willey's ground white coffee offers a deliciously nutty flavor that is low in acidity, making it a healthier alternative to darker roasts. Where darker roast might taste slightly bitter due to the extended period at higher temperatures, Wired Willey's is smooth and nutty. You can also add some spices to it, such as cardamom and ginger, to enhance the flavor. 

When brewing Wired Willey's white coffee, it's important not to tamp the ground powder too much; doing so will prevent the best of the flavor from coming through and may leave you disappointed; instead, opt for a loose tamp. Enjoy the unique nuttiness of Wired Willey's coffee that further benefits from a high caffeine content. 

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2. Nescafe Ipoh White Coffee

Nescafe Ipoh White Coffee

Sometimes good ground white coffee is not easy to find; you have to source it and know what you're looking for. Amazon is one place that has an excellent range of white coffees for you to select from easily. Furthermore, Nescafe has a delicious range from Ipoh in Malaysia that gives you the great white coffee flavor on the go. 

Nescafe Ipoh White Coffee makes the perfect cup of white coffee that can be enjoyed anywhere. It provides you with an authentic flavor made from Malaysian white coffee beans and delivered in a convenient sachet, unlike most white coffee options. This Nescafe blend is both aromatic and flavorsome, so you get the great taste of white coffee beans anytime. 

Nescafe is known for its convenient coffee options and to have white coffee options available too is quite a treat. The Nescafe sachets are convenient and delicious, offering consumers an excellent blend of creamy white coffee without the need to brew or tamp. Simply add water. 

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3. Caffe Appassionato Ground White Coffee

Caffe Appassionato Ground White Coffee

While delicious and worthy of attention, good white coffee can also be difficult to source and grind. Without the right information and the best equipment, you might have an experience with it that puts you off. Choosing the wrong bean or not grinding the coffee properly can lead to frustration and disappointment. But Caffe Appassionato can help. 

Cafe Appassionato has been roasting special blend white coffee in Seattle, Washington, since 1990. They use short, roasting times to create a dense traditional coffee bursting with flavor. It is also likely to burst a coffee grinder at home, which is why it's best to buy this favorite pre-ground from Amazon. 

Caffe Appassionato white coffee is lightly roasted in the extreme. This brings out the flavor and doesn't burn off the healthy properties of the bean. They use 100% Arabica beans that deliver a nutty, light-bodied coffee with a high caffeine content: to ensure this coffee matches its description and maintains its highest quality standards, the coffee is hand-roasted. 

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4. Poverty Bay Coffee Co

Poverty Bay Coffee Co white coffee

Buying white coffee beans is a great idea, but you also want to ensure that the beans are fair trade and sustainably sourced. This is something that's also important to Poverty Bay Coffee Co. This coffee company is 100% committed to supporting farmers who use sustainable agriculture. Support is given by offering a sustainable price to qualifying farmers. 

Poverty Bay Coffee Co offers a variety of excellent gourmet coffees, both blended and single-bean. They have premium micro-roasted beans and cold-brewed beans that are available in both a caffeinated and decaffeinated version. If you don't wish to buy the ground coffee, the company also ships the whole coffee beans with different grinding options. Grinding the beans yourself can create a fresher flavor. 

If you're interested in buying a high-quality white coffee from a sustainable seller who supports local industry, look no further than Poverty Bay Coffee Co. You have a wide range of beans to choose from, as well as a choice between ground and ungrounded or caffeinated and decaffeinated versions. 

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5. Bargreen's Coffee Espresso Classico

Bargreen's Coffee Espresso Classico WHITE

Drinking white coffee is a personal choice, but it can effectively replace dark roast coffee if you prefer it. There's no reason why you can't take a white coffee to work in a tumbler, invite a friend to your home for one, or order one in your favorite coffee shop. Once a rare option on the coffee shop menu, white coffee is slowly growing in popularity across the globe. 

Fresh Roasted Bargreen's Espresso Classico White Coffee is one such coffee option. You can buy the beans lightly roasted and ready for a delicious drink from Amazon marketplace. The coffee has a delicious nutty flavor; it is also high in caffeine and low in acid, making it an excellent alternative to dark coffee. As with all white coffee, be prepared for a different experience. 

This coffee doesn't taste the same as dark roast coffee; it is perfect for any occasion but should be prepared with care and in the right way. Fresh Roasted Bargreen's Espresso Classico White Coffee is better for espresso coffee and can be used to make delicious strong coffee without the bitter aftertaste.

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Conclusion: What are these white Arabica beans?

It can be difficult to stay ahead of the learning curve within the coffee world. With new innovation comes unique types of coffee, which is where white coffee comes in. Although it may not be for everyone, it certainly is an interesting concept. We typically recommend white coffee to the people that don't like the taste of coffee as it is more like a chai tea than a cup of coffee. If you do go on to try white coffee, be sure to let us know what you think of it!