What Is White Coffee?

Have you ever wondered what is white coffee? Because we didn’t! And who knows, maybe we never would have tried it if it wasn’t for our good friend Paolo that treated us with some homebrew when we visited him in Seattle. When he gave us some white coffee, we were quite stunned at first, as it had a lot richer and fuller flavor. So naturally, we wanted to know what he did to get such an awesome taste. “Not much – it’s just all about the white coffee beans” he said. Wait, white coffee beans? What are those? Well they, surprise, are used to make a white coffee he just gave us. That immediately piqued our interest. After all, we’ve gotten used to the fact that coffee is black, and when you say “white coffee” we think of something like milk.

But as it turns out,  while white coffee is brewed like any other coffee, it is served as an espresso shot. And it is actually pretty easy to make it! So, we’ve decided to find out all we can about the white coffee grounds, and how you can make this amazing java!

What Exactly Is White Coffee?

So first of all we need to understand what is white coffee. Despite the name, no the white coffee is not actually white like milk or very creamy like a latte. The name just refers to the type of beans, white coffee beans, to be exact, that the java is made from. 

Back when people didn’t have access to some good-quality beans, they had to use low-grade sort, which didn’t give a really good flavor. So, they’ve decided to try partial roasting – and that turned the beans white and gave them a unique, nutty taste. And ever since then, people are using the beans processed this way, to make the white coffee we know and love today!

How is White Coffee Roasted?

So we’ve already mentioned how white coffee is made: to achieve such a light roast coffee, the coffee beans are grilled at a lower temperature for half the time than it takes to prepare regular coffee. To clarify, it takes 325 Degrees to roast white coffee beans, while fully roasted coffee is processed at 450-480 degrees Fahrenheit.

What Does White Coffee Taste Like?

White coffee espresso has a specific taste, unlike black beans coffee which has a variety of flavors. Generally, the high-quality, best white coffee has a nutty flavor with some kind of bitter acidity and also low bitterness. And it’s the roasting process that contributes to this particular taste.

Caffeine in White Coffee

Most people assume that white bean coffee has a higher content of caffeine than regular one. While this could be true, there’s a theory that coffee beans should lose their caffeine when roasted for a longer time. 

And since we use partial roasting in this case, it’s safe to say that white coffee caffeine is a bit higher than in your regular dark coffee. In fact, lightly roasted beans tend to have 5.4% extra caffeine content compared to dark roasted beans.

Thus, if you’re looking for a richer and more intense cup of joe, then you choosing white coffee grounds might be a great option for you!

White Coffee vs. Black Coffee: What are the Differences?

So what’s the difference between black and white coffee? Well, as we mentioned, the biggest distinction lies in the roasting intensity. Unlike regular dark varieties, white coffee beans are partially roasted, which gives them that delicious taste and retains more caffeine. 

And yes, the flavor is another biggest difference. White roast coffee has a more unique, nutty, and intense flavor since there’s a bit more caffeine in white coffee than it is in dark.

How to Make White Coffee

Now, you’re probably wondering: “Okay, but how to brew white coffee?” Is it the same as you would a regular one? Well, not exactly. There’s a bit different method of preparing white coffee:

  1. Grind your coffee beans in case they aren’t already pre-ground. Ensure that their consistency is like that of brown sugar;
  2. Place the ground coffee loosely in your espresso portafilter without tamping it down;
  3. Pass a shot of water via the grounds, and remember that you won’t be using this shot of water; 
  4. Run a double shot through the portafilter again. Now you can use this second shot as the espresso drink base.

And then you can preserve this white espresso shot just the way you do with the regular one.

How to Make Hawaij

Hawaij is a spice traditionally served with the best white coffee in Yemen, where the brewing process originated. This spice is made from grounded black pepper, cumin, cardamom, and turmeric. 

So to get the most delicious and authentic white coffee experience, you can add create this spice and serve it with your cup of java. 

Here is how you can make Hawaij:

  1. Grind the peppercorns, cardamom pods, coriander seeds, and cumin;
  2. Serve the ground spices in a bowl;
  3. Mix the blend with turmeric powder;
  4. Combine again using crumble in the saffron strands;
  5. Put the Hawaij in an airtight jar and store it in a cool place;
  6. Use it within three months


We hope that you now know what is white coffee! All and all this is a fantastic java, every coffee enthusiast will surely love. And if you haven’t tried it yet, we would highly recommend giving some white coffee a shot – its intense, savory, and special flavor will surely leave you as impressed as we were when first tried it! 

Or perhaps you’ve already tried white coffee before? Then share your thoughts and experience in the comments below, we would love to know whether you like white roast coffee!

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