There’s such a thing as white coffee, and we’re trying to understand the science behind it. Read on to find out what white coffee is and what you need to know about it.
We associate coffee with the color black. It’s easy to see why since many of us take our java black. But there are more ways than one to enjoy a lovely cup of coffee, and white coffee is one of them.
In this article, we’re untangling the meaning of white coffee and exploring its origins to understand how it’s different from regular coffee and flat white coffee. We’re also clarifying whether it’s possible to brew whole-ground white coffee beans at home. Lastly, you can learn all the necessary steps for brewing pre-ground coffee beans using three different machines.
Table of Contents
- What is white coffee?
- Can I brew whole-bean white coffee at home?
- How to brew white coffee grounds
Let’s start with the definition of white coffee.
What is White Coffee?
White coffee is under-roasted coffee, brewed using white coffee beans at around 325 degrees F (163 degrees C).
White beans typically have a lighter color than traditional coffee beans, producing coffee that has a lighter color, too: pale beige.
Some people refer to white coffee as light roast coffee. But the two terms aren’t interchangeable. You can make light roast coffee with any coffee bean, but you can make white coffee using only white beans.
In the next section, let’s check out a bit of history behind white coffee.
White coffee beans come from Yemen. They’re not a type of bean. In fact, white coffee beans have been around for centuries. But they only started gaining popularity in recent years.
Yemen is known for its high-quality coffee beans, and Yemeni coffee is among the most expensive coffee in the world. The country’s climate and terrain are ideal for growing coffee beans. And the beans produced there are known for their unique flavor.
In Yemen, white coffee is traditionally flavored with a spice mix called hawaij.
In the next section, check out the differences between white coffee and regular coffee.
White Coffee vs Regular Coffee
While white coffee and regular coffee come from coffee beans, there are a few key differences between the two:
- As mentioned in the previous section, white coffee is made by roasting white coffee beans, which are pale beige. As a result, white coffee is pale beige. Meanwhile, regular coffee is made by roasting light-to-dark-brown coffee beans, so it’s light-to-dark brown.
- Roasting white coffee beans takes about half the time necessary for roasting light-to-dark-brown coffee beans. While roasting regular coffee typically requires two cracks, roasting white coffee stops before the first crack.
- The temperature required for roasting white coffee is around 325 degrees F (163 degrees C), which demonstrates that white coffee is under-roasted. In contrast, light roast coffee, which requires a lower temperature than medium and dark roast coffee beans, needs around 380 – 400 degrees F (193 – 204 degrees C).
- Thanks to the under-roasting process, white coffee has more caffeine than regular coffee. The longer the roasting process, the more caffeine gets eliminated. A cup of white coffee has about 60-70mg of caffeine, while a cup of regular coffee has about 40-50mg of caffeine.
- Another effect of the under-roasting process is the taste. White coffee is less bitter than regular coffee since the natural sugars don’t get caramelized when heated at low temperatures. So the flavor profile of white coffee is nutty and light compared to the one of regular coffee.
- High acidity is another side-effect of the under-roasting process. Compared to regular coffee, white coffee has a bright acidic flavor.
In the next section, check out the differences between white coffee and flat white coffee.
White Coffee vs Flat White Coffee
Many people confuse white coffee with flat white coffee. But these are two distinct types of coffee.
Flat white coffee is espresso with a blend of micro-foamed milk poured on top. So flat white coffee is regular coffee with added whiteners.
The only connection between white coffee and flat white coffee is that many master roasters recommend brewing white coffee in an espresso maker to highlight its natural flavors.
The English refer to white coffee as any coffee with added flavorings to make it look white, such as milk or cream. But that’s false. There are no sub-types of white coffee since the authentic term refers to the roasting process.
In the next section, find out if you can brew whole beans of white coffee at home.
Can I Brew Whole-Bean White Coffee at Home?
It’s incredibly difficult to brew whole-bean white coffee at home since you need commercial-grade equipment.
A home roasting machine isn’t capable of dealing with the hard and gritty texture of white coffee grounds. On top of that, you must remove the white coffee beans from the roaster right before the first crack, which is impossible to time without previous experience.
Since white coffee beans don’t crack during the roasting process, it’s quite challenging to grind them, which is why commercial-grade grinders are preferred for this job.
The point is that you risk ruining the entire experience by attempting to brew whole-bean white coffee at home. You might even wish to quit it due to technical reasons only. So it’s best to buy and prepare pre-ground white coffee beans.
In the next section, find out how to brew white coffee grounds.
How to Brew White Coffee Grounds
Once you purchase white coffee grounds, you can brew them at home using an espresso maker, Moka pot, or AeroPress. Here’s what you should know about each machine:
- An espresso machine is the most expensive out of these three options, but it yields the best results when it comes to bringing out the natural flavor of white coffee.
- Moka pots (stovetop espresso makers) are a bit more complicated to use than espresso machines, but they are cheaper and deliver similar results. Brewing a cup of white coffee using a Moka pot is similar to brewing a double-shot of white coffee using an espresso machine.
- Using an AeroPress is easier than using a Moka pot and a bit more complex than using an espresso maker. But it’s affordable and portable. A cup of white coffee made with an AeroPress is the same as making a double-shot of white coffee using an espresso maker.
Let’s start by brewing white coffee grounds using an espresso machine.
Using an Espresso Maker
The following instructions demonstrate how to brew white coffee grounds using an espresso machine:
- Add white coffee beans to the portafilter of the espresso machine: 0.25oz (7g) for a single shot or 0.5oz (14g) for a double shot of white coffee.
- Press the ground to ensure they stay compact in the portafilter. This step is important since ground white coffee beans are hard and don’t absorb water as well as regular ground coffee beans.
- Pre-soak the white coffee grounds to make up for the fact that they don’t absorb water well. To do this, start the shots and stop after four shots. Then wait for 30 seconds before running the shots as usual.
- You can drink white coffee simple or flavor it with hawaij or something else.
In the next section, find out how to brew white coffee grounds using a Moka pot.
Using a Moka Pot
The following instructions demonstrate how to brew white coffee grounds using a Moka pot:
- Boil at least 4fl oz (114ml) of water and place it in the bottom chamber of your Moka pot.
- Insert the filter basket and fill it with 0.5oz (14g) of white coffee grounds.
- Shake the filter basket so that the grounds are level.
- Place the top chamber of the Moka pot and move the pot to the stovetop.
- Set the stovetop to medium heat and allow the water in the bottom chamber to softly boil for several minutes.
- When the Moka pot makes a hissing sound, it’s time to remove it from the stovetop.
- Serve the white coffee with hawaij, almond milk, or other flavorings.
In the next section, find out how to brew white coffee grounds using an AeroPress.
Using an AeroPress
The following instructions demonstrate how to brew white coffee grounds using an AeroPress machine:
- Boil water on the stovetop.
- Insert a paper filter into the AeroPress cap.
- Use some of the boiled water to moisten the paper filter and cap.
- Put the AeroPress together after ensuring that all components are dry (aside from the paper filter and cap).
- Place the AeroPress flat on a surface and add the white coffee grounds.
- Check the temperature of the remaining hot water; it shouldn’t drop below 200 degrees F (93 degrees C).
- Gently pour hot water over the grounds, twice the amount of the white coffee grounds. For example, use 8fl oz of water (227 ml) for 4oz (114g) of coffee grounds.
- Gently tamp on the coffee grounds to ensure they are saturated evenly. Wait 30 seconds.
- Fill the chamber with the rest of the hot water. Wait 1 minute.
- Stir the grounds several times.
- Secure the cap of the AeroPress, flip it over, place it on top of a cup or mug, and apply pressure downward.
- Your white coffee is ready when you hear a hissing sound. Serve the white coffee plain or using your preferred flavorings.
The next section provides additional information about white coffee.
This section gives you simple answers to common questions about white coffee.
What are white coffee beans?
White coffee beans are under-roasted coffee beans with a bright and tangy taste. They’re often compared to green tea.
Is white coffee good for you?
Yes, white coffee is good for you. It’s rich in antioxidants and has more caffeine than regular coffee.
Can you spice white coffee?
Yes, you can spice white coffee with hawaij, almond milk, or any other favorite flavorings.
Is blonde coffee the same as white coffee?
No, blonde coffee isn’t the same as white coffee. Blonde coffee is a light roast coffee, while white coffee is under-roasted coffee.
The next and final section summarizes the entire article on white coffee.
All things considered, white coffee is an uncommon coffee that takes its name from the under-roasting process.
If you’re looking for an innovative way to enjoy the raw origins of coffee beans, you might fall in love with the nutty and bright flavor of white coffee. Besides, it provides more caffeine than black coffee. But it’s higher in acidity than regular coffee, so you might have to tone it down with a tamer if you’re prone to stomach issues.
What’s your take on white coffee? Share your thoughts in the comments below!