What is a White Coffee? A Beginners Quick Roasty Guide 2024

Last updated on September 4th, 2023 by Britt Baker

what is a white coffee

Coffee drinkers often unite in their wonder over the latest drinks and concoctions. After all, there’s so many varieties to enjoy, from regular drip coffee to lattes to cold brew. It’s hard not to be curious when a new coffee product or beverage comes to the market.

While white coffee has been around for decades, it only really began to increase in popularity in the past several years. But, what is white coffee really? 

Sit back and enjoy a delicious brew as we break down the nuance that is white coffee, from the history, the benefits of white coffee, the taste, where to purchase it, and much more!

What is a White Coffee: Explained

Despite the name, white coffee isn’t actually a type of coffee drink. The name comes from the color of the coffee beans as a result of the roasting process.

White coffee refers to roasting coffee beans at a lower temperature and in half the time. The coffee beans produced not only have a noticeably lighter color but also a sweet and nutty flavor profile that is unique when compared with other coffee roasts.

The green coffee beans roasted to get white coffee are the same beans used in light, medium, or dark roast coffees. The difference lies in the temperature the beans are roasted at. Typically, white coffee is roasted in the lower 300 degree Fahrenheit range. For comparison, dark roast coffee is typically brewed around the 465-475 degree range.

The History of White Coffee

light roasted white coffee beans
Coffee beans roasted on a lower temp for less time means a whole new taste profile. Photo by Angela Pham

The roasting method used for white coffee has been around for over 50 years, however this variety of coffee didn’t begin to spread in popularity until the past decade. The boost to its recognition came from the idea that white coffee was an excellent choice for lattes.

The heavier caffeine kick appealed to many coffee drinkers, as well as research that has shown white coffee retains more antioxidants than darker roasted coffees.

Benefits of White Coffee

Because of the lower temperatures used during the roasting process of white coffee, there are some benefits to this drink when compared with other standard coffee roasts.

For example, the lower heat used means that more nutrients remain even after the roasting process. In addition, more of the caffeine remains, offering a greater boost for those looking for a more highly caffeinated cup.

White coffee also maintains higher antioxidant levels when compared with dark roast coffee, as less are lost during the roasting process. Chlorogenic acid is one of the antioxidants maintained and is known for its metabolic, cardiovascular, anti cancer properties.

The Taste Profile

White coffee usually has a distinct nutty smooth flavor with acidic tones. Because the roast process is low heat and quicker than usual, most of the acidic flavors have not been roasted out.

white coffee made black
A nutty smooth flavor almost like tea is how most coffee drinkers describe white coffee.
Photo by Brigitte Tohm

But the flavor profile can change depending on the origin and quality of coffee beans used in the first place.

  • For example starting off with low acid beans can counter the acidity of white coffee roasting.

Also depending on the brewing method used, you may get a fruity flavor or more bitter coffee.

White Coffee vs. Blond Roast

There are several key differences between white coffee and blond roast coffee.

  • While blond roast coffee is typically roasted between 355 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit, white coffee is usually roasted around 325 degrees.
  • White coffee is also roasted for a significantly lower length of time, 5-6 minutes, versus blond coffee, which is roasted for about 10-15 minutes.

Due to the differences in roasting times and temperatures, the flavor profiles of white and blond roast coffees also differ. While blond coffee has a fruity, tangy, and sour taste, white coffee has a sweet and nutty profile. White coffee also contains a higher caffeine content because of the roasting process.

How to Make White Coffee

While brewing white coffee differs from brewing other types of coffees, it’s still possible to do at home. To make white coffee, consider using an espresso machine, an AeroPress, or a Moka pot.

These methods are the most ideal because they use the much needed hot water and pressure to extract the aroma and flavors from white coffee beans. Espresso is a great way to showcase the flavors of single origin beans that have been white roasted.

You can also use a French press for brewing. If you choose this option, be sure to brew the beans for about 10 minutes longer to really extract the flavor from the white coffee beans.

When brewing white coffee, keep in mind that this variety of coffee does not act or look quite the same as other coffee beans you may be used to. Since white coffee beans can be so stubborn, consider purchasing pre-ground beans, as grinding the beans can be extremely difficult, even for commercial grinders.

If you want a little more taste and sweetness, you can also add in milk to make a latte like beverage or cream.

Where to Buy White Coffee Beans

When choosing to buy white coffee, there are some great, flavorful options available. Here are a few of our top recommended white coffees to choose from:

Wired Willey’s White Coffee

Wired Willey's White Coffee
A highly caffeinated option which contains lower acid than other, darker roasted coffees and has a tasty nutty flavor.

Last update on 2024-06-19

Bargreen Espresso Classico White Coffee

Bargreen Espresso Classico White Coffee
A delightful option that brews great either using an espresso machine or a Moka pot. It has a pleasantly sweet and nutty taste profile.

Last update on 2024-06-19

Poverty Bay Coffee White Tornado

Poverty Bay Coffee White Tornado
A deliciously nutty and sweet white coffee that offers up to 50% more caffeine than other coffees, while maintaining less acidity and more antioxidants.

Last update on 2024-06-19

Final Thoughts

If you’re a coffee drinker, then white coffee is worth trying out. Its something different compared to your typical every day Keurig or Nespresso beverage. The nutty smooth flavors can be something to mix into your repertoire of coffee beverages.

Have you tried white coffee? Tell us your experience in the comments!


Is White Coffee Healthier than Regular Coffee?

There isn’t any reliable information available about whether white coffee is significantly healthier than regular coffee. However, due to the shorter roasting process, more nutrients are believed to remain within white coffee beans, in comparison to longer roasted regular coffee.

Does White Coffee Have More Caffeine?

Traditionally many coffees lose a lot of their caffeine due to the roasting process. However, white coffee, which is roasted for a much shorter length of time, retains a lot more of its caffeine content.

The amount of caffeine can vary depending on the brew method chosen and what amount of coffee grounds you use, but white coffee consistently contains more caffeine than other roasts.

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