How To Make White Coffee: A Comprehensive Guide

White coffee is a smooth and creamy drink that has gained popularity for its milder flavor compared to traditional coffee. Originating from Malaysia, this unique beverage is made using roasted coffee beans and milk without the addition of sugar. In this comprehensive guide, you will learn about the history of white coffee, the ingredients needed to make it, and a step-by-step guide to creating this delightful drink at home.

Quick Answer: How To Make White Coffee

To make white coffee, you will need freshly roasted coffee beans, hot water, and sweetened condensed milk. Start by roasting the coffee beans at a low temperature, then grind them to a fine consistency. Brew the ground coffee with hot water, and finally, pour in the sweetened condensed milk to create the creamy and rich white coffee.

The History Of White Coffee

White coffee has its origins in Ipoh, Malaysia, where it was first concocted by the Hainanese immigrants in the early 20th century. Initially, the term ‘white coffee’ referred to the method of roasting the coffee beans with palm oil margarine, which gave the beans a pale color. Over time, the recipe evolved, and the modern version of white coffee emerged as a favorite choice among coffee enthusiasts.

Ingredients For White Coffee

Coffee Beans

The foundation of white coffee lies in the quality of the coffee beans. Unlike traditional coffee, white coffee is made from lightly roasted beans. These beans are roasted at a lower temperature for a longer period, resulting in a lighter color and a milder taste. Arabica beans are commonly used for white coffee due to their inherent mildness and distinct flavor profile.

Sweetened Condensed Milk

Unlike traditional coffee, white coffee does not utilize regular milk or cream. Instead, sweetened condensed milk is the key ingredient that contributes to the drink’s creamy texture and sweet flavor. It is crucial to use sweetened condensed milk, as the sweetness of this ingredient distinguishes white coffee from other coffee variations.

Hot Water

Hot water is essential for brewing white coffee. The water temperature, ideally around 185°F (85°C), plays a critical role in extracting the flavors from the lightly roasted coffee beans, resulting in a balanced and nuanced taste profile.

Step-by-Step Guide To Making White Coffee

Step 1: Roasting The Coffee Beans

  1. Preheat your oven to 325°F (163°C).
  2. Place the coffee beans on a baking tray in a single layer.
  3. Roast the beans in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure even roasting.
  4. Keep a close eye on the beans; they should achieve a light brown color, slightly lighter than traditional coffee beans.

Step 2: Grinding The Coffee Beans

  1. Allow the roasted coffee beans to cool completely.
  2. Transfer the cooled beans to a coffee grinder.
  3. Grind the beans to a fine consistency; they should resemble the texture of coarse cornmeal.

Step 3: Brewing White Coffee

  1. Boil water in a kettle and let it cool for a minute to reach the optimal temperature of 185°F (85°C).
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of the finely ground coffee to the bottom of a coffee cup.
  3. Slowly pour the hot water over the coffee grounds, allowing the mixture to steep for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Gently stir the brew to ensure the coffee grounds are fully immersed and the flavors are fully extracted.

Step 4: Adding Sweetened Condensed Milk

  1. Pour in 2-3 tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk, depending on your desired level of sweetness and creaminess.
  2. Stir the mixture until the sweetened condensed milk is fully incorporated, creating the signature creamy texture of white coffee.
  3. Allow the drink to cool slightly before enjoying its flavorful and aromatic richness.

White coffee has become a beloved beverage for those seeking a milder and creamier alternative to traditional coffee. This unique drink, originating from Malaysia, has garnered a dedicated following due to its distinctive flavor and luxurious texture. By roasting the coffee beans at a lower temperature, utilizing sweetened condensed milk, and following the step-by-step guide provided, you can easily create your own delicious white coffee at home. Embrace the tradition and craftsmanship of this revered beverage as you savor every sip of your meticulously prepared white coffee.

Different Methods Of Brewing White Coffee

White coffee is a unique and flavorful beverage that has gained popularity in recent years. It is known for its light color and smooth taste, making it a favorite among coffee enthusiasts. It is important to note that white coffee is not the same as regular or black coffee. White coffee refers to a coffee preparation method rather than a specific type of bean.

There are several methods for brewing white coffee, each with its own unique characteristics and nuances. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most popular methods:

Traditional Malaysian Method

The traditional Malaysian method is perhaps the most well-known way of brewing white coffee. It involves roasting the coffee beans at a low temperature for a longer period of time. The beans are then ground into a fine powder.

To prepare the coffee, a small amount of hot water is poured over the finely ground coffee powder in a cloth sock-like bag known as a "kopi sock." The bag is then immersed in a cup or mug filled with hot water. The coffee is allowed to steep for a few minutes before the sock is removed, leaving behind a rich and flavorful white coffee.

Espresso-Based White Coffee

Another popular method of brewing white coffee is using an espresso machine. This method involves the use of finely ground coffee beans and a high-pressure brewing process.

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To make espresso-based white coffee, the finely ground coffee beans are tamped down into a portafilter and inserted into the espresso machine. The machine forces hot water through the coffee grounds, resulting in a concentrated and full-bodied coffee.

The espresso can be enjoyed on its own or used as a base for various white coffee drinks such as lattes or cappuccinos. This method is favored by those who appreciate the strong and robust flavor of espresso.

Cold Brew Method

The cold brew method is a popular choice for those who prefer a smoother and less acidic cup of white coffee. This method involves steeping coarsely ground coffee beans in cold or room temperature water for an extended period of time.

To make cold brew white coffee, coarsely ground coffee beans are placed in a container with cold or room temperature water. The mixture is then stirred to ensure that all the coffee grounds are saturated. The container is covered and left to steep for 12 to 24 hours, depending on desired strength.

Once the steeping process is complete, the mixture is strained to remove the coffee grounds. The resulting liquid is a concentrated coffee that can be diluted with water or milk to taste. The cold brew method is known for producing a smooth and mellow flavor with less bitterness compared to other methods.

Tips For Choosing The Right Beans For White Coffee

The choice of coffee beans is crucial in achieving the desired flavor profile for white coffee. Here are some essential tips to consider when selecting beans:

Light Roast Beans

White coffee is typically made from light roast beans. These beans are roasted for a shorter amount of time compared to medium or dark roast beans, resulting in a lighter color and a more delicate flavor. Light roast beans are known for their higher acidity and floral and fruity notes, which enhance the flavor profile of white coffee.

Single-Origin Beans

Choosing single-origin beans can greatly enhance the flavor of white coffee. Single-origin beans are sourced from a specific region or farm, allowing for more distinct flavors to be showcased. This can bring a unique taste experience to your white coffee and allow you to explore the nuances of different coffee-growing regions.

Arabica Beans

Arabica beans are generally preferred for white coffee due to their superior quality and flavor. They are known for their smooth and nuanced taste, often featuring notes of chocolate, fruit, or floral undertones. Arabica beans tend to have a higher acidity, which adds brightness to the flavor profile of white coffee.

Freshly Roasted Beans

To ensure the best flavor in your white coffee, it is important to use freshly roasted beans. Coffee beans are at their peak flavor within two to four weeks of being roasted. Look for beans with a roast date on the packaging or purchase them from a local roaster who can provide you with freshly roasted beans.

Experiment With Different Beans

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of beans to find your preferred flavor profile. Consider trying beans from different regions, blends, or even flavored beans to create your own unique twist on white coffee. The possibilities are endless, so explore and have fun with your coffee choices!

The Importance Of Water In Making White Coffee

While the choice of beans is essential, the quality of water used to brew white coffee should not be overlooked. The water can greatly impact the taste and overall experience of your white coffee. Here are some key considerations when it comes to water:

Filtered Or Bottled Water

Using filtered or bottled water is generally recommended for brewing white coffee. Tap water often contains minerals and impurities that can affect the taste and quality of the coffee. By using filtered or bottled water, you can ensure a cleaner and more consistent flavor.

Water Temperature

The water temperature plays a crucial role in the coffee extraction process. For most brewing methods, a temperature between 195°F to 205°F (90°C to 96°C) is recommended. This range allows for optimal extraction of flavors from the coffee grounds while avoiding over-extraction or bitterness.

Water-to-Coffee Ratio

The ratio of water to coffee is important in achieving the desired strength and flavor of your white coffee. The general guideline is to use one to two tablespoons of coffee grounds for every six ounces of water. However, you can adjust this ratio according to your personal preference.

Pre-wetting The Coffee Grounds

Some coffee enthusiasts recommend pre-wetting the coffee grounds before brewing. This involves pouring a small amount of hot water over the grounds and allowing them to bloom for about 30 seconds before proceeding with the brewing process. This step helps to release trapped gases and enhances the overall flavor extraction.

Proper Water Storage

If you store the water in a container, ensure that it is clean and free from any residual flavors or odors. Avoid using containers that have been previously used for other liquids, as they can affect the taste of the water. It’s also important to store the water in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to maintain its freshness.

Enhancing The Flavor Of White Coffee With Add-ins

While white coffee can be enjoyed on its own, there are many add-ins that can enhance its flavor and create an even more delightful experience. Here are some popular add-ins to consider:

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Milk Or Cream

Adding milk or cream to white coffee can create a creamy and smooth texture while softening the acidity and bitterness. You can choose from various types of milk such as whole milk, skim milk, soy milk, or almond milk depending on your dietary preferences.


If you prefer a sweeter cup of white coffee, there are several sweeteners to choose from. Traditional white sugar, brown sugar, honey, or flavored syrups can all be used to add a touch of sweetness to your coffee. Remember to adjust the amount of sweetener based on your taste preferences.


Spices can add an interesting and unique twist to your white coffee. Cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, or vanilla extract can be added to the coffee grounds before brewing or sprinkled on top of the finished coffee for added flavor complexity. Experimenting with different spices can create a personalized and flavorful experience.

Whipped Cream Or Foam

For an indulgent treat, topping your white coffee with whipped cream or foam can add a luxurious touch. You can use store-bought whipped cream or make your own by whipping heavy cream with a touch of sugar. This addition not only enhances the presentation of the coffee but also adds a creamy and velvety texture.

Flavored Add-Ins

To further personalize your white coffee, consider adding flavored syrups such as caramel, vanilla, hazelnut, or chocolate. These add-ins can provide a rich and aromatic taste experience, transforming your white coffee into a decadent treat. Experiment with different combinations to find your favorite flavor pairing.

Brewing white coffee involves selecting the right beans, choosing the right brewing method, and paying attention to the quality of water used.

Health Benefits Of White Coffee

White coffee is a unique and delicious beverage that has gained popularity in recent years. Unlike traditional coffee, white coffee is not roasted as long, resulting in a lighter color and milder flavor.

  1. Lower Acid Content: White coffee is an excellent choice for individuals who experience acid reflux or have sensitive stomachs. Due to its shorter roasting process, white coffee has a lower acid content compared to traditional coffee, making it gentler on the digestive system.

  2. Higher Caffeine Content: If you’re looking for a morning pick-me-up, white coffee may be the right choice for you. The lighter roasting process preserves more caffeine in the beans, resulting in a stronger caffeine content compared to darker roasted coffee.

  3. Antioxidants: Like traditional coffee, white coffee contains a significant amount of antioxidants. These compounds help protect your body against free radicals, reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and certain types of cancer.

  4. Weight Management: White coffee can aid in weight management due to its higher caffeine content. Caffeine has been found to boost metabolism and increase fat oxidation, making it an effective tool in weight loss efforts.

Serving And Presentation Of White Coffee

  1. Choosing the Right Beans: The key to making good white coffee is using high-quality beans. Look for beans with a light to medium roast for the best results. Some popular options include Arabica, Ethiopian, and Colombian beans.

  2. Grinding the Beans: To ensure a consistent flavor and extraction, it is recommended to grind the beans right before brewing. Use a medium-coarse grind to allow for proper extraction without over-extraction, which can result in a bitter taste.

  3. Brewing Methods: There are several brewing methods you can choose from to make white coffee. The most common ones include drip brewing, pour-over, and French press. Each method will result in a slightly different flavor profile, so feel free to experiment and find the one that suits your taste preferences.

  4. Water Temperature and Ratio: When brewing white coffee, it is crucial to pay attention to the water temperature and ratio. The ideal water temperature for white coffee is between 195-205°F (90-96°C). As for the ratio, a general guideline is using 1-2 tablespoons of coffee grounds for every 6 ounces (177 ml) of water. Adjust the ratio based on your desired strength.

  5. Brewing Time: The brewing time can vary depending on the method you choose. Generally, white coffee requires a shorter brewing time compared to traditional coffee due to its lighter roast. Aim for a brewing time of around 2-4 minutes, depending on your taste preference.

  6. Serving Suggestions: White coffee can be enjoyed black or with your choice of milk and sweetener. Some popular milk options include whole milk, almond milk, and oat milk. To enhance the flavor, consider adding a sprinkle of cinnamon or a dash of vanilla extract. Serve your white coffee in a ceramic or glass cup to showcase its light color and delicate flavor.

Comparing White Coffee To Other Types Of Coffee

  1. Flavor Profile: White coffee has a unique flavor profile that sets it apart from other types of coffee. It has a nutty and slightly sweet taste with a mild acidity. Compared to traditional coffee, white coffee is lighter and less bitter, making it a popular choice among those who prefer milder flavors.

  2. Caffeine Content: As mentioned earlier, white coffee has a higher caffeine content compared to darker roasted coffee. This is because the shorter roasting process preserves more caffeine in the beans. If you’re looking for a strong caffeine boost, white coffee is a great choice.

  3. Acidity: One of the main differences between white coffee and traditional coffee is the acidity level. White coffee has a lower acid content, making it a gentler option for individuals with sensitive stomachs or acid reflux. Traditional coffee, especially dark roasts, can be more acidic and may cause discomfort for some people.

  4. Color and Appearance: White coffee gets its name from its pale color, which is lighter compared to traditional coffee. The lighter roast results in a blond or light brown hue, giving it a unique appearance. Traditional coffee, on the other hand, has a deep brown or black color.

  5. Roasting Process: The roasting process is what differentiates white coffee from traditional coffee. White coffee is roasted for a shorter time at a lower temperature, resulting in a lighter roast. Traditional coffee undergoes a longer roasting process, producing darker and more robust flavors.

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Troubleshooting Common Issues When Making White Coffee

  1. Bitter Taste: If your white coffee tastes bitter, it may be due to over-extraction. Over-extraction occurs when the coffee grounds are in contact with the water for too long, resulting in a bitter and unpleasant flavor. To remedy this, adjust your brewing time and grind size. Try reducing the brewing time and using a coarser grind to prevent over-extraction.

  2. Weak Flavor: If your white coffee lacks flavor and tastes weak, it may be due to under-extraction. Under-extraction occurs when the coffee grounds are not in contact with the water for a sufficient amount of time. To enhance the flavor, try increasing the brewing time and using a finer grind size.

  3. Inconsistent Brew: If you find that your white coffee tastes different from one batch to another, it may be due to inconsistent brewing parameters. Ensure that you are using a consistent water temperature, coffee-to-water ratio, and brewing time for each batch. This will help maintain consistency and improve the overall flavor profile.

  4. Cold Coffee: If your white coffee gets cold too quickly, it may be due to using a cold mug or insufficient insulation. Preheating your mug with hot water before pouring in your white coffee can help keep it warm for longer. Additionally, using an insulated mug or thermal carafe can also help retain heat.

  5. Stale Coffee: Stale coffee can result in a lackluster and flat flavor profile. To prevent this, make sure to store your coffee beans in an airtight container away from light, heat, and moisture. Additionally, purchase coffee beans in small quantities to ensure freshness and avoid prolonged storage.


White coffee offers a unique and flavorful alternative to traditional coffee. Its lighter roast, lower acidity, and higher caffeine content make it a popular choice for those who prefer milder flavors or have sensitivities to acidic coffee. By following the brewing methods and serving suggestions mentioned in this article, you can enjoy a delicious cup of white coffee in the comfort of your own home. Experiment with different brewing methods, bean types, and flavor additives to create your perfect cup of white coffee. Cheers!

FAQS On How To Make White Coffee

What Is White Coffee?

White coffee refers to a specific type of coffee that is made from coffee beans that have been roasted at a lower temperature and for a shorter duration, typically around half of the regular roasting time. This results in a less acidic and milder flavored coffee compared to traditional dark roasted coffees.

How Is White Coffee Prepared?

To prepare white coffee, start by grinding the coffee beans to a medium-coarse consistency. Then, take a coffee filter or a French press and add the desired amount of ground coffee. Boil water separately and allow it to cool for a few moments. Pour the hot water over the coffee and let it steep for about 4-5 minutes. Finally, carefully pour the brewed white coffee into your preferred cup or mug.

Does White Coffee Contain Milk?

Despite the name, white coffee does not actually contain milk as an ingredient. The term "white" refers to the pale color of the brewed coffee due to its light roast. However, if you prefer to add milk or any other desired ingredients to your white coffee, feel free to do so according to your personal taste.

What Does White Coffee Taste Like?

White coffee has a distinctive flavor profile that sets it apart from dark roasted coffees. It has a lighter body and is often described as having nutty undertones with hints of caramel and chocolate. Unlike dark roasted coffees, white coffee has a less bitter taste and is more mellow on the palate.

Can I Make White Coffee With Any Type Of Coffee Beans?

While white coffee can technically be made with any type of coffee beans, it is traditionally made using a specific variety of beans known as "Old Brown Java." These beans are aged for several years, which enhances their flavor and allows for a more unique white coffee experience. However, if you don’t have access to Old Brown Java beans, you can experiment with other light roast coffee beans to achieve a similar result.