What is White Coffee and How Is It Different From Regular Coffee?

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Move over black brew, there’s a new coffee in town. White coffee bursts onto the scene with nutty sweetness, floral notes, and a surprisingly high caffeine kick. Forget what you thought you knew – this light-roasted wonder is about to rock your taste buds. Ready to explore? Let’s dive in and brew up a whole new coffee experience!

White Coffee Beans
White coffee beans are roasted for a very short amount of time.

What is White Coffee?

“White coffee” can have two meanings, but this post focuses on the lighter side: light roast coffee.

This unique coffee is roasted for a shorter time and at a lower temperature than regular coffee, leaving the beans a light beige color and creating a distinct flavor profile. Here’s what sets it apart:

  • Flavor: Nutty, sweet, and less acidic compared to regular coffee’s bold profile.
  • Caffeine: Can be higher than regular coffee due to less roasting driving off less caffeine.
  • Beans: Lighter in color and denser than regular coffee beans.

Key Takeaway: While “white coffee” can also refer to a Malaysian-style coffee with different characteristics, this post explored the fascinating world of light-roast white coffee, where a lighter touch unlocks a unique flavor experience.

Roasting Process

White coffee beans are roasted to a much lower temperature compared to regular coffee beans. The roasting temperature for white coffee is in the low 300-degree range, whereas a light or “blond” roast for regular coffee is around 420 degrees. This lower temperature roasting results in a whitish-colored bean that is denser and harder than beans roasted to darker levels1.

Caffeine Content

Due to the lighter roasting process, white coffee retains up to 50% more caffeine than regular coffee. This is because the roasting process burns off caffeine, and since white coffee is roasted for a shorter period and at lower temperatures, more caffeine remains in the beans.

Flavor Profile

White coffee and regular coffee differ significantly in taste due to their distinct roasting processes and the resulting flavor profiles:

  • Roasting Process: White coffee is roasted at lower temperatures for a shorter period, preserving its light color and mild flavor. Regular coffee beans are roasted at higher temperatures for longer, giving them a dark color and robust flavor.
  • Flavor Profile: White coffee has a lighter, nuttier taste compared to darker roasts. It lacks the caramelization found in medium or dark roast coffee, making it typically less bitter. The sweetness in white coffee comes from the natural sugars in the lightly roasted beans, while the nuttiness is due to the natural oils retained during the roasting process. Some descriptions also include a hint of floral notes.
  • Acidity and Bitterness: White coffee can be more acidic than other roasts, which might not be preferable for those seeking a gentler cup. However, it generally has a less bitter taste due to the absence of caramelization in the beans.
  • Brewing and Additives: The preparation process and any added sweeteners or creamers can further adjust the flavor profile of white coffee. Almond milk, for example, is a popular additive to complement its nutty flavor.
White Coffee Beans Vs Dark Roast Coffee Beans
White coffee beans vs dark roast coffee beans

Physical Characteristics

White coffee beans are much harder and denser than traditionally roasted coffee beans, making them very difficult to grind with a typical home coffee grinder. For this reason, white coffee is often sold pre-ground rather than as whole beans.

health benefits

White coffee offers several potential health benefits due to its unique characteristics. Here are some of the benefits supported by the available information:

  1. Higher Caffeine Content: White coffee contains up to 50% more caffeine than regular coffee, which can boost energy and increase alertness.
  2. More Antioxidants: It retains more antioxidants than regular coffee, including chlorogenic acid, which has been linked to various health benefits such as weight loss, improved heart health, reduced inflammation, and reduced risk of diabetes and high blood pressure.
  3. Less Acidic: White coffee is less acidic than regular coffee, making it a suitable option for those with sensitive stomachs.
  4. Unique Taste: The taste profile of white coffee is described as sweet and nutty, offering a different flavor experience compared to regular coffee.

It’s important to note that while these potential benefits are supported by the available information, more research is needed to fully understand the health effects of white coffee.

where can I buy white coffee beans?

You can find white coffee beans in a variety of places, both online and in physical stores. Here are a few options:

Online retailers:

  • Amazon: Amazon offers a wide selection of white coffee beans from different brands and roasters. You can find both light roast and Malaysian-style white coffee beans.
  • Coffee websites: Many coffee roasters sell their beans directly on their websites. You can often find unique and small-batch white coffee beans this way.
  • Specialty grocery stores: Some specialty grocery stores, such as Whole Foods Market, Cost Plus World Market, and Trader Joe’s sell white coffee beans.
Poverty Bay Coffee Co B07L6S5V3B 600X600 1
Poverty Bay White Coffee is available on Amazon for $14

Physical stores:

  • Coffee shops: Some coffee shops sell white coffee beans, either by the bag or already ground. You can also try asking a barista if they can recommend a good place to buy white coffee beans.
  • Local coffee roasters: If you have a local coffee roaster, they may sell white coffee beans. This is a great way to support local businesses and get fresh, high-quality beans.

Here are some additional things to keep in mind when buying white coffee beans:

  • Consider the roast level: If you’re looking for a lighter-bodied coffee with more caffeine, but you don’t see white coffee as an option, simply choose the lightest possible roast. If you prefer a fuller-bodied coffee with a slightly sweeter flavor, choose a medium roast.
  • Read the reviews: Before you buy, read online reviews of different white coffee beans to see what other people think.
  • Ask for recommendations: If you’re not sure where to start, ask a barista or coffee shop employee for recommendations.


In summary, white coffee differs from regular coffee in its roasting process, caffeine content, flavor, and health benefits. Its unique characteristics offer a distinct coffee drinking experience, appealing to those looking for an alternative to traditional coffee flavors or seeking a coffee with higher caffeine content and potential health benefits.

  1. https://www.povertybay.com/coffee-blog/what-is-white-coffee ↩ī¸Ž
Avatar Of Kelsey Todd
With over two decades in the coffee industry, Kelsey is a seasoned professional barista with roots in Seattle and Santa Barbara. Accredited by The Coffee Association of America and a member of The Baristas Guild, he combines practical expertise with a profound understanding of coffee's history and cultural significance. Kelsey tries his best to balance family time with blogging time and fails miserably.