White coffee beans

White coffee beans

The coffee industry is a big business. In the USA alone it tops more than $85 billion a year. Have you heard of white coffee beans? This post will explain what white coffee beans are, where it comes from and what you can do with it.

What is white coffee? What are white coffee beans?

White coffee is simply coffee beans that are roasted half way through and at a lower temperature. They are roasted at 325⁰F.  The process is short, it usually ends before the first “crack”. The first crack is when the volume of the coffee bean expands and the bean becomes more brittle.

This gives the coffee and nutty taste and it is more white in color. Hence the “white coffee” name. The beans natural sugars are not caramelized so there is no bitter aftertaste.

White coffee originates from the Middle East. In Western countries “white coffee” is usually referring to black coffee with nothing added to it. But this white coffee has nothing to do with adding milk, cream or sugar. And don’t get white coffee confused with a flat white. It is referring to a light roast which started in Yemen.

And don’t get confused with white coffee in Malaysia. This is a coffee drink made with sweetened condensed milk and beans roasted in margarine.

Just to make it even more confusing, don’t get confused between “blonde coffee” and white coffee. A blonde roast is fully roasted coffee, while white coffee is the under roasted beans.

White coffee beans come from the same beans as regular coffee beans.  And it’s also the same as regular coffee, in that the quality of the bean makes a big difference.

Some people claim white coffee beans have more than fifty percent caffeine than fully roasted coffee. However, it’s probably better to seek a particular bean rather than a ligh roast if you are after a big caffeine hit.

How to make Hawaij 

Hawaij is pronounced “hu-why-adge” and refers to the distinct spice blend. It means “mixture” in Arabic. This is a special white coffee brewing process that comes from Yemen where white coffee was traditionally served with a spice called hawaij. This spice is popular in the Middle East and is often used to give a warm spicy flavor to soup, stew and coffee! Cardamom and ginger are some of the distinctive flavors that come through. The other spices in this mixture are cumin, pepper and turmeric.

Are there benefits to drinking white coffee?

White coffee actually has a stronger, bolder coffee flavor than regular coffee, so if that’s something you like then give white coffee a try. It is also known to have a more sour taste but no bitterness in the aftertaste that is very normal of regular coffee.

Because white coffee beans are lightly roasted  the subtle characteristics of the beans are enhanced by the light roast. But like with all coffee, the choice of bean will determine the final product.

There have been claims that white coffee is healthier than normal coffee due to the low roasting temperature. It is claimed that there is a greater quantity of chlorogenic acid. That is an antioxidant that may protect against cardiovascular disease and decrease inflammation within the body.  This is true, but if you prefer your black coffee, the health benefits are probably not worth switching for.

Where can I buy white coffee  beans?

White coffee beans are not as popular as the usual so may be harder to find in your area. It is starting to become possible to pick up white coffee without going to a speciality coffee shop. You might have to buy white coffee online if there are no local roasters in your area supplying white coffee.

How to brew white coffee beans?

When white coffee beans come out of the roaster they are harder than a fully roasted coffee bean. This means they need a more powerful grinder than any at home grinder. Keep this in mind if you were thinking of grinding your own white beans!

If you buy your beans from a roaster, they will usually grind them for you so you don’t ruin your own home grinder. Once you have your ground coffee, you can brew it in the same way as you would brew regular coffee.

White coffee is best brewed in espresso form. However, you can also make it in the form of a drip.

And when you drink your white coffee, you don’t need to add anything. White coffee is usually consumer “black”, without adding milk or creamer. Some people swear by drinking white coffee with almond milk as this can enhance the already nutty notes of the coffee.

For people who get heartburn or acid reflux, you may want to add a little diary to help temper the high acidity that comes from a light roast.  


Even if you don’t like coffee, you might want to give white coffee a try. Most people compare white roast coffee to tea rather than a normal cup of coffee. Have you tried white coffee before? And how if so, how did you like it?

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