What Is White Coffee

There appears to be quite a bit of confusion around the term white coffee. Some people seem to think that it’s coffee that has milk, cream, or other coffee additives added to it that make the coffee appear to be white. However, what those people are describing is either a Cafe Au Lait or a Flat White. Actual white coffee is something different altogether.

To dispel some of the confusion around white coffee, we’ve decided to address the subject matter directly. In this article, we’re going to delve into the actual definition of white coffee, where it originated, and what people can expect it to taste like. Since we’re big fans of white coffee, we hope that this article will help steer some of our readers towards this product.

What Is White Coffee?

The term white coffee doesn’t refer to how the coffee is served but refers to how the beans are roasted. White coffee is roasted at a lower temperature and for a shorter amount of time than even light roasted coffees. While light-to-dark roasted coffees are usually roasted at anywhere from 450 to 500-degrees Fahrenheit, white coffee is only brewed at 325-degrees Fahrenheit. The results are white looking coffee beans that are extremely hard and needs a specially made coffee grinder for it to be properly ground.

Because it is roasted at lower temperatures than other coffee roasts, it also tends to have higher caffeine content. This is because the longer the roasting time, the lower the amount of caffeine found in the coffee, so it stands to reason that white coffee grounds would have some of the highest caffeine amounts available.

The Origins Of White Coffee

Although it’s currently popular for coffee shops all over North America to make and serve white coffee, this coffee didn’t originate in the U.S. Instead, it was first made in the Middle East—in Yemen, to be precise. In that country, white coffee has been brewed for hundreds of years. It’s a coffee that’s roasted to a light yellow color at lower temperatures, ground up, brewed, and then mixed with a blend of spices called Hawaij.

What is Hawaij? It’s a blend of spices that might include ginger, clove, cinnamon, and cardamom if it’s a sweet Hawaij, or cumin, turmeric, black pepper, or cloves if it’s a savory Hawaij. Of course, there are different versions of white coffee available in not only different parts of Yemen, but also in different countries including the U.S., Indonesia, Malaysia, and Lebanon.

Is White Coffee Healthier Than Black Coffee?

One of the most frequent questions about white coffee (right after asking what it is) is if it has health benefits over black coffee. And this isn’t an easy question to answer. While white coffee does have more Chlorogenic Acid than black coffee, an antioxidant that scientists believe protects against inflammation and heart disease, we’re afraid that the science isn’t conclusive, yet.

In our opinion, even if this antioxidant is proven to have higher levels of this antioxidant, it’s probably not a large enough amount to make a difference. Therefore, if you try white coffee and find out that you don’t enjoy it, you shouldn’t feel like you have to drink it for its health benefits because its likely health benefits are probably minimal.

The Pros & Cons Of White Coffee

Let’s take a few moments to address some of the pros and cons of white coffee. Although we’re not trying to dissuade people from trying this type of coffee any more than we’re trying to persuade them to try it, we do think it’s a good idea if all of our readers understand what they’re getting before they buy their next bag of white coffee available.


  • Has A Milder Taste Than Black Coffee
  • May Be Healthier Than White Coffee
  • They Have A Slightly Higher Caffeine Content


  • They Are More Expensive Than Other Coffees
  • They Have To Be Commercially Ground
  • How To Make Traditional White Coffee

How To Make Traditional White Coffee

Okay, now that we all have a better idea of what white coffee is, we think it’s now time to talk about how it should be prepared. We think that we will begin with making a traditional white coffee as they make it in many parts of the Middle East first, and then we’ll talk about making an “Americanized” version of white coffee.

Step One: Assemble Your Ingredients

The first step to making a traditional white coffee is to assemble your ingredients and tools. Below are some of the things that are going to be needed for the process of making a traditional white coffee.

  • 4-Cup Moka Pot
  • 2.5-Tablespoons Of Ground White Coffee
  • Filtered Water
  • Hawaij Spice Mix

Step Two: Make The Coffee According To Moka Pot Instructions

Following your Moka pot instructions, make the white coffee as you would for any other types of coffee. Brewing white coffee is very similar to brewing black coffee, and when you’re done you should end up with a tan coffee that has a mild nutty flavor to it.

Step Three: Add Hawaij Spice Mix

Once you have your coffee brewed, you can add 1-teaspoon of the Hawaij spice mix. This spice mix can be easily purchased online, but if you want to make it yourself, we’ve included a recipe on how to make it below.

Recipe For Hawaij Spice Mix

Okay, here is the recipe for the Hawaij spice mix for those of you who want to make your own.


  • 6-Tablespoons Black Peppercorns
  • 4-Tablespoons Cumin Seed
  • 2.5-Tablespoons Coriander Seeds
  • 1.5-Tablespoons Green Cardamom Pods
  • 3.5 Tablespoons Ground Turmeric
  • 1.5 Teaspoons Whole Cloves


Place a frying pan on medium-low heat and then put all of the spices, except for the turmeric, in the frying pan. Fry them without oil until they’re warmed up and have begun to release their fragrance. Remove them from the heat and then place them into a bowl to cool. Once cool, grind all of the spices and then add the turmeric to it. Be sure to store in an airtight container in a cool dark place.

How To Make American White Coffee

Since we’ve covered traditional white coffee, we thought it would be a good idea to make an American version of this drink. Although there are tons of different types of white coffees made in the U.S., the following recipe is our favorite.


  • A French Press Coffee Maker
  • A Shockproof Glass
  • 1-Cup Of Ice
  • 2-Tablespoons Of Ground White Coffee
  • 1-Tablespoons Of Hazelnut Syrup
  • 1-Tablespoon Of Hazelnut Creamer
  • 6-Ounces Of Water
  • 1-Pinch Of Hot Chocolate Powder


Now that we’ve assembled everything we need to make the drink let’s start making it. As you’ll probably notice about an American white coffee, it’s not very complicated to make, and it tends to be sweeter than traditional Middle Eastern versions of the drink.

Step One: Brew Using Your French Press Coffee Maker

Following the directions of your French press coffee maker, make sure to make six ounces of white coffee. If you find the mixture to be too weak for your tastes you can always adjust it, but we always use 2-teaspoons of white coffee for every six ounces of water.

Step Two: Prepare The Glass

In your glass add your creamer, hazelnut syrup, and a pinch of hot-chocolate powder. When that’s done, be sure to add approximately 1-cup of ice to the glass.

Step Three: Pour The Coffee

When the coffee has been brewed and the glass has been prepared, it’s now time to gently pour the white coffee into the glass. When that’s done, give it a gentle stir with your coffee spoon. You can now enjoy this icy American white coffee.