Malaysian White Coffee And Malaysian Kopi

Malaysian White Coffee And Malaysian Kopi

Last updated on January 29th, 2024 at 12:36

Malaysian white coffee is different from regular white coffee and has its very own place in the coffee world, there is white coffee and there is Malaysian white coffee.

Malaysian coffee is great, tasty and sets itself apart from regular white coffee. This article talks about what is a unique coffee and details the tasty Malaysia Kopi.

Keep reading to find out more about these two tasty coffees.

What Is Malaysian White Coffee? A Little About The History Of White Coffee

White coffee is a very popular coffee drink in Malaysia with its origins in Ipoh, Perak in the Island nation. White coffee in Malaysia and elsewhere in the world is not in reference to the color of the coffee or the brewed coffee or the coffee beans.

Blonde roast is roasted at 196C (385F) and is not blonde either; it is a cinnamon in color. A white coffee which is also roasted at 385F (196C) but for half the time as a blonde roast.

The key difference is not the duration a lighter color, a blonde roast is roasted to the first crack and no more, roasting is immediately halted, a white coffee is roasted to just before the first crack.

In Malaysia and Ipoh in particular, the coffee beans are charcoal roasted with margarine or oil. This particular way of roasting and enjoying coffee was brought to Malaysia by the many Chinese immigrants.

White coffee, of various brands, are easy to find in Malaysian coffee shops all over the nation with particular towns taking special pride in their own local version or brand.

Georgetown white coffee, Penang white coffee and old town white coffee are popular in Penang island, Ipoh white coffee is popular in the town of Ipoh.

Coffee, be it white coffee or regular coffee in Malaysia is often enjoyed with condensed milk and is enjoyed by tourists and locals alike

Malaysian White Coffee
Malaysian Old Town White Coffee

Read: Kopi O 

What Is Malaysian Kopi?

Kopi is Malay for coffee, often you will see “Kopi O”, these two are not to be confused as Kopi and kopi o are two distinct coffee beverages. When the “o” is added (which is from the Hokkien language) it refers to a black coffee.

Kopi O is roasted in a special way with sugar and margarine to create a unique flavor.

Malaysian (and Singaporean) kopi is a blend of highly caffeinated robusta beans and rare Liberica coffee beans and are double roasted to achieve caramelized flavors. The double roasting process makes Malaysian Kopi stand out with a unique flavor.

The first round of roasting the coffee roasters roast the coffee beans to either a city or full city roast level, achieving a balance of full-bodied richness and acidity.

Both Liberica coffee beans and robusta beans are fruity, earthy and have floral notes, which is why roasters like to use a dark roast.

The second round of roasting takes place in a wok with sugar and margarine. Occasionally Ghee, sesame seeds and a touch of salt is added.

The roasting is continued until the coffee beans are a deep caramel color. The coffee mixture is then slowly poured onto a series of trays and then dried into slabs. Once dry, it is crushed and ground into caramelized instant coffee powder.

The nutty caramel flavors of Malaysian Kopi are the perfect base for making many Asian and South East Asian coffee drinks.

Read: Malaysian coffee

Malaysian White Coffee Brands

Let’s talk about some of the more popular white coffee brands that you will find in Malaysia.

Ipoh White Coffee Brand

White coffee was brought to the town of Ipoh by Chinese migrant tin miners in the 19th century. The aroma and thickness of the white coffee is what makes it popular and from there its fame grew.

The coffee is made white by adding a good portion of condensed milk to black coffee.

The brand is one of the most popular in Northern Malaysia.

Ipoh White Coffee Brand
Ipoh White Coffee By Nescafé

Old Town White Coffee

Established in 1999 and is much more than a coffee brand. They are a chain of coffee shops that are centered around the traditional coffee shop setting of Ipoh of the 1800s.

There are now 200+ coffee shops throughout Malaysia that are Old Town White Coffee.

It is considered as a healthy coffee by the local Chinese community where it was known as “White sweet coffee” as the sugars in the coffee beans have not caramelized.

Penang White Coffee

Penang white coffee is a brand of white coffee that is available on the island of Penang and is available in many forms, mainly as an instant coffee and coffee bags – sort of like tea bag but coffee inside and not tea.

Frequently Asked Questions About Malaysian White Coffee

How Is Malaysia White Coffee Made?

Malaysian white coffee is roasted using regular coffee beans but are roasted to a lighter color. The lightest commonly available roast is a blonde, a white coffee like a Malaysian white coffee is roasted at the same temperature and only for half the amount of time and before the first crack.

(A blonde roast is roasted to the first crack and immediately stopped).

Malaysian white coffee is also roasted with margarine or oil to produce a lighter color. When brewed, condensed milk is often used instead of dairy milk.

Why Is Ipoh White Coffee White?

Ipoh white coffee is an indigenous coffee by the population of Ipoh, it is white due to being roasted naturally, without sugar, wheat, oil or margarine (or anything else) makes them unlike Malaysian white coffee.

They are roasted like a traditional white coffee to just before the first crack and for half the time as blonde roast.

Is White Coffee Good For Health?

Yes, as it is roasted at a reduced temperature and for a much shorter period of time, white coffee is able to maintain more of their antioxidants and a greater quantity of Chlorogenic acid, which studies indicate has the ability to aid weight loss, reduce blood pressure and reduce the probability of diabetes.

What Does White Coffee Taste Like?

White coffee is a lot lighter and brighter than a dark roast coffee and is nuttier too. There is no caramelization of the sugars because of the short roasting time and low temperature.

What Are The Side Effects Of White Coffee?

There are specific side effects of white coffee that are unique to coffee. The only side effect is associated with consuming excess caffeine, more than 400 mg of caffeine per day. 

These side effects are headache, anxiety, heart palpitations, nervousness and so on. But they are not exclusive to white coffee and will only happen if you have excess caffeine in take.

Is White Coffee Stronger Than Regular Coffee?

Yes, while caffeine is a relatively stable molecule, some caffeine is lost as the roasting temperature and time is increased. Due to white coffee being roasted at the lowest roasting temperature and for the shortest period of time, there is 5.4% more caffeine in a white coffee than a blonde roast on average.

The difference is not much, and not one that you will notice at all. Blonde roasts are well known and well established as having slightly more caffeine than darker roasts.

Final Thoughts – Malaysian White Coffee

Malaysia white coffee and Malaysian Kopi is tasty, something I enjoyed a lot during my year and half living on the island of Penang. 

Malaysian white coffee forms the base of many coffee beverages, including Kopi Tarik. It is so popular in the country that Nescafé and Maxwell House have versions available. 

Join our active and vibrant online coffee community on Facebook/Meta and share your favorite coffee memes and funny coffee jokes and your delicious coffee creations. 

Derek Marshall, a certified barista by the Specialty Coffee Association possesses over two decades of experience in specialty coffee shops. He holds professional certifications for coffee brewing and barista skills. Derek is also an author with authoritative books covering various coffee topics including specialty coffee, sustainability and coffee, coffee brewing, coffee recipes, coffee cocktails and books focusing on Brazilian coffee, Vietnamese coffee, Indonesian coffee and Malaysian coffee. As a barista for over two decades, Derek Marshall has worked in specialty coffee shops across the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. His expertise extends to the distinct coffee cultures, specialty beverages, and brewing techniques of each nation. Functioning as a coffee consultant, Derek charges US$50 per hour. To learn more about Derek Marshall and Latte Love Brew, visit his About Me Page. For coffee inquiries, contact him at +34-639-410-375 or, mentioning your name and location

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