Choosing the perfect coffee grounds doesn’t end with selecting the kind of beans. The roasting spectrum is so broad that you can get the same beans tasting entirely different. Here’s when the battle between white coffee vs black coffee comes into play. But it’s not what you’d think – a milky vs plain coffee choice, but rather a light vs dark roast dilemma.
- White Coffee Intro
- What is Black Coffee?
- Differences Between White Coffee & Black Coffee
- How Do You Make A White Coffee at Home?
- Ways You Can Prepare Black Coffee at Home
Quick Intro to White Coffee
White coffee is not a mixed drink, but regular coffee beans that are roasted differently. Their roasting process is more delicate; they get roasted for 5 to 6 minutes at a 100°F lower roasting temperature than usual. This gives the beans their unique white color instead of brown.
White coffee gained massive popularity and is a type of a health fad in North America. This claim is primarily due to the number of antioxidants and beneficial nutrients that are retained because of the short roasting time. However, there are also many variations of white coffee around the world.
White Coffee is another level in Malaysia
White coffee is a specialty drink in Malaysia. The green coffee beans are roasted with margarine until they get a dark color. Then they’re ground and brewed. The resulting drink has a slightly caramelized hint and is served with condensed milk, hence the white color.
And Black Coffee is just regular coffee, right?
Black coffee is a staple in almost every household, and you’re probably well familiar with the taste and preparation method. Essentially it’s made from high-quality, darker roasted coffee beans and water. It’s brewed traditionally and served without the addition of milk, creamer, or any other additive. So it’s regular coffee and the base for most popular coffee-based drinks.
Black coffee is often thought to be bitter and tangy. But good quality coffee beans produce an excellent cup full of aroma and rich flavor. In addition, black coffee has some health benefits, aids in weight loss, and is a great pre-workout booster.
White Coffee vs Black Coffee
Plain coffee can get boring after a while, so playing with different roasts can excite your palate. However, different roasts come with different tastes, health benefits, and calorie counts. We’ve selected the most significant contrasts between white coffee vs black coffee.
|White Coffee||Black Coffee|
– Roasted at 325°F
– Half the typical roasting time
– Roasted between 450°F – 480°F
– Between 10 to 16 minutes to roast
|Nutty, floral, or hay-like||Bold, hints of chocolate, lightly bitter|
|Honey blonde in color.|
Not actually white!
|Depends on roast type.|
Will be darker than White Coffee
|Consumed as is or with spices||Can be converted many drink types|
|Country of Origin:|
|Country of Origin:|
Ethiopia or Yemen
Roasting Temperature & Time
White coffee is roasted at 325°F for half the time that regular roasting, or 5 to 6 minutes(1). This roast helps the green beans develop a very light beige color. Black coffee can be a light, medium, or dark roast. It takes anywhere from 10 to 16 minutes to roast at 450°F to 480°F(2). As the coffee beans brown, they release more aroma and change the taste profile of the original green beans.
The taste of both coffees depends on the coffee bean’s origin and if it’s a single type or a blend. White coffee has bready, earthy, and floral notes. You can even sense some hay-like aroma. Black coffee has a bold flavor; it’s less or more astringent depending on the roast and can even have some chocolate aroma.
White coffee is surprisingly not white but honey blonde. The consistency is more tea or beer-like, so it’s slightly translucent. Black coffee’s appearance depends on the brew method and roast type. It can be lighter, tan, or darker and more viscous, like the ristretto. But even the lightest roast of black coffee is still darker than white coffee.
White coffee is prepared and consumed as an espresso most of the time or with the addition of spices like Hawaij. Black coffee is much more versatile. It’s the base for most milk and coffee beverages like lattes and cappuccinos. In addition, black coffee is consumed both cold and hot, which is not the case with white coffee.
How Do You Make A White Coffee at Home?
- 20 grams ground white coffee beans
- Enough water for your espresso machine
- To make white coffee first, you have to purchase and grind authentic white coffee beans. Beware that they're very dense and might break any home grinders, so buy pre-ground or you'll need an industrial-strength grinder!
- White coffee is best brewed under pressure, so you'd need an espresso machine. Next, load your portafilter with the ground white coffee. 20 grams for a double shot is the sweet spot but you can always use a little more or less.
- Tamp the portafilter well because white coffee grounds are rough, hard, and don't absorb water like regular grounds. So if you don't pack them well, water would simply run through them, resulting in bland coffee.
- Put the portafilter back, start your machine and stop it after 4 seconds. Let it sit for 20 seconds and then restart your shot and pull it as usual*.
- Your white coffee is ready. Enjoy as is for a taste of its subtle flavors!
* According to our friends at Poverty Bay Coffee Co., the soaking step helps the grounds to release more flavor and caffeine, so you'd end up with a delightful cup of white coffee.
Ways You Can Prepare Black Coffee at Home
When it comes to black coffee, there are many preparation methods. First, you can choose among several coffee forms: whole coffee beans, pre-ground, or even instant coffee. Second, the choice of brew methods is vast: pour-over, espresso. French press, Moka pot, aeropress, etc. Each of them extracts the flavor of the beans to a different level.
Black coffee is highly customizable; you can make it into a cold or hot beverage. You can even brew it cold via the cold brew method or add ice to a hot pulled coffee. The variations are almost unlimited; some of the most popular include Americano, long black, long or short espresso.
Final Thoughts: White Coffee vs Black Coffee
Coffee beans are one of the most prolific fruits on the planet, packed with nutrients, flavor, aroma, and changing when roasted differently. We can’t solve the white coffee vs black coffee dilemma since the two drinks suit different tastes. White coffee requires a delicate roast and provides a unique taste packed with caffeine and antioxidants. Black coffee is more versatile, easy to source, and suits more palates.
White coffee undergoes less roasting, and at a lower temperature, so you might get the idea that it’s healthier. While it does keep more nutrients than dark roasts, like chlorogenic acids, black coffee still packs more benefits. White coffee can even have traces of pesticides and other chemicals due to the short thermal processing.
When it comes to calories, both coffees are even. If we compare them plain, without any additives like milk or sugar, they’re both almost 0 calories. However, white coffee can be served with condensed milk at some places, which raises the caloric value. Black coffee is also frequently diluted with milk.
Don’t expect a milky white cup of coffee. The green coffee beans get a beige shade after the short roast, and the final product is more honey-like than white. It’s called white mostly because the beans are lighter even than the lightest roast of black coffee.
Wondering where your info comes from? We totally understand. Hey Joe only obtains our information from reputable sources. Contents from this article are sourced from the following publications:
- Poverty Bay Coffee Co.: https://www.povertybay.com/coffee-blog/what-is-white-coffee
- Sweet Maria’s: https://library.sweetmarias.com/how-to-roast-your-own-coffee/