History of Ipoh White Coffee

White coffee is a very popular beverage in Malaysia. It originated in the capital city of Perak, Ipoh. For generations, the locals of Ipoh are known to have finer and more delicate taste in their food and beverages. Mind you, white coffee does not mean the colour of the coffee is white, nor does it mean the black coffee is whitened by adding in dairy products like full cream milk, or other non-dairy substitutes. Ipoh white coffee is made by roasting the coffee beans with margarine for a long period of time under low heat, unlike the usual coffee which is roasted in high temperature through charcoal baking and then ground into powder.

Ipoh white coffee was developed in late 19th and early 20th centuries during the British colonization in the then Malaya. The Chinese immigrants who were hired to work in tin mines were not accustomed to the British way of drinking black coffee, so they developed their own unique recipe which suits the palate of Chinese population. History has it that a Hainanese immigrant called Wu came up with this recipe after several trial and errors. White coffee in 2017 is a lot more modified around the globe; however the authentic coffee is still accessible in Malaysia. Ipoh white coffee is said to be served best with warm kaya toasts in the kopitiams in Ipoh.

Usual coffee beans turn shiny and dark brown after undergoing the roasting process. White coffee on the other hand, is not like that. There are 2 ways of roasting coffee beans, namely “slightly roasting” and “moderate roasting”.

What is “slightly roasting”? it is like roasting cinnamon, it gives out a very tender and delicate aroma. “Moderate roasting” also known as “city roasting” or “American roasting” across the globe gives out very mellow and pure taste. There are so many other ways of roasting coffee beans across the globe such as “Vienna style roast”, “French style roast”, “fork style roast” and the list goes on and on.

Ipoh white coffee is called what it is called because no caramel or sugar is added to the coffee bean. After undergoing to roasting process in low temperature, a large amount of caffeine will be removed. Therefore, its sour and bitter taste are much lesser compared to coffee which were roasted in any other technique. Ipoh white coffee also contains less additives and preservatives to maintain its natural flavor and because these substances can irritate the gastrointestinal lining. As to conclude, white coffee is definitely healthier than regular coffee. This is what attracts people from all over the world to the Ipoh white coffee.