White coffee, as understood in the U.S. context—being under-roasted—has a distinct flavor profile, which is often described as nutty or having cereal-like flavors with a hint of sourness. The following food pairings might help to complement these characteristics:
- Nut-Based Pastries: Given the nutty notes often found in white coffee, pastries or baked goods that feature nuts, like almond croissants or walnut bread, could complement the coffee nicely.
- Lightly Spiced Foods: Foods with a hint of spice, such as cinnamon rolls or ginger cookies, can bring out the nuanced flavors of white coffee.
- Fruits: Tart fruits, such as blueberries, cranberries, or apples, can provide a nice contrast to the sourness of white coffee. A blueberry muffin or an apple tart could be excellent options.
- Cheese: Mild cheeses, such as gouda or mozzarella, can pair well with the subtle, nutty flavors of white coffee.
- Savory Biscuits: Savory biscuits or scones can work well with the slightly sour, nutty flavor profile of white coffee.
Experimentation with this coffee reveals that a particularly delightful Western adaptation of this coffee comes in the form of a cardamom and rose latte. This lightly roasted coffee also pairs excellently in a dirty chai. This type of coffee enjoys significant popularity in Arab nations such as Saudi Arabia and its neighboring countries. Rather than being brewed as espresso, it is typically boiled in water and often served with herbs like cloves.
White Roast vs Gold Roast Coffee
Gold-roasted coffee is another specialty roast gaining popularity due to its intense caffeine levels without the bitterness and acidity of traditional roasts.
Gold roast falls between the white and light stages on the roasting spectrum, where the beans roast slightly longer to achieve a temperature of 345°F and take on a golden brown color. Both roast levels offer a unique tasting profile, making them ideal for specialty coffee beans.
Like the white roast coffee, the gold roast is a healthier option as the roasting process produces more caffeine and antioxidant levels with less acidity.
On the other hand, white roast has a light and nutty taste and is more acidic than gold roast due to its short roasting time. Thus, white roasts often come as espresso-based drinks or with additional flavors to balance the astringency.
White Coffee Has Two Different Meaning
In the United States, white coffee is coffee beans that have been under-roasted until they're still white or yellowish. The practice of roasting coffee this way is believed to have originated in the Pacific Northwest. Oregon and Washington are two states particularly associated with white coffee, with various coffee shops in those states offering it on their menus. This roast style has spread to other parts of the country over time, though it remains less common than more traditional roasts.
In the East, white coffee originates from Ipoh, a city in Malaysia, and is a popular drink in the country. The method involves roasting coffee beans in margarine and then brewing the result. This gives the coffee a lighter color than traditional black coffee, hence the name. Sugar, condensed milk, or evaporated milk is often added to the brewed coffee, giving it a distinctively creamy and sweet taste.
So, the term "white coffee" can mean different things depending on the cultural and geographical context. The Malaysian version is quite different from what might be served in a coffee shop in the United States, for example.
White roast coffee, with its unique flavor profile and higher caffeine content, is carving out its own niche within the rich tapestry of coffee culture. Originating from the Pacific Northwest in the United States, this style of roasting coffee beans is starting to appeal to a broader audience, particularly among those who appreciate the subtlety of its taste, the health benefits it offers, and the unique caffeine kick it provides.
This "new kid on the block" is part of a wider trend in the specialty coffee industry, where diverse flavors and roasting techniques are being explored and appreciated by discerning coffee lovers around the world. It's not only about the caffeine anymore, but also about the myriad of flavors, the distinctive roasting processes, and the nuanced tasting experiences that these bring.