White coffee? Anyone have experience with it?

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Postby PrescottCR » Fri Feb 10, 2017 2:32 pm

About 3 times a year someone comes back from the Pacific NW and asks one of my wholesale customers about white coffee. I found some on amazon but not much about it anywhere else. It appears to be what we would consider under roasted coffee, at least that's all I'm getting from web board posts. The retailers selling it sell ground and whole bean.

Before I spend a few bucks to try this stuff I wanted to ask if anyone here has roasted up any white coffee? If so which origin would tolerate such a light roast and how do you put heat into the beans to get an acceptable result.

In the past I've heard tales of people roasting to the yellow stage, cooling the beans and finishing the roast a day later, this was to kill acidity. Maybe that would be a way to do this?

I'm up to trying new things but I don't want to go in ignorant so I'm asking here.

Being that I don't see white coffee everywhere and it's not a new thing I wonder if it isn't a gimmick.

Any heads up is appreciated.


-Richard
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Postby daphid » Mon Feb 13, 2017 8:30 am

Hi Richard,

The story goes that an American soldier who participated in Operation Desert Shield (remember that?) went back home to Spokane WA and thought he was recreating Cafe Blanc by dramatically under-roasting coffee. Thus was white coffee unleashed.

Take a softer coffee like Brazil or lower-grown Mexico, roast until it's yellow (well before first crack). Grind it in a grinder you hate. Pull shots of this and add to white chocolate raspberry mochas. On its own it tastes like dirty wheat grass.

It's really rough on grinders because the coffee is nowhere near roasted. It is typical to buy a used grinder and cower while the burrs chew through it.

David
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Postby PrescottCR » Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:37 am

Thank you David!

That's a good story, love the line about putting it in a grinder I hate. Now we can blame Cafe Americano and White Coffee on soldiers.

I'm getting a similar answer from a contact at Royal Coffee after sending this post to my sales guy there. I don't think they'll mind if I post his entire reply here. There were 3 answers, the first one most likely being what you are talking about and what people are asking for. The other two are interesting for me as I hadn't heard of them. Here's the reply-

"Great question! Most likely the best thing would be a white coffee disambiguation - there seem to be some different ideas of what white coffee is depending on who you talk to.

Most likely (since you're speaking of the Pacific Northwest) you're referring to the white coffee that's usually used as espresso, and is more of a pale yellow than truly white. My understanding is that this coffee is roasted for long periods of time at low heat to bake out flavors, rather than develop sugars. I haven't particularly enjoyed this coffee, or enjoyed any of the purported health benefits it is advertised to offer. It's different, but not necessarily good.

White coffee in Malaysia is a different beast. This is usually C. liberica or robusta coffee that has been fried rather than roasted. Usually this process uses margarine or palm oil, and will really gum up your grinder. It can be tasty, but it's not a "third wave" experience in any way, shape, or form. Generally served with a lot of milk.

The third white coffee is just Indonesia trying to market old coffee as something new (in my honest opinion). Indonesian white coffee is coffee that has been stored so long in parchment that the color of the raw green has faded to white. Much like monsooned Malabar, this coffee has lost nearly all of its character (and moisture content). Not recommended (again, in my humble opinion!). "

I was thinking of throwing beans in a my roaster at start up and see how that goes if I get to the point of actually trying to roast something like this. That might even help the roaster heat up more evenly somehow.

For grins I'll pass on your answer to Royal. Maybe we'll start a legend.

- Richard
PrescottCR
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 4:13 pm
First Name: Richard
Last Name: Gregory
City: Prescott
State: AZ
Zip Code: 86303
Company: Prescott Coffee Roasters
Occupation: Owner/Roaster
Roasting Since (Year): 2006


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