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.