Ipoh White Coffee is one of the most well-known types of coffee in Malaysia. The history of white coffee can be traced back to the 19th century when the town of Ipoh in the state of Perak was an epicentre of tin mining activities, mainly populated by Chinese migrant labour during British colonial times. Back then, the English enjoyed their acidic black coffee to which the migrants find unpalatable. The Chinese migrants then modified the taste by adding sweetened condensed milk which evolved into creamy white coffee.
Flavour and texture
Characterised by its signature nutty and robust flavour and velvety texture — white coffee is a popular drink among locals and tourists in Ipoh. The town was even named among Asia’s top 3 coffee spots by renowned travel guide publisher Lonely Planet. The name doesn’t mean that the coffee is white in colour, but it refers to the unique way of roasting and brewing techniques that results in a cup of pale brown-coloured coffee topped with creamy foam. Compared to the traditional black coffee roasted with margarine and sugar, the white coffee is roasted only with margarine at low temperature, which gives it a lighter hue and a fantastic aftertaste — locals then coined the name “white coffee” due to its lighter shade.
Ipoh White Coffee:
Since colonial times, white coffee underwent a series of refinements to arrive at the standard recipe today. It is seen as an indigenous culinary invention by the population of Ipoh. Generally, the standard of a good cup of coffee is based on the type of coffee beans used — think about the times people commented on ‘exotic’ types of beans from faraway regions. The speciality of white coffee is not related to the kind of coffee beans used, but rather, the roasting method that gives every cup its unique flavour. White coffee is brewed with a mixture of arabica, robusta and liberica beans, then roasted in palm oil margarine for a flavourful taste and tantalising aroma.
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