Black and White Coffee

Black and White Coffee

The world of coffee has taken the world by storm. Different techniques of growing, harvesting, roasting, and preparing coffee beans result in unique flavors. 

When some people hear black and white coffee, they assume it means if there is milk in their coffee. Some people want milk or cream in their coffee, while others take it black.

In reality, the terms black and white coffee refers to the roasting process of the coffee beans. Keep reading to learn the difference between black and white coffee!

What is White Coffee

White coffee did not originate in modern coffee shops by hipsters. It surfaced in Yemen and has been exported for over 200 years due to high demand. 

White coffee begins the same way as black coffee. A green coffee bean is harvested from the fields and begins its roasting process. The difference between white coffee versus black coffee begins during roasting.

Colors of Beans during Roasting

White coffee is roasted at a lower temperature than black coffee. The green coffee beans are placed in a 325 degrees Fahrenheit roaster and removed from the roaster before the first crack. 

This low temperature and shorter roasting time result in a light-colored coffee bean. This roasting process makes an extra hard bean that requires a specific kind of grinder to grind the beans.

White coffee is just another type of roast. This light roast results in a noticeable taste profile difference from darker roasts. Some say white coffee tastes bolder than a traditional dark brew. 

Other reviewers have noticed the lack of bitter aftertaste of white coffee versus black coffee. This lack is the result of the roasting process. Because the coffee beans roast at a lower temperature, the natural sugars within the coffee beans do not caramelize, leaving a bitter-free coffee.

The shorter roasting time stops the organic acids from evaporating within the beans. These chlorogenic acids left in the coffee beans result in white coffee having a more acidic flavor.

What Is Black Coffee

A black roast is a traditional way of roasting coffee. The modern technique of roasting coffee originated in Arabia in the 13th century. It was popular in Arab Muslim communities and in prayer rituals.

Green coffee beans are harvested from the fields and enter into the roasting process. The roaster is between 450-480 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the darkness of the roast. Black coffee is roasted through the first crack of the bean and into the second, depending on the preferred roast.

The first crack during the roast of black coffee indicates the beginning of a chemical change in the coffee beans. The first crack occurs at 385 degrees Fahrenheit. A large portion of the moisture in the coffee bean drains, inflating the bean.

Because the beans in black coffee roast longer and at a higher temperature, the natural sugars in the beans are caramelized. This roasting decreases the sweetness of the bean and leaves the resulting coffee with a bitter aftertaste.

The second crack of the coffee bean typically means the bean finishes roasting. After the second crack, the coffee beans release oils from within. After the second crack, it is crucial to monitor the beans closely. The roasting speed dramatically increases after the second crack, and the beans could ignite if not carefully watched.

Levels of Roasting

Differences Between White and Black Coffee

We will make a side-by-side comparison of black coffee and white coffee. Differences in roasting, caffeine content, acidity, and others will be discussed.

Roasting Process

The roasting process of black and white coffee makes all of the difference. All coffee starts the same as a green coffee bean. 

The growing conditions of coffee beans make a difference in flavor profiles, but any bean can roast into white or black coffee. While the process is important, it does not determine what kind of coffee is grown.

White coffee is roasted at a temperature of 325 degrees Fahrenheit. This is a lower temperature than black coffee is roasted at. It is also roasted for a shorter amount of time than black coffee. White coffee is removed from the roaster before the first crack.

Black coffee roasts at a higher temperature of 450-480 degrees Fahrenheit. Black coffee roasts through different cracks. This results in a darker roast, hence the difference in names.

Temperature for Different Levels of Coffee Roasts

Caffeine Content

The caffeine content varies with the variety of coffee beans, roasting process, and method used to brew the coffee. 

White coffee can have up to 50% more caffeine than black coffee. This higher caffeine content is because of the shorter roasting time of white coffee than black coffee. In black coffee, more of the caffeine within the coffee bean roast in the roasting process.

White coffee does have more caffeine than black coffee, but the method of brewing the coffee also affects the caffeine content of your cup of coffee. The highest caffeine content in coffee is white espresso.

The lowest caffeine content in coffee is a cup of black drip coffee. If you are trying to get the most caffeine out of your coffee, go for a white coffee! If you love coffee but are trying to cut back on caffeine, grab a regular cup of Joe because it has the least amount of caffeine. If caffeine content is not a concern, get whatever kind of coffee you enjoy most!


The acidity of black-and-white coffee can be a bit confusing.

Black coffee is generally higher in acidity than white coffee. The longer you roast the green coffee beans, the more oils they release. The oils released are responsible for the high acidity in the coffee.

This high acidity is a concern to some coffee drinkers. Coffee drinkers have found that coffee increases acid reflux. Coffee also makes the situation of stomach ulcers worse. If you suffer from either of these ailments, you might want to look at the type of coffee you are drinking.

White coffee does not have the high acidity of black coffee because it does not roast long enough to release the acidic oil. However, the shorter roasting time leaves chlorogenic acid in the beans. Chlorogenic acid is a powerful antioxidant that has multiple health benefits, including reducing the risk of diabetes and blood pressure issues and helping with weight loss.


Black coffee and white coffee differ in flavor. The roasting process of white coffee leaves the coffee bean naked and pure, while black coffee typically has additives and more chemical changes to the bean to bring out different flavors.

White coffee has a nutty, pure flavor. You can taste the chlorogenic acid, giving it a slightly tangy flavor. The natural sugars are maintained in the low-temperature roast, allowing for their naturally sweet flavor to show through.

Black coffee has a sharp, bitter flavor. The natural sugars within the coffee beans are burned up in the high-heat roasting process, leaving a bitter taste. It is less sweet than white coffee. Some roasters add flavors to the roast in black coffee, which gives it unique flavors. 

So if you are wanting an intense, bitter cup of coffee, black coffee is the way to go. If you want a more subtle, sweet, nutty cup of coffee, white coffee is your best bet. 


Many people are conscious of the number of calories consumed each day. Even health-conscious people do not want to miss out on their morning cup of coffee!

If the coffee is left undoctored, black coffee has fewer calories than white coffee. Because the natural sugars are not burned away in the roasting process, white coffee has natural sugars in it, which raise its calorie content.

The natural sugars are burned away in the roasting process of black coffee. This leaves black coffee with fewer calories per cup.

However, most of the calories in coffee do not come from the coffee itself. Most coffee drinkers enjoy adding milk, cream, sugar, or some other type of sweetener to their coffee. These additives can increase the number of calories drank in your morning cup of coffee. 

If you are trying to avoid calories, drink a plain cup of black coffee for the least number of calories. Be careful when adding sweetness or cream to your coffee!


While many people enjoy the warm taste of coffee, some people like the aroma of coffee just as much. Some people just like the smell and do not care for the taste. Whatever your preference is, you will be able to tell the difference in aroma between black and white coffee.

The aroma of coffee is from oils and other compounds in the beans. While it is true that the longer roasting process of black coffee brings oils to the surface, it also burns up a lot of the oils. This means that black coffee has fewer oils within the bean, making its aroma not as strong as the aroma of white coffee.

White coffee has a rich, natural, smooth, intense aroma. Black coffee has a more bitter aroma.

Which Coffee is the Healthier Choice 

Both white coffee and black coffee have health benefits. The nitric oxide in coffee elevates blood pressure, preventing multiple types of heart disease. Nitric oxide relaxes the muscles on the inside of blood vessels, allowing for better blood flow.

White coffee has more healthy antioxidants than black coffee because they are not destroyed in the roasting process. It is lower in harmful acidity and easier on the stomach. White coffee has also been known to help prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia by 60%.

Black coffee protects your liver from many kinds of diseases. It also reduces the risk of type-2 diabetes and lowers blood pressure. Black coffee also helps with mental issues by reducing stress and anxiety levels. Black coffee is a diuretic, which means it helps flush out harmful microbes.

White coffee and black coffee have different health benefits. Which one is the healthier choice depends on what you are looking to get out of your coffee!


Black and white coffee has been enjoyed for centuries. The unique roasting process of each creates different flavor profiles, caffeine content, aroma, and more. 

White coffee roasts at a lower temperature for a shorter amount of time. Black coffee roasts at a higher temperature for a longer amount of time.

Grab a cup of each, taste them both, and decide if you like black or white coffee better for your mornings!

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