What is the Difference between Black and White Coffee?

Have you ever heard of white coffee and black coffee? What is the difference between black and white coffee? Read on to learn about the two coffee types.

A close up of black coffee in a cup
Black coffee is roasted at higher temperatures and for a longer time

I’m a big fan of coffee and I thought I knew everything about it… until recently. I was enjoying my cup of coffee in a café in town when I heard somebody order white coffee. I thought, “Wait. There’s white and black coffee?”

A quick search online confirmed black and white coffee are very much real. Here’s what I found.

So, what is the difference between black and white coffee? Basically, the roasting process is the main difference between these two types of coffee.

White coffee is roasted for a short time at low temperatures. Black coffee is roasted at higher temperatures for a longer time.

With white coffee, you will get a lighter brew compared to black coffee. The shorter roasting time makes white coffee keep many of the compounds and flavor of the original coffee beans. Black coffee will lose most of these due to the high temperatures and extended roasting time.

What Sets White and Black Coffee Apart?

The difference in roasting time and temperatures bring about many other differences between white and black coffee. They include:

Caffeine Content

Coffee’s caffeine content lowers as you roast. So, the longer the exposure to heat, the more caffeine is lost.

White coffee (see Amazon) uses low temperatures and a short roasting period. It will keep most of its caffeine. On the other hand, black coffee has been exposed to high temperatures for a longer period, reducing its caffeine.

After I learned this, I altered my coffee schedule to take advantage of their unique qualities. White coffee has become my darling in the morning, while black coffee is best for me in the evening.

In the morning, I need all the energy and stimulation I can get. White coffee helps me handle various tasks throughout the day. In the evening, I’m tired and want something to relax my mind.

Too much caffeine in the evening will make me agitated, so black coffee gets my vote.

Roasting temperatures

Choose Your Roasting Method
Black coffee is roasted at 450 to 480 degrees temperature

White coffee is roasted at a low temperature compared to black coffee. Some even say white coffee is “halfbaked” because of this. The typical roasting temperature for white coffee is around 325 degrees.

Black coffee, however, goes all the way to a blistering 450 to 480 degrees.


Anyone who has sipped a cup of black coffee knows that it is highly acidic. But did you ever wonder why? The answer is in the roast.

The longer you roast coffee beans, the more acidic they become. Longer times and higher temperatures break down the oils in coffee beans, too. These oils are responsible for acidity in coffee.

If you only ever drink black coffee, you may begin to feel the effects on your body. Many coffee drinkers complain of acid reflux. If you suffer from stomach ulcers, drinking black coffee can make the situation worse for you because of its high acidity.

So, does all of this mean I should not drink black coffee? Goodness no! There’s no reason you can’t still enjoy this wonderful beverage.

You may just need to take a few extra steps to make it better for you. There are many ways to help reduce the acidity of black coffee. Here’s some suggestions to try first.

What about white coffee’s acidity? Since white coffee is roasted for a shorter time, oils are not broken down as much. The short roasting time not only makes it less acidic but also helps to keep more of its chlorogenic acid.

This is a powerful antioxidant. Drinking white coffee helps you not only enjoy the taste of your coffee but is good for your body. Some of the health benefits of chlorogenic acid include a reduced risk of blood pressure problems, diabetes, and it can facilitate weight loss.

White coffee is easy on your stomach and good for your health.


A woman holding a cup of unfiltered coffee.
Black coffee has a bitter taste while White coffee has nutty flavor

Black and white coffee taste pretty different. Black coffee has a bitter flavor. Some people describe it as sour or a little like charcoal. On the other end of the spectrum, white coffee has a nutty flavor with noticeable acidity.

White coffee roasting is done without the use of additives. This means the natural sugars in the coffee beans are not burned away or covered up. Low temps, shorter roast times, and no additives mean you’re tasking the real bean with low acidity.

But not everyone wants that. Some coffee lovers like the unique flavors that black coffee offers. Black coffee may not be for newbies. It can be intense and surprising, but lots of people like that.


Weight is a big concern for many people. Being aware of the calories you consume each day helps keep you healthy.

Many people worry about the calorie content in coffee, but you can rest assured. Coffee is low in calories! Here’s the breakdown.

While white coffee itself isn’t high in calories, it’s generally served with copious amounts of sugar and milk. They taste amazing, but these products will add many more calories to your cup of coffee. You can go light with them and see how it tastes, but it’s not common to drink white coffee on its own.

Black coffee is often served with no extra products that add more calories to your cup. With this coffee, everything is all-natural, and that is why it may taste bitter. It doesn’t have any sweeteners.

You can, of course, add sugar to black coffee. That will help reduce the bitterness, but it will add calories.

If you are looking to lose weight or want to keep your weight in check, then you should make black coffee your best friend. It is low in calories compared to its white counterpart.


What Happens When You Roast Coffee Beans
Aroma comes from the oils and compounds present in the coffee beans

Other than the energizing effect you get after drinking a cup of Joe, what else do you like about it? I guess it’s the aroma it produces – right? Nothing refreshes my morning more than the aroma off freshly brewed coffee lingering in my house.

Do you know where the aroma comes from? It’s from the oils and other compounds in the coffee beans. White coffee produces a smooth, natural, and rich aroma that will leave you wanting more.

Naturally, black and white coffee do not smell the same. Black coffee’s aroma is different than white coffee and not quite as strong. That bitterness in the taste can sometimes end up in the smell, too. Some people love it, while others prefer the more delicate smell of white coffee.

But why does black coffee have a weaker aroma? The oils and other compounds are highly volatile. Higher temps and longer roast times destroy more of the compounds responsible for coffee’s aroma.

Brewing black coffee and white coffee

Black coffee

Making black coffee is easy. Add ground coffee to boiling water and wait. Unless you want to chew on your coffee, you’ll need a filter of some kind. Depending on your brewing device, those filters can be paper, metal, or other materials.

White Coffee

When it comes to making white coffee, you need to be careful. Be sure you’re buying true white coffee beans. Buying them whole will ensure you’re getting what you pay for, but they can be very hard on your grinder.

Shorter roasting times leave white coffee beans very hard. If you trust your coffee provider, you can purchase pre-ground white coffee. That will save you some time and will prevent damage to your grinder.

After you buy your coffee, use espresso style to brew. This will ensure you get the most out of their mild flavor. Otherwise, your coffee will taste flat. You can use any device that gives a highly concentrated brew like AeroPress to brew.

FAQs About Black And White Coffee

Is white coffee healthier than black coffee?

Well, white coffee has high quantities of chlorogenic acid due to short roasting time. This acid is a strong antioxidant that can improve cardiovascular function and reduce inflammation.

However, it doesn’t mean that black coffee is not a healthy beverage. It has some health benefits, too.

A word of warning. The high caffeine content in white coffee can cause addiction and other negative effects like high blood pressure. Neither white nor black coffee is better or worse than the other.

When Making White Coffee, It Smells So Delicious, Yet Ends Up Tasting So Bitter. What Could Be The Issue?

You need to make a change to the brewer, your water, or the grinder. These are the main factors that impact the taste of any coffee

I took black coffee and suffered a stomach ache afterward. Later in the day I took white coffee and never experienced the stomach ache. Why did I experience such encounters?

Black coffee is more acidic than white coffee. Many people suffer from stomach issues after consuming black coffee. You can lower its acidity by following some of these tips.

The Final Word: What Is The Difference Between Black And White Coffee?

In summary black coffee is any coffee that has been roasted for a prolonged time and results in a dark-colored coffee brew. White coffee has a different process of brewing and results in a light-colored brew.

Unlike black coffee, which can make any coffee brew, white coffee is mostly used for making an espresso beverage only. No more thinking white coffee is white while black coffee is black. You know their differences now!

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  • Aisling O'Connor

    Aisling is an Irish food and drinks writer and journalist fueled by coffee and herbal tea. She followed up her journalism degree with nutrition studies. Find Aisling on LinkedIn.