Lebanese White Coffee

Today we bring you an original preparation of Arabic coffee: white coffee. Oriental coffees are characterised by their extraordinary smoothness, and it is not for nothing that their gastronomy is based on the use of spices and sweeteners such as cinnamon, honey, etcetera.

White coffee is a Lebanese heritage, and as we shall see, it is an appellation that has two meanings: the original white coffee recipe itself, but also the white coffee beans, which are a variety in their own right. Are you curious yet? Let’s find out more:

Lebanese White Coffee

What is white coffee?

First of all, we should clarify that white coffee is not necessarily a coffee recipe (although a recipe can be made from it, as we will see below), nor does it have anything to do with the brewing known as Flat White or green coffee.

What we know as Lebanese white coffee, in origin, is just a way of cultivating and roasting the coffee bean, so that the result is a much paler coloured bean than the normal roast. Of course, it does not become white, of course.

How do you get Lebanese white coffee?

First of all, the coffee beans used are the same in origin as those used for black coffee. There is no difference in this respect. The difference comes in the roasting process.

To make white coffee, the beans are roasted together with margarine. Mind you: not with butter, which is animal fat, but with margarine, which is vegetable fat.

So… what does white coffee from Lebanon look like?

If you are an experienced user and have mastered these matters, you will know that it is during the processing and roasting of the coffee bean that all the aromas, nuances and details of each variety are achieved.

This is exactly what happens with white coffee beans. When roasted with margarine, they lose a lot of caffeine and much of the characteristic bitterness of coffee.

The result when preparing a drink with white coffee beans is a coffee of the same colour as normal (black) coffee, but much milder and, as we have already said, with less caffeine.

We can consider it as an alternative halfway between decaffeinated coffee and normal coffee. It is really mild.

Why is white coffee not white?

Well, we have already explained it above: white coffee is a much paler and milder coloured bean than normal coffee. It is called white because it is much lighter than the dark brown, almost black, that you get when roasting a bean in the traditional way. But even if it is lighter, the white coffee bean is still brown.

The recipe for Lebanese white coffee

Of course, apart from roasting coffee in this peculiar way and obtaining very light and smooth coffee beans, Lebanon has its own traditional coffee recipe. You can prepare it at home with the coffee of your choice, but logically authentic Lebanese white coffee has to be made with white coffee beans. Take note:

Ingredients for making white coffee

  • Two large cups of coffee.
  • Orange blossom water (one teaspoon per person).
  • Normal water (same quantity as coffee).
  • Sugar.

How to make white coffee (recipe)

Time required: 2 minutes.

We explain how to make white coffee at home. The quantities are for 4 people, and bear in mind that it is prepared as we indicate below, with two large cups (which are then divided up). The white coffee is not made individually for each person.

  1. Prepare the coffee
    First, prepare two generous cups of your favourite speciality coffee. Try to make it white coffee, if you dare to roast the beans with margarine at home (because white coffee beans are really hard to come by). If not, make it with regular coffee.
  2. Add sugar
    Then serve the coffee to the guests, and add sugar to taste.
  3. Add the orange blossom water
    Then add a teaspoon of orange blossom water to each person.
  4. Finally, add plain water
    At the same time as the orange blossom water, you should also add two large cups of water.

As you can guess, this Lebanese coffee is a super smooth and light recipe. In Lebanon, it is usually drunk after banquets or large meals… although it is not suitable if you do not have a sweet tooth.