Anyone have tips for making white coffee (underroasted beans) with the Aeropress?

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Postby aeroluv » Feb 16, 2013, 4:53 pm

Hi, this may be a weird question. I live in Seattle, and some places sell what they call "white coffee". It's hard to find information about it online, but basically I believe it is underroasted coffee. It comes preground because underroasted beans would be too hard and break a grinder! The grind is chunky.

A shot of white coffee from an espresso machine is a light color, and has a neutral/nutty taste. It's not bitter. Generally, when they sell it in coffee shops around here, they will make an elaborate latte because the taste on its own is so subtle.

My home espresso machine broke and I don't make coffee a lot, so I decided to go for the Aeropress since I'd heard good things about it. I was able to successfully make one cup of great normal coffee with it.

However, my experience with the white coffee was no good. I tried it two times, using the same steps that I used for the normal coffee. Both times the shot produced was much darker in color than a standard white coffee shot and was extremely bitter.

It's hard to even find any information about white coffee online, let alone brewing it in a non standard way, so I'm kind of at a loss. If anyone has some ideas for what I could try with water temperature/etc. Please let me know.

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Postby squaremile » Feb 16, 2013, 8:16 pm

Not sure what the others are going to say but problem 1) the roast is probably not going to be good no matter how you prepare it, and 2) if it's ground really coarse you could prob do an inverted aeropress and let it steep for awhile before you turn it over and remove the plunger. Still hard to imagine this is going to taste good tho. Good luck.

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Postby yakster » Feb 17, 2013, 9:32 pm

This topic reminds me of the Sweet Maria's video where Thom cups coffee from green to fully roasted. May be worth checking out.


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Postby entropyembrace » Feb 18, 2013, 7:35 pm

Try using cooler water (160-175*F) like you would for green tea. Ever since watching the video of cupping under-roasted coffee that yakster posted I've been thinking that Tom's impressions of the under-roasted coffee were very similar to green tea brewed with water that is too hot, but I have not had a chance to test it myself since I'm not into home roasting (yet).

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Postby tamarian » Feb 19, 2013, 2:11 am

Under roasted coffee, dried but pre-Millard would range from yellow to orange and when brewed, turn hazy yellow. A blade grinder would be ideal if you want to grind it yourself. To get some flavor out of it, it can be boiled for a few minutes. Add spices to taste, like cardamom, and you end up with blond coffee, preferred in many areas in the Saudi/Gulf region. With the Aeropress, might try a long steep in inverted position, using boiled water.

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Postby aeroluv » Feb 23, 2013, 10:37 pm

Thanks for the speculation, guys. I wish there were a place for me to talk to others who had experience with this underroasted stuff - I only ever saw it marketed at this one coffee shop and it has always seemed pretty mysterious. Actually, another coffee shop started selling it but I believe it's probably more of an inbetween blend and tastes more like roasted coffee. I may try picking up some of theirs.

I'm used to how it turns out in a proper espresso machine - both from the coffee shop I got it, and when I made shots myself with my manual espresso machine... The shots were always very pale tan and had a nutty taste that was very mild with no bitterness. In this case additional bitterness in shots is not wanted, because it doesn't have the rich taste to balance it out. It's been marked as "less acidic/more caffeine" and really only used in latte drinks, not for flavor itself.

I actually have been making all my coffee in the AeroPress with around ~170. I can try hotter, maybe it's needed to penetrate the hard beans. There's no way, at least with the blend that I have, that you can get anything close to an espresso grind - it's grainy chunks, and preground, because it will break grinders. My grinder is too nice for me to want to experiment :) I wonder if doing a double press would work, much like second steepings of tea, could flush out the bitterness?

I can post updates if you guys are interested, since with no espresso machine in the immediate future I'm just wasting the rest anyway :)

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Postby tamarian » Feb 23, 2013, 11:42 pm

I'm interested. It would help as well to post pictures of the beans and grind to see the level of roasting.

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Postby aeroluv » Feb 27, 2013, 2:53 am

Ok! I'll try to make an update later this week and maybe grab a sample of the other roast from the place I know sells them but I believe is not as underroasted, also do some experimenting and report back :) I haven't had time though because I need some sort of coffee in the meantime, and the aeropress white coffee is way too unpalatable at the moment.

I've tried to ask the shop more about where they get it from but it seems really hush hush for some reason. The second shop apparently is all free trade beans and is just an underroasted form of their normal grind, though.

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Postby ape » Jun 18, 2013, 11:56 am

Hey aeroluv, how did your experiments go?

I've been experimenting with white coffee (from Sureshot in Seattle) in an Aeropress too. 4min inverted steeping and 1.5-2x the usual (Aeropress-recommended) amount of water seems to give something pretty close to the pale, nutty shot you would get from an espresso machine. The ground white coffee beans seem to soak up A LOT of water while steeping, and much of it does not come out in the pressing. Still tweaking...

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Postby whitecoffee » Oct 14, 2013, 5:33 am

I think it is difficult to make white coffee by yourselves. This is because the traditional white coffee is made from the coffee beans which dry fried with less sugar and less butter. The taste is unique and less dark in color.
If you like white coffee, I would suggest you buy it from BEVANDA, their white coffee is very good, rich and creamy. The white coffee is packed in sachet form, easy for your preparation. Cheers! :D