Ipoh White Coffee – Famous Malaysian Cuisine

One of Malaysia’s favourite drinks is Ipoh White Coffee. Just your regular coffee, right? Don’t be fooled: this style of coffee is a truly Malaysian affair.

With its roots in the 19th century tin mines of Perak, Ipoh white coffee sprung from the taste of Chinese tin miner, who found the acidic coffee preferred by British colonialists too unpalatable and bitter.

The miners decided to roast the coffee beans, specifically arabica, robusta and liberica varieties, with palm oil margarine, creating the white, foamy head and nutty taste that is synonymous with the drink.

Current global coffee trends are driven by an appreciation of artisanal coffees, pour-overs, cold-drip filters and espressos or, at the other end of the spectrum, Starbucks-style flavoured coffees.

In contrast, Malaysia has its own unique kopitiam coffee culture. The quality of the beans and brewing styles aren’t as heavily scrutinised in these hawker stall coffee shops as it is in western countries. Creamier, nuttier and lighter flavoured coffee is more prized as an accompaniment for snack foods, such as kaya toast and soft-boiled eggs, as well as “lubricant” for good conversations.

At a kopitiam, or Ipoh white coffee shop, the coffee is served in a range of different styles. The most popular are:
1. Kopi-O: black coffee & sugar
2. Kopi-O Kosong: black coffee (no sugar, no milk)
3. Kopi: black coffee & condensed milk
4. Kopi Gau: extra black coffee & condensed milk
5. Kopi C: black coffee & evaporated milk

Of course, the best way to enjoy Ipoh white coffee is in Ipoh at a kopitiam, yet it’s possible to recreate the experience after your visit. Most popular Ipoh white coffee brands have introduced instant sachets, which you can stock up on to take home and enjoy!

Shop Name:
7 Jalan Windsor, 30250, Ipoh
0 5-253 8896


Famous Malaysian cuisine is a 50-video series produced by Masters of Malaysian cuisine(MOMC) in partnership with Tourism Malaysia.

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