Americans Can't Get Enough Of Malaysia's White Coffee From This Kopitiam In New York City
Despite the plethora of hipster cafes popping up across the country, coffee culture in Malaysia will always be spearheaded by local favourites kopi 'o' and, for those who prefer a milder taste, white coffee
Originating from Ipoh, Perak, white coffee is made of beans that have been roasted in margarine and then ground, brewed, and served with sweetened condensed milk. The beans used to make white coffee are usually Robusta or Arabica beans roasted to a lighter colour.
A popular choice for many, white coffee has now gone international. From the kopitiams of Ipoh and Penang, they are now making waves in a kopitiam in New York City!
The source of this new coffee fad is a quaint cafe called Kopitiam in Lower East Side of New York City, co-owned by Malaysian Kyo Pang (who grew up in Penang) and her fiancée, Xinnan Lin
Speaking to Grubstreet, chef-owner Kyo Pang explains that the reason why most Americans have not heard of white coffee is because many Malaysian restaurants do not carry it due to the amount of labour involved in making it, preferring to opt for instant coffee.
Highlighting that many often relate white coffee to Vietnamese coffee due to the use of condensed milk, she said, "In order to correct all these wrong perceptions about Malaysian coffee, I think that it's important to ... [show] that this is one of the best coffees in the world."
The beans for the coffee, priced at USD4.00 (RM16.70) per cup, are roasted with olive oil and brewed with a splash of condensed milk at 200°F (93°C) to force out maximum flavour from the beans
The drink is then hand-pulled from pot to pot (like teh tarik!) to create natural foam from the condensed milk as well as to drop it to a drinkable temperature
According to Kyo Pang, white coffee is less caffeinated compared to contemporary coffee blends, hence perfect for customers who are looking for a caffeine fix but not too keen on strong coffee flavours
White coffee is imported from Penang's Koon Kee in powder form, while black coffee is made from freshly ground and vacuum-packed beans that arrive biweekly.
Kopitiam also serves typical Malaysian fare such as nasi lemak, kaya-butter toast with half-boiled eggs, pulut inti, muar chee, bak kut teh and a variety of Nyonya kuih!
At the time of writing, Kopitiam has a 4.5 out of 5 rating on Yelp. Keep up the good work, ladies!