There’s something undeniably alluring about Ipoh’s White Coffee. That velvety texture, that hint of charcoal scent and that unforgettable flavor all contribute to Ipoh’s famed drink. There are a few places you could drink Ipoh White Coffee : Ah Chow, Chang Jian, Nam Chau, Nam Heong, Sun Yoong Loong and Xin Xiang Er Nong. You probably have your own absolute favorite place to go to it’s just got to be that particular kopitiam and no others will do. I was so addicted to Sin Yoong Loong at one point I was sometimes drinking 2 cups a day before cutting down my consumption. Have you ever wondered why you are particularly inclined to white coffee from a certain kopitiam ? Perhaps it’s the old coffee stains in the cups that made Ipoh White Coffee so special; or perhaps the subtle differences in acidity, sweetness and bitterness from different kopitiams are enough for you to vouch all out for your favorite white coffee.
I decided to try out all the white coffees to see what’s the difference between them. Typically, I LOVE my white coffee as kopi-c; i.e. milk and no sugar. For the first few rounds, all the white coffee seemed to taste the same to me. So I gave up my favorite way of drinking for this experiment and I drank all the white coffee as kopi-o-kosong – no milk and no sugar. Here are my findings below (in alphabetically order).
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1. Ah Chow White Coffee
Ah Chow’s white coffee had a distinctive sweet note to it even without sugar. It was the least characteristic among all the white coffee because neither the strength nor the charred scent stood out. Having said that about the kopi o kosong, Ah Chow’s one and only alcohol-laced white coffee was remarkably noteworthy.
The slightly milky-looking coffee had a tad of alcohol; not a whole lot of it so don’t expect it to have the alcoholic potency as the Irish coffee. There was enough alcohol for you to acknowledge it and its chemistry with the inherent sweetness of the white coffee was splendid you could end up asking for seconds.
Address : 31 Jalan Bandar Timah, 30000 Ipoh, Perak (in Ipoh Old Town).
2. Chang Jiang White Coffee (Branch )
Chang Jiang’s white coffee was a robust brew, perhaps even one of the strongest. The coffee had a powerful charred scent with an amazing herbal taste.
The chicken and pork rice at Chang Jiang were decent with a delectable sauce.
Address : No. 171 Jalan Pasir Puteh, 31650 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.
3. Chang Jiang White Coffee (Branch 2)
Chang Jiang White Coffee has opened a signature outlet in 2014. The outlet exudes nostalgia with its marble table tops, old-fashioned panel windows and giant mirrors. At the same time, it is demurely chic with Tiffany-blue chairs and pink window frames. The signature noodles topped with chicken feet, tofu, egg, minced meat and vegetable are simple yet exquisite.
Address : No. 7 Jalan Windsor, 30250 Ipoh, Perak.
4. Nam Chau White Coffee
Nam Chau’s white coffee had a subtle note of sweetness with a hint of bitterness. I just couldn’t resist and ordered a cup of kopi-c; where the simple presence of milk was like a magic potion, adding bliss to the coffee.
As for food, you won’t be disappointed with Nam Chau’s variety of curries.
Address : 54 Jalan Bandar Timah, 30000 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.
5. Nam Heong (Branch 1)
Nam Heong’s white coffee was moderately intense and leaned towards a heavier note on acidity. The acidity was still recognizable when I drank it as kopi-c.
Food at Nam Heong is one of the best in Ipoh; including dim sum, char koay teow and curry noodles.
Address : 2 Jalan Bandar Timah, 30000 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.
6. Nam Heong Food Court (Branch 2)
To drink Nam Heong’s white coffee at a more sophisticated environment, go to Nam Heong Food Court. Same coffee, same dim sum, more choices for food as the food court has gathered at least 10 popular Ipoh hawker food stalls all under one roof. The food items here are slightly pricier though.
Address : Blok B, 2-14, Soho Ipoh, Jalan Sultan Iskandar Shah, 30000 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.
7. Sin Yoon Loong (Branch 1)
I’ve always had an affinity towards Sin Yoon Loong’s coffee and I never knew why. Now that I have tried a good number of white coffee in Ipoh I think I found the reason. Sin Yoon Loong’s coffee was very well balanced. It was a moderately strong brew with hints of bitterness, acidity and charred scent. There was a bit of everything that you could recognize yet the elements didn’t overwhelm each other, making it my kind of coffee.
Food items you can order at Sin Yoong Loong include charcoal toasted bread with kaya, yong tau fu and pork rice. Food from next door, Sin Yuan Fong, can also be ordered to be eaten at Sin Yoong Loong.
Address : 15 A Jalan Bandar Timah, 30000 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.
8. Sun Yoong Loong (Branch 2)
Sin Yoong Yoong has two branches; the one in old town is run by the mother, while the one at Medan Bendahara is run by the son.
Address : Medan Bendahara, 31650 Ipoh, Perak.
9. Xin Xiang Er Nong
Xin Xiang Er Nong’s white coffee was potent and as vigorous as the one from Chang Jiang I couldn’t decide which one was stronger. The white coffee was predominantly charred with a pleasurable tinge of bitterness.
Food items at Xin Xian Er Nong inlcude Pan mee, economy rice, currey mee (from Dong Gu Teng) and herbal duck noodles.
Address : At the intersection of Jalan Tokong / Jalan Foo Ee Ling, 31650 Ipoh, Perak.
1. For coffee lovers who prefer a heavy brew, go to Chang Jiang and Xin Xiang Er Nong. For a unique herbal taste in coffee, go to Chang Jiang; for an energetic charred scent, go to xin Xiang Er Nong.
2. For coffee lovers who like a moderate brew, go to Sin Yoong Loong, Nam Heong and Nam Chau. Go to Sin Yoong Loong for a well balanced coffee with a bit of everything – charred scent, bitterness and acidity; go to Nam Heong if you like a bit of acidity; go to Nam Chau if you like your coffee with a note of sweetness.
3. For coffee lovers who like a lighter brew, go to Ah Chow. The coffee there is indeed very light; almost too light. Try the alcohol-laced white coffee for an oomph.
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