As Ipoh is the birthplace of Ipoh White Coffee, you have to try a cup of the comforting aromatic beverage while you are here!
In fact, visiting an Ipoh coffee shop is one of the things you must do in Ipoh!
For the best coffee in Ipoh, refer to this list of kopitiam (coffee shops in the local lingo) that serve up authentic Ipoh White Coffee!
Table of contents:
- Why Is It Called White Coffee?
- The Origin Of Ipoh White Coffee
- Best Ipoh White Coffee Shop
- Private Tour Service In Ipoh
Let’s get this straight:
Why Is It called White Coffee?
You might think the name is referring to the color but white coffee actually gets its name from the way it is prepared:
Unlike other methods, the beans for white coffee are roasted with just palm oil margarine.
Instead of being roasted together with sugar and wheat as well as margarine.
This gives the coffee a more distinctive taste!
The Origin Of Ipoh White Coffee
There are a couple of coffee shops (Sin Yoon Loong and Nam Heong in particular) that have long been competing for the honor of being labelled as the pioneer of Ipoh White Coffee.
But it can be agreed that Ipoh White Coffee came from Ipoh Old Town or more precisely, Jalan Bandar Timah (formerly known as Leech Street).
Best Ipoh White Coffee Shop
Every kopitiam has their own special way of preparing pak ko pi (Cantonese dialect for white coffee) so try to sample the coffee at a few of these places, if you can!
By the way, Ipoh White Coffee goes along great with any of the best Ipoh food!
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Having being in action for more than 80 years, Sin Yoon Loong has a good claim as being the pioneer of Ipoh White Coffee!
Ambiance-wise, this is as traditional as a kopitiam gets! Their coffee is aromatic and smooth with a rich taste!
They have a second branch which opens at 7am but is just as crowded!
- Soft-boiled eggs on toast
- Roast pork (sells out in the morning)
- Wan ton mee
- Chee cheong fan with curry
For a strong rendition of Ipoh white coffee, you can try this local kopitiam. The maiden branch is on Jalan Bandar Timah.
There is lots of good food to be had here, especially their egg tarts fresh out of the oven!
Their second trendier branch is over at Ipoh Soho but not as popular! Although if you like coffee with a milky taste, then you might prefer the one at this branch!
- Egg tarts
- Soy milk
- Muah chee (rice flour topped with crushed peanuts)
Like Nam Heong, this kopitiam offers a strong version of Ipoh white coffee with pretty clear taste of evaporated milk and just a hint sour!
This is not a bad spot for lunch too! Their curry mee is tasty!
- Chap fun (Fondly known as economy rice – you get a plate of rice and choose from a medley of dishes)
- kai see hor fun (Flat white rice noodles in a yummy prawn broth sprinkled with chopped spring onions and shredded chicken. Sometimes with beansprouts too!)
- Curry mee (Noodles and curry – there’s a wet and dry version)
This 50-year old shop at Pasar Besar Ipoh still sells their unique and delicious coffee blends to the masses!
You can literally smell the coffee before you enter the shop!
Choose between robust and Arabica beans, whole or ground. Instant coffee powder (Fine) is available too!
Take a packet home or have a fresh cup of Ipoh white coffee there! Or both!
You cannot go wrong with a cup of Ipoh white coffee here at this incredibly charming kopitiam!
The café is located in a small bungalow with limited parking spots!
The husband and wife duo, Kong Kin Loong and Foong Choa Mun have been running this shop since 2015 and clearly know how to prepare an excellent cup of coffee!
They get their beans from a variety of sources – Liberica (Klang), Robusta (Indonesia) and Arabica (Vietnam).
Their perfectly balanced white coffee is already smooth but it has a layer of foam on top for extra smoothness!
There is a fragrant aftertaste too!
3-in-1 white coffee sachets are available for purchase at the shop.
As for food, they have a wide selection of Chinese food.
- Signature noodle dish with chicken feet
- Toast bread with kaya
- Minced meat noodles
Fancy a cup of Ipoh white coffee at night? This is the place for you!
Aneka Selera Restaurant Kam Wan is a hawker center that makes for an awesome all-in-one spot to try local food (including seafood) as well as Ipoh white coffee.
The coffee here is robust but has just enough milk added to offset the bitterness!
- Chee cheong fun
- Claypot chicken rice
A relatively new player in the Ipoh café game, 22 Hale Street opened back in 2017.
Along with their rich Ipoh white coffee, you can also enjoy their incredibly beautiful ambiance in an air-con environment.
There’s also a gift shop and Ipoh heritage gallery that you can explore!
Their nyonya menu is small but tasty!
- Nasi Kerabu
- Bubur cha cha
A cosy air-conditioned space with vintage kopitiam vibes:
This is a great spot for a freshly prepared cup of smooth coffee!
The home cooked dishes are worth trying!
- Pork porridge
- Toast with kaya
- Nasi kerabu
- Traditional Hainanese black coffee
Got a thing for Bailey’s? The kopi o kosong here tastes similar!
Ah Chow kopitiam is well known for its alcohol-laced white coffee served in dainty china cups!
You will often find a crowd here so it’s best to know what you want before you order!
This version of Ipoh white coffee is on the sweet side – which is great if you like your coffee that way!
It may well be their curry mee that draws the crowd but Nam Chau also serves a creamy cup of white coffee (or smoky black coffee if you prefer)!
The coffee is neither too bitter nor too sweet with well balanced portions of milk and coffee!
Restoran Sin Lean Lee is another typical plain kopitiam that prepares a robust white coffee which you can order hot or with ice!
Either way, the coffee flavour will be strong!
While you’re here, don’t forget to try their “golden” char kuay teow.
These are flat noodles fried with beansprouts, shrimp or cockles and egg. It’s the Sunnyside up on top that gives the dish its name!
Firstly, you’ll probably spot this red building from the road and you will be wondering where you can park!
Parking doesn’t deter the would-be patrons of this café though!
Best to have someone drop you off here or you can park in a back alley a few lanes away and walk over if you’re not lucky to get one of the few parking spots on the same lane!
The name of the shop directly translate to “drink coffee” from the Hokkien dialect and that’s what you should do!
Enjoy a cup of smooth, sweetish and aromatic white coffee in the quaint kopitiam. Which by the way, is pretty Instagrammable too!
- Curry noodles
- Soft-boiled egg and kaya toast
- Garlic fried rice
- Mee Jawa
- Ice kacang
Don’t say you weren’t warned!
Even in the early morning, this coffee shop is often packed which makes the service unreliable at times but doesn’t stop people from coming!
Their appetizing and affordable local dishes are a hit with both locals and tourists!
Their white coffee comes off as sweet so get the iced version to go with your meal!
- Chee cheong fun
- Kai se hor fun
- Curry mee
This is the lesser known branch of the Chang Jiang White Coffee shop on Jalan Windsor.
The ambiance is plain but you can have their thick, creamy and sweet white coffee at almost any hour of the day since they open early and close late!
You can see many people taking away orders of the coffee during the day!
Recommended dishes: Nasi Lemak
Just opposite Kedai Kopi Nam Heong is another breakfast spot in Ipoh!
Pair the iced white coffee with their eggs on toast for a match made in heaven!
If you’re looking for egg tarts, they have them here too!
- Chee cheong fun
- Curry noodles
- Soup noodles
Addon White Coffee Ipoh is one of the newer coffee shops around Ipoh Old Town.
But it is halal and has longer opening hours than its peers!
You’ll get lovely ambiance and big portions here along with a superb selection of coffee!
- Nasi Lemak
- Nasi goreng
- Beef noodle soup
Despite there being a couple of Ipoh Old Town White Coffee branches in Ipoh, this one faces Ipoh Padang!
Don’t expect the menu to have anything different from the other branches though!
The white coffee here is strong which is great if you need a pick-me-up before starting on a street mural hunt! There are a few around this coffee shop!
Parking can be sparse during busy times!
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We get it. It’s confusing to choose a kopitiam in Ipoh with so many good ones around!
Here’s a summary according to your tastebuds:
- Sweet and light – Ah Chow, Addon White Coffee Ipoh, Kong’s White Coffee, Moon De Moon, Lim Ko Pi
- Moderate – Sin Yoon Loong, Nam Chau, Nam Heong, Aneka Selera Restaurant Kam Wan
- Strong – Restoran Sin Lean Lee, Xin Xiang Er Nong, Chang Jiang
What is your coffee preference? Do you already have a favourite kopitiam in Ipoh? Let us know in the comments!
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