Malaysia’s Ipoh White Coffee: A Top Global Brew

malaysia ipoh white coffee

Malaysia’s gastronomic scene is finally basking in the limelight, courtesy of a recent TasteAtlas ranking that has coffee aficionados and patriots alike buzzing with pride. After facing several setbacks in global food rankings—where the nation’s nasi kambing unfortunately found itself among the “100 worst-rated food,” and the beloved kaya toast was overshadowed by Singapore’s claim—Malaysia makes a triumphant return to the culinary stage. This time, it’s with its cherished Ipoh white coffee, securing the 10th spot in the list of the world’s best-rated coffee, boasting an impressive 4.3 out of 5 stars.

Originating from the quaint streets of Ipoh, this beverage contradicts its moniker; it isn’t white. The secret to its rich, aromatic flavor lies in a unique roasting technique, where the beans are lightly roasted with margarine, then meticulously ground and brewed. This delightful concoction is typically served with a generous dollop of condensed milk, creating a creamy, indulgent experience that has captured the hearts of coffee lovers worldwide.

Ipoh white coffee stands proud among other esteemed brews, with espresso freddo from Greece, cafe cubano from Cuba, and Indian filter coffee from Southern India taking the top three positions, respectively. Yet, Malaysia’s caffeinated treasure isn’t the only Southeast Asian contender. Vietnam and Indonesia also make notable appearances with their distinctive coffee offerings, like Vietnam’s renowned iced and egg coffee, alongside Indonesia’s kopi tubruk and the exotic kopi luwak.


Interestingly, this culinary accolade comes amidst a backdrop of playful yet passionate food rivalries, particularly between Malaysia and Singapore. Earlier narratives had focused on the origins and recognition of dishes like kaya toast, which, despite being a staple in both nations, was attributed solely to Singapore in TasteAtlas’s “best sandwiches in the world” ranking. This, alongside debates over the best places to enjoy roti canai—another Malaysian favorite that saw Singaporean eateries taking precedence in recommendations—has stirred the pot of national culinary pride.

These food wars, while highlighting the competitive spirit between neighboring countries, also underscore the shared heritage and love for food that transcends borders. As Malaysia celebrates its victory in the coffee rankings, it’s a reminder of the rich culinary diversity and the deep-rooted traditions that define Southeast Asian cuisine. So, here’s to Malaysia’s Ipoh white coffee—a testament to the country’s enduring love affair with coffee, marking its place on the global stage and inviting coffee enthusiasts to savor a taste of Malaysia’s finest.

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