Thursday, 7 September 2017

Original Chang Jiang White Coffee by Kongs in Ipoh 江氏白咖啡

Chang-Jiang-White-Coffee-Kongs-Ipoh-江氏白咖啡

There was a time when I regularly spent weekends in Ipoh as it is near to KL where I worked years ago. Ipoh was then already well known for their "white coffee". My favourite kopi joint then was the original Chang Jiang at Jalan Pasir Puteh.

Chang-Jiang-White-Coffee-Kongs-Ipoh-江氏白咖啡

Back here after 20 years, the original Chang Jiang (founded in 1989 by Mr. 江永强) hasn't changed much - it's the same dingy local hangout. Best of all, they still make a great white coffee.

Chang-Jiang-White-Coffee-Kongs-Ipoh-江氏白咖啡

Chang Jiang's white coffee has good smooth body, with deep robust bitter flavour balanced with sweetness from milk or sugar and a little savouriness. The aromatic white coffee leaves a pleasant taste in the mouth between every sip of the dark full bodied brew.

Chang-Jiang-White-Coffee-Kongs-Ipoh-江氏白咖啡

The original Chang Jiang is now run by second generation owner Mr. Kong Kin Yong 江建杨. They roast their own coffee beans in their own roastery in Ipoh under the brand Kongs 江氏白咖啡.

Kongs still uses the same blend of beans which Mr. Kong's father 江永强 formulated through years of customer feedback - Kongs coffee is co-created with customers.

Chang-Jiang-White-Coffee-Kongs-Ipoh-江氏白咖啡

What is "white coffee"?  Simply put, it is pure coffee.

All coffee sold in Nanyang (Malaysia & Singapore) were once brewed from pure coffee beans. During the Great Inflation and oil crisis of the 1970s, high coffee prices forced many roasters to add cheaper ingredients like corn and barley as bulk fillers into the roast.

Adulterated coffee is known as "black coffee". Pure coffee is known as "white coffee".

The majority of coffee roasters forced by economic hardship took the black coffee route. Most common kopitiam coffees now are black coffee which contains charred maize or barley etc. A minority like Chang Jiang took the harder route and stuck to pure i.e. white.

(Nowadays, "3 in 1" coffee satchels with instant coffee, creamer and sugar are marketed as "white coffee", so the term became associated with both pure coffee and "3 in 1" instant coffee.)

Chang-Jiang-White-Coffee-Kongs-Ipoh-江氏白咖啡

I had the opportunity to visit Kongs roastery in Ipoh.  Kongs coffee is a blend of 3 different origins of imported Liberica and Arabica beans.

Chang-Jiang-White-Coffee-Kongs-Ipoh-江氏白咖啡

The proprietary blend of beans are roasted in large roasters.

Chang-Jiang-White-Coffee-Kongs-Ipoh-江氏白咖啡

The well trained and experienced workers use the most advanced precision instruments to decide the doneness of the beans.

They rely on their eyes and noses - carefully checking small samples of the beans at regular intervals. It's a highly responsible task - a drum of burnt beans costs not a small ransom.

Chang-Jiang-White-Coffee-Kongs-Ipoh-江氏白咖啡

After the beans are roasted to the desired doneness, it is grounded in a grinder into coffee powder.

Chang-Jiang-White-Coffee-Kongs-Ipoh-江氏白咖啡

The final step is to mix in salt and sugar with the grounded coffee at proprietary proportions to achieve the signature taste of Kongs coffee.

Chang-Jiang-White-Coffee-Kongs-Ipoh-江氏白咖啡

The final step is tasting before any batch of white coffee powder is cleared for packing and release to the market.

Chang-Jiang-White-Coffee-Kongs-Ipoh-江氏白咖啡

Again, the best precision instruments are used. Ms Kong Sou Keet 江秀洁 is the chief taster with over 30 years of experience.

Chang-Jiang-White-Coffee-Kongs-Ipoh-江氏白咖啡

Ms Kong is a traditional white coffee personality in Malaysia with numerous media appearances. This article in The Star daily featuring Ms Kong was dated 1999.

Chang-Jiang-White-Coffee-Kongs-Ipoh-江氏白咖啡

Kongs coffee powder is distributed to shops in Ipoh for retail. Kong's coffee powder is also distributed to coffee shops and cafes overseas and in Malaysia. One of which is, of course, the family's own Chang Jiang coffee shop.

Chang-Jiang-White-Coffee-Kongs-Ipoh-江氏白咖啡

Kongs white coffee costs a slight premium compared to average black coffee as it is pure coffee. Once one tasted white coffee, it is very hard to go back to ashy tasting black coffee made palatable with overdose of sugar and processed "milk".

The best place to taste Kongs white coffee is at the original Chang Jiang at Jalan Pasir Puteh or at home using Kongs grounded coffee (powder), available for retail customers at the moment only in Ipoh. (Kongs white coffee is distributed to numerous coffee shops, so you may be enjoying Kongs coffee without knowing it.)

Chang-Jiang-White-Coffee-Kongs-Ipoh-江氏白咖啡

Restaurant name: Kedai Kopi Chang Jiang 江氏白咖啡
Address171, Jalan Pasir Puteh, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
GPS4°35'02.8"N 101°04'54.4"E | 4.584110, 101.081774
Tel: +6019 - 595 5535 | +605 - 254 4290
HoursMon - Fri: 8:00am - 1:00am | Sat: 8:00am - 6:00pm | Sun: 8:00am - 1:00am

Kongs white coffee is certified Halal

Date: 7 Sep 2017

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2 comments:

  1. Tony, you mentioned that white coffee is pure coffee. My understanding is that there is no sugar added but it still contains other ingredients such as margarine.

    Or is it the case that Chang Jiang is unique and does not add other ingredients.

    Joe

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. From what I understand, white commonly means no maize or barley and other such solid bulk fillers. There can be sugar, salt, or margarine which are considered flavourings.

      Delete

I firmly believe that taste is subjective and so, warmly welcome differing viewpoints as it makes this blog better :-D But, I disapprove negative comments that are anonymous or hide behind fake identities. I feel that that is unethical in the same way as speaking ill of others behind their backs. I look forward to all your comments :-D Thank you. (Date: 18 Dec 2015)

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