It was precisely in Ipoh Old Town that the first generation of White Coffee was pioneered by a Hainanese coffee roasting master in one of the old coffee shops at "Old Town" in Ipoh, Malaysia.
In the 19th and early 20th century during the British colonial era, Perak was a booming tin-mining state. Many British tin-mining companies set up their bases in Ipoh, making it a prominent city in the country.
Drinking bitter and acidic western coffee was a way of socialising and doing business with westerners. Hainanese immigrates who were migrated to Malaysia to work in the local tin mines were unaccustomed to the bitter western style coffee and modified it to suit the Chinese population.
By slow-roasting the local coffee beans in margarine and with their culinary expertise, they transformed the dark brown colour coffee into the famous Ipoh Old Town White Coffee.