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Low Acidic Coffee: The Essential Guide

Coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the world. The debate about coffee versus tea is quite an old one, but lately, an increasing number of people seem to prefer the first.

Some of us can’t even think about starting our day without a cup of coffee. That is not surprising, as it is well known how it can quickly boost productivity and focus and improve one’s mood. But it is not only the high caffeine content for coffee’s popularity: the rich flavor, the distinct fragrance, and the presence of several antioxidants also play a role.

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You might not be aware that a standard cup of this drink contains around 30 acids, some of which you find in citrus fruits and vinegar. The acid contained in coffee is what makes this beverage rich in taste and vibrant. However, it might also be a problem for those suffering from acid reflux or heartburn. Burning throat, rioting stomach, or a hammering heart are common reactions to the high acidic content in coffee. Some people can’t drink a cup of the beverage without suffering the consequences.

But don’t despair! If you want one of those coffee drinkers, but can’t stop consuming coffee (because you love it too much), there’s good news for you.

Indeed, coffee manufactures have noticed the problem and started to produce low acidic versions of their roasts. But what exactly is coffee low in acid? Is it a flavorless hot beverage that only looks like coffee? Does it contain the same levels of caffeine? Is it a drink you can enjoy in the morning without suffering from the consequences for hours?

Because information about low acidic coffee is scattered, often confusing, and unclear, we put together this essential guide to clarify all of your doubts.

So, are you ready to find out more about low acidic coffee?

Coffee And Acidic Content

Before we get started, there’s something that needs some clarification.

If you know something about coffee, then you should be familiar with the concept of acidity. This term is often used to indicate the quality of the coffee bean, as it refers to the flavor notes of the brew. In this case, acidity has nothing to do with coffee’s pH.

Beans cultivated at high altitudes tend to be more acidic: they provide bright and vibrant flavor notes. The moral here is not to automatically avoid a coffee brand only because you notice the word “acidity.”

Now let’s go back to the point we are trying to make.

We have mentioned the importance of acid in coffee. But let’s speak numbers.

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On the pH scale, ranging from 0 (highly acidic) to 14 (completely basic), the average cup of coffee falls at around 5. That’s pretty high but still less than soda or beer, that work at pH 4. Yet, many people experience acid reflux, indigestion, and gastroesophageal disease after drinking coffee. That might be because of chlorogenic acid (which gives the beverage its bright color), and caffeine.

PH Scale Image

Of course, everyone’s body reacts differently to substances contained in food. Depending on your gut’s chemistry, the concentration of healthy bacteria living in your stomach, and the levels of acids you produce, you might have different reactions when exposed to coffee. However, as a rule of thumb, if your digestive system is particularly delicate, you might experience unpleasant effects when consuming acidic foods (or drinks).

At this point, we should point out that despite some digestive issues, many studies have confirmed that a cup of coffee a day can provide you with several benefits. Aside from the increased focus and energy, coffee has been found to reduce the risk of stroke, Parkinson’s disease, type II diabetes, and has some positive effects on your mood.

The good news? By choosing the right bean, it is now possible to get all the pluses of your coffee cup, without the digestive issues.

Want To Learn How To Roast Your Own Coffee? Checkout My Article About Roasting Coffee At Home!

What Makes Certain Types Of Coffee Low In Acid?

Some beans are naturally low in acid, but several factors are contributing to coffee’s acidic content. Let’s have a better look at some of these factors.

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1- THE REGION IN WHICH IT IS GROWN

The climate, soil, elevation, and surrounding vegetation all impact the level of acid in coffee. In general, coffee beans that grow at higher altitudes have greater levels of caffeine and organic acid. Since the acidity gives coffee its strong flavor, it is no wonder that coffee grown at lower altitudes tend to be smoother and mellower.

Coffee beans produced at high altitudes are denser, often with higher concentrations of sugars. Because of the harsher growing conditions, coffee bean maturation at high altitudes is slower, giving complex sugars time to develop. For all these reasons, the coffee grown at high elevations is more acidic and more robust in taste and flavor than beans cultivated at lower altitudes.

If suffering from digestive problems, you should look for coffee grown at low elevations. Examples include but are not limited to: Indonesia, Central America, Brazil, and Hawaii.

2- The Choice Of Processing Method

There are several ways to process coffee beans. When we refer to processing in coffee’s supply chain, we mean the separation of the seed from the fruit. Each fruit produced by the coffee plants consists of several layers, and coffee processing consists of removing all of them.

Depending on the processing method choice, the flavor and taste will differ. Some ways are more common than others, but there’s no doubt that they all contribute to different acidity levels in the final product. Let’s look at the three most popular methods:

WET (OR WASHED) PROCESSING is the method that often results in the highest levels of acidity. It consists of removing the layers surrounding the coffee been by separating the beans from the cherries through “de-pulping.” In essence, in washed processing, the several layers of the fruit are removed before the drying phase begins. When it is time to remove the cherry’s pulp, ” the bean is “washed” and then taken outside to be dried.

NATURAL (OR DRY) METHOD is the most traditional way to process coffee. It involves drying off the cherries in the sun, which can take up to 3 to 6 weeks. Such a method is more common in areas with low humidity and infrequent rain, such as Ethiopia and Yemen. When the cherries are dry to the right point, it is time to send them to the mills. It is here where the seeds get separated from the rest of the fruit.

SEMI WASHED OR PULPED PROCESSING works similarly to the wet processing, but the pulp remains on the beans during the sun-drying phase. This process tends to increases the intensity and body of the resulting coffee. It is common in Brazilian and Indonesian coffees.

3- Roasting Process

Another factor that has an impact on the creation of low acidic coffee is the roasting process. It is during this production phase that the natural acidity of the coffee bean can change. Indeed, during roasting, the organic acids in coffee are broken down. The high temperatures involved in roasting increase the release of acid and impact the beans’ overall flavors. In general, the longer the beans are roasted, the better.

Dark roast beans tend to have lower acidity levels and lower levels of the acids that most commonly cause digestive problems. On top of that, longer roasting time increases N-methyl pyridinium’s level, an acid that seems to suppress the release of gastric acid.

For these reasons, companies offering low acidic coffee are starting to adopt slow roasting or steaming methods.

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Brewing Method

We have touched upon all of the steps during the production of coffee that might impact the acidity content. How the consumer uses the coffee also affects how acidic the coffee will be.

When you extract coffee at high temperatures, such as when using an espresso machine, you might increase your coffee’s acidic activity. One way you can enjoy coffee with low acidity is to try immersion brewing methods.

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We are talking about using a French Press, cold brewing, or Chemex pour-over brewing. All these brewing methods release less caffeine and chlorogenic acid and decrease the probability of experiencing gastric problems after consumption.

Deciding to enjoy a cold coffee might be extremely beneficial to your stomach. Research showed that the iced version of this beverage is up to 70% less acidic than an average cup of hot coffee brewed from the same beans. Also, cold brewing doesn’t affect the caffeine content or the distinct rich and bold aroma of your coffee. The problem with cold-brewing is the time it takes to prepare. You’ll have to steep coffee grounds in cold water for about 12-24 hours, making it more complicated to have a cup at home every day. Still, it is an option you should take into account.

Plus, adding milk or cream to your coffee can contribute to lower the acidity of the beverage. The calcium contained in milk has anti-acidic properties that will make your cup less harsh on your stomach.

Another popular method to neutralize the acid in your coffee is to cause a chemical reaction by brewing coffee with eggshells among the grounds. Thanks to its alkalinity, the eggshell can balance out the acidity with no impact on the taste.

Last but not least, keep in mind that the freshness of the coffee you are consuming will have an impact on its acidity. The longer you leave the coffee beans or grains sitting, the higher the acidity. Try to keep your coffee fresh. You might opt to buy smaller quantities of coffee, which won’t be sitting idle for too long.

Low Acid Coffee Brands

Due to the vast choice, finding the right coffee for your needs might be extremely hard sometimes. Also, the information provided on the package is not always clear. How to know if the coffee I select is low acidic?

To make things a bit easier, we prepared a list of some of the best low acid coffee brands on the market.

2LB Don Pablo Signature Blend - Medium-Dark Roast - Whole Bean Coffee - Low Acidity - 2 Pound (2 lb) Bag
Java Planet, Organic Coffee Beans, Colombian Single Origin, Low Acid, Non GMO, Gourmet Medium Dark Roast of Arabica Whole Bean Coffee, Certified Organic, Rainforest Alliance Certified, Two 1LB Bags
Sumatran Gayo Coffee, Ground, Low Acid, Fair Trade, Fresh Roasted, 16-ounce
Puroast Low Acid Ground Coffee, Organic French Roast, High Antioxidant, 2.5 Pound Bag
Simpatico Low Acid Coffee - Regular - Organic Dark - Ground (2 pound bag)
2LB Don Pablo Signature Blend - Medium-Dark Roast - Whole Bean Coffee - Low Acidity - 2 Pound (2 lb) Bag
Java Planet, Organic Coffee Beans, Colombian Single Origin, Low Acid, Non GMO, Gourmet Medium Dark Roast of Arabica Whole Bean Coffee, Certified Organic, Rainforest Alliance Certified, Two 1LB Bags
Sumatran Gayo Coffee, Ground, Low Acid, Fair Trade, Fresh Roasted, 16-ounce
Puroast Low Acid Ground Coffee, Organic French Roast, High Antioxidant, 2.5 Pound Bag
Simpatico Low Acid Coffee - Regular - Organic Dark - Ground (2 pound bag)
2LB Don Pablo Signature Blend - Medium-Dark Roast - Whole Bean Coffee - Low Acidity - 2 Pound (2 lb) Bag
2LB Don Pablo Signature Blend - Medium-Dark Roast - Whole Bean Coffee - Low Acidity - 2 Pound (2 lb) Bag
Java Planet, Organic Coffee Beans, Colombian Single Origin, Low Acid, Non GMO, Gourmet Medium Dark Roast of Arabica Whole Bean Coffee, Certified Organic, Rainforest Alliance Certified, Two 1LB Bags
Java Planet, Organic Coffee Beans, Colombian Single Origin, Low Acid, Non GMO, Gourmet Medium Dark Roast of Arabica Whole Bean Coffee, Certified Organic, Rainforest Alliance Certified, Two 1LB Bags
Sumatran Gayo Coffee, Ground, Low Acid, Fair Trade, Fresh Roasted, 16-ounce
Sumatran Gayo Coffee, Ground, Low Acid, Fair Trade, Fresh Roasted, 16-ounce
Puroast Low Acid Ground Coffee, Organic French Roast, High Antioxidant, 2.5 Pound Bag
Puroast Low Acid Ground Coffee, Organic French Roast, High Antioxidant, 2.5 Pound Bag
Simpatico Low Acid Coffee - Regular - Organic Dark - Ground (2 pound bag)
Simpatico Low Acid Coffee - Regular - Organic Dark - Ground (2 pound bag)

Last update on 2021-03-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Use this as a starting point, but don’t hesitate to try other brands. As a rule of thumb, when not specified on the packaging, a coffee brand is low in acid when it comes from relatively low altitudes and derives from a slow roasting process.

Cafe Don Pablo Low Acid Coffee

This 100% Arabica coffee is organic and characterized by a deep chocolate flavor that will make you fall in love. The company employes a unique slow roasting process for their beans, which ensures optimal taste and freshness. This brand is great to be used for your espressos, or in a French Press.

2LB Don Pablo Signature Blend - Medium-Dark Roast - Whole Bean Coffee - Low Acidity - 2 Pound (2 lb) Bag
  • Don Pablo's Special Blend of Colombia, Guatemala, and Brazil
  • Medium to Full Bodied with a Very Smooth Cocoa Toned Finish & Low Acidity
  • Medium-Dark Roast - Whole Bean Arabica Coffee - GMO Free
  • Origin: Colombia, Guatemala, Brazil
  • REFUNDABLE - Try Don Pablo Risk-Free: Buy now, and if you don't love our...

Last update on 2021-03-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Java Planet’s Colombian Organic

If you appreciate the bright flavors of coffee but prefer consuming it without the high acidic levels, you should choose Java Planet. Grown in Colombia, this brand run by a local family of producers offers high-quality organic and fair trade coffee, with a characteristic fruity aftertaste. Thanks to its smooth texture, coffee drinkers who prefer lighter roasts to darker ones will love it.

Unfortunately, this brand only offers unground beans, meaning that you should be comfortable grinding them yourself. On the bright side, it ensures the best flavor and freshness.

Java Planet, Organic Coffee Beans, Colombian Single Origin, Low Acid, Non GMO, Gourmet Medium Dark Roast of Arabica Whole Bean Coffee, Certified Organic, Rainforest Alliance Certified, Two 1LB Bags
  • ☕ GREAT TASTING LOW ACID COFFEE! Our single-origin coffee has the...
  • 🐦 PEACE OF MIND! In addition to being certified Organic, our Colombian...
  • 🐦😝 NO PESTICIDES! We use only 100% organic certified arabica coffee...
  • 🤩 WHOLE BEAN IS BETTER! We only package whole bean coffee for the best...
  • 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 FAMILY OWNED AND OPERATED! We want you to be...

Last update on 2021-03-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Volcanica Sumatran Gayo Low Acid Coffee

This Indonesian ground coffee is smooth and rich in taste. Because of the high-quality processing, selection, and cultivation, Volcanica is one of the best brands when it comes to superior coffee.

The after taste is intense and syrupy and remarkably delicious. On top of that, the Volcanica is a Fair Trade company and Certified by the Rainforest Alliance. Volcanica Coffee transports more than 130 varieties of coffee, and the beans are slow-roasted in Atlanta, Georgia.

Sumatran Gayo Coffee, 16 oz

Puroast Low Acid Organic French Roast

The brand is famous for its unique technique called “pure toasting.” Puroast uses wood fire to roast their coffee beans. The result is a far slower roasting process and a dark low acidic French Roast. You can expect this coffee to have around 70% less acidity than most other coffee you find in the market. Despite being a dark roast, the taste is far from being overly burned. Instead, it has a delicious, distinct flavor.

Puroast Low Acid Ground Coffee, Organic French Roast, High Antioxidant, 2.5 Pound Bag
  • 70 LESS ACID: Our low acid coffee is perfect for all coffee lovers,...
  • 7X HIGHER ANTIOXIDANTS: It turns out there is a connection between...
  • PURE TO THE POUR: From our humble origins in the foothills of the Andes...
  • FEEL BETTER, NEVER BITTER: Take on the daily grind with a smooth, aromatic...
  • QUALITY IN EVERY CUP: Not all coffee is created equal. Our high elevation...

Last update on 2021-03-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Simpatico Low Acid Dark Roast

The Arabica coffee beans used to make this coffee come from Oaxaca, Mexico, where they are grown at low altitudes and under the shade of the surrounding forest. Therefore, they are naturally lower in acid. On top of that, the roasting process chosen by Simpatico further reduced acidity. The company prides itself on offering a naturally produced coffee. The beans are harvested using traditional methods and are free from pesticides and artificial fertilizers.

Simpatico Low Acid Dark roast has a full body and is rich in flavor. If you like the toasty taste of dark roasts and care about the company’s values producing your coffee, you should choose this brand.

Simpatico Low Acid Coffee - Regular - Organic Dark - Ground (2 pound bag)
  • Simpatico was ranked the #1 best tasting low acid coffee by...
  • If coffee upsets your stomach or causes acid reflux, GERD, or heartburn,...
  • Our coffee beans are shade grown under the natural forest canopy in Oaxaca,...
  • Simpatico's super smooth, full rich taste is the result of hand-roasting in...
  • Simpatico Organic Low Acid Dark Roast Coffee is a smoky roast with dark...

Last update on 2021-03-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Why Should You Consume Coffee Low In Acid

Even if you don’t suffer from acid reflux after your daily cup of coffee, there are several reasons why you should consider consuming this drink in its low acid version.

Less Irritation

As mentioned, people who suffer from gastritis or ulcers should find peace in the consumption of low acidic coffee. In theory, low-acid coffee also causes less discomfort to people with GERD. On top of that, the reduced content of acid also makes the beverage much lighter on your abdomen and stomach, meaning that you’ll digest it more rapidly than an average cup.

Less Damage To Your Teeth

All acidic foods and drinks can hurt your teeth enamel. Acids contribute to removing the natural protection from the outer layers of the teeth and promote the formation of cavities. By reducing the intake of acid, you will mitigate the effects of acid substances.

Safer For Those Suffering From Lactose Intolerance or Who Are Gluten-Free

Lactose and gluten intolerance are conditions that often cause inflamed intestine when not following the dietary recommendations. Acidic coffee can only aggravate the problem by contributing to increased inflammation. To enjoy your morning drink without issues, choose low acidic brands.

The Bottom Line

Whether you have a sensitive stomach or are concerned about your teeth enamel, you shouldn’t have to give up coffee. As we tried to explain with this guide, today, you can still enjoy your favorite energizing drink without losing its benefits, taste, or quality.

Indeed less acidic coffee will have no differences when it comes to the richness of its flavor and will keep the same energizing benefits. Chances are, you won’t even taste the difference with conventional coffee.

Choose a low acidic coffee brand, follow our tips for decreasing your beverage acidity when consuming, or do both: you’ll notice a significant difference. You’ll be able to enjoy your daily cup without issues during the day.

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