Low Acid Coffee: Brewing Tips and Buying Guide to Save Your Stomach

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Coffee is a true joy in life, and everyone deserves to savor it. However, for those with certain health issues, enjoying a good cup can bring worries like heartburn and acid reflux. But there’s good news – low acid coffee exists, and it’s not just decaf. This means you can enjoy your brew without the discomfort.

In this post, I’ll guide you through discovering low-acid coffee beans, sharing links to top-notch acid-reduced roasts. Plus, I’ll offer brewing advice and tips to cut down the acidity in your coffee, making each sip smoother for your stomach. 

Ready to enjoy your favorite beverage without the downside?

How Acidic Is Coffee?

Remember your high school chemistry lessons about acidity? It’s all about the pH scale, which goes from 0 to 14. Think of water as the middle ground at 7. If the number is less than 7, it’s acidic. More than 7? It’s alkaline, or basic. So, lower numbers mean more acidity, and higher numbers mean it’s more alkaline. Simple, right?

A regular coffee usually has a pH between 4.8 and 5.1, making it acidic. But how does its acidity level stack up against other drinks?

Here are a few examples:

  • Black tea — 4.9 to 5.5
  • Beer — 4.0 to 5.0
  • Orange juice’s — 3.3 to 4.2.
  • Gatorade — 2.9.
  • Coca-Cola — 2.4. 

Believe it or not, coffee isn’t as acidic as you might think! In fact, except for water and milk, which have a gentle pH of 6.7, almost every drink we enjoy is at least as acidic as coffee, if not more.

I really hope this explanation makes it clear why we focus on pH levels. Almost all our drinks are acidic, except for water, which is the big exception. Rarely do we ever drink anything alkaline.

Finding low-acid coffee is crucial for us. I deal with acid reflux, and my partner battles GERD. We’re huge coffee lovers, but drinking high-acid coffee can really backfire on us. It’s all about enjoying coffee without the discomfort.

These health issues might make coffee’s acidity feel harsh:

  • Acid reflux (including GERD)
  • IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)
  • Gastric ulcers

What Do You Lose With Low Acid Coffee?

Dive into the quirky world of coffee snobs say the darndest things. Surprisingly, in the coffee expert realm, more acidity in your brew is a good thing. Yes, they love a zesty cup!

Well, not exactly.

When we talk about acidity in coffee, we’re not talking about its pH level, but rather its lively, tart taste. This vibrant flavor is a sign of high-quality coffee. But remember, it’s not the same as sourness. While sourness usually means there’s a problem with the coffee, acidity is actually something to aim for.

Does less acidic coffee mean less flavor? Let’s find out.

Believe it or not, the taste of your coffee doesn’t always tell the whole story about its acidity. Sometimes, coffees that taste less acidic can actually be low in acid, while those with a sharp, acidic flavor might not be as acidic as you think.

Want to keep your coffee’s zesty taste without the stomach-ache-causing acid? It’s possible! You’ll need to put in a bit more work and maybe spend a little extra cash, but it’s definitely doable.

How to Make Low Acid Coffee

Coffee’s acidity stems from its beans. To enjoy a smoother cup with less acid, there are three simple tricks to try.

  1. Use lower acid beans
  2. Use a brewing process that extracts less acid from the beans
  3. Counteract the acid

In this part, I’ll dive deeper into each choice. Remember, there’s no single correct method, and you might discover that one option fits you perfectly or that blending a few works best. If you’re not into experimenting with your coffee, don’t worry! I’ll break down the advantages and disadvantages of each method to simplify your decision-making process.

Low acid coffee beans

Starting from the beginning is key. Many brands offer tasty low-acid coffee beans, and that’s not even including decaf options.

Looking for low acid coffee beans? Start by checking the label – many roasters highlight this feature. But, not all low-acid coffees shout it on their packaging. Interestingly, some coffees that boast about their acidity in flavor might actually have low real acid levels. So, keep an eye out and read closely!

Don’t fall for the myth that darker coffee is less acidic. It might taste smoother, but it actually has more quinic acid. This is the sneaky acid that can make your stomach feel sour after enjoying your coffee. Keep this in mind next time you pick your brew!

Where your coffee beans come from really affects their acidity. For smoother, less acidic coffee, check out these top picks:

Explore the different coffee beans that make up your favorite blends. Robusta beans, known for their unique taste, tend to make your coffee more acidic. On the other hand, Arabica beans, which are more common, offer a smoother experience with less acidity. Perfect for those just diving into the world of coffee!

Another key tip, which might not always be clear from coffee packaging, is to check the elevation. Coffee from lower altitudes usually has less acidity compared to beans grown high up in the mountains.

Best low acid coffees for 2021

Many coffee brands now offer low-acid options, with some focusing solely on creating smoother, more alkaline beans. Here’s a list of my top picks.

  • Lifeboost — Lifeboost’s coffee is simply amazing, and they have low-acid options for light, medium, and dark roasts. Their beans all come from a 6-acre family farm in Nicaragua. Now that is single origin!
  • Volcanica Coffee Co — One of the coolest things about Volcanica is that they roast your coffee after you order it. That’s a freshness level that you’ll never get in your local grocery store. Their Low Acid Blend, Hawaiian Kona, and Komodo Dragon Coffee are all low in acid.
  • Java Planet — Java Planet is all about making coffee that is as good for the planet as it is good for those that drink it. Amongst all their great options you’ll find an entire section devoted to low acid coffees, with Colombia Organic and Guatemala Organic roasts and a decaf option from Peru.
  • Koffee Kult — This is the boldest option in the list. If you want a strong flavor without much acidity, Koffee Kult’s dark roast is one of the best options you’ll find.
  • Puroast Organic House Blend — It’s a budget option for sure, but it’s a delicious and low-acid budget option.

Other Ways to Make Your Coffee Less Acidic

Make it cold brew

Cold brew coffee is a game-changer, especially if you’re not a fan of acidic drinks. Though it requires a bit of planning—you’ll need to start about 12 hours before you want your coffee—the method is straightforward. Whether you pick up an easy-to-use cold brew maker online or try a DIY method, you’re in for a treat. The result? A delicious, smooth coffee that’s easy on your stomach, thanks to its low acidity. Check it out here.

Serve it fresh

The more coffee beans or grounds hang out, the sourer they get. This happens when coffee goes stale. Sure, buying in bulk saves cash, but it means you’re sipping on more acid. If you’re unsure, always choose fresh coffee. It’s a simple tip for a better brew!

Add an acid reducer

Did you know you can make your coffee less sour? A top choice is Coffee Tamer. It’s got calcium carbonate – yes, the same stuff in Tums – to cut down the acid in your brew.

Use eggshells

Here’s a quirky trick you might not know: adding eggshells to your coffee! Sounds odd, right? But eggshells are alkaline, meaning they can make your coffee less acidic and smoother. Here’s how to do it: clean a few eggshells, crush them up, and mix them with your coffee grounds. Then, brew as usual. Give it a try for a smoother cup of coffee!

Add salt

Did you know adding a pinch of salt to your coffee grounds can transform your brew? This easy tip cuts down on bitterness, making your coffee smoother. Plus, it even reduces the acidity, giving you a more balanced cup. Just sprinkle a little salt over the grounds before brewing. For a whole pot, a dash (about 1/8 tsp) is all you need. Be careful not to overdo it, though, or your coffee might end up tasting salty. Give it a try and taste the difference!

Final Thoughts

Coffee is for all! Don’t let a dislike for acidity stop you from enjoying this delightful drink. And no, you don’t have to stick to decaf to do so.

Reducing the acidity in your coffee while keeping its delicious flavors and aromas is simpler than you think! Choosing the right low-acid beans is a great start. Follow the tips I’ve shared, and you’ll enjoy a smoother cup in no time.

Enjoy a delicious coffee now that you’ll still love come evening.

low acid coffee

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