Coffee is a beloved beverage the world over. And while we all know that coffee has caffeine, some may not realize it’s also highly acidic. This can make coffee a risky choice for those who suffer from GERD or acid reflux disease.
However, acid is not always a bad thing. In fact, the acid in coffee is key to the beverage’s flavor. Acidity gives coffee its characteristic tang and bite. It’s also what makes coffee so refreshing.
So, what is the deal? Is coffee acidic? Is it something you should worry about? Let’s take a closer look.
What makes coffee acidic
Coffee is acidic, and most people enjoy the tart, tangy flavor that coffee acids provide. However, too much acidity can make coffee taste bitter and unpleasantly sharp.
Multiple compounds in coffee contribute to its acidity. Chlorogenic acids are the most abundant, followed by quinic and citric acids. Acetic, lactic, and malic acids are also present in smaller amounts. Finally, phosphoric, linoleic, and palmitic acids round out the list.
Chlorogenic acid: This is the most abundant type of acid in coffee. It imparts a slightly bitter taste and can make coffee feel astringent.
Quinic acid: This acid is responsible for coffee’s sour, tangy flavor. It can also make coffee taste astringent.
Citric acid: The least abundant type of acid in coffee, but it’s still important because it contributes to the overall tartness of the beverage.
Acetic acid: This is the same acid that gives vinegar its characteristic sour taste. In small amounts, it can make coffee taste brighter and more vibrant.
Lactic acid: Lactic acid is present in milk, and it can also be found in small amounts in coffee. It contributes to the smooth, creamy texture of milk-based coffee drinks.
Malic acid: Malic acid is responsible for the fruity flavor of some coffees.
Phosphoric acid: Phosphoric acid is a common food additive that can contribute to coffee’s sharp, tangy flavor.
Linoleic acid: Linoleic acid is a type of fat that gives coffee its rich, full-bodied flavor.
Palmitic acid: Palmitic acid is another type of fat that contributes to the creamy texture of coffee.
How acidic is coffee
How acidic is coffee, you ask? Well, the answer might surprise you. The brewing process of coffee beans releases acids, giving this beverage a pH of around 4.85 to 5.10 – which is considered acidic. However, don’t let this fool you into thinking that coffee is bad for you.
Although large amounts of acid can harm your health, the levels found in coffee are relatively low and aren’t likely to cause any problems. Some research suggests that the antioxidants in coffee may help protect your body against disease.
So go ahead and enjoy your cup of joe – just remember that moderation is key to everything (even coffee)!
The role of roasting in coffee’s acidity
Roasting coffee beans brings out the flavor and aroma of the coffee. However, it also affects the coffee’s acidity. Acidity in coffee is one of the factors that contribute to its taste. It is affected by the type of bean, the roasting process, and how the coffee is brewed.
Roasting coffee beans reduces their acidity. The longer the beans are roasted, the less acidic they become. This is why dark roast coffees are typically less acidic than light roast coffees.
Coffee acidity can also be affected by the brewing method. For example, cold brew coffee is less acidic than hot coffee. By maintaining colder temperatures during the brew, the oils in the beans are not fully released. Therefore, cold-brewed coffee can be up to 70% less acidic than traditional hot drip coffee, making it easier for someone who struggles with IBS symptoms and giving it a much smoother and sweeter taste.
Darker roasted coffees are less acidic—both in their flavor profile and in any actual acid content. The roasting process breaks down chlorogenic acids, which makes coffee less acidic.
Less acidic also means that darker roasted coffees will have less of the bright, vibrant flavors associated with lighter roasts. Instead, you can expect a coffee with more body and depth of flavor.
Effects of drinking acidic coffee
It’s important to remember that acids can be both good and bad for our bodies. For example, citric acid is found in oranges and lemons – both of which are considered to be healthy foods. On the other hand, acetic acid is found in vinegar – which is not typically considered to be healthy food.
So what does this all mean for coffee? Well, drinking coffee is not going to kill you. There are some potential health benefits associated with drinking coffee – such as the reduced risk of cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
However, it is essential to remember that too much of anything can be bad for you. This includes coffee. Drinking large amounts of coffee can lead to increased anxiety and heart palpitations. It can also cause indigestion and make it difficult to sleep.
Therefore, it’s important to moderate your consumption of coffee – especially if you are sensitive to caffeine. Stick to one or two cups a day, and be sure to drink plenty of water.
Tips for reducing the acidity in your coffee
If you’re looking to reduce the acidity in your coffee, there are a few things you can do. First, try switching to a darker roast. This will help to reduce the number of chlorogenic acids in your coffee.
You can also try cold-brewing your coffee instead. This will extract fewer acids from the coffee beans.
Finally, add a dash of milk to your coffee. This will help neutralize the acids in your coffee and make it easier on your stomach.
Top low acid coffee beans
Certain single-origin coffee beans are naturally lower in acidity.
- Guatemalan Coffees
- Kenyan Coffees
- Costa Rican Coffees
Why are these coffees lower in acidity? Well, it has to do with the growing conditions and the type of coffee beans. Also, arabica beans will create a more acidic cup acidity than robusta beans.
Guatemalan coffees are grown at high altitudes, which results in a slower growth process. This allows the coffee beans to develop more slowly and mature fully.
Kenyan coffees are also grown at high altitudes, but they are a different type of coffee bean known as SL-28. This type of bean is known for its balanced flavor profile and low acidity.
Costa Rican coffees are typically grown in the shade. This results in a slower growth process and more mature green coffee beans.
All of these factors contribute to a lower acidity level in the final cup of coffee. Some coffee brands even specialize in low-acid coffees.
Cold Brew Coffee Has Reduced Coffee Acid
As mentioned before, cold brew coffee is by far the least acidic way to brew coffee.
Cold brewing involves steeping coffee grounds in cold water for 12-24 hours. This results in a coffee concentrate that can be diluted with water or milk to make a delicious drink option.
Not only is cold brew coffee less acidic, but it also has a smoother, more mellow flavor. Cold coffee brewing it a great option for those sensitive to caffeine or acidity.
To make cold brew coffee, simply add coffee grounds to a jar filled with cold water. Steep for 12-24 hours, and then strain the coffee using a cheesecloth or coffee filter.
You can find pre-packaged cold brew coffee at most grocery stores. Or, you can make your own using the method described above.
Acidity Differences in Roast, Grind, and Beans
As we’ve seen, there are a few factors that can affect the acidity of your coffee. These include roast, grind, and type of bean.
Darker roasts tend to be less acidic than light roasts because the longer roasting time breaks down some of the acids in the beans.
Coarsely ground coffee is also less acidic than fine ground coffee. This is because the finer the grind, the more surface area of the bean is exposed to water and the more acid that is extracted from the ground bean.
Finally, certain types of beans are naturally lower in acidity. These include Guatemalan, Kenyan, and Costa Rican coffees.
If you’re looking for a low-acid coffee, be sure to take these factors into account. You can also try cold-brewing your coffee or adding a dash of milk to neutralize the acids.
Can you drink acidic coffee if you have GERD or acid reflux?
As someone who regularly suffers from heartburn, this is an important question.
The short answer is yes, you can drink acidic coffee if you have cupGERD or acid reflux disease.
However, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, stick to one or two cups a day. Too much caffeine can trigger heartburn symptoms.
Second, be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day. This will help to keep your stomach acid levels down. Don’t consume other high ph scale beverages like orange juice.
Finally, avoid adding too much milk or cream to your coffee. This can make your coffee more acidic and trigger heartburn symptoms.
If you follow these tips, you should be able to enjoy your favorite cup of joe without worry.
Acidity is an important factor to consider when brewing coffee. Depending on your preferences, you may want to choose a coffee that is more or less acidic.
Remember that darker roasts, coarse grinds, and certain types of beans are typically lower in acidity. Coffee lovers can also try cold-brewing your coffee or adding a dash of milk to neutralize the acids.
You can still drink coffee if you have GERD or acid reflux disease. Just stick to one or two cups a day and avoid adding too much milk or cream. With a little trial and error, you should be able to find a cup of coffee that doesn’t trigger your symptoms.
Of course, check out our list of the best low-acid coffees to get you started if you are trying to cut back on your acid intake. As always, happy brewing!