Can Coffee Cause Acid Reflux? Yes! 7 Ways to Avoid It. Acidity кофе
Flavor, pH, Acid Reflux, and Low-acid Coffee
Depending on who you ask, acidity in coffee is either a) the cause of heart burn and/or acid reflux, or b) the source delicious fruity complexity, a highly desirable characteristic of the best coffees. Armed with a digital pH probe and inspired by an episode of Sesame Street I was watching with my son, I set out to learn a little bit about acidity in coffee. Basically I wanted to answer two questions:
- Does the acidity we taste in coffee correlate in any way with the actual pH of the coffee?
- If there is a difference, can it be significant enough to support claims made by roasters of “low-acid” coffee?
Before I bore you with text, here are the pH readings I took over the weekend:
|NYC Tap Water||6.7|
|Sumatran Coffee (low acidity)||4.6|
|Panama Coffee (medium acidity)||4.5|
|Kenyan Coffee (high acidity)||4.3|
*If it’s been a while since you took chemistry in high school, a pH of 7 is neutral, and a lower pH means more acidity.
Coffee Acidity: Flavor vs pH
I went into this experiment assuming that there would be absolutely no pH difference between coffee that tasted very acidic or not acidic at all. Surprisingly, there was a small but direct correlation with flavor and pH. To perform the experiment, basically I brewed three coffees at the same time, 4 minute brew time, 16:1 brew ratio, then let them cool to about 100 ℉. Kenya is a region known for very high acidity (in a good way) and this coffee in particular was SL-28, the most acidic varietal. Sumatra is a region known for very low acidity, and this was a particularly flat Sumatra. We didn’t ship it in our subscription (and no, it wasn’t from Bespoken, that picture above is just to show off my fancy lab-ware). The Panama was somewhere in-between. You’ll just have to trust my tastebuds on that one. Or as it turns out, my pH probe.
Because I went into this experiment expecting to see no difference in pH, I sorta skimped on the freshness. The coffees I sampled were 3 weeks old, and the acidity was noticeably lower (in terms of taste) than when they were fresher. I was concerned that freshness would mess up the pH readings because fresher beans contain carbon dioxide, and CO2 increases acidity. However, based on these results, I’m curious to test a batch of coffee 3 days off roast to see if the difference is more noticeable. Stay tuned for a Part 2 where I will present more data on fresher coffees, and track changes as they age.
Low-acid Coffee and Acid Reflux
I have no doubt that people experience stomach issues from coffee, but I strongly doubt it has anything to do with the acidity. In addition to my list above, here’s a list of pH values for common foods from the FDA. If you think coffee is bad, you probably also can’t eat almost any fruits, tomato sauce, or napoleons and eclairs.
More importantly, the difference in pH between very acidic and very flat coffees is probably not significant enough to cause or prevent stomach issues. So if you have been, or are considering switching to a low-acid coffee, I recommend you think twice. It’s more widely accepted that the caffeine in coffee is what causes irritation because it stimulates the release of more stomach acid. It’s an easy theory to test, try a caffeine pill, a red-bull, or 5-hour energy. Tea and soda also have caffeine, but in lower doses.
The reason I’m so opposed to blaming heartburn issues on pH is because acidity brings with it a ton of interesting fruit flavor and complexity. Have you ever had a cup of coffee that’s naturally sweet and tastes like blueberries without any weird additives? If not, then you’re missing out. Subscribers to Angels’ Cup get to blindly sample up to 208 different coffees per year! Insane variety and blind tasting are the only way to learn how different origins taste.
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Low-Acid Coffees by Kenneth Davids - January 2012
True, acidity is a good thing in coffee. It provides the sweetly tart spark essential to lifting the sensory experience of a fine Arabica coffee from grainy, dull inertness to lively complexity. It signals the presence of certain organic acids with powerful anti-oxidant properties that have helped turn perception of coffee from a health threat to a health drink. Nevertheless, there are many who deeply love coffee—and caffeine—but whose digestive systems simply can’t handle a whole lot of those lively, healthy organic acids. Some of these acid-sensitive coffee lovers write emails to Coffee Review asking for help: How can I find a coffee that gives me the sensory pleasure (and the caffeine) I look forward to every day without the burning and acid reflux?
There are two directions in which to look for such a paradoxical product. First, coffees explicitly advertised as low-acid coffees. A handful of companies now specialize in low-acid coffees, and have come to constitute a tiny, but recognizable, market niche in today’s coffee industry. For this month’s cupping we tested twelve coffees from five of these specialized companies. All explicitly advertise their low acidity. These companies use proprietary, if rather lo-tech, methods to reduce acidity, involving either very slow or interrupted roasting (which reduces both acidity and aromatics) or treating the green beans before roasting by removing the waxy outer layer through steaming, which also reduces acidity while muting aromatics. In most cases, these companies also appear to have loaded the dice in favor of lower acidity by buying their green coffee from origins like certain regions of Brazil that produce naturally lower acid beans
Inadvertently Low-Acid Coffees
Another option for the acid-sensitive coffee lover is to look for coffees that may not be specially treated to reduce acidity, or advertised as lower in acidity, but which may be expected to be low in acidity for unintended or “natural” reasons. Dark roasting, for example, particularly very dark roasting, dramatically reduces acidity.
The quest may be trickier for those of us who prefer medium or light roasted coffees; here the search must be directed at coffees that traditionally are lower in acidity in their raw, unroasted state owing to lower growing elevations (the lower the elevation the less intense the acidity) supplemented by certain fruit removal methods that may reduce acidity, like drying in the whole fruit (the dry or natural method) or drying in the fruit pulp (the pulped natural or honey method).
Brazils lead the pack of suspects for naturally low acid coffees, with Sumatras a probable second choice. However, regrettably for those in search of certainty, lower grown coffees from almost any origin can turn out to be relatively low in acidity, while both Brazils and Sumatras often turn out to be rather acidy depending on where they were grown and how they were processed.
Matching High Ratings and Low Acidity
We tested twenty additional coffees that we suspected could turn out to be low acid coffees, but which were not advertised as such. We looked for coffees that combined attractive sensory properties with low acidity confirmed by an instrument reading of pH, the standard measurement for relative acidity/alkalinity. We found three such coffees, inadvertently low in acidity but high in sensory potential, all reviewed here: A Tully’s French Roast (rating 85; low acidity mainly owing to very dark roasting, although low-acid green coffees may have contributed as well), a Peet’s Sumatra Blue Batak (rating 88; low acidity mainly owing to dark roasting and also perhaps owing to lower-than-normal acidity in the green coffee), and—the real find of the month, in my view—a lovely, lyrically delicate medium-roasted Water Avenue Coffee Brazil Esperanza (91) with low acidity both perceived and confirmed by pH
Scorecard for the Advertised Low-Acid Coffees
How well did the twelve advertised low-acid coffees fare in our tests?
The good news is that they genuinely did display low acidity, both as perceived during cupping and as confirmed afterwards by testing for pH.
The bad news is that most did not taste very good. Ratings for the twelve advertised low-acid coffees we tested averaged 79; the twenty coffees we tested that were not advertised as low acid averaged 87
The taste problems with the advertised low-acid coffees were only partly owing to the flavor-dampening impact of the procedures designed to lower acidity (slow or interrupted roasting in the case of Puroast, HealthWise, Tyler’s and Simpatico; green bean treatment in the case of Hevla). With many of these coffees, the main problem was a familiar, old-fashioned one: taste-tainted green beans. The Tyler’s Acid Free Coffee Regular (68) was by far the worst tainted of the twelve, a text-book example of a hard, medicinal cup. All three Hevla samples also showed taints, ranging from the 69-rated Dark Roast (musty, rotten ferment) to the considerably more palatable 79-rated Espresso WB (mildly musty). The Puroast House Blend (77) also appeared to be mildly musty, though the Dark Roast Guatemala (84), also from Puroast, was a sound coffee, suggesting that, at least with the Puroast samples, the low-acid treatment (very slow roasting) was not the most influential flavor-destroying culprit. With the HealthWise samples the acid-muting procedures seemed particularly foregrounded, however. Both the 79-rated Gourmet Low Acid 100% Colombia and the 75-rated Gourmet Low Acid Organic Colombia were flat and woody, though the latter added a clear hint of rotten ferment.
The flavor winners by far among the advertised low-acid coffees were the Simpatico Nice Coffee samples, both of which were relatively low in acidity as measured by pH and pleasantly free of green coffee taint. The Simpatico Espresso Roast is reviewed here at 87; the mixed-roast Black & Tan Blend came off the table at 86.
Perhaps people who manage low-acid coffee companies are entrepreneurs with little experience evaluating coffee and so are victimized by green coffee importers or private labelers who unload cheap, tainted coffee on them. If so, the situation was probably exacerbated over the past year by the relative shortage of good quality Arabica coffees.
Summarizing the Results
The table below summarizes ratings and pH measurements for fourteen of the least acidy of the total of thirty-two samples we tested. Unfortunately, we had to leave out some very fine-tasting coffees because their pH was too acidy for inclusion.
A word on interpreting pH numbers. Distilled water has a neutral pH (neither alkaline nor acidic) of 7.0. Numbers higher than 7.0 indicate solutions that are alkaline; numbers below 7.0 acid. So the higher the pH number the lower the acidity. Furthermore, the pH scale is logarithmic, so a relatively small difference in pH at the levels we are discussing may represent a large difference in intensity of acidity. A difference of around 0.3, for example, is quite meaningful, and a difference of 1.0 is dramatic.
The coffees appearing highest on the tabular list displayed lowest acidity as measured by pH. However, all of the listed coffees are considerably less acidy than most high-grown, medium-roasted coffees, which tend to register a pH of around 4.9 to 4.5.
pH – Coffee – Rating – Reasons for Lower Acidity
A caveat on pH: As confirmed by a useful conversation with Joseph Rivera, a consultant who specializes in coffee chemistry, a particular set of organic acids, chlorogenic acids, are probably the main contributors to compounds that produce stomach irritation in susceptible coffee drinkers. Unfortunately, paying a laboratory to measure chlorogenic acid in twenty or so samples of coffee turned out to be far too expensive for our limited budget at Coffee Review. But pH alone appears to be a sound starting point for measuring acidity, and is the measurement used by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to define low-acid canned foods (pH higher than 4.6).
I also was struck by how closely our sensory readings of intensity of acidity in these samples tracked degree of acidity as measured by pH. So I suspect that those interested in finding a naturally low-acid coffee could rely on their own perception of acidity when trying out samples. Those consumers who enjoy darker roasted coffees should have few problems. Almost any Brazil or Sumatra and many Mexicos, Perus, Guatemala Antiguas and Nicaraguas brought to a darker roast should display relatively low acidity. Those who enjoy medium-roasted coffees may find the search more difficult, but experimenting starting with Brazils may work.
Lower Acidity through Brewing and Buffering
Finally, a note on two other ways to reduce the potential of coffee to irritate the stomach: How you brew it and what you put into it before you drink it.
The cold-water brewing method extracts considerably less of everything from coffee, including acids, than do hot-water brewing methods. The Toddy company produces an excellent little cold water brewing system (www.toddycafe.com). Most 90-plus coffees we review on our site brewed in the Toddy system should produce a light-bodied, sweet, low-acid, though perhaps aromatically simplified black coffee that should be relatively easy on sensitive stomachs. A naturally low-acid coffee like this month’s Water Avenue Brazil should be very, very mild in acidity if brewed by the cold water method.
Or there is the espresso-and-milk option. Start with a mild espresso coffee composed of inherently low-acid coffees – look for all-Brazil or Brazil-based espresso blends. Click on “Advanced Search” on the Coffee Review home page, choose “Espresso” in the “Type” column and enter “Brazil” in the keywords box. Or perform the same search, but try “Nicaragua” or “Sumatra” in the keywords box. All should give you a list of relatively low-acid espressos. If you don’t buy your coffee by Internet try to find Illy Caffè, a very low-acid espresso, at upscale grocers. Brew this coffee espresso-style in a short shot of an ounce or so and combine it with about three parts hot frothed milk for a beverage that still tastes like coffee but is quite easy on the digestive system (assuming the system’s owner is not lactose intolerant).
2012 The Coffee Review. All rights reserved.
Coffeeacidity - Coffeeacidity.com
As you shop for coffee, think about several factors. If you are a coffee novice, then you might be clueless in terms of what to buy. Keep reading to make finding that perfect cup of coffee that much easier.
TIP! If you want coffee that is unrivaled in richness and flavor, buy a French press. Paper filters in your typical drip-style machine will soak up all the oils in your coffee that are packed with flavor.
Keep your coffee stored in containers that do not allow air to enter. Oxygen exposure causes coffee to taste awful. Don’t bother with square plastic bags because they don’t have an airtight seal. This valve is to allow heat and steam to escape after the roasting process.
Those who work from home can use coffee to beat the feeling of cabin fever. You can take your laptop or other device that uses WiFi and get some coffee from a coffee house. Some restaurants also offer WiFi.
TIP! Those of you who brew coffee themselves should stir the coffee after it has finished brewing. Stir your coffee for the best taste and smell.
Water is a critical component when making coffee. Using bad water for brewing is sure to result in poor quality coffee. Also, try to make sure the water you use has minerals. If not, the coffee could seem bitter.
TIP! Only grind coffee beans right before you brew them. The reason is that when coffee is ground, it starts to lose flavor.
After buying coffee beans and opening the bag, don’t leave them in that bag as your storage solution. It should keep out light and air. If you do this, your coffee beans will remain fresh for longer.
It can be confusing to choose from the many varieties of coffee available. Not everyone likes the same type of coffee, and most find that there is a wide variety of blends and flavors to choose from. Some like mild tastes, while others prefer the robust ones. Flavored coffees are also available, with flavors that range from hazelnut to raspberry. Most folks though just use creamer for added flavor instead of brewing flavored coffee.
TIP! Does your coffee taste the way you want it to? If not, try running water through the machine to heat it up before brewing your coffee. Then, make a real pot of coffee in your heated machine.
While placing things in the freezer gives them a pretty long shelf life, keep in mind that any coffee that is in your freezer should only be kept there for up to three months. The quality of the coffee will degrade if it remains in the freezer any longer.
Buying a cup or two of coffee in a shop is expensive but it can be a great way to treat yourself. There are a lot of delicious choices and you can top your treat with whipped cream and chocolate curls, or choose a frothy cup of espresso.
TIP! Does working at home give you cabin fever? Coffee can cure that. The majority of coffee shops offer free Wifi.
The purity of your coffee depends on the purity of the water used to make it. Remember, what you use in your coffee affects its flavor. That is the reason why distilled water, bottled water or filtered tap water will give you the coffee with the best taste.
Do you think that fake sweetening products are preferable to natural sugars? Some artificial sweeteners can actually bog down the flavor of coffee with chemicals. Try drinking black coffee and adding just a pinch of raw sugar to enhance the flavor. If you still prefer an artificial sweetener, at least try settling for just half a packet.
One of the most fun things about coffee is learning to blend different flavors together. Visit some specialty coffee venues to sample some varieties and get some expert advice.
Use different flavors and sweeteners in your coffee. Brown sugar can add a different flavor to your coffee. Coffee infused with nutmeg, vanilla and cinnamon is also very delicious. Alternative milks made from soy and rice can be used as a substitution for regular milk or cream.
TIP! Coffee comes in a wide variety of choices. Dark roast provides a fuller flavor while lighter roasts provide a milder, smoother flavor.
In order to protect the flavor of your coffee, pull the pot off of the burner after ten minutes. Coffee starts burning if it sits on heat longer than that, resulting in a bitter flavor. Putting brewed coffee into an airtight, insulated container is the best way to keep it warm.
This article told you what you need to consider when buying coffee. With all the choices, just remember that you need to make yourself happy. Keep this article handy the next time you decide to make coffee.
The Acidity of Coffee – Hevla Coffee Co
Majority of the population likes to drink coffee, that’s for sure. They like the energizing effect it gives them every morning that keeps them on their feet throughout the day. Others even drink another cup or more during the day, to keep the buzz up. But while a lot of people enjoy coffee, there are those unfortunate once who are not able to enjoy it because of the discomfort it gives their stomach after ingesting even just one cup. The acids in coffee can be too strong for some which sadly becomes a hindrance to their enjoyment of coffee and prevent them from gaining the healthful benefits to be derived from it.
Recently, though, there has been a growing variant of coffee that is supposed to address this problem. Low-acid coffees made by specialty brands have been popping up in the market to provide the much needed relief for people who are sensitive to the high acid content of coffee.
Basics of acidity
Acidity is typically measured by an element’s pH level. The base neutral pH level is 7.0 which is the pH level of water; that means it is neither acidic nor alkaline. The lower the pH level, the more acidic the food is and the higher the pH level, the food is considered to be more alkaline. The scale of pH levels is logarithmic, so that a 6.0 pH level is 10 times more acidic than a 7.0 pH level, while a 5.0 pH level is 100 times more acidic than 6.0 pH.
Cola beverages have a pH level of 2.0, while lemonade and orange juice come in at a pH level of 3.0, which means these drinks are highly acidic.
Acidity of coffee
The acidity of coffee could vary depending on the type of bean or the location where it was grown, the roasting process and the brewing method.
Coffee beans that are grown in highlands are generally considered to be more acidic, while those grown in lower elevation areas are less acidic.
Coffee that is grown on volcanic soil like those in Hawaii and Indonesia are also more acidic. The manner of picking the beans and the treatment of these before roasting also affect the acidity of coffee. Coffee cherries tend to lose some acid as they mature so a cherry that is picked before full maturity will be more acidic than those picked when they are at their most ripe and red stage.
The treatment of coffee beans after they are picked also affects the acidity level. The dry method in which the beans are dried in the sun yields a less acidic coffee compared to the wet method wherein the beans are fermented before drying.
There are also other special treatments that are specifically designed to strip the coffee of its acids such as high-pressure steaming and slow or interrupted roasting.
As coffee beans are roasted, they lose some of their acidity. Therefore, the darker the roast, the less acidic the coffee is. However, the trade off here is that it gains a more bitter taste as the beans are toasted and burnt.
There are certain brewing methods that could lower the acidity level of coffee. The most popular method is the cold brew wherein the coffee is soaked in cold water to remove some of its acid content.
The typical acidity of a normal-roast coffee can fall within the range of 4.5 to 4.9 pH level.
For many coffee lovers and those who consider themselves as coffee connoisseurs, the acidity of coffee is probably the most important aspect, comparable to the bouquet of wine, that allows them to distinguish the quality of the coffee and to discern the various notes in flavor that reveal the true characteristics of the coffee.
Choosing a low-acid coffee
As mentioned, the typical normal-roast coffee has a pH level of 4.5 to 4.9. But at these levels, some people can be sensitive to the acids so that they experience acid reflux, heartburns and stomach upsets after drinking coffee.
To provide a solution to this problem, some coffee companies like Hevla have decided to come up with a low-acid coffee that will allow coffee lovers to enjoy their favorite brew without sacrificing their comfort and health.
There are two options in choosing coffee that is low-acid. There are those that are naturally low in acid because they are grown in the high elevation areas and those that have been roasted dark, and there are low acid coffee that have been specially treated to remove their acids.
Coffee that has been grown in low-lying areas should be less acidic. Some of these may include those from the flatlands Brazil or the monsoon lowlands of Sumatra. Other areas that produce coffee with light acidity would be at the Ivory Coast of Africa and in India.
Roasting is the process of bringing out the flavor and aroma of coffee, and along with these, some of the acids of coffee are also extracted during the roasting process. Like previously said, dark roast coffee are less acidic than light or medium roast. Dark roasted coffee beans, aside from their almost black color, are usually shiny with oil, so you can definitely identify them by just looking. If they have been pre-packaged, watch out for the names Espresso, Italian, French and Continental on the packaging as these are the dark-roast variety of coffee.
Finally, there are coffees that have undergone a special process that is specifically designed to take away its acidity to some extent. Presently, there are not too many low-acid coffee brands in the market, however they seem to be growing to a significant number. These types of coffee are usually prepared and sold by specialty shops and brands that cater specifically to the low-acid coffee offering. Low-acid coffee contains all the goodness of coffee and its many health benefits, without the burnt flavor of overly roasted coffee.
How low-acid coffee is made
There are three known techniques used to achieve low-acid coffee prior to brewing.
The first one is by way of high-pressure steam that strips the coffee beans of its waxy coating that contains the acid. This is called the Darbovan Improvement Procedure which was developed in Europe more than three decades ago. The steaming procedure followed by vacuuming is done prior to roasting. It is an all-natural process that does not include the use of chemicals. This is how Hevla Coffee makes its coffee low-acid. This process allows Hevla to remove about 70 irritants from coffee that cause stomach upsets without affecting the taste of coffee.
Another method that is also all-natural is by roasting the beans slowly at lower temperatures to remove the acidity but prevent the beans from burning.
Other companies, on the other hand, remove the acids from coffee by using chemical and acids. These result in a slightly medicinal aftertaste in the coffee.
Benefits of low-acid coffee
Coffee has been discovered to have many properties that are highly beneficial to the human body. Its richness in antioxidants are proclaimed to be able to ward off several major illnesses like cancer, heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, cirrhosis of the liver, Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes. It also has other benefits like promoting weight loss, improving cognitive functions and physical performance during fitness workouts and body building trainings.
Despite all these benefits, though, some people who are sensitive to coffee’s high acid content suffer from its side effects of heartburn, stomach upset and acid reflux. It is especially painful for people who have been diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease, or more commonly known as GERD because their already sensitive tissues cannot tolerate the acidic conditions that would be otherwise normal for other people.
The good news is that low-acid coffee is able to eliminate these acid-related problems while still maintaining the delicious flavors of coffee and delivering all of its healthful benefits. So if you’re one with a sensitive stomach, go ahead and indulge in your most favorite beverage – the low-acid version, that is.
The Coffee Heretic: Coffee AcidityOne thing was painfully clear at the SCAA show in Houston, acidy coffee is in! Really! I even heard one coffee described as having "aggressive acidity." Dark Roasts are out, Light Roasts are in. Light Roasts are complex, refined, have good acidity. Dark Roasts, well, Dark Roasts just aren't cool anymore. I mean, Starbucks over roasts their coffee. And we all know that Starbucks is not cool. Light Roasts are Third Wave and Third Wave is in.
Along with the trend towards Light Roast is this new found appreciation for Acidity. Acidity is what gives a coffee its brightness, its liveliness. Good Acidity can be likened to carbonation in a soda, without it the beverage is flat. Something I heard repeated time and again was the necessity of educating the customer about coffee acidity. But not all acidity is good, and a lot of what I tasted was acids due to defects in the coffee.
Of the plus 1000 different chemical compounds identified in coffee about 50 or so are acids. Many of these are volatile compounds and diminish in roasting. Light Roasts tend to emphasize these acidic compounds and bring them to the fore. This is why coffee tasters in the import/export trade roast their samples very light to expose these particular defects. Trade Cupping or Defect Cupping is a necessary skill for any coffee professional but one would be remiss into assuming that this is some higher form of taste.
Coffee's acidity comes from a combination of its inherent acidity along with the coffee bean's production cycle: growing, processing, and roasting. Coffee's inherent acidity is chlorogenic acid, which, along with caffeine, is part of the plant's defense against insects. Chlorogenic acid breaks down in roasting into quinic and caffetic acids depending on the amount of time the coffee is exposed to heat. Roasting machines with poor heat transference produce more of these acids resulting in a tinny, bitter taste. I have written more extensively on this acid in "Bitterness and Acidity in Coffee."
One of the more oft quoted acids is Citric Acid. This acid is usually associated with fresh crop coffee and indicates new harvest. Experienced cuppers will tend to opt away from these lots and wait for later deliveries, giving the coffee a chance to mature. If the flavor persists it is an indication that too many immature green coffee cherries are making their way through. I have notice in my own travels that first time cuppers often take a liking to this taste largely due to the fact that it is the first taste that they learn to identify. This acid is less volatile than other acids and so cannot be "roasted" out. Its easy to identify, since most of us are familiar with citric acid from citrus fruits.
Another common acid is malic. I have noticed an increase in this acid over the years as sun grown coffee has become more commonplace. It is due to excessive day/night time temperature deviations. Shaded coffee farms have more stable temperatures which benefits the plants night time expiration. This acid has a distinct tart apple peel taste that lingers on the palette.
Acetic acids come about from the just pulped coffee beans sitting in the fermentation tank. The time in the fermentation tank is critical since the enzymes break down the silver skin on the coffee beans. Too much time, or if the temperature is too high, however, results in a vinegar like taste. Sometimes this is confused with wineyness.
Most of these acids will decrease in roasting, aside from the Quinic, but as more roasters opt for a Light Roast these acids come to define the coffee's flavor. I hear a lot of pontificating about this coffee's blueberry taste, or apricot, plum, or jammy, as if they are talking about their favorite wine. The one thing that these acids have in common is that they invariably lead to a soury cup. You can mask some of these flavors by increasing the brew temperature, but as the cup cools so returns the sour. What's more, these acids tend affect a person's body, resulting in an edgy, uncomfortable feeling. Some assume it is caffeine, but it is these acids.
In my years of roasting I have never had a customer come in and ask for an acidic coffee: you know, something that tastes like fresh squeezed lemons? Something that will sour my stomach and make me feel all jittery?
Maybe its time the customer educated us.
Best Low Acid Coffee Brands for Coffee Connoisseurs
Coffee is the modern nectar of the Gods. Millions of people flip the switch each morning to brew their favorite bold beverage that helps kick start their day.
But did you know that regular coffee may be eating away at your teeth and stomach lining? That's right; you heard us correctly.
Coffee has acid, combined with the natural relaxing elements of the esophagus, could be making your morning pick me to cause some serious problems including as acid reflux.
Others suffer from sensitive stomachs, making morning coffee more of a love/hate than enjoyable experience.
But you don't have to settle for standard coffee brands tearing up your stomach and throat when you know what to look for, and that's exactly what we wanted to find out.
There are plenty of acid free coffees out on the market, and we aim to point you in the right direction when perking up for your daily routine and to choose the best low acid coffee.
Top Rated Low Acid Coffee Brands
Don Pablo Subtle Earth Organic
Perfectly crafted and slow roasted, this medium dark roast by Cafe Don Pablo delivers a high balance of flavor and body.
Cafe Don Pablo not only offers some of the best coffee on the planet, but they have direct family ties to the coffee farms in Colombia and South America.
With over 1 million coffee trees in South America, Subtle Early Organic works with the Sharing Certified Program to ensure a fair wage and economic growth in the regions that supply their coffee.
When we tasted this coffee, flavors of honey and chocolate dominated most of the cup. Underneath the cocoa, there are remnants of Dulce de Leche and hazelnut.
This is a low acidity coffee. Instead of fruity, intense flavors, Subtle Earth boasts a mild flavor profile.
"Crispness" is substituted with a "soft" and "balanced" acidity in this coffee - which makes it easy to drink and be enjoyed!
This coffee is great with sweeter complimentary flavors or with a light snack. The mild acidity and chocolate undertones let this coffee meld flawlessly with flavors around it.
Following Don Pablo's hand drip brewing directions on the bag, we found Subtle Earth to have a bold, juicy mouthfeel. [Read Full Review]
Another excellent choice for reduced acid coffee is Puroast. With 70% less acidity than leading coffees, say goodbye to your morning heartburn.
Puroast also offers a whopping seven times more antioxidants than green tea and five times more antioxidants in regular coffee blends. With 100% certified beans, this blend has no additives, is gluten free, calorie free and one of the only certified "kosher" organic coffees on the market.
This health conscious coffee company even goes one step further to provide in-depth research analysis of how coffee affects the body.
Java Planet - Colombian Low Acid Coffee Beans
Colombia is prized for its coffee crop. A huge portion of the world's Arabica coffee exports come out of Colombia.
Colombian Coffees are grown at around an elevation of 1700 meters - which is prime elevation for healthy coffee.
Colombian coffees have roller coaster tasting and flavor profiles. You'll experience a vast array of dark cacao and sweet, tart fruits in almost any Colombian Coffee.
You'll experience an array of floral and chocolate notes with this coffee. At the front of the palate, you'll notice hibiscus and allspice. As one continues to taste, the flavor will evolve into dark chocolate with a pecan finish.
Even though the flavors are intense, this coffee has a mild acidity.
Mild acidity can be boring if the flavors aren't bold enough. However, boring is not how you would describe Java Planet's Colombian.
The cup is balanced, accessible, and exciting.
Big, complex coffees like these go well with tapas like peanuts or biscuits. Java Planet's Colombian Organic coffee is great as a breakfast or snack coffee. Its boldness will compliment your day! [Read Full Review]
Volcanica Coffee Geisha Costa Rica
The Costa Rican Geisha from Volcanica coffee has a pleasant balance between smooth, low acidity and unique, discernible flavors. The soft, delicate profile and silky mouthfeel makes this coffee a true crowd-pleaser.
When the brew was complete, the resulting coffee smelled fresh and held unique aromas of cocoa and brown sugar. The coffee appeared somewhat oily and thick in the cup, which is always signs of a strong body.
The body of this coffee was full and did not lack in flavor. Meanwhile, the low acidity of the final brew made for a very drinkable beverage which would please coffee drinkers of all levels of experience
The particularly floral nature of this coffee combined with the delicate flavor brought to mind a very high-quality Early Gray tea, making it a very comforting brew perfect for the first cup of the morning or a relaxing cup in the afternoon.
Geisha and Costa Rican Coffees are always an interesting sensory experience and warrant the price often paid for this high-quality product.
Volcanica's Costa Rican Geisha is no exception and should be well worth the extra dime required to get coffees of this quality and purity. For a delicate, low-acidity, flavourful coffee sensory experience, look no further than Volcanica's Costa Rican Geisha. [Read Full Review]
If you are looking for a simple boost to your morning, then Mommee coffee is a great balance between caffeine and taste.
This coffee is designed to use half caffeine proportions to give moms a guilt free experience when going through pregnancy. This low acid coffee is slow roasted to help reduce painful stomach irritation, while still offering a solid caffeine punch.
Mommee Coffee claims to be a viable choice in caffeine for parents in all stages of pregnancy. This option includes conception, pregnancy, and even during the breastfeeding stages, making this choice one of the very few options for expecting mothers.
Organically processed with no harmful chemicals and Fair Trade certified, Mommee cares about not only their mom's but the health of your baby as well.
In fact, Mommee is committed to providing their customers with the right information to make informed decisions, offering expert articles on subjects including Coffee and Pregnancy.
Healthwise - Colombian Gourmet Coffee
The name says it all on our next top pick for low acid coffee beans. Healthwise is an FDA approved company that leverages modern technology to reduce acid levels in their coffee products. Known in the industry as "techno roasting".
TechnoRoasting also protects the bean properties during the roasting process by saving essential minerals, antioxidants, vitamins and other nutrients often lost during the traditional roasting process.
"The TechnoRoasting process enables the coffee bean to surrender all of the coffee essences, leaving the grounds tasteless. This brewing technique results in using less coffee to yield more cups of coffee."
Healthwise's roasting technique also provides a smoother and lighter aftertaste, combined with the natural benefits of included vitamins and minerals.
Tieman's Fusion Coffee
If coffee and tea fusion is your thing, then Tieman's is a perfect choice. Perfectly blended and fused Arabica coffee beans from Guatemalan, Colombia, and Ecuador. Tieman's takes coffee and tea to the next level.
Fused with Matcha Green Tea, Rooibos Red Tea, and Goji Berry powders, this combination of ingredients is perfect for those looking for a smooth and creamy flavor.
Low acid coffee is loaded with antioxidants helping to settle your stomach while packing a punch for your immune system. Combined with superior flavor and aroma, Tieman's also boasts of using no artificial flavors or extracts in their stomach friendly coffee.
Tieman's Fusion Coffees Offer:
- Five times more antioxidants than a cup of green tea
- Four times more antioxidants than a serving of Blueberries
- Three times more antioxidants than glass of Pomegranate juice
- Four times more antioxidants than Dark Chocolate
Simpatico Low Acid Coffee
Simpatico offers a broad range of reduced acid coffee options. You can choose between medium, dark, black and tan, and even way darker roasts depending on your preference.
Using high-quality Mexican coffee beans, Simpatico offers a rich and smooth taste with minimum after burn. Non acidic coffee beans help to maintain a consistent flavor without the bitterness.
Focused on the right way to grow and distribute coffee, Simpatico's mission statement is "To import, roast, package, serve and sell smooth, and delicious coffee and teas in an environmentally responsible and socially just manner."
Working with Mexican coffee growers that harvest beans from the wild, all of Simpatico's farmers have pledged to be pesticide and herbicide free.
Simpatico uses the natural habitat of the wild, the dense jungle ecosystem provides natural ways to fight off pests and weeds while offering beneficial impacts on the local biodiversity.
If mild is your cup of choice, then this next blend is perfect for those looking for a slow roasted, smooth and silky finish.
Euromild uses the highest quality of Colombian coffee boasting a 99.5% acid removal rate. Meaning that if you suffer from acid reflux, GERD, or other sensitive stomach issues, this mild treat is perfect for you. This is one of the least acidic coffee brands.
Customers who are seeking the absolute lowest levels of acidity in their coffee are flocking to Euromild.
With nearly a zero acid count, combined with the excellent flavors and smooth finish this blend has to offer, it's no wonder that Euromild is making big news in the coffee industry.
By removing unwanted acids, irritants and other chemicals found in coffee, the result is a gentler, less harsh taste that goes easy on your stomach, making Euromild a top choice for those seeking an alternative to standard coffee brands.
In the end, not all coffee is equal, especially blends that offer the best low acid coffee.
If you are looking to get the best of both worlds for your morning coffee fix, then I would recommend you to try out all of these low acid coffee brands to find the flavor and blend that compliments your morning routine.
With so many different flavors, combinations of roast options, and even fusion choices on the market, there's no reason why you can't sit back and feel confident while enjoying your morning cup of Joe.
Can Coffee Cause Acid Reflux? Yes! 7 Ways to Avoid It
Most of the world’s population contends with acid reflux to some degree.
While some people experience a mild burning sensation in their mid-chest area after eating spicy foods, other people suffer day and/or night with serious internal burning sensations that span from stomach to throat.
Those who deal with the more constant and serious version of acid reflux often have trouble pinpointing the culinary culprit of their discomfort.
If you fall into the latter category and drink coffee, therein may lie the root cause of your acid reflux.
Even occasional heartburn can stem from a cup of java, unless the coffee in the cup is a reduced acid coffee.
Coffee is naturally acidic. The organic acid contained in coffee beans is what provides the tangy, tart jolt that coffee drinkers love.
The natural acid also contains powerful antioxidants that do the body good and made way for the beverage to be on the list of healthy drinks.
However, some people have digestive systems that can’t handle the natural acid and after enjoying a cup of java they are left to contend with the burning, belching and unpleasant acidic liquid that makes its way up from the stomach, through the esophagus and into the back of the throat.
7 Ways to Avod Acid Reflux
Low Acid Coffee
A few coffee brands are treating coffee beans in a different way so the final product will contain less acid, but still retain full flavor.
By roasting the beans very slowly, or simply interrupting the roasting process, the amount of acidity contained in each bean is significantly reduced.
Another method being used by these low acid coffee brands to reduce the acidity level is the removal of the waxy outer layer of the coffee beans prior to roasting.
The end product has just as much flavor, but is less likely to cause drinkers to reach for an antacid medication after consuming.
The only negative side effect of the methods used to remove some of the natural acids from the coffee beans is the beans become less aromatic as well.
The sensory-pleasing aroma is still there, just not as potent.
If coffee beans specially treated to remove organic acids is objectionable to you, a dark roast coffee blend will naturally contain less acid.
The darker the roast, the lower the acid level. However, that may pose a quandary for coffee drinkers who prefer a light or medium roast beverage.
Coffee beans grown at low elevations contain less acid than those grown higher up in mountainous regions.
Knowing where the coffee bean was grown can provide you with a naturally low acid coffee that won’t keep you awake at night with sleep-stealing heartburn.
One way to neutralize the acid in coffee is to force a chemical reaction to get rid of it.
The trick is lowering acid while not altering the flavor of your coffee, which is why using a product such as Coffee Tamer works well. It reduces the amount of acid in coffee up to 90%, which in turn greatly reduces your chance of suffering acid reflux.
Products like Coffee Tamer aren't antacids, which work after coffee has already started to have an effect on your body.
Instead it's a proactive measure to prevent flareups in the first place and binds together coffee's acids to keep it from upsetting your stomach.
Those who drink coffee frequently have found acid reducers highly effective and the ideal way to enjoy coffee at any time, even on the go.
You may have seen cold brew coffee at your favorite chain, as it's becoming more and more popular with coffee drinkers.
It produces coffee with a more rounded, less bitter taste, and it's also favored by many people who have problems with acid reflux or other digestive issues.
Cold brewing is able to effectively neutralize the acid in coffee because it uses cold rather than hot water to extract flavor from beans.
As a result, much less acid is drawn into the finished brew -- cold brew coffee has up to 70% less acid than a regular cup of coffee.
One of the best ways to boost the effectiveness of drinking cold brew coffee is to ensure you make it yourself. It's very easy to do, and if you have a French press it will make straining the grounds out quick and simple.
Otherwise, grab any container or a mason jar with a lid and a piece or cheesecloth or a fine strainer. Put 1/3 cup of regular grind coffee into the container, add 4.5 cups of cold water, stir briefly, and let it sit in your refrigerator for at least 12 hours.
The longer it sits, the more bold the resulting flavor will be. To reduce the amount of silt and grounds in your brew, use 1/2 cup of coarsely ground coffee and the same amount of water.
After the brewing period is over, strain the coffee into a pitcher or your cup and enjoy. If you prefer, strain it again through a coffee filter to catch any fine grounds or silt.
It may seem odd to use egg shells while brewing coffee to reduce its acid, but it works because of simple chemistry.
Egg shells are alkaline, which works to neutralize any acid, including those in coffee beans. Using egg shells while brewing your coffee will also reduce any bitter taste that it has as a result of the brewing method you choose or the roast of the beans.
Take one or two eggshells that have been rinsed well and have no more egg attached, and crush them with your hands into a bowl.
Place the crushed eggshells into your coffeemaker -- if you're using a French press, percolator, moka pot or some thing similar, put it into the chamber or carafe with the coffee grounds.
For automatic drip machines, place the shells into the basket you put the coffee into. Brew as you normally would, and you'll find that the taste of your coffee is cleaner and you don't suffer nearly as much from acid reflux.
A Dash of Salt
Salt is typically added to coffee grounds before brewing or to a finished cup to reduce bitterness or smooth out the flavor of brew that's too acidic, but some also use this method to neutralize the acid in coffee for the purpose of decreasing the chances of an acid reflux flareup.
It works decently if you have no other methods available and use a small one finger pinch in your cup -- if you're measuring, start with 1/16th of a teaspoon and go up to no more than 1/8th of a teaspoon to avoid a salty flavor.
To increase the effectiveness of adding salt to your coffee, use a dark roasted blend.
The only real way to determine the brand, blend and roast of reduced acid coffee that tastes great without causing acid relux is through trial and error.
Set up a coffee bar and have a tasting with friends to sample a variety of coffee blends that have reduced acid levels and enjoy the moment with a hot cup of java without the acid relux.