When it comes to your cup of coffee, your first thought probably isn’t about acidity. But now is the time to start paying attention to acidity levels in your coffee. Low acid coffee is a new option that is growing in popularity, and for a good reason.
Low acid coffee may be better for your health. It’s rich in antioxidants, is anti-inflammatory, and could be less likely to upset your stomach. Low acid coffee also produces a smoother taste that elevates your coffee-drinking experience.
This article will teach you all about the acidity of coffee. We’ll also tell you why you may want to choose low-acidity coffee for your next cup of joe.
Table of Contents
- What is Low Acid Coffee?
- What’s the Acidity of Normal Coffee?
- Why Does the Acidity of Coffee Matter?
- Antioxidants and Low Acid Coffee
- Inflammation and Low Acid Coffee
- Your Gut and Low Acid Coffee
- Taste and Low Acid Coffee
- Effect of Roast on Coffee Acidity
- Effect of Coffee Beans on Coffee Acidity
- Water and Coffee Acidity
- Cold Brew and Coffee Acidity
- Low Acid Coffee Brands
- Final Thoughts
What is Low Acid Coffee?
Low acid coffee is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a form of coffee with lower overall acid content. In particular, low acid coffee focuses on reducing the amount of quinic acid that is believed to upset your stomach.
However, quinic acid is not the only acid present in coffee.The types of acid present will depend on the roast and brew of the coffee.
Low acid coffee also tends to be lower in chlorogenic acid and these other organic acids depending on the roast.
With many people reporting adverse effects on their gut health from drinking acidic coffee, producers were driven to try to find a solution. And this is why low acid coffee was born.
What’s the Acidity of Normal Coffee?
Before diving into the acidity of normal coffee, let’s ensure we understand the pH scale first.
Water is neutral with a pH of 7. Liquids below 7 on the pH scale are acidic. Liquids above 7 on the pH scale are considered more basic.
Most coffee falls somewhere between 4.85 and 5.13 on the pH scale. This means that it’s relatively acidic for a beverage that we consume regularly.
While low acid coffee will still be acidic, it generally tends to have a pH closer to 6. This might not sound like much of a difference, but it can help out your gut reaction and may taste better overall.
Why Does the Acidity of Coffee Matter?
We pay attention to acidity in coffee because we want to know the effects of that acidity on our health and our taste buds.
Low-acid coffee offers several potential health benefits. It may enhance your overall antioxidant levels to help you fight off invasive free radicals while simultaneously reducing inflammation. And it may be less likely to irritate your stomach and gut.
When it comes to taste, lower acid coffees tend to be described as smoother and easier to drink black.
Coffee that tastes better and is better for you may sound too good to be true, but the good news is we’re telling the truth. Let’s dive into the evidence to pick apart the benefits of low acid coffee one by one.
Antioxidants and Low Acid Coffee
You probably have heard the word antioxidants thrown around a lot. But what does it actually mean?
Antioxidants are helpful substances that reduce free radicals. Free radicals are essentially unstable atoms that tend to cause issues in our bodies related to aging and cancer.
Research shows that lower-acidity coffee in the form of darker roasts is richer in total antioxidants.
Since we want to consume as many antioxidants as we can to fight off the effects of aging and help minimize our risk for diseases, drinking low-acid coffee might be a good idea.
Inflammation and Low Acid Coffee
Inflammation is another word like antioxidants that gets thrown around often in our society. But what exactly is it?
Inflammation is a natural response to tissue damage. When it’s a short-lived response that the body resolves, it’s not a problem. However, inflammation that sticks around too long tends to create pain and dysfunction in the body.
Research demonstrates that low-acid coffee in the form of cold brew is a natural anti-inflammatory.
This means low-acid coffee is sort of like a natural version of ibuprofen without the unwanted side effects. It may help to flush out chronic inflammation, improving your overall health.
Your Gut and Low Acid Coffee
Now when it comes to the gut, there is generally less conclusive research available about low acid coffee at this time.
However, we do know that certain acids from coffee do get digested in the stomach and colon. What’s unclear is exactly how these acids influence your gut in relation to issues like heartburn and indigestion.
The evidence we have regarding the potential for low acid coffee to be less irritating for your gut comes from one study. The study found that darker roasts of coffee, which were lower in acidity, were less likely to produce more stomach acid.
Fewer stomach acid secretions could potentially correlate with less discomfort after drinking coffee. But there need to be more studies done to support this finding.
This is where low acid coffee advertising may go astray. While there is potential for low acid coffee to be less irritating for your stomach, there isn’t strong evidence to confidently say it will help everyone.
Taste and Low Acid Coffee
One of the other important perks of low acid coffee is that it may taste better.
Generally, the more acid in coffee, the more bitter it will taste. In particular, chlorogenic acid is the main acid thought to give coffee its distinguished sharp and bitter taste profile.
So if you often complain about your coffee being too bitter, low-acid coffee may be a good choice for you.
It is worth noting that some people find lower acid coffees to be bland because they crave the bitter coffee flavor. In this case, you may try a few different low acid coffees before abandoning low-acid coffee altogether.
Effect of Roast on Coffee Acidity
Now that you know how acidity affects your health and the taste of coffee, let’s dive into how low acid coffees are created. One of the factors influencing coffee acidity is the roast.
Roast is simply an indicator of how much time the coffee beans spend being roasted. Light roasts spend less time being roasted whereas darker roasts have been roasted longer.
The longer the bean is roasted, the higher the pH content of the coffee. Thus, darker roasts tend to be less acidic.
During the roasting process, a chemical called N-methylpyridium develops. This chemical has been associated with the reduced release of harmful stomach acids. This is why dark roasts are touted as a low acid coffee option that may be less likely to cause stomach issues.
Effect of Coffee Beans on Coffee Acidity
Another factor influencing the acidity in your cup of coffee is where the beans were sourced.
Coffee beans grown at lower elevations tend to be considered less acidic. This is because the beans don’t take as long to mature as beans in higher-elevation climates.
Knowing this, you may want to look for coffee beans from countries in Central America or sea-level locations to minimize the acid in your coffee.
You may also read “treated beans” on a low-acid coffee product. This means that the beans have been altered in one way or another to lower the overall acid content.
Treated beans are not necessarily bad. But if you want a more natural option, search for beans grown in lower-elevation geographic locations.
Water and Coffee Acidity
Another consideration regarding your coffee’s acidity is the water used to make it.
While water is supposed to be neutral with a pH of 7, tap water is rarely neutral. Some tap water measures pH levels as low as 6.5.
If you use this water and a brewing process where the beans undergo extreme heat, you may be naturally brewing a more acidic cup of coffee.
A simple fix for this problem is to filter your water using your preferred home water filtration method. This could be an attachment to your faucet or a filtered pitcher.
Cold Brew and Coffee Acidity
Those who love cold brew will be excited to learn that it is potentially one of the best low acid coffee options.
Cold brew is lower in acidity because of the brewing process itself. Since the coffee beans do not have to undergo as much oxidation with exposure to heat, fewer acids are developed as a result.
This is why cold brew tastes better to most people and why some say it upsets their stomachs less.
If you don’t want to go out and buy a specific low-acid coffee, switch to cold brew, which may do the trick.
Low Acid Coffee Brands
If you’re convinced that you want to try low acid coffee, then we have several brands you may want to check out.
Coming highly rated is the brand LifeBoost which specializes in organic low acid coffee that is heavily tested for mycotoxins and pesticides. They also tend to receive high ratings for flavor, which is just as important.
Another popular option is Puroast Coffee which is 70% less acidic than your standard cup of coffee. The brand provides an array of flavors and decaf low acid coffee to meet all your coffee needs.
One last option you may want to consider when it comes to low acid coffee is Lucy Jo’s Mellow Belly Coffee. It’s popular for its sweet blend with a hint of spice and the use of certified organic coffee beans.
Low acid coffee is growing in popularity due to its health benefits and smooth taste. Most low acid coffees clock in at a pH of 6.5, which is significantly less acidic than your standard coffee.
Potential benefits of drinking low acid coffee include increased antioxidant levels, reduced inflammation, and potentially less gut irritation.
Darker roasts and cold brews are naturally less acidic coffee options. You may also want to look at the bean type and pH of the water you use to brew your coffee, as this could impact the acidity level.
If you want coffee specifically crafted with low acidity in mind, you can check out one of the highly-rated brands listed in this article.
Now that you know all about low acid coffee, all that’s left to do is to try a cup yourself. You may just find that low acid coffee meets all your coffee-loving needs.