Coffee is acidic, that is the harsh truth, but it doesn’t mean it’s unhealthy. The acidity in coffee gives it its bitter taste which coffee lovers enjoy first thing in the morning. However, people with sensitive tummies tend to suffer from heartburn or acid reflux when they consume coffee. Low acid coffee came as the perfect solution for those people to enjoy coffee without its unsavory side effects. While some people claim that low acid coffee is tasteless, others say they enjoy the taste more due to the lack of bitterness. If you are interested in low acid coffee, here are 3 things you should know about it.
1. The Coffee Origin Matters
While there is no solid scientific proof, coffee beans grown in countries with low altitudes are found to contain fewer acids than other coffee beans. However, based on experience, it is proven that coffee beans from countries such as Sumatra, Brazil, Nicaragua, Mexico, Peru, Venezuela, Guatemala, and Indonesia have low levels of acidity. Treated coffee beans tend to have fewer acids as the technique used to treat them produces less acid. After harvesting the coffee beans, there are three methods used to process them; wet, dry, and semi-dry. Look for dry or semi-dry processed coffee beans as these methods produce lower acidity levels than the wet method. Some people who tried low acid coffee reported that they felt less of a “kick” than other types of coffee. However, enjoying coffee is a personal experience and you should try it before judging if it is good or not. Some grounded coffee beans are mixed with some ingredients that soothe the stomach. Adding a little milk or cream to your cup of coffee can make it have fewer acids as the milk changes the levels of pH.
2. Roast Level is Important
The acidity of the coffee is considerably affected by the intensity of the roast. If you are looking for the least acidic type of coffee, you should opt for darker roasts. The longer the coffee bean is roasted, the more acids will be burnt off during the roasting process. Additionally, darker roasts have lower levels of caffeine which means that your stomach will produce less acid. Lowering the acids in both the coffee and the stomach will reduce the chances of having heartburn or acid reflux. According to this website, light roasts contain a higher level of chlorogenic acid, which increases the pH levels. However, dark roasting turns the chlorogenic acid into quinic acid which is significantly less acidic. Darker roasts are also higher in a compound called N-methylpyridinium (NMP) which prevents the stomach from producing hydrochloric acid that can upset or irritate the stomach. Weirdly enough, NMP is created during the roasting process and it is not found naturally in the green beans. If you are suffering from acid reflux from drinking dark roasts, you should seek medical attention to find available treatments.
3. Cold Brew Your Coffee
Different brewing methods and temperatures don’t only affect the taste, aroma, and bitterness of coffee, they also affect the acids in it. Slow-steeped cold brewing was found to reduce the acidity of coffee. The hot water extracts more ingredients from the coffee bean while brewing, but on the other hand, cold brewing extracts less from everything in the bean, including acids. Cold brews are almost 70% less acidic than a hot cup of coffee according to studies conducted on several types of coffee. Cold brews also reduce the bitter taste of coffee so it gives you the impression of being less acidic than hot brews. However, cold coffee may not be the best option for coffee lovers during winter, so if you want a warm cup of coffee, try brewing coarsely ground beans as they release less acid into the water. Combining cold-brewed coffee with a creamer will lower the acid levels and the bitter taste considerably.
Low acid coffees are becoming more popular, especially among people with a delicate digestive system. It helps you enjoy the taste of coffee when you wake up without causing any irritation to the stomach. There are countless brands, roasts, processing methods, and countries of origin that can affect the taste and aroma of the coffee, but not all of them have low acid. You have to consider where the coffee beans were grown as countries of lower altitudes produce low acid coffees. The roast level is a personal preference. But if you didn’t have much luck with lighter roasts, it is time to switch to darker ones to soothe your stomach.