In today's world, many tend to think of acid as a bad thing, so when it comes to the amount of acidity in coffee, people often wonder if there are any ill effects from drinking it regularly.
Since coffee is a favorite drink for many and a must each morning for others, how acidic is coffee, and is it bad for you? What does acidity within coffee really mean, and is there any way to reduce it?
We know questions on this topic abound. That's why we've created this entire blog post to answer all those necessary questions and put your mind at a latte ease (see what we did there?), so you can continue to enjoy your fresh cup of joe each morning.
What Does High Acidity In Coffee Mean?
When a roaster or coffee aficionado refers to high acidity in coffee, they mainly refer to the taste. Coffee with high acidity will have a bright, fresh, and sometimes even tangy taste. So, when describing the acidity of the coffee, they're talking about the flavor notes that different acids within the coffee create.
High acidity can make for a more complex cup of coffee, with different flavor notes that change as you drink it. In fact, when it comes to its flavor profile, acidity in coffee is often a good thing! It presents itself as a desirable taste that many people look for when choosing their coffee.
On a scientific level, however, black coffee comes in at around a pH of between 4.5-6, making it naturally an acidic drink. However, consider that seven is neutral, so drinks like orange juice, tomato juice, and soda are much more acidic, with pH at levels between 3-4.
That said, different factors, like where the coffee beans are grown, how they're roasted, and even the brewing method, can impact the acidity level of coffee due to the interactions with the types of acids present.
Did we say type(S) of acid? Yes, we did. Many different acids are found in coffee, and we'll go over those below.
Which Acids Are In Coffee?
Multiple different acids can present themselves in coffee, like chlorogenic, malic, quinic, citric, phosphoric acids, and others. Some of these acids impact more of the flavor while others play an important role in things like the body and mouthfeel of the coffee, as well as the aftertaste.
The largest group of acids found in coffee are chlorogenic acids, and their presence plays a stellar impact on the coffee's flavor and "acidic" taste. You'll find these acids in lighter roasts more so than in dark roasts because the longer you roast, the more this acid depletes.
It might seem counterintuitive to believe that lighter roasts can be more acidic than darker roasts, but it's true! You will find a touch more bitterness with darker roasts because as chlorogenic acids decrease, quinic acids increase, leaving more bitter notes within the coffee.
**Interesting Coffee Tidbit: Quinic acids continue to increase past the roasting process even after brewing while it is left on the hot plate! This increase in quinic acids is why you will get a strong bitter taste that often can cause a sour stomach the longer that brewed coffee sits warm.
Additionally, chlorogenic acids are also antioxidants, meaning that lighter roast coffees with more of these acids also contain more antioxidants.
Other acids like malic and citric acids give the coffee its tart and tangy flavors, while phosphoric acids often leads to a sweet or fruity taste. Lactic acid is also found in coffee and contributes to that creamy mouthfeel in some coffees.
All these different acids have different profiles and impacts on the taste of your coffee, but one thing is for certain - all these acids play an essential role in how we perceive the flavor of our beloved cup of joe!
Is Acidity In Coffee Good?
Acidity in coffee is not necessarily a bad thing; actually, it is a good thing! Many prefer coffee with higher acidity because it provides a more complex flavor profile. Certain coffees with lower acidity levels have the potential to taste blander compared to a higher acidic coffee.
In comparison, though, some who have conditions such as GERD or have a sensitive stomach might find that coffees high in acidity exacerbate their symptoms. For anyone who struggles with these conditions, it might be best to look for coffee with lower acidity levels or use simple techniques to reduce some acidity.
Which Coffee Is Most Acidic?
Light roast coffee tends to be most acidic. However, there are many factors aside from just the roast that play into the acidity level in a coffee.
For example, coffee grown at high altitudes is typically more acidic. The reason for this is that lower oxygen and higher pressure are present, which forces the coffee plant to produce more acids as a way of protecting itself. Additionally, coffees processed using the wet method tend to be more acidic than those processed with the dry method.
The wet method is when the coffee cherry is soaked in water for an extended time before being removed and then dried. On the other hand, the dry method is when the coffee cherry is left out in the sun until it dries out and then hulled to remove the outer layers.
How you brew and grind your coffee plays a role as well. Coarse ground coffee with a shorter brew time will often produce more acidic coffee.
How Do You Reduce Acidity In Coffee?
You can reduce acidity in coffee by using a simple technique called the cold brew method. Cold brewing coffee starts by steeping coffee grounds in cold water for an extended period, typically 12 hours or more.
This process extracts less of the acids present in the coffee bean, leading to a less acidic brew than a traditionally brewed cup of coffee. If you are someone who struggles with coffee on an empty stomach or finds that coffee upsets your stomach, cold brewing might be a good method for you to try!
Another simple technique for reducing the acidity is adding a 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda to your coffee grinds before brewing. This will neutralize some of the acids present in your coffee.
Low Acid Coffee
Coffee with low acidity is popular! But instead of researching and trying out all the ways to reduce acidity, let us do the work for you. Our Tummy Love Low-Acid Light French Roast gives you all the flavor profiles you want in a whole-bodied coffee without the higher acidity levels.
Tummy Love provides a flavor of bittersweet cocoa with hints of roasted hazelnut and a cream-chocolate finish. Now, you can't tell us that doesn't sound like a heavenly morning cup of coffee!
Start your mornings worrying less about an upset stomach by drinking a coffee with low acidity. Tummy Love is the roast for you!
The acidity levels in a roast of coffee are not a bad thing and actually provide a more complex flavor profile!
However, some people find that coffees high in acidity exacerbate their symptoms of acid reflux or stomach problems. If this is your scenario, it might be best to look for coffee with lower acidity levels or use simple techniques to reduce some acidity.
Coffee should never be a problem in our books, so if your stomach is asking for a bit of assistance in this regard, Get Roasted solves this problem through its best-selling roast- Tummy Love Low Acid Light French Roast! Once you see how easy it is on the tummy, you'll be hooked!
Now that you have the full scoop on acidity in coffee, notice those delicious flavors and notes that the acids provide in that morning cup and enjoy that first sip with a new mindset, whether it's with your regular roast or our low-acid Tummy Love!