Acidity in Coffee, the Facts and Solutions

A lot of people with weak stomach often think (and believe) that acidity in coffee is responsible for their digestion issue. In reality, that’s not necessarily true. In a sense, coffee does have acid that may cause heartburn to those with super sensitivity to acidic coffee. However, the acid isn’t always the culprit to many health issues. If you know the facts, you may actually learn that the acid contents in coffee aren’t always harmful.

Acidity in Coffee, The Real Facts

Coffee has around 850 compounds – all are responsible to deliver the unique aroma and taste of the coffee. Acidity is generally measured within the pH scale – where pH 7 is considered neutral. Anything that is lower than 7 is acidic and anything above 7 to 14 is considered alkaline. Coffee has the pH scale around 5 with the light roast versions in 4.7. If you want some comparisons, tomato juice has 4 pH level while orange juice is 3.

There are different kinds of acids and not all of them are bad. In fact, without the acids, the coffee will taste bland. The one responsible for the bad flavor and the health issue is quinic acid. This is often found in degraded and old coffee. This acid can cause negative impact to the digestive system. These are the facts about acidity in coffee.

In the overall respect, there are two major causes that can lead to health issues: The excessive high contents of the acid and the caffeine. If you are very sensitive to caffeine, you may want to avoid the regular coffee and choose the decaf coffee instead.

Coffee Pot

Chemex With Cup

 

Avoiding Acidic Coffee

Although you can’t completely avoid the acidity in coffee, there are ways to minimize the acidic level within the coffee beans. Here are some of them:

  • Opt for the low acid beans. There are some coffee beans that have been listed as having the lowest acidic content. Browse the net to find out more about them.
  • Choose Arabica beans. When compared to the Robusta variant, Arabica coffee has lower (thus, fewer) acidity level
  • Go with the darker roast. When you roast the coffee beans, the process will affect the acidic content. Light roast has higher acid when compared to the darker roast.
  • Choose coffee beans from low elevations. Coffee beans that are grown from higher elevations tend to have more acids, especially those grown close to the volcanic environment. The volcanic soil will contribute to the high level of acidity. If you don’t find the information on the package, just ask.
  • Think about the growing regions. You may not realize this but coffee beans from different regions will result indifferent flavors too. Sumatran or Brazilian coffee has low acidity level while Kenyan coffee has more acid with fruitier taste.
  • Try brewing with eggshells. Eggshells contain alkaline, which will balance the pH level.
  • Add milk or cream that will help balance the pH level.
  • Add salt to the coffee grounds before you start brewing.
  • Pay attention to your extraction.
  • Go with cold brew because it will contain less acid.

Now that you have learned the facts about acidity in coffee and how to solve the issues, you can start making your own fresh and tasty beverage.

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