One of the best things about the acids found in coffee is that they have such an impact on the flavour. They’re responsible for the vibrant tartness that many coffee lovers enjoy. Sadly, they can also cause issues for people who are prone to heartburn and acid reflux.
The good news if you’re one of those people is that there’s plenty of low acid coffee for you to try instead.
Acid vs Acidity
One of the most confusing things about this situation is the distinction between the words ‘acid’ and ‘acidity’.
Coffee contains many different acids. Some of them are the kind that are also found in citrus fruits and vinegar.
The overall acidity level of something is measured on the pH scale with a range of 0-14:
- A pH of 7 is neutral.
- Anything lower than 7 is considered acidic.
- Anything higher than 7 is considered alkaline.
One example is orange juice which has a pH level of 3.
Coffee has a pH level of around 5.
If someone has an issue with acidic products then they may run into unpleasant symptoms when consuming something with a pH rating below 7.
Here’s where things get mixed up. When people mention a coffee’s acidity, they are generally talking about a flavour profile and not the actual acid content.
This can lead people with acid sensitivity to miss out because they avoid any coffees that mention acidity.
Likewise, the same people can run into problems by opting for a coffee that is described as being less acidic in flavour. In reality, this doesn’t mean that the coffee doesn’t contain higher levels of acids that could cause them issues. It may actually be referring to a less vibrant flavour profile.
The Best Low Acid Coffee
There are plenty of things you can do to avoid running into issues with acid when choosing a coffee:
- Buy low acid coffee.
- Consider coffee that has been grown at a lower altitude.
- Opt for darker roasts.
- Perfect your brewing technique.
- Add milk to balance pH levels.
- Add salt to coffee grounds.
- Try a cold brew.
- Shop around for coffee beans from different regions.
The most obvious place to start is by choosing a coffee that is specifically designed to be lower in acid content. The issue here is that marketers can oversell this kind of thing for easy sales so make sure you read reviews before parting with your cash.
By keeping a note of the bullet points above, however, you’ll be in a good position to find the best coffee for you.
Whatever you choose, enjoy. You’ve earned it!