There is no denying that coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world. Unfortunately, some people cannot get a good kickstart as coffee makes their stomachs churn up.
But what you don’t know is that you can actually enjoy a good cup of coffee as there are a range of coffees available with the lowest acidity.
Dark roast coffee is the least acidic. The reason is that the longer you roast your coffee beans, the more acids you will lose.
In terms of coffee beans, Arabica beans contain less acid than Robusta, so they are easier on the stomach.
In this post, I will discuss what acidity in coffee is and the tricks you can do to reduce it.
What Is Acidity In Coffee?
Acidity is the culprit why some people cannot enjoy a good cup of joe. However, it is also the reason why coffee has bright notes and flavours.
It differentiates the high-quality, delicately grown coffee beans from low-quality ones.
As you roast your green coffee beans, they undergo chemical reactions, which affect the concentrations of the acids in them.
Most acids found in coffee degrades in high temperatures. So, the longer you roast your coffee beans, the less acidic they become. This is why dark roast beans are coffee with the lowest acidity.
Moreover, the five significant acids found in coffee are:
- Chlorogenic Acid – the highest occurring acid in coffee beans. CGAs are primarily responsible for a coffee’s acidity, but they quickly degrade during roasting. For this reason, light roasts are bright and acidic, while dark roasts have a paler flavor.
- Quinic Acid – comes out as other acids degrade. This acid is primarily found in dark roasts, and coffee brewed hours ago but kept warm. Quinic acid provides your brew with a smooth taste, but it can turn the stomach sour.
- Citric Acid – mostly present on Arabica beans grown at highlands. It gives coffee its fruity note as the citric acid in coffee is the same acid found in fruits like lemon and orange.
- Acetic Acid – the acid found in vinegar. A low concentration of acetic acid produces a pleasant sharpness to coffee. However, high amounts of acetic acid can taste unpleasant and turn up your stomach.
- Lactic Acid – lactic acid in coffee is not as noticeable as citric acid. However, it makes your cup of joe a little creamy.
Coffee With Lowest Acidity
A lot of people experience an upset stomach whenever they drink a cup of joe. Registered dietitian Andrea Dunn, RD, says that “The acid or fat content in coffee may be causing gastrointestinal issues like heartburn, acid reflux and bloating.”
To put it simply, coffee increases one’s acid content, which results in an upset stomach.
But that does not mean you need to give up your favourite coffee. There are low-acid coffee options that you can try so that you won’t have to worry about a stomachache.
Coffee with lowest acidity? Here are your options:
The roasting process done on espresso beans breaks up their acidic compounds. Since the coffee beans used for making espresso are roasted for an extended period, they lose most of their acid content.
This factor makes espresso an excellent option for people with a low tolerance to acidity.
Moreover, there are also highly acidic espresso in the market. So, you need to ensure that you are getting the right type on your purchase.
2. Dark Roast
Dark roast coffee beans’ preparation method and flavour profile make them less acidic.
A study published in 2010 also found out that dark roasts also have a component called N-methylpyridium (NMP) that prevents hydrochloric acid from building up inside your stomach. This component also reduces stomach irritation.
For this reason, dark roast beans are coffee with lowest acidity.
3. Low Acid Specialty Coffee
There are now specialty coffee brands in the market that offer low-acid options for people who cannot tolerate acidity.
For instance, decaffeinated coffee contains a low level of caffeine. For this reason, it will not stimulate your gastrin as much as regular brews.
4. Cold Brew
Cold brew coffee has a low caffeoylquinic acid (CQA) concentration, a component found in chlorogenic acid (CGA).
CGA makes the stomach produce more acid, which can cause hyperacidity to some people.
But when you brew your coffee using cold water, it releases less CQA, resulting in reduced bitterness and coffee with the lowest acidity.
What Coffee Beans Will Not Hurt Your Stomach?
It is common knowledge that the acid in coffee gives it the vibrant flavours that many people love.
The acid provides the coffee with citrus notes. But if you have acid reflux, coffee can be a great source of pain.
Fortunately, there is now coffee with lowest acidity. But since the acid in the coffee gives it more flavour, can low acid coffee be flat and flavourless?
Surprisingly, Robusta beans, low acid coffee beans, are not pale-flavoured at all.
Why Are Robusta Beans Low In Acidity?
Robusta beans do not have phosphoric and citric acid. So, they are less acidic than Arabica beans.
The lack of the said acids also accounts for Robusta coffee’s strong and bitter taste. However, that does not mean that Robusta coffee tastes bland.
In fact, coffee enthusiasts often use Robusta beans when making espresso — a coffee with lowest acidity.
On the other hand, some people with stomach issues do not drink Arabica coffee as it contains high acidity.
Robusta coffee has an earthy note along with a bitter and rubbery flavor. This type of coffee also has a nutty aftertaste.
While the taste may sound unappealing, it all boils down to the preparation process of the beans. That said, here are three preparation processes that make Robusta beans less bitter:
Grinding your coffee beans coarsely will prevent them from emitting some of the beans’ flavor and organic compounds. As a result, your brew will taste less bitter.
As mentioned, cold brewing your coffee grounds make it less acidic and less bitter. So, cold-brewed Robusta coffee is a type of coffee with lowest acidity.
Shorter Brew Time
If you have fine ground Robusta beans, you can opt for a shorter brew time to get less extraction. This way, you can get the best coffee taste with less acidity and bitterness.
Making Your Brew Less Acidic
Apart from finding the coffee with the lowest acidity, there are also things you can do to your regular brew so it would not hurt your stomach.
So, if you have stomach issues or you simply do not like the taste of acidic coffee, these tricks will help you get a better cup of joe:
Add Milk To Your Brew
Milk balances the pH level of your coffee, thus reducing its acidity. The calcium in milk can neutralize acid, resulting in a smoother flavoured cup of joe.
However, it is essential to note that milk does not go very well with light roasts. It compliments dark roasts, especially those that are typically low in acidity, to begin with.
Meaning, adding milk to your brew will give you the coffee with the lowest acidity.
Sprinkle Some Salt
Adding a dash of salt to your coffee grounds before brewing can reduce the acidity of your final brew. This trick works regardless of the brewing method you use.
The salt can bring out the sweetness of your coffee while masking the bitterness and acidity.
Salt is neutral, so it can cancel out the acid in your coffee. But you need to ensure that you are adding the right amount of salt, as overdoing it can ruin your coffee experience.
Eggshells are alkaline, making them a good choice for making coffee with the lowest acidity. So, just like salt, it helps neutralize the acidity in coffee. For this reason, coffee with eggshells has a balanced bitterness and sweetness to it.
Frequently Asked Questions About Coffee With Lowest Acidity
What coffee is easiest on the stomach?
Espresso is less likely to irritate your stomach, which is why it is the coffee with the lowest acidity.
It undergoes high pressure and short extraction time, thus balancing out the chemical compounds in the coffee grounds.
Can I drink coffee with acid reflux?
Coffee causes your stomach to produce more acid. However, drinking decaffeinated coffee and coffee with lowest acidity can help in minimizing the symptoms of acid reflux.
Does almond milk make coffee less acidic?
Almond milk and other plant-based milk can help neutralize coffee’s acidity level. They are also low in calories, which is suitable for people who are on a diet.
People suffering from acid reflux no longer have to skip their daily cup of coffee. There are now various cups of coffee with the lowest acidity, which allows you to enjoy every cup without irritating your stomach.
For instance, you can opt for a dark roast, such as a shot of espresso, instead of a regular brew. Espresso contains low acidity, so it is easy on the stomach.
If you are a fan of lattes, the milk in it can neutralize coffee’s acidity. This is especially true if you are using plant-based milk.
Hope that this information can help you enjoy coffee and change your coffee-drinking experience!