For many coffee drinkers, getting a morning cup first thing when they wake up has become a usual part of their routine.
And naturally, like any other type of foods and beverages that we incorporate in our daily consumption, we care about the benefits as well as any potentially harmful effects it may have on our body to adjust our intakes, whether in type or size.
Other than concerns regarding the caffeine level in coffees, some also worry about the acidity concentration which may impact the joy of drinking and worsen health conditions like acid reflux.
In this article, I will look at some of the best low-acid coffee beans so we can have nice things.
Is Coffee Acidic
First, the acid levels are determined by the pH scale. If the value is lower than 7, the substance is considered to be acidic, while those with a pH level greater than 7 are deemed basic.
Most coffee types have acid in nature, averaging around 5 on the pH scale. But this isn't necessarily a bad thing.
Since it’s a given trait of the beverage, acidity can be considered a desirable one. It's one of the factors that impact the flavor profile in intensity, taste, and aftertaste.
Moreover, the acid levels in coffees aren't even high, to begin with, especially compared to other beverages like juices and carbonated drinks.
Research on the pH of soft drinks sold in America in 2015 shows that certain soda brands were considered to be extremely erosive due to the high levels of acid (pH<3.0).
What Is Brightness In Coffee - How Is It Related To Acidity
Have you ever heard anyone describe coffee taste using the term "brightness"? How come something comes off as "bright" in flavor?!
The word actually depicts the outstanding flavor notes aside from the usual coffee taste that heightens the overall mouthful feel.
It's in the pungency, the tang, the nuttiness, and the fruitiness, almost wine-like.
A cup with these pleasant sparks of joy is regarded as having a "bright acidity", or good acidity coffee.
So in this case, acidity is something favorable that can elevate your coffee drinking experience.
Is Acidity in Coffee Bad For Your Health
In a different context, looking at acid as a value on the pH scale, sometimes it doesn't appear in a very positive light.
To better understand whether it's bad for your health or not, let's go through some of the many acids found in coffees and how your gastric acid reacts to coffees because the answer is not a simple yes or no.
Acids In Coffee
First, the chlorogenic acid breaks down during the roasting process and makes up the perceived coffee acidity, and is known to be an antioxidant as well.
The longer you roast coffee, the lower its level becomes. So lighter roasted coffees tend to be marketed as having high antioxidant contents.
Quinic acid is the next broken down form when you roast coffee. This acid is the main contributor to the astringency in your coffee cup.
The darker the roast level is, the more quinic acid there is. Since it takes over the places of other flavor building acids, those who aren't a fan of this should go for lighter roasts.
Though gastric acid is a natural release within your stomach, coupled with the acidity in coffees, some may find certain gastroesophageal reflux diseases (GERD) and related health conditions worsen.
For example, acid reflux and heartburn. In cases of individuals with pre-existing ulcer diseases (i.e. gastric ulcers), drinking coffees can increase the production of gastric acid, stomach acid, and aggravate the symptoms.
Sure, there is no indication that a direct cause-effect correlation between acidity in coffees and those aforementioned digestive system complications can be observed.
But it's always a good idea to keep our health in mind when consuming things that are potentially harmful to our body, especially for those who are at risk of those diseases.
How To Reduce Acidity In Coffee
To achieve low acidity in your brew, you can try the following approaches.
Arabica Over Robusta
Arabica coffee beans generally contain a lower concentration of chlorogenic acids than Robusta, making it less acidic coffee in addition to their superiority in taste.
So as a starter, you can choose the former rather than the more caffeine-packed latter. Good for your sensitive stomach and taste palate!
Using Darker Roasts
As aforementioned, the more you roast, the more chlorogenic acids break down, leading to low acidity in your morning cup of coffee. Adjust the time and temperature to achieve the desired level.
On the other hand, lighter roasts make the acidity pop more. This is how you can taste the "brightness" that people often talk about.
Opting For Cold Brew
As Cold Brew is found to have low acidity, it can indeed be a healthier option in this respect compared to a regular coffee.
Instead of brewing one using hot water, steeping ground coffee in lower or room-temperature water can considerably lower the concentration of acidic compounds.
If you want to learn more about Cold Brew and how to make one, read more here.
Avoiding Under Extraction
Brewing with grinds too coarse in a duration of time too short can result in your coffee brew being under-extracted, meaning more acidic coffee.
Getting Low-Acid Coffees
That takes us to the main course of this article, low-acid coffees.
If you are concerned about GERD-related health conditions but don't want to give up the amazing taste of coffees, low-acid can be the way to go! Moreover, this type of coffee can be a suitable choice for those with stomach problems, are lactose intolerant, or suffer from diseases like Celiac and Crohn's as well.
Best Low-Acid Coffee Brands
Let's take a look at some of the best low-acid coffee brands to stomach in 2021.
Cafe Don Pablo - Subtle Earth Organic Coffee
Tieman's Fusion Coffee
Java Planet Coffee
Lucy Jo's Coffee - Organic Mellow Belly Low Acid Blend
Simpatico Coffee - Low Acid Coffee
Puroast Coffee - Organic House Blend
Cafe Don Pablo - Subtle Earth Organic Coffee
If you're looking for a low-acid coffee brand with notes of honey and caramel, yet still retains the coffee's signature chocolaty and deep flavor, Subtle Earth Organic Coffee of Cafe Don Pablo can be the answer.
The item is AIB Food Safety certified, CCOF certified organic, with no GMOs and added chemicals. Instead of using insecticides, peppers are planted as repellents, making it all-around natural.
The beans are 100% Honduran Arabica sourced from the high altitudes of the Marcala region for deepened flavor and caramelized natural sweetness, further richening the coffee cup.
They are then roasted in small batches to order rather than mass-producing to ensure the best flavor profile and preserve freshness.
You can find Subtle Earth Organic Coffee in a variety of roast levels - Light, Medium-Dark, and Dark - in Whole Bean or recyclable single-serve coffee cups.
Like Lifeboost Coffee, buying from Cafe Don Pablo, you can also get a refund if it's not "the one".
Tieman’s Fusion Coffee
Tieman’s Fusion Coffee has to be among the top of the list of low-acid coffee brands.
The name comes from the natural fusion of coffee beans with Matcha Green Tea, Rooibos Red Tea, and Goji Berry powders.
Why the fusion, you ask?
The Matcha Green Tea is intended to add up to 7 hours of sustained energy. The Rooibos Red Tea helps calm your stomach.
And the Goji Berry powders provide anti-inflammatory health benefits.
These elements aren't supposed to mask the taste of coffees, so you don't have to worry about them affecting the flavor negatively.
Other than the added health perks, they are there to neutralize the pH, therefore, makes the coffee low in acid.
And, the coffee beans used aren’t ordinary either. They’re 100% high-quality Arabica beans sourced from Central and South America, which are considered to be less acidic coffee than Robusta, as aforementioned.
A pH level of only 5.85 and is packed with antioxidant contents 5 times the daily requirement!
However, everything comes with a price. All of the aforementioned drives up the cost of Tieman’s Fusion Coffee significantly more than pure coffee, so some might hesitate to make a purchase.
What's more, though the fusion is there to elevate the flavor and add more health benefits, it's not everyone's cup of "coffee". Some find its taste weaker than what they prefer.
Tieman’s Fusion Coffee is available in Medium and Dark Roasts, with a Decaf option on the side. You can also get this low in acid coffee Pre-Ground or Whole Bean.
Java Planet Coffee
Another low-acid coffee brand that you should look into trying is Java Planet Organic Coffee Roasters.
Their best selling product is of single-origin, Fair Trade certified, USDA certified organic, Bird Friendly certified, Rainforest Alliance certified, you name it!
Java Planet Coffee's beans are specialty grade organic Arabica sourced from Colombia, Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Sumatra to name a few.
Though the beans are shade-grown in high altitudes to acquire high nutrient values, they are naturally higher in acidity, the darker roast levels help lower those compounds, making them low-acid coffee.
Moreover, the beans are roasted in small batches to savor the freshness that helps to keep the low acidity in check.
And they make sure to print the date of roasting onto the package. It's the little things that count!
There is an inconvenience, however. As Java Planet believes that the coffee is best sold Whole Bean, there is no Pre-Ground option for those who don't own a grinder or are too busy.
Taste-wise, though it’s marketed as low-acid coffee, it might still taste mildly acidic to some.
The low-acid organic coffee comes in a range of roasting levels from Light to Dark, though lighter roasts may taste rather bland.
The Medium Dark roast is the perfect choice for those who don't want to miss out on the original flavor but want something more as well.
If you're planning a pregnancy, a mother expecting or breast-feeding, and worry about the potential effects of drinking coffee on your body, Mommee Coffee might just be the low-acid coffee brand for you.
The brand is marketed to women in all stages of motherhood!
Their coffee beans are USDA certified organic and Free Trade certified.
What causes the low levels of acid is in the roasting process - in their trademark roasting machine that lowers the acid content by 5 times compared to a regular Joe.
And chlorogenic acid which makes up most of the perceived acidity is reduced by 60%! That means less worry about acid reflux and your stomach.
Moreover, the decaffeination process is a chemical-free water one, providing an array of options - Decaf, Quarter-Caff, and Half-Caff - for those who want to avoid drinking Full-Caff coffee.
All of this has been done with the mothers in mind. A substitute coffee drink that is healthier without having to compromise and trade for tasteless and watered-down flavor is always welcome.
Since the bottom line of eating and drinking is the taste, acid-free coffee would be pointless if it didn't taste good anymore.
Of course, all of this talk about moms doesn't mean everyone else can't buy and enjoy Mommee Coffee!
What might be a problem here is the expensive price. Consider trying the Half-Caff if it's not over your budget for coffee consumption!
Lucy Jo’s Coffee - Organic Mellow Belly Low Acid Blend
You have to mention Lucy Jo’s Coffee Roastery when talking about low-acid coffee brands.
Much like the aforementioned brands' coffee beans, their Organic Mellow Belly Low Acid Blend also consists of certified organic single-origin beans.
They are 100% aromatic, flavorful, and high-quality low-acid Arabica sourced from Indonesia and Brazil with no filler coffee bean.
The reduced acid coffee is also roasted in small batches to better preserve the freshness and acidity.
Since Lucy Jo’s is family-owned, everything is done by hand so rest assured that your bag of low-acid coffee beans is handled with care for the health of your stomach.
There are a variety of roast levels and blends to choose from, but their Organic Mellow Belly Low Acid Blend Medium Dark roast coffee seems to be among the most popular picks.
Lifeboost’s specialty coffee beans are Fair Trade certified, Bird Friendly certified, and USDA and NFC certified organic. No GMOs, no additives, no pesticides.
These specialty Arabica beans get the highest quality treatments that are natural and ethical: shade-grown in exclusive farms in the high elevation of the mountains of Nicaragua, then hand-picked, sun-dried, and washed in spring water.
Though they are naturally high in acidity due to being grown in high altitudes, the bottom line is the way they are grown and processed which makes the acid content lower.
Lifeboost Coffee says their beans score at least 6.0 in pH balance, much less acidic than a regular coffee cup so you can avoid the unwanted coffee’s side effects.
You can grab a bag Pre-Ground or Whole Bean in Medium or Dark Roast and Decaf.
Though many appreciate the low-acid trait, some find the flavor a tad underwhelming. It is also a bit on the pricey side.
But Lifeboost Coffee offers a refund policy within 30 days post-purchase if their coffee doesn't grow on you.
So why not get a Medium Roast bag and try it for yourself?
Simpatico Coffee - Low Acid Coffee
For a more affordable option, Simpatico's Low Acid Coffee is a good choice. Their organic and Fair Trade low-acid beans are shade-grown in small family farms in Southern Mexico that are pesticides and herbicides-free.
They’re then hand-roasted to order in the Revelation Roaster, regarded as the most efficient roaster in the world, in small batches for optimal freshness and preservation of coffee's original flavor and a smokey and fruity aroma.
Decaffeination is a water process that also steers free from chemicals, making the taste very smooth with some chocolaty notes.
The most popular type of Low Acid Coffee by Simpatico is the ground Dark Roasts Full-Caff, though they also offer a range of other roast levels and Decaf options.
Puroast - Organic House Blend
If you’re concerned about the price of the above low-acid brands, you might want to pay attention to Puroast's Organic House Blend as it's one of the most affordable options.
Puroast sustainably sources its premium bean with no additives, extractions, kosher, chemicals, or pesticides.
What's special about these beans is the roasting process. Puroast roasts the beans the traditional Venezuelan way by slowly roasting them in a wood fire, giving them the ultimate smooth taste.
And this is what lowers the acid content to 70% less than what you would normally find in a regular coffee cup, good for those with a bad stomach.
It also significantly increases the antioxidant levels in the coffee beans 7 times the level of green tea and 5 times the level of other coffee brands, as published in scientific research.
However, some say they can't stomach the bland and bitter taste (not the good kind).
Another drawback that you might want to keep in mind is the pack size.
This low-acid organic coffee is only sold in bulk packs of 40 and 80 ounces, which is what makes them so cheap compared to other brands in the first place. But that can backfire: they may go stale before you get to the bottom of the pack.
Puroast's low acid coffee products come in several flavors, but Organic House Blend would be the best pick if you want to try it out.
On the package, you can see that the brand markets itself to be acid-free coffee or have no acid at all to care for coffee lovers who have concerns about acid reflux, general concerns about your stomach and teeth enamel without having to compromise the taste.
Tyler's Coffee also makes sure that their beans are USDA certified organic and clean.
Their secret roasting process is supposed to make their high-quality 100% Arabica coffee beans low-acid and derive all of the tannins and lipid acids to make your brew more aromatic and flavorful.
The product is available in both Decaf and Regular, medium to finely Ground, and Whole Bean for ease of choice.
A full refund is also possible if you happen to regret the purchase.
Final Verdict: CoffeeGeek's choice
My pick for the best low-acid coffee to enjoy is the Subtle Earth Organic Coffee by Cafe Don Pablo because:
I hope the list gives you a variety to choose from. We've got 99 problems and acidity in coffee really shouldn't be one.