7 Ways to Make Your Coffee Less Acidic


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If you’re a coffee lover but not a lover of some of the side effects that an acidic cup of coffee can have on your body, like heartburn and damage to teeth enamel, then you’ll want to read this.

You can do plenty of things to ensure your love affair with coffee doesn’t get stopped short because of acidity.

In this guide, we have 7 ways that you can implement to cut down the acidity level of your morning cup of joe.

Focus 7 Ways to Make Your Coffee Less Acidic

Why Low Acid Coffee?

To start with, acidity in coffee is actually a good thing when extracted properly. However, while it’s sometimes good in your coffee, consuming a high amount of it could cause some serious side effects. Therefore, it would still be best to consider drinking low-acid coffee.

The acidity of coffee causes problems for individuals who are not used to these compounds. While acidity for some people is a desirable characteristic, not everyone can handle it. Coffee drinkers have different consumption habit, and if it isn’t regulated, it causes heartburn and other possible health problems.

How to Make your Coffee Less Acidic?

Focus 7 Ways to Make Your Coffee Less Acidic

1. Choose Low Acid Coffee Beans

Let’s start at the root, err, bean of the problem, shall we?

Coffee beans are grown worldwide at different elevations, climates, and different soils. Similar to wine grapes, coffee beans take on the characteristics of the ground from where they came.

Ideally, coffees from certain regions are naturally lower in acid, including other Arabica varieties grown at lower altitudes. Countries which grow low acidic bean are Brazil, Sumatra, and Nicaragua.

Elevation also has a big influence on how acidic coffee beans will be: the lower the elevation, the less acidic the bean. Try to find beans grown around 3000 feet or below. Coffee beans grown above 3000 feet are considered high altitude and highly acidic.

Volcanica Coffee has a wide selection of low acid coffees. Many of them are from particular regions that naturally grow low acid coffee. One of these wonderful coffees is their rare Sumatra Mandheling Coffee. They also have blends that naturally meet the low acid criteria.

The other coffee brand I know that offers low acid beans is Lifeboost Coffee. Most of their coffee beans are sourced from Central America, particularly Nicaragua.

2. Roast Coffee Beans in a Way that will Break their Acidity

How coffee beans are roasted will significantly influence the acidity of your morning cup of coffee. The shorter the roasting time, the lighter the roast is considered to be and vice versa.

Light Roasts—Most Acidic. Many coffee connoisseurs appreciate light roasts because they are said to retain more of the original or authentic coffee flavor. Floral and fruity, these are delicious but acidic.

Medium Roasts—Less Acidic. Still more acidic than the dark roast. However, the medium roast coffee has a more balanced flavor profile with a certain sweetness reaching the palette.

Dark Roasts—Least Acidic. Dark roasts boast a strong and bitter flavor with a caramelization that makes this a modern favorite. Acidity is drastically reduced in the dark roasted beans while still providing a strong a bold flavor for those who appreciate a rich and layered coffee experience.

In conclusion, roasting beans for longer periods of time ensures that the acidic components of the coffee are processed out.

3. Choose a Brewing Method that Creates Less Acidic Coffee

Cold brew is the way to go if you want to minimize the acidity in your cup of joe. We’ll talk more about cold brewing under section 6 ‘water temperatures’ (see below). The next best brew method for the least acidic coffee is the French press (full immersion method).

Whatever you do, avoid espresso if you are trying to avoid acidity in your coffee. This is by far the most concentrated and bitter way to brew your coffee.

4. Check the Coffee to Water Ratio

The National Coffee Association calls the coffee to water ratio the “Golden Ratio,” one to two tablespoons of coffee grounds for every six ounces of water. But, as you are coming to learn, brewing the perfect cup of joe is not a one size fits all proposition.

Ultimately, it’s up to your taste buds to decide what makes your mouth happy. Just remember, the less water you use in a large amount of ground coffee, the more concentrated your brew will be.

If acidity levels are bothering your delicate stomach try reducing the coffee grounds or increasing the amount of water you use for your coffee.

5. Pay Attention to Grind Size and Extraction

Here are the basic guidelines on grind size to help you get better tasting, less acidic coffee.

Coarser grinds reduce the extraction rate because there is less surface area coming into contact with the water. Coarser grinds will yield a more acidic coffee, while finer grinds will be less acidic.

What is the extraction rate, anyhow? 

Extraction is the rate of speed that aromas and flavors like sugars, oils, and acids are extracted from the grinds. Brew times have a significant effect on extraction. The longer the brew time, the greater the extraction.

The acids in the coffee grinds are the first aspect to dissolve into the water, which means that, even with a fine grind, a short extraction time will result in a bitter cup of coffee. 

6. Check the Water Temperature

Water temperature will affect the overall acidity of your coffee. Temperatures that are too hot will leach out the acids in the coffee grounds. The hotter the water you are using, the more acidic your coffee will be.

Try these methods to reduce the acidity in your coffee:

Cold Brew Method

Although this method takes a little preplanning, the results are pretty dramatic. Some studies credit this method with reducing coffee acidity by as much as 67%!

As the term suggests, cold brewing does not involve warm or hot water. Take a big jar of some sort, add coffee ground and water and let it sit for 12 to 24 hours. 

The results are a less acidic, sweeter, and smoother, but more caffeinated cup of coffee that you can drink cold or hot. Even better, you can keep it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, so once you make a batch, you are set!

Control the Temperature of the Brewing Water

The rule of thumb is, the hotter the water, the shorter the brew time, and the colder the water, the longer the brew time.

While this may be difficult, if not impossible with a traditional coffee maker or espresso machine, you can control the water temperature if you use a French press. Keeping the water temperature under 200 degrees will help keep your brew from being too acidic.

More and more, you do see coffee brewers that allow you to adjust the brewing temperature. 

7. Neutralize the Acids with an Acid Reducer to help Balance Out the pH

The pH scale runs from 0 (very acidic) to 14 (alkaline or not acidic). The pH level of coffee is around 5. For comparison, the average soda has a pH of about 3 — meaning that soda is actually more acidic than coffee. 

Acid reducers work because they have a chemical reaction with the coffee grounds during the brewing process that reduces acidity. Most are everyday household products that won’t cost you any money.

Here are a few ideas to bring down the acidity in your morning cup of java.

Dash of Salt or Baking Soda

Add about 1/16 teaspoon salt or baking soda to your coffee grounds before brewing. Salt not only reduces the bitterness in your coffee but will help get rid of acidity. 

If 1/16 isn’t enough, slowly increase the amount. Just don’t overdo it to avoid having salty tasting coffee.

Eggshells

Eggshells contain something called alkaline calcium. This component neutralizes the acids in your coffee while it is being brewed.

Crack open two eggs and empty the contents (sunnyside up, please!). Gently and carefully clean away all of the egg white and yolk from the shell. After you are confident, no egg residue remains; crush the shells up into your coffee grounds and brew.

Add Nonfat Milk

If you aren’t lactose intolerant, nonfat milk can help act as a buffer between your stomach lining and the acid in your morning coffee.

Avoid whole mile or 2% as the fat in them can aggravate acid reflux.

If you are lactose intolerant, then almond, soy, or coconut milk are all great acid neutralizers for your coffee.

Does Acidity Makes your Coffee Sour?

Naturally, coffee is an acidic drink and it will always be. It contains organic compounds such as cholorogenic, malic, and acetic acids. However, the word acidity can also be referred to as a taste perception.

In my point of view, acidy alone can’t make your coffee sour. Actually, if the coffee is well extracted, acidity gives your coffee fruity flavors and brightness. The right balance of acidity to sweetness will yield to something like lemonade.

However, we can depict that too much acidity can lead to sourness. Also, there are some acids in coffee that resemble the flavor notes found in fruits. And these can be described by some people as sour.

In case the acidity in coffee is interpreted as sour, you should look on all the angles. Maybe your coffee is not properly extracted. You’ve used little amount of water and too coarse grounds which resulted in sour and bland coffee.

FAQs

Does Using Eggshells Reduce Acidity?

Yes, eggshells reduce acidity in coffee. Eggshells are mainly composed of calcium alkaline. Alkaline essentially acts as a neutralizing agent for acids. So, while the acidity is extracted from the coffee grounds during brewing process, the eggshells counteract it.

Does Adding Salt to Coffee Reduce Acidity?

Yes, adding salt to coffee does reduce acidity. It works because when the bitter and salt receptors on our tongues are activated simultaneously, it creates a sensation of sweetness. So essentially, the salt you added into the coffee is enhancing the natural sweetness of the coffee.

Can Coffee Cause Acid Reflux?

Yes, coffee can cause acid reflux. The caffeine in coffee, as well as more acidic coffees, has been attributed to acid reflux. Drinking decaf or less acidic coffees may help with this problem.

Is Tea Less Acidic Than Coffee?

That depends on the tea. Some teas, like black or green tea, are usually less acidic than coffee. It will depend on where you get the tea from, the coffee itself, the beans, the roast, how it was brewed, etc.

Final Thoughts

If you have heartburn or acid reflux, there are many things you can do to cut down on the acidity in your cup of coffee. From choosing the right beans to how you brew your coffee we are certain you will be able to cut back on the acidity while still loving your morning cup of go-juice every day!

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