The debate about whether coffee has an impact on digestive health rages on, and whatever side of the fence you sit on, there is a lot to be said for consuming less acid when you have a problem with acids. There are many who believe that coffee has an effect on their acid reflux and there are about as many who deny it has anything to do with the acid in the coffee.
At Gathering Grounds we’re keen to provide a range of top quality coffees and let our customers decide whether low acid in coffee is a good thing or a bad thing.
The acid levels of coffee are often far lower than people imagine. While coffee is often reported to be bitter, it isn’t very acidic and can be made less so with the right techniques. Some roasting companies actually make some great low acid coffees like Puroast, Tieman’s, or Healthwise just to a name a few.
While some people with sensitivities to acidic foods can get some relief from cutting coffee out of their diet, it isn’t always necessary. There are significant reductions that can be made by just switching to a different kind of coffee instead.
What are the Best Low Acid Coffee Beans
To get beans that won’t give you problems, you’re best bet will be to pick up beans with a darker roasts as opposed to lighter roasts.
The roasting process removes the acidic properties of the beans so a longer darker roast will result in a more alkaline coffee. This means that usually espressos are going to be less of a problem if you have concerns about acid levels because they are customarily made with darker roast beans, although that’s not always the case.
This needs to be checked with every purchase as there is no rule to say that espresso must be made with any kind of roast, it’s just a common trend.
Espresso is also great because it can be diluted to make latte or Americano, doing a great job of slowing down drinking time and helping to neutralize the pH level of your coffee.
Does Brewing Method Effect Coffee Acidity
Some people believe wholeheartedly that french press is better than drip coffee and it can be better for your stomach if you brew with a darker roast – at least it will be easier on your stomach.
The way a coffee is brewed also has an impact on how acidic it is. The cooler the water used to brew, the fewer acidic oils will be present in the cup. For this reason, cold brewed coffee or any brewing method that uses cooler than normal water will be a useful way of reducing the acid in a cup.
Particularly hot brewing methods like stovetop espresso or percolator coffee should be avoided while brewing with a french press at slightly lower temperatures can help. Cold brew, obviously, is best as it’s not brewed hot at all.
A middle ground option, if you happen to have an Instant Pot, is to use the sous vide mode to make instant pot cold brew coffee.
Whether cold brewed coffee is to your taste is another matter, but there are popular options such as the Aeropress which a lot of people like, which uses water at 175-185F, considerably cooler than the accepted norm of using water just off the boil.
What Beans Are Lowest In Acid?
So, if you’ve been advised to cut down on the coffee intake, or if you just prefer coffee that has less strength to it, it may be possible to come to a compromise, and find a low acid brew that you can drink a lot of.
As a rule of thumb your coffee will be lower in acidity:
- if you choose a coffee bean from a region normal grown at lower altitudes,
- if you choose to brew coffee with a darker roast,
- if you make your coffee under lower temperatures
Cold brew is a matter of personal taste but if you can find a cold brewed dark roasted coffee grown at low altitudes that you enjoy then you’re onto a good thing!