Let me guess, you searched for 'low acid coffee' on google because unfortunately, regular coffee doesn't really agree with your stomach?
Don't worry, it's a common problem for lots of people. It's frustrating because you no doubt love the taste of regular coffee, and I'm sure you enjoy the caffeine kick which gives you extra focus in the mornings?
The problem is, it doesn't quite agree with you and you haven't managed to find a low acid coffee in the UK that works for you.
Heart burn and acid reflux springs to mind... Thankfully, I'm here to debunk all the myths and talk to you about acid coffee so you can discover your new favourite low acid brew to join the dark side again (drinking coffee).
What is Low Acid Coffee?
The phrase low acid coffee has gained an increase in popularity in recent years, but why?
Well, since coffee consumption has grown vastly over the last decade, more and more people rely on their caffeine fuelled beverage every day, That kick start out of bed in the morning provides that long lasting energy boost you need.
The definition of a low acid coffee is referred to as having little or very moderate levels of quinic acid. Therefore, the PH level within low acid coffee is situated much closer to neutral than what you'd find in regular brewed coffee.
You could also describe this kind of coffee as being more gentle on your stomach which is particularly important if you're searching for speciality coffee that doesn't make you feel uncomfortable.
Let's find out the science behind this method and more importantly, how you can get your hands on it.
Where Does Acid in Coffee Come From?
In order to understand how to make low acid coffee, we need to dive a little deeper into the science to truly understand what's at play when we're talking about acidity.
There are nine different acids that are released when freshly ground coffee is brewed with hot water. It's these acids which also contribute to the flavour you experience when you sip on your favourite coffee.
- Palmitic acids
Factors that Affect Acidity in Coffee
Coffee Roast Profile
The coffee roasting process is one of the most significant aspects to coffee acidity. Simply put, the length of time the coffee is roasted for plays a vital role in how high or low in acidity a given coffee produces.
As a rule of thumb, the darker the coffee roast is, the lower the lower their levels of Chlorogenic acid is produced meaning it should have produced less acidity when it comes to brewing.
This is an important learning and factor when you're choosing where to buy your coffee online. It means you can carefully filter through your speciality coffee roaster to find the right coffee roast type to suit your preferences.
Head to our popular blog on the differences between light and dark roasts if you want to learn more on this topic.
Altitude, Processing Methods
The specific farm, and altitude in which the coffee is grown at also plays a part in the acidity created. How is this so?
As a result, of higher altitude conditions, coffee matures at a slow rate, creating more sugars and complexity that is created.
For example, unique coffee varietals like the famous Panama Geisha demonstrate characteristics of floral notes of jasmine making this type of coffee one to avoid if you're searching for a coffee low in acidity.
Does the country a coffee is grown in impact the acidity levels in the coffee? Absolutely.
The coffee origin and therefore, climate conditions are a big contributing factor to the flavour you taste from your daily coffee fix.
It's important to think about because, the top five coffee producing countries worldwide are the coffees you'll most commonly find when buying coffee.
So if you're looking to avoid a particular origin then you'll need to do more research than the average Joe. Here are some examples of coffee origins that we know have naturally lower acidity based on their growing conditions.
That way, you can get closer to your goal of buying coffee in the UK lower in acidity.
The coffee brewing process plays a big role in producing more or less acidity in coffee too. But how?
Studies produced demonstrate that the shorter the brew time, the more acidity produced in the coffee. That makes sense when talking about extraction time in general.
If a coffee is 'under-extracted' or brewed too quickly, it'll produce astringency in the drink which will give greater acidity.
Size of the Coffee Grounds
Did you know that the size of the coffee grounds you use contribute to the acidity of your coffee?
Yes its true. Studies show that the finer the coffee grounds are (Espresso), the more acidity will be extracted. By contrast, the coarser the coffee grounds are (larger in particle size), the less acidic.
This means, you may want to change your method of brewing to test out whether that helps your sensitivity to coffee. Here is a useful list of ways to make coffee from least acidic to most acidic based on brewing method.
1. Cold Brew Coffee
2. Cafetière Recipe - Explore our brewing guide.
3. Pourover Coffee - Enjoy our brewing guide.
4. Aeropress Guide - Read how to use it.
5. Moka Pot Maker - View our Moka Pot brew guide.
6. Espresso - Read a guide to espresso brewing.
Buying Guide to Low Acid Coffee
When you're looking to buy low acid coffee, (I recommend our Rotate Espresso). You'll need to use the information above to find a coffee that best suits your tolerance for coffee acidity.
Medium-dark and dark roasts in general will work well. When you come to buy low acid coffee online you can look for the following parameters to ensure you're choosing a coffee that best aligns with our recommended advice. Hopefully you've found this useful so far.
This way, you'll enjoy coffee once again, without the uncomfortable effects you previously had.
Best Low Acid Coffee
Some people might choose to buy a low acid coffee from Tesco or other supermarkets, but I would not advise this. Why?
There are two downsides to buying coffee from supermarkets or large retailers. Firstly, generally speaking, the coffee is not very fresh due to large logistic and transportation times between companies.
Secondly, the coffee sold in supermarkets is predominantly commercial grade coffee, which as you now know is low grade and unhealthy because t's grown for mass production. So where on earth do you find the best low acid coffee?
Yep you guessed, you can try our Rotate Espresso which is optimally roasted to produce a lower acidity for those who struggle with acid reflux or generally are sensitive to acidity in coffee.
Organic Low Acid Coffee
The first question to answer here is what is organic coffee? Organic coffee means that the coffee has received certification of quality.
You can read all about the benefits of organic coffee here but you'll be pleased to know all of Balance Coffee is speciality grade organic.
So just ensure you're buying from a top coffee roaster.
Other Ways To Reduce Coffee Acidity - Expert Hack
If you've done your best to reduce acidity in coffee but you're still having trouble. No matter what coffee you buy, you still can't find a solution to the problem?
You might want to shift to milk based coffee drinks. The dilution of the coffee in liquid substance can help provide some robustness as it passes through your body. Alternatively, you could try mixing coffee with other drinks such as blended shakes, coffee and protein mixes or even a banana coffee recipe.
Low Acid Decaf Coffee - Does it Exist?
If you'd prefer to try a decaf acid free coffee to see how that works for you, then it might be something to try. However, here's a couple of things you should know.
If we're talking about acid concentration then regular and decaf coffee are relatively similar. Although, out of the two, decaf coffee is better for you if you have a sensitive stomach.
If you're looking for the best decaf coffee for acid reflux, then give our Halcyon Decaf a whirl to see how it fairs.
We've roasted it medium with dark notes of chocolate so that it's something you can enjoy.