For many of us, freshly brewed coffee is the sustenance of life. Not only does it taste great, there is much research showing the health benefits of coffee.
Unfortunately coffee is also thought to contribute to digestion issues such as heartburn, acid reflux, indigestion and Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) for some people.
If you suffer from pesky digestion issues it may still be possible to enjoy a daily cuppa by switching to the lowest acidity coffee. Here we share some of the best low acid coffee brands available for you to try.
What is Coffee Acidity?
First, what exactly do we mean by acidity in coffee? Acidity refers to two different things.
PH level is what we all know from doing basic chemistry in school.
The lower the PH level the more acidic something is. So drinks like orange juice and soda come in at around a 4. Water is right in the middle at 7.
Is Coffee Acidic Or Alkaline?
Coffee acidity ph tends to fall in the range from 4.5-5.5. So you will notice that coffee, while more acidic than water, is far less acidic than juice or some sodas.
Many low acid coffee brands highlight the PH level of their coffee beans. While not the most important factor, it is one way of comparing acid in coffee.
The more common interpretation of coffee and acidity is to do with the flavor notes in coffee beans.
This is also known as brightness, tartness, aroma and bitterness – basically what makes coffee, well coffee.
Coffee is made up of over 30 different organic acids. These acids combine to produce the unique flavor attributed to coffee. They are also responsible for many of the benefits of coffee such as antioxidants.
However it is some of these organic acids that are thought to link coffee and acid reflux.
Two particularly troublesome compounds seem to be chlorogenic acid (which gives coffee its brightness) and caffeine.
So when we talk about low acidity coffee it is the flavor notes we are really talking about. The PH of coffee, whilst variable, is of less significance.
Lowest Acidity Coffee Comparison
Below is a handy table where you can compare all the less acidic coffee brands reviewed in this article.
It lists the various features side by side to help you choose between the best tasting low acid coffee beans.
Keep reading below for more detailed information in our low acid coffee reviews.
|Volcanica Sumatra Mandheling||Medium||Not Listed||Check|
|Trücup Stuck in the Middle 2 lb||Medium||5.74||Check|
|Lucy Jo’s Coffee Organic Mellow Belly 11 oz||Medium Dark||Not Listed||Check|
|Puroast Dark French Roast 2.5 lb||Dark||5.81||Check|
|Simpatico Low Acid Coffee 2 lb||Dark||5.91||Check|
|Java Planet Colombian 1 lb||Medium Dark||Not Listed||Check|
|Mommee Coffee Whole Bean Full Caff 12 oz||Medium||5.8||Check
|Tieman’s Fusion Coffee 10 oz||Dark||5.97||Check|
|Tres Hermanos Colombian Supremo 2 lb||Dark||Not Listed||Check
|Healthwise Low Acid K Cups||Medium||6.18||Check|
|Kava Instant Low Acid Coffee||Dark||Not Listed||Check|
What Makes Coffee Low Acid?
While some beans are naturally low in acidity, other factors such as the roasting process and brewing method also have a big impact on the overall acidity of coffee. Here we explain these factors in more detail to better understand what produces acid in coffee.
The region and climate where coffee beans are grown has a big impact on the level of acid in coffee.
Coffee beans grown at higher elevations tend to have higher levels of organic acid and caffeine. A good example of this fruity brightness can be found in Ethiopian coffee.
This is quite different to coffee grown at lower elevations which tend to have a smooth and mellow flavor. Many naturally low acid coffee beans come from medium to low elevation regions such as Indonesia, Central America and Brazil.
2. Processing Method
Coffee beans can be processed in a number of different ways. The way they are processed contributes to the overall coffee acidity. The three most common processing methods are:
- Wet/washed processing
- Dry/natural methods
- Semi washed/pulped processing.
Wet processing methods tend to result in a higher level of acidity. Dry processing methods (more common in hot climates such as Africa) tend to produce much lower acidity.
Image: Vladimir Proskurovskiy
3. Roasting Process
The roasting process has a big impact on the level of coffee acidity.
Coffee bean acidity changes during the roasting process. During roasting the natural acids in coffee beans are broken down and change.
As a result, dark roast beans generally have lower levels of acidity than light and medium roast beans. A longer roasting time is also thought to result in:
- Lower levels of chlorogenic acid and caffeine
- An increase in the level of N-methylpyridinium (NMP) which is thought to suppress the release of gastric acid.
Some companies now use proprietary roasting methods to achieve low acidity. This often involves steaming or slow roasting the beans.
These methods reduce the release of acids that occurs in high temperature roasting. Unfortunately this can also impact the complexity and overall flavor of the coffee beans.
4. Brewing Method
When coffee is extracted through a high temperature method, such as an espresso machine, chemical reactions occur that may increase the acidity of coffee.
So one way you can enjoy coffee with low acidity is to try immersion brewing methods which tend to produce less acidic coffee.
Three popular immersion methods are:
- French Press brewing;
- Chemex pour over brewing and
- Cold brewing methods
All three brewing styles tend to release less chlorogenic acid and caffeine.
In fact cold brewing is thought to produce up to 70% less acid than hot water brewing methods.
If you are a fan of french press coffee read our guide on how to make french press coffee and see this list of top french press coffee beans. For cold brew lovers, this list covers the best cold brew coffee beans.
So as you can see, there are a number of factors that contribute to the lowest acidity coffee.
However if you start with the right low acid coffee beans you are well on your way to brewing low acidity coffee.
Best Low Acid Coffee Brands – Review
Whilst not advertised specifically as coffee with low acid, the Sumatra Mandheling from Volcanica Coffee is naturally low in acid. Sumatra coffee from Indonesia is known for producing high quality, smooth tasting coffee.
On top of that they are USDA Organic, Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance and shade grown certified.
Volcanica have achieved the ultimate objective of producing a naturally low acidity coffee without sacrificing flavor. This sumatran coffee is a great choice if you like to drink black coffee.
Flavor Notes: Smooth, chocolate, earthy flavour with a full body taste.
Size Options: Choose between whole bean or ground coffee in a 16 oz bag.
TruCup have one mission – to produce low acidic coffee that is drinkable and delicious. Their proprietary roasting process uses water and steam to remove much of the natural coffee acid.
Their light roast has been measured at a PH level of 5.74, which is up to 4.6 times less acidic than other leading light roasts. Their medium and dark roasts have a higher PH level again.
Trucup low acid coffee is not yet as popular as other brands, but with a single focus on low acid coffees we suspect they will only grow in popularity.
Flavor Notes: Earthy and full bodied.
Size Options: This coffee comes in drip, espresso and french press ground beans as well as whole beans. It is available in 14 oz, 2 pound and 5 pound bags. They also offer K cup low acid coffee.
Lucy Jo Coffee is a a family run business from upstate NY. Their organic low acid coffee uses 100% Arabica beans and they are a popular choice by people looking for a stomach friendly coffee.
They offer a range of low acid blends including their most popular, the Mellow Belly coffee.
The PH level isn’t listed, but their beans come from Indonesia and Brazil. These areas typically produce naturally low acid coffee beans. You can be confident their coffee beans are gentle on the stomach.
Lucy Jo’s low acid coffee range includes a number of low acid blends including Organic Brainstorm and Organic Sumatra. Why not try them all and find a favorite?
Flavor Notes: Smooth, sweet and earthy.
Size Options: Available in both ground and whole beans in 11 oz bags.
Born in the foothills of Venezuala, Puroast Coffee is one of the leaders in low acid coffee.
Their organic low acid coffee is attributed to their roasting method. Beans are slow roasted over a wood fire to produce coffee with 70% less acidity and 7% higher antioxidant levels than other coffee brands.
As a result, many happy customers consider the Puroast low acid coffee to be the best coffee for acid reflux. Note that the blend is smooth but the flavor may lack complexity for some coffee lovers. Unfortunately this is often the trade off in low acidity coffee.
Puroast organic coffee comes in a range of low acid roast styles for drip and espresso.
Flavor Notes: Balanced, smooth, light bodied.
Size Options: Available in ground or whole bean 12 oz and 2.5 pound bags plus low acid coffee k cups.
Simpatico Coffee is known to have some of the lowest acid coffee in the world.
The beans are grown in the wild in Oaxaca, Mexico. The beans are shade grown and are naturally low in acid. They are then roasted in the energy efficient Revelation roaster.
While not certified USDA organic (as the coffee beans are wild grown), all growers have committed to pesticide and herbicide free coffee production.
Simpatico offer a range of low acid decaf coffee plus medium and dark roast styles.
Flavor Notes: Smooth and robust with chocolate aromas.
Size Options: Beans are available ground or whole in 2 and 5 pound bags.
The Java Planet Low Acid coffee beans tick a lot of boxes. USDA Organic and Fairtrade certified plus bird friendly, they are naturally low acid Arabica coffee beans from Colombia.
With a full bodied flavour and the roasting date printed on every pack, you can be confident you are buying fresh roasted beans every time.
Java Planet offer a range of organic single origin and blends as well as coffee subscriptions. They even offer green beans if you are a home coffee roaster.
Flavor Notes: Smooth and full bodied.
Size Options: Java Planet offer their beans in 1 and 2 pound bags plus sample packs.
Organic and Fairtrade certified, this company evolved from the needs of coffee drinking pregnant women and new moms.
Free of chemicals, with low acid and with a choice of caffeine levels it is the perfect choice. Not only for new moms, but for anyone seeking a gentle coffee blend.
They offer four caffeine levels to suit – low acid decaffeinated coffee, ¼ caffeine, ½ caff and full caff.
Their proprietary roasting method extracts harmful acids to deliver coffee with a reported 60% less chlorogenic acid than other brands.
This makes Mommee Coffee worth a try by anyone who suffers reflux or GERD, not just pregnant women.
Size Options: This coffee comes in whole beans or ground in a 12 oz bag.
A more unusual option, Tieman’s low acid coffee is 100% Arabica beans blended with Matcha green tea, rooibos red tea and goji berry powders.
While this is not a traditional coffee blend, it offers 5 times the daily antioxidant requirements. Plus the goji and rooibos help with digestion.
The Matcha green tea provides a slow release of caffeine, so you shouldn’t experience the normal “jitters” of other coffee brands. This feature may also help those with sensitive stomachs.
Tieman’s Coffee offer decaf and medium roast options too. It is certainly a unique coffee blend, but may not be appreciated by coffee purists.
Flavor Notes: Bold and smooth.
Size Options: Available ground or whole bean in a 10 oz bag.
Tres Hermanos coffee produce low acid organic fairtrade coffee from Colombia.
Their patented air-roasting process removes 80% of the acidity and sourness in the coffee beans without losing the bold dark roast flavour.
This reduced acid coffee is roasted in small batches to maximise freshness.
Flavor Notes: Smooth and full bodied.
Size Options: Available ground or in whole beans in 1, 2 and 5 pound bags.
Healthwise Coffee are well known for their smooth tasting organic low acid coffee. They are one of the least acidic coffee brands on our list.
They use an FDA certified techno-roasting process to roast USDA Certified organic and 100% Arabica beans sourced from Colombia. The proprietary method achieves an impressive PH level of 6.18, one of the lowest acidity coffees on the market.
In addition to their low acid k cups they are also one of the most popular low acid ground coffee brands with both their low acid decaf coffee and regular coffee options.
Flavor Notes: Smooth and full bodied.
Size Options: Available as ground coffee, low acid decaf coffee, low acid k cups and low acid decaf coffee k cups.
Kava Coffee is one of the few low acid instant coffee brands. Whilst we generally recommend purchasing whole beans for the best tasting coffee, sometimes instant coffee is the most practical choice.
Kava low acid instant coffee claims to have less than 50% of the acid found in other instant coffee brands. It achieves this through acid neutralization with the use of potassium hydroxide.
Potassium hydroxide is an alkaline compound used to reduce acidity. It acts in a similar way to other acid reducers like Coffee Tamer.
Flavor Notes: Smooth tasting and full bodied.
Size Options: Available as instant coffee in a 4 ounce jar.
Summary – How To Reduce Acidity In Coffee
Once you have settled on the best low acidity coffee beans, you can then focus on producing great tasting low acid coffee. To summarize what we have discussed, here is how to reduce acid in coffee:
Buy the Least Acidic Coffee Beans
- Choose an organic medium to dark roast as these are considered to have the lowest acidity and are gentlest on the stomach. Our favorite is the Volcanica Sumatra Manheling. See it here.
- Choose single origin whole beans from low elevation regions known to grow lower acidity beans. Look for Indonesia (Sumatra), Central America, Brazil and Hawaii.
- For the ultimate treat try Kona Coffee beans which have some of the lowest natural acidity. See our favorite brands here.
If lactose intolerance isn’t an issue then try adding milk to your coffee. Milk is thought to reduce the impact of coffee acid on consumption as calcium offsets acidity in the stomach. Popular choices include a latte or cappuccino.
Drink Freshly Made Coffee
The chemical reactions in coffee continue once it has been brewed, which is why we recommend you drink fresh brewed coffee to reduce coffee acidity. Ever had a cup of coffee that was brewed hours ago? Generally not a pleasant experience.
A good coffee maker that allows you to adjust the number of cups you require is the best way to reduce coffee waste. See our top picks here.
Neutralize Coffee Acid
Try A Different Brewing Method
Trying a different brewing method is a good way to make coffee less acidic.
Two of the best low acid coffee brewing method options to lower overall coffee acidity levels are cold brew and pour over.
The Chemex Pour Over coffee maker is a gorgeous looking coffee maker to add to your kitchen collection. See it here. If you are looking for a quicker brewing option, see our list of the best electric pour over coffee makers.
Cold brew acidity, whilst not differing in PH levels to hot coffee, seems to have less overall acidity present post brewing. This is possibly due to the method of extraction. Note however that you should still avoid using coffee beans with high caffeine levels as caffeine is a contributor to stomach issues for coffee drinkers.
Preparing cold brew coffee is very simple and cheap when using a customised mason jar like this this one or brew it in your french press!
Watch the video to see how easy it is.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Dark Roast Coffee Less Acidic?
The coffee roasting process alters the chemical balance in coffee beans. So whilst the PH level of dark and light roasts may be the same, the coffee acidity will differ. Lighter roast beans tend to have more natural acidity. Darker roast coffee beans will tend to be less acidic.
Is Organic Coffee Less Acidic?
Coffee acidity relates to the PH level and natural chemical acidity found in coffee beans. Whilst the region will impact the level of acidity, organic production does not produce a less acidic coffee.
Is Decaf Coffee Acidic?
Many people ask does decaf coffee have less acid than regular coffee. Many studies indicate most decaf coffees have a similar acidity profile to regular coffee. However where they are different is the level of caffeine.
Caffeine may contribute to stomach issues, so whilst decaf coffee is acidic, the lower caffeine levels in decaf coffee may help coffee lovers with sensitive stomachs.
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Featured Image: Nathan Dumlao