The Acidity of Coffee

by That's Coffee on August 12, 2011

How to Drink Coffee with a Sensitive Stomach

coffeePerhaps you are one of the many coffee lovers who have given up on coffee because it makes your stomach hurt too much.

From a scientific standpoint coffee is acidic. When consumed it can increase your urine pH level to 5.0 which classifies the beverage as an acidic food. Comparatively speaking, coffee is more neutral than beer, carbonated beverages and fruit juices but can still have a harsh effect on sensitive stomachs.

The acidity problem occurs during the brewing process. The fatty acids that naturally occur in the coffee bean are water soluble at high temperatures and are transferred from the coffee grinds to the brewed coffee.

“Acidic” Qualities of Coffee

In addition to having a slightly acidic pH level coffee is also referred to as having acidic tastes, qualities or flavor profiles.

Coffee aficionados prefer the acidic qualities of coffee beans; the acidity is highly sought after. An acidic coffee displays tartness, brightness, zing and is defined by origin influences of the bean. The acidic quality is enjoyed both when it initially rolls over your tongue and when it sits on your palate.

The next time you take a sip of coffee pay attention to the bright sensations on the back sides of your tongue; it can be compared to the acidity of red wine.

Why is Some Coffee More Acidic than Others?

There are several factors that influence the acidity of coffee beans.

Origin – coffee beans grown at high altitudes and in volcanic soil tend to have higher acidity levels. Some of these regions include Brazil, Peru, Kenya and Ethiopia. Lower elevation coffees, such as Sumatra, are lower in acidity.

Processing –two popular ways of processing coffee (the dry method and the wet method) have different effects on the acidity levels. The dry method (often called ‘naturally processed coffees’) expand in body which hides or disguises the acidity. Wet processed coffee will be higher in acidity; dry processed coffee will be lower in acidity.

Roasting – the roasting process reduces the acidity of coffee beans. As the beans are roasted, both the pH levels move towards neutrality (less acidic) and the acidic taste becomes flatter. Even though these dark roasts such as Espresso or French taste stronger, they are actually less acidic.

Enjoy Coffee without the Acidic Side Effects

There are multiple solutions for coffee lovers who can’t resist a cup of coffee once in a while but don’t want to risk an upset stomach:

Add Baking Soda – some sensitive stomach coffee drinkers have suggested adding half a teaspoon of baking soda to your cup of coffee to downplay the acidity.

Try Cold Brew Coffee – the slow process of immersing coffee grounds in water for up to 24 hours produces a coffee that is much lower in acidity. Because coffee beans contain many fatty acids and oils that are only soluble at high heat the cold process can produce a coffee with two-thirds less acid! Just remember the caffeine levels are also lower.

Order Low Acid Coffees – many coffee roasters are catering to the low-acid market and developing coffee blends with low-acid features. Shop for coffees labeled as “Low Acid” or “Sensitive Stomach” to continue enjoying coffee each day!

Try Mind Your Tummy – a Low Acid Coffee Blend!

The 100% Arabica blend of coffee beans from India is a special treat for coffee lovers with sensitive stomachs. This new coffee is:

  • Low aciditymind your tummy
  • Full of nutty flavors
  • Designed for ulcer-prone stomachs
  • Easy on the stomach
  • A light to medium roast (and still low in acid!)

Mind Your Tummy Coffee is available in both 1-lb and 5-lb heat seal valve bags for guaranteed freshness!

“Low Acid Coffee”
courtesy of
your online coffee bean store:
Gourmet Coffee Beans

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