Coffee lovers use many tricks to enhance the flavor and taste of their coffee. Some add creamer, maple syrup, sugar, while others add honey. However, the thought of adding baking soda to coffee is entirely strange to people.
Baking soda, not to be confused with baking powder, is a common baking ingredient. But did you know you can add it to coffee too? So, if you find your coffee a tad harsh, why not experiment with baking soda?
Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) helps neutralize the bitterness in your coffee. In addition, it provides timely relief from the stomach-wrenching effects of the high acid in coffee, making it easier on your stomach.
Recommended: The Pros and Cons of Coffee
Why Add Baking Soda?
There are several hacks for improving your cup of Joe. So, why settle for baking soda?
Here are the reasons.
The Acidity of Coffee
Coffee has an acidic pH of about 4.85 to 5.10, which is mildly acidic and safe for consumption.
The acidity gives coffee its delightful tang. However, to individuals with sensitive stomachs, anything acidic irritates or upsets their stomach.
If you brew coffee from cheap coffee beans, you might notice the acidic levels are slightly higher, giving it a harsh flavor. The same is true for mild and light roast coffee grounds.
Unlike dark roasts, light roasts lack sufficient amounts of N-methyl pyridinium. This compound prevents your stomach from generating too much acid.
If you consume more than one cup of coffee a day, you need to think about drinking low-acid coffee. Of course, you could go for expensive coffee using quality coffee beans, but a better, cheaper alternative is adding baking soda to your coffee.
The Alkalinity of Baking Soda
Baking soda has a pH of about 8, making it alkaline. Furthermore, it’s relatively cheap and safe to use.
Sodium bicarbonate’s alkaline effects lower the pH levels of your coffee and won’t add any calorific value. This is in contrast to other coffee additives like cream, sugar, and milk.
Adding sodium bicarbonate to your coffee pot is an easy way of masking or reducing the harshness of coffee.
What Happens When You Add Baking Soda to Coffee?
A neutralization reaction occurs when you mix the acidic coffee with the alkaline sodium bicarbonate. Likewise, baking soda takes the acidity out of your drink to levels more ideal for a sensitive stomach.
The alkaline soda will also reduce the coffee’s bitterness. In addition, some claim it smoothens and adds a unique flavor to their cups of coffee.
How Much Baking Soda Should You Add?
There are two ways of adding baking soda to coffee. You can either:
- Add it to your coffee pot, or
- Add it to your already brewed coffee cup
Only add a pinch of baking soda to an already brewed cup of coffee. A pinch is enough to handle the acidic environment in your coffee without introducing unwelcomed flavors.
If you’re brewing coffee in a pot, add approximately ¼ teaspoon of baking soda. You can decrease this amount if you brew less coffee. However, ensure you maintain the same coffee to baking soda ratio.
Is Baking Soda Beneficial to Your Health?
Besides making your coffee smoother, moderate amounts of baking soda are beneficial to your health. Below are some of its health perks.
If you’re a coffeeholic, you might notice a heartburn feeling after consuming some types of coffee. This issue is more pronounced if you partake of inexpensive coffee made from Robusta beans. According to Healthline, caffeine might trigger heartburn sensations in some people. However, it turns out that Robusta has double the amount of caffeine contained in higher-quality beans, like Arabica.
Acidic drinks made from cheap beans or light and medium roast coffee also cause heartburn.
Adding sodium bicarbonate into coffee reduces the level of acidity in coffee so that you can enjoy your favorite cup without heartburn.
Soothes Gut Issues
Individuals with digestive issues are sensitive to harsh beverages and food. For example, a Classic Latte could upset your gut if you have a sensitive stomach. This situation is worse if you have stomach ulcers.
Luckily, you can use baking soda to counter the acid-stimulating effects of coffee. However, consider using baking soda in your meals if you have a sensitive stomach or gut ulcers.
Health experts advise adding sodium bicarbonate into warm water to treat stomach aches. Your morning coffee could be a substitute for water. You’ll be able to enjoy your daily coffee talk while at the same time treating your stomach issues.
Fights Acid Reflux (Gerd)
Several things cause acid reflux. Among the instigators is coffee. The caffeine and acids in coffee may relax the lower esophageal sphincter and aggravate acid reflux. A small sip of coffee can cause severe reflux in some people.
If you have acid reflux issues, you’ll be advised to cut consumption of caffeinated drinks. However, staying away from their favorite beverage isn’t always easy for coffee drinkers.
The most viable option is adding baking soda to your coffee. Some people even add it to the coffee before brewing. The alkalinity of the baking soda will nullify the coffee’s acidity.
Side Effects of Adding Sodium Bicarbonate to Coffee
Like many additives, baking soda works when you use the right amount. However, excessive use could mess with your coffee’s flavor and, worse, affect your health.
Baking soda contains sodium, a compound also present in everyday salt. Consuming vast amounts of sodium might increase your blood pressure.
If you have high blood pressure, consult your doctor before adding sodium bicarbonate to your coffee. If you continually use it excessively, it can lead to severe heart problems or metabolic alkalosis.
For ordinary folks, the old saying applies; everything in moderation. For example, a cup of coffee should have a pinch of baking soda, while a pot of coffee should have ¼ teaspoon of baking soda.
Thanks to baking soda, you can enjoy a stomach-friendly, bitter-less cup of coffee. In addition, you don’t have to worry about the acidity levels of cheap coffee or mild roasts.
With this popular ingredient, sodium bicarbonate, you can grab any coffee and relish its taste free of acidic effects. Besides, you get the health benefits of this counterpart of baking powder from your coffee drinks, as well.