Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world. Yet, for some, making their favorite coffee a part of their morning ritual comes with acid reflux, heartburn, or other uncomfortable side effects.
If you once reveled in the beautiful aroma of a morning cup of coffee but suffered the consequences more and more, some bean options will allow you to enjoy your coffee without the unwanted peril that follows, and that includes a rich, dark roast coffee.
Someone who does not suffer adverse reactions from the acid levels in regular coffee may not think about the acidity in the beverage at all. However, if you suffer from gastrointestinal discomfort due to the harsh acids found in lighter roast coffee, it is most definitely something that comes to mind.
The pH of Coffee
The acidity of all consumable things is ranked on a pH scale:
- A neutral pH is 7
- Numbers below 7 are acidic
- Numbers approaching 14 are alkaline
- Regular medium roast coffee has a pH of about 5 (some lighter roasts are lower at 4.7)
- Orange juice comes in at 3
The lower the pH number, the higher the acidity.
Acid is a scary word, especially when it comes to something you are putting in your body, but not all acids are created equal, and not all are bad for you. Some examples of coffee acids contributing to more prominent taste are:
- Phosphoric and malic acids give the coffee a sweeter taste
- Citric and acetic acid add a tart taste in low concentrations (too much makes coffee taste sour)
- Chlorogenic acid will help with weight loss
Chlorogenic acid is what adds much of the acidity that coffee drinkers recognize. Regarding this acid in particular, the longer the bean is roasted, the more the chlorogenic acid breaks down, and it may have beneficial effects and help to settle your stomach rather than upset it.
There is a balance between too much and just enough acid. The right taste comes from the perfect balance.
Quinic acid is a less favorable acid that is produced as coffee quality degrades. This occurs when it is left for too long on a burner, and the acidic brew not only harms your stomach but gives off a nasty burnt smell with adverse effects.
To avoid the burnt aroma and negative effects a harsh brew has on your digestive system, invest in a coffee carafe to keep your coffee warm to maintain optimal flavor, rather than leaving it on the warmer.
Coffee Bean Roast and Acidity
The roast of a coffee bean affects the level of caffeine and the acidity content. The darker the coffee roast, the lower the acidity since the roasting process burns off the acid content.
The method by which the coffee is brewed will also affect the bean’s acidity. For example, one study found that coffee brewed with the cold brew method was lower in acidity than coffee prepared in a coffee press or using other hot brew methods.
The hot brewed coffee had a higher concentration of titratable acids and more significant antioxidant production than cold brews. It was noted that the titratable acid and antioxidant activity was poor in hot brewed coffee, concluding that hot brewed coffee extracts greater non-deprotonated acids compared to cold brews.
Trader Joe’s Low Acid Coffee Brands
If you are one of the unlucky ones that suffer from heartburn, acid reflux, or other digestive issues triggered by caffeine, there are a range of options for you to experiment with. Gourmet options always add to your morning conversation with friends, and a decaf option might go well if you’re up late or expecting. Try one of these five low-acid coffees from Trader Joe’s:
- Trader Joe’s
These beans are grown, picked, and treated in Nicaragua. Here are some of the highlights of this drink:
- Fair trade
- USDA certified organic
- Certified Kosher
- pH 6
Puroast low acid coffee beans are from Venezuela and are wood fire-roasted, resulting in a bean that is up to 70% less acidic than most leading coffee brands. Highlights include:
- Beans contain a high level of antioxidants
- No calories
- No gluten
- Certified Kosher
- pH 5.81
The Puroast flavor is a rich, smooth, and fragrant dark blend of french roast coffee that comes in various flavors.
Tieman’s coffee has rich flavors and is produced from 100% Arabica beans sourced in Central and South America. Some qualities include:
- High in antioxidants
- The beans contain matcha green tea, goji berry, and Rooibos red tea
- Ethically sourced
- pH 5.84
For the adventurous coffee drinker, the aroma of this coffee is unlike any other, with notes of matcha green tea that will help burn fat by creating energy. In addition, the low coffee acidity of this mellow blend allows even those with the most sensitive stomachs to enjoy it without repercussions and indigestion.
The smooth flavor makes this low acid brew the perfect beverage to make in a french press to bring out all the subtle tones and flavorings.
There is no reason for an expecting, nursing, or new mother to be stripped of the joys of the actual flavor of coffee with this clever blend. The Mommee Coffee brand is an organic, half-caffeinated to full-caffeinated bean, depending on your preference (or allowance).
- Water process decaffeinated
- Varying levels of caffeine
- pH 5.8
Mommee has rich, full-bodied, bold flavors that are not compromised when caffeine level is lower. Mommee java has a flavorful aroma and no acidic aftertaste. It’s perfect for helping avoid upset stomachs while pregnant.
Trader Joe’s is known for selling and producing top-quality products with ethical sourcing at the forefront, and this drink is no exception. This is not your regular grocery store coffee. Some of the key perks of this whole bean coffee include:
- pH 5.3
This whole bean, low acid option is gentle for those with gastrointestinal ailments. Plus, those with acid reflux can enjoy a smooth drinking experience every day. This coffee has subtle tones of cinnamon and a slight hint of nuts. There is a rich, smoky aroma as you steep the darker roast beans or prepare them by cold brewing.
When choosing the right coffee, remember that the higher the pH number, the lower the acidity levels. There is no such thing as acid-free coffee, and the darker the bean, the lower the acid content will typically be.
Even those who suffer from delicate stomachs are likely to find a wide range of gourmet coffees on the coffee market with an authentic coffee taste that they can enjoy. Keep in mind that roasts and coffee preparation help play a part in how much acidity the beverage will have. Light roast coffee grounds create acidic coffee. Dark roasts reduce the acidity of coffee. Find what works best for your sensitive stomach and continue to be the coffee lover you were born to be!