Coffee is acidic. But how acidic is coffee? In this article, let’s discuss how acidic is coffee.
I remember the first time I had coffee. I was in college and trying to pull an all-nighter to study for a final exam. A friend of mine recommended that I try coffee as a way to stay awake. So, I went to the local coffee shop and ordered a cup of black coffee. To my surprise, it was bitter!
It tasted like someone had taken dark chocolate and soaked it in vinegar overnight. Needless to say, I didn’t finish that cup of coffee or any subsequent cups after that. It wasn’t until years later that somebody told me that the bitterness is caused by acidity. How acidic is coffee and is there a way to make coffee less acidic?
How Acidic Is Coffee?
People who like coffee generally also like its acidity, while people who don’t like coffee generally don’t like its acidity. Some people believe that coffee’s acidity is making them feel bad, but others don’t mind it.
So how acidic is coffee? If you’re interested in learning about how acidity can affect your favorite beverage, keep reading.
The pH Scale
The pH level is used to measure how acid or alkaline something is. Anything with a level above seven is alkaline, while any number below is an acid.
The lower the number on the PH scale of acidity, the higher the concentration of the acidic substance.
Coffee is usually rated around a five on the scale, so it is more acidic than apples and sweet peaches, but less acidic than grapes.
Coffee is not as acidic as you may think. Bananas are actually more acidic than coffee.
Cold brew has become more popular in the last decade and one of its selling points has been that it has low acidity. However, a 2018 study found that this might not be entirely accurate.
But have you tried both hot and cold brew coffees? The study found these two methods of making coffee to be similar in pH levels, but have you noticed a difference in taste?
If you’re looking for a more accurate measure of acidity, titratable acidity is a great option.
The bright, complex flavor of a hot cup of coffee is a direct result of the higher concentration of titratable acids. This explains why the hot version of any beverage is usually superior.
The study found that coffee with low acidity might not be as bad for you as once thought, and might even have some health benefits.
While drinking coffee can irritate the stomach, this only occurs in those with highly acidic brews. Most average cups of coffee have a pH of 5.5, which is low enough to avoid any discomfort.
The Caffeine In Coffee
A second study found that the acidity of coffee is not the primary cause of its health benefits. Instead, it’s more likely that the health benefits of drinking coffee are due to the presence of caffeine.
Experts can’t agree if drinking coffee is bad for your digestive system. All we can tell you is that it depends on your individual sensitivity. Some people are more sensitive, while others aren’t.
If you’re confident that coffee is the root of your stomach issues, it’s best to drink less of it. Reducing your intake should help alleviate any discomfort.
So, the acid content of different coffees can vary and it is important to remember how much coffee you are drinking when considering this factor.
If you’re looking to kick your morning coffee up a notch, try a 32oz serving of iced coffee. Just be aware that it will have more of an impact than a 12oz cup of coffee.
If you’re looking to avoid coffee that tastes sour, you may want to try a cold brew or dark roast. These types of coffee are less likely to taste acidic.
The terms “acidity” and “sour” are closely related, but coffee pros use them differently.
A coffee with a balanced, pleasant, and in-taste of acidity can be enjoyable.
When enjoying a cup of coffee, pay attention to the level of acidity present. This is especially true for high-quality coffees and lighter roasts. The acidity will add a tartness to the flavor which can enhance other tastes.
Where Is The Most Acidic Coffee
If you’re looking for a coffee that is high in acidity, Kenya is the place to look. Kenyan coffees are favorites among coffee professionals for their bold flavor.
Now, you’ll start to notice different flavors such as apple, grape, and lemon.
Coffee contains a group of acids that are chlorogenic Acids, which break down into Chlorogenic and Caffeic.
Brewed coffee can have a bitter flavor that is not loved by many. This bitterness is more pronounced at higher temperatures. If your coffee machine has a hot plate, you may want to remove your coffee pot from it after brewing.
Hot coffee is delicious, but it’s best to let it cool down or make a smaller batch if you want the best flavor.
What’s The Deal With Acid In Coffee?
Contrary to popular belief, coffee is not as acidic as many people think. In fact, it’s more on the alkaline side of the spectrum.
When we talk about acid and coffee, we usually don’t refer to the pH level of the drink. Instead, we are talking about the levels of certain acids that are found in coffee.
Acid vs. Acidity in Coffee
Acidity is an important factor in coffee flavor. The term can be misleading, as when we think of food, we often associate acidity with a sour taste and stomach discomfort. However, when it comes to coffee, a certain level of acidity is necessary to create the desired flavor profile.
The word “acid” immediately brings to mind a beverage or food that’s going to be unpleasantly acidic.
When it comes to coffee, acidity is not a bad thing. Many coffee professionals seek out coffees with high acidity levels because of the way it affects the taste. Acidity in coffee is caused by certain acids present in the beans, and this can result in a more flavorful cup of coffee.
What acidity refers to is the flavor note, not the actual acid content.
Acidity is one of the many flavor notes that can be used to describe coffee. Other words that are often used to describe this flavor note include “bright” or “tangy.” When tasting coffee, pay attention to see if you can pick out any acidity in the flavor profile.
“Acidity” is a common flavor note used to describe coffees with bright flavors.
How Acidic Is Coffee: What The Acids?
What acids are we talking about? In its pure state, green coffee contains a lot of different acids — good ones and bad ones.
Some acids are removed during the roasting process, while others remain. Finding the right balance of acidity, aroma, and body is key to creating a great cup of coffee.
Chlorogenic Acids in Coffee
The main acid group in question is chlorogenic acid, which is a powerful antioxidant compound.
As coffee roasts longer and darker, the levels of chlorogenic acidity decrease. This is why many experts say that coffee tastes less acidic when brewed.
The amount of chlorogenic acid in coffee decreases as the roast gets darker.
Many people enjoy the taste of lightly roasted coffee beans because they have a more acidic flavor.
Coffee’s high chlorogenic acid concentration is one of the reasons people get excited about its potential antioxidant benefits (despite ongoing research). Arabica coffee has a lower chlorogenic acid concentration than robusta.
Quinic Acids in Coffee
As the coffee is roasted, the chlorogenic acids break down and form quinic acids.
Quinic acids play an important role in coffee because they are responsible for the coffee’s bitter taste.
The quinic acids present in coffee are what gives the drink its astringent quality, making people feel a sour sensation in their stomachs. Dark roasted coffees have high levels of quinic acid but lack some of the other acids that contribute to flavor.
Fresh Coffee Is the Best Coffee
It’s not only the roasting process that affects the level of acidity in coffee. Chemical reactions that occur as coffee sits also change the level of acidity.
This is why drinking coffee that has been left on a hot plate for hours can quite literally be a stomach-churning, hair-raising, and teeth-grinding experience that leaves you feeling nauseous.
If you want to avoid coffee that has an astringent taste, make a fresh batch. This will ensure that you get the best flavor possible.
How Acidic Is Coffee: Conclusion
How acidic is coffee? Coffee is an acidic drink. However, there are ways to make it less acidic – such as using different brewing methods or adding milk or cream.