What Coffees Tend To Be Low-Acid?

Posted on: 3 November 2021

If you suffer from acid reflux or even just periodic heartburn, then you probably don't want to drink too much coffee. Since coffee is known to be acidic, it can make heartburn and other stomach irritation worse. However, there are low-acid coffees that tend to be friendlier to the digestive tract. Which coffees tend to be low-acid? Take a look.

Low-Elevation Coffees 

Most coffees are grown at higher elevations because the variation in temperatures and precipitation levels at high elevation gives the coffee nuance. But a lot of that nuance actually comes from acidity in the coffee. If coffee is grown at lower elevations, it tends to be less acidic. If you find coffee labeled "low-elevation," then this is likely a good buy. However, you can also look for Hawaii-grown Kona coffee. Kona coffee is grown at altitudes below 900 meters above sea level, which makes it pretty low-acid. For comparison, Ethiopian and Colombian coffees, which are known to be the most acidic, are often grown at elevations of 1500 meters and up.

100% Arabica Coffee

There are two main varietals of coffee beans: arabica and robusta. When shopping for low-acid coffee, make sure you focus on selections that are 100% arabica beans. Not only are arabica beans better quality in general, but they tend to be far less acidic than robusta beans. A coffee with even 10% robusta beans will be too acidic for most people who have heartburn. Lower-end coffee beans often supplement their mixes with some robusta beans because they are cheaper. So, higher-end coffees, which are usually 100% arabica, are a better choice.

Medium Roast

A medium roast tends to be best for anyone seeking a low-acid coffee. Roasting coffee too much results in the generation of too much quinic acid. Beans that are roasted too little tend to be too high in chlorogenic acid. Roasting the beans to a nice medium roast is enough to deactivate some of the chlorogenic acid without activating too much quinic acid. If you have to choose between a light roast and a dark roast, though, go with the light roast. Chlorogenic acid, which is present in lightly roasted beans, is gentler on the stomach than quinic acid.

If your stomach is sensitive to acid, make sure you look for low-acid coffees. Those grown at low elevations with 100% arabica beans—and then roasted only to medium—are often ideal.

For more information, contact a supplier of low-acid coffee.