What Is Low Acid Coffee?


The health benefits of coffee are numerous. However, there is an aspect of coffee that may prompt a doctor to recommend someone limit consumption, and it is not caffeine. Can you guess? The answer is acidity. Coffee lovers with sensitive stomachs may need to limit coffee consumption or switch to low acid coffee. But what is low acid coffee? This guide explains acidity in coffee, demystifies low acid coffee, discusses the benefits, and shares how to choose the best. 

 Photo of iced coffee. 

Does Regular Coffee Have High Acidity?

Regular coffee contains acidity, and the acidity level of coffee is not necessarily problematic. Acidity, particularly chlorogenic acid, gives the coffee a balanced flavor and contributes to the high levels of antioxidants. In fact, chlorogenic acid is packed with health benefits and may help prevent diabetes, cancer, inflammation, and obesity. However, the longer the coffee is roasted, the less chlorogenic acid remains. Throughout the roasting process, another acid, quinic acid, is released. Quinic acid is also released when coffee is overheated, burned, or left out too long. Quinic acid is an astringent that can create a bitter taste and cause irritation to cells and other body issues. 

The acidity level of a cup of coffee depends upon the extent of the roasting process as well as the brewing method. Most cups of coffee have a pH of 4.85 to 5.13. For context, 7 is the number for a neutral pH. The further away from 7 the number is, the more acidic the cup of coffee will be. 

What Exactly is Low Acid Coffee?

Low acid coffee is coffee that has been roasted, brewed, or treated to have little to no quinic acid. Low acid coffee will vary some, but generally, it has a pH of about 6, much closer to the neutral pH value of 7 than regular coffee. 

5 Key Benefits of Low Acid Coffee

Ask any coffee drinker about their favorite cup of coffee, and they will tell you all about their preferences. These preferences vary widely from person to person, which is one of the reasons why single-serve coffee pods are such a popular brewing method. Although low acid coffee is not for everyone, those who enjoy it do so for specific reasons. Here are the benefits low acid offers its fans: 

  1. Easy to Drink - For those who have gastrointestinal issues, low acid coffee makes it easier to enjoy their favorite beverage without prompting symptoms. For example, low acid coffee presents a lower risk of heartburn, so it may be a more comfortable choice for people vulnerable to the issue. Those with Crohn’s disease or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may find low acid coffee more enjoyable as it is less likely to trigger digestive issues. 
  2. Smoother Taste - The flavor of low acid coffee is less acidic. Some people may prefer the smoother, milder taste of low acid coffee. 
  3. Better for Dental Health - High-acid beverages can contribute to tooth enamel erosion and irritate gums. Low acid coffee is less harsh on the teeth and mouth so it is an excellent option for those concerned about their oral health. 
  4. Rich in Antioxidants - Like regular coffee, low acid coffee is rich in antioxidants that help the cells repair oxidative damage and help prevent diseases like cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. 
  5. Rich in Nutrients - Like regular coffee, low acid coffee contains trace amounts of valuable nutrients such as potassium, magnesium, niacin, and vitamin B3. A trace amount of nutrients may seem insignificant, but if you drink two or more cups of coffee per day, the nutrients add up quickly.

How To Choose the Best Low Acid Coffee

Photo of OneCUP coffee pod Dark Roast Variety Pack

So, how do you know which coffee is low acid? The best way to enjoy low acid coffee is to select a dark roast, brew the coffee properly, and enjoy it immediately. 

Our coffee with the lowest amount of acid is Extra Dark Italian. This is an extra dark roast with an Intense, full-bodied smoky finish. This brew is low acid, smooth, and enjoyable without cream or sugar.  

For an easy-to-make, variety of dark roasts, try our Dark Roast Collection Variety Pack which includes 40 commercially compostable coffee pods. You'll get 10 pods each of our Fog Chaser, Espresso Roast, French Roast and Extra Dark Italian Roast. Take a trip to the dark side!

To discover more delicious coffee, shop San Francisco Bay Coffee today!