Is Coffee Acidic?

The bitter scent of coffee, combined with nutty, fruity, or smoky notes, makes your day a whole lot better; but, what is all this ‘acidity in coffee’ talk circulating around the community? Does that mean we won’t be drinking coffee anymore? Or is it simply a light-hearted rumor?

Coffee has a score of five on the pH scale, making it slightly acidic. However, acidity in coffee determines the sourness of taste, so as a whole, the pros and cons of it depend on the amount of coffee you drink and your personal preference. So if someone doesn’t prefer a high-acid coffee, they can switch to something sweeter instead. Let’s go into a little bit more detail and explore the acid factor in coffee.

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Is Coffee Really Acidic?

Acidity is one of the most important aspects of a coffee’s flavor. The term is a little misleading, but acidic isn’t typically a desired attribute when it comes to food. When you hear the word “acid,” you almost instantly think of a sour meal or drink that will make your lips grimace and your stomach hurt.

However, this is not the case when it comes to acidity in coffee because acidity is a desired attribute. In reality, when coffee specialists discuss “acidity,” they’re referring to the presence of specific acids that affect the flavour of the coffee. Acidity refers to a taste note rather than the real acid concentration.

The term “acidity” is commonly used to describe how coffee tastes. So, you may have previously heard this flavour note referred to by other terms that are more descriptive of coffee. “Bright,” for example, is a term used to describe coffees with a high acidity level.

What is the ph Number of Coffee?

The number seven means neutral on the pH scale. Anything more than seven is not acidic, and anything lower than seven is. As a result, the lower the pH number, the higher the acid content. Coffee normally scores around five on the acidity scale, making it acidic in general. Apples and luscious peaches, on the other hand, fall between three and four, while grapes are much lower. Coffee comes close to bananas, a portion of food that we don’t normally associate with acidity.

Coffee Beans

What Factors Make Coffee Acidic?

There are several different ways to drink coffee. Some of them play their part in making it acidic. Let’s have a look at them below:

Finer the Grind, Better the taste

A finely grounded coffee means a cup of coffee that is more acidic and tastes better. The size of the coffee grinds affects the acidity level. The smaller the ground, the more surface area exposed per volume. This means more acid is released during the brewing process.

The Brewing Method

The brewing method affects the overall acidity levels in coffee. Cold-brewed coffee has a lower acidity than hot coffee. So, coffee brewed for a short period produces more acidity, while a longer duration produces less acidity.

Coffee Roasting

Roasting coffee is also one of the most important factors determining its acidity. The length and temperature of the roasting link to acidity. Lower chlorogenic acid levels in coffee beans mean that roasting took place for a long time. This implies lighter roasts have more acidity, whereas deeper roasts have less.

Existing Acids in Coffee

Coffee contains lots of acids in its purest form. Some of them go away during the roasting process, while others remain. It all depends on balancing the aroma, acidity, and body of the coffee during the process. Two common acids in coffee are:

Chlorogenic Acid

Chlorogenic acids are one of the primary groups of acids in concern. The coffee roasting graph shows that less chlorogenic acid is present if the roast is darker. This is why many of today’s lighter roasted coffees have a higher acidity level in their flavour profile. Coffee has a high concentration of chlorogenic acid in its raw state compared to other plants.

Quinic Acid

The chlorogenic acids in the coffee break down and create quinic acids during the roasting process. These acids influence the sourness of a beverage, causing people to experience a sour stomach feeling after drinking coffee. Dark roasted coffees have a lot of quinic acids, but not so much of the other acids that give the coffee its flavour.

Does Chlorogenic Acid in Coffee Matter?

The reason we’re interested in this set of chemicals originates from a lot of studies concerning human health and coffee. Coffee classifies as a “bioactive” substance by the medical profession. This indicates that it has a biological impact on the human body. All polyphenols, including chlorogenic acids, are biological antioxidants. Studies on the antioxidant impact of coffee are still underway. But even so, chlorogenic acids and other polyphenols have gained recognition for their ability to protect the human body from the harmful effects of excessive oxidation.

The ingestion of these acids in coffee slows down glucose absorption in the human stomach, which might cause health issues. Many scientific studies are concentrating on the breakdown of Chlorogenic and Quinic Acid (CQAs). Scientists hope to one day increase the quantity of CQAs in brewed coffee to gain possible health advantages.

The breakdown of chlorogenic acids may be crucial to coffee taste, but science has yet to learn more on the subject. The evidence that CQAs may contribute to the possible health advantages of drinking coffee may be sufficient. The fact is that tracking individual molecules and all of the processes they engage in throughout the roasting process is very difficult. Like many other groups of molecules in coffee, they are abundant yet transient, participating in various chemical processes of coffee. Maybe it’s the mystery of it all that keeps us looking, and maybe it’s the thrill of the hunt that keeps us going. We might get to know one day.

Coffee Cups

Should you be Concerned about Acidic Coffee?

Acidity isn’t merely a health-related idea when it comes to normal coffee. Many people’s preferences for cooler brews and deeper roasts stem from their desire to prevent sourness. Although coffee experts often associate acidity with positivity and sourness with negativity, the two ideas are strongly intertwined. While certain coffees have unbalanced sour tastes due to a flaw or a roasting decision, a nice, in-balance tartness can make drinking coffee extremely pleasurable.

Acidity is very important if you go by the grading form. Its flavour, aroma, and quality make it even more special. Kenyan coffees have high acidity and are a favourite among coffee experts. Most high-quality coffees, especially those with a medium or lighter roast, will have some acidity to them.

Look for that bit of tartness and how it complements the other tastes in your cup the next time you’re sipping one. You’ll begin to notice other sorts of acidic tastes as well – Citric acid, Tartaric acid, and even Malic acid. All of these exist in apples, grapes, and other citrus fruits. Coffee really helps you enjoy it all in one.

Finding a Low-Acidic Coffee

Many coffee consumers are turning to “low-acid” coffees in recent years. This is either a result of a doctor’s suggestion or a terrible sensation in their stomach after drinking their regular amount. While we could get out the pH strips and start testing each cup, the fact is that it’s a little more involved. The pH level of a coffee does not necessarily correspond to how a person feels about it. Fortunately, there are alternative methods for identifying low-acid coffees.

Finding a low-grown coffee with naturally low acidity, picked and processed with care, is not nearly as effective in producing a fine, flavourful low-acid cup as finding a lower-grown coffee with naturally low acidity. Instead of depending on a naturally lower-acid green bean and a medium-to-dark roast degree that complements the original, don’t add anything.

Although dark roasting decreases acidity, it may also hide original characteristics. Therefore it’s crucial to think about the green beans’ origin traits before roasting too much. Some coffees with powerful taste characteristics like dark chocolate and earthiness may withstand a deeper roast while still allowing those characteristics to show through. However, more delicate characteristics such as citrus, berry, or herbal aromas are likely overshadowed.

The Lifeboost coffee feels like a ray of sunshine amid dark, cloudy weather. It is a flavoursome low acid coffee that tastes like heaven. One sip and you forget about the harshness of the world. The subtle flavour and low acidity factor of Lifeboost coffee make it stomach-friendly for everyone.

Trust Your Experience!

If you are a frequent coffee drinker, you probably know your coffee. However, if you only occasionally drink coffee, you might need to do a bit of research when trying to be careful about acidity. pH does not always equate to the physical experience of a coffee. A taster’s perceptions of acidity, brightness, or sourness on the palate are actually quite good at tracking the actual pH levels of the coffees. So, if you’re looking for a low-acidic coffee, experiment with a few different types and follow your instincts. The most essential thing is your experience!

Conclusion

A 16th-century Swiss scientist named Paracelsus once said, “All things are poison, and nothing is without poison, the dose alone makes it so a thing is not a poison.”

So, if you’re certain that coffee is causing your stomach problems, the safest choice is to drink a bit less of it. Also, keep in mind that the amount you drink matters when comparing acid content in different coffees. Even if you think cold brew is healthier for you than hot coffee, 4 cups of cold brew will influence you more in every manner than 1 cup of hot coffee.

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