- Updated Mar 27, 2020
- Writen by Robert Smith
10 Simple Ways to Make Coffee Less Acidic
- Updated Jul 29, 2019
- Writen by Robert Smith
Coffee has different acids that help to enhance the flavors and without some acidity, it would not taste the same. However, if it is too acidic, you will not enjoy it much and it will also leave you with heartburn.
But you do not have to drink coffee that is too acidic as here we show you the best ways to make coffee less acidic. And they will range from carefully selecting your beans to adding salt to the brewed coffee.
Hence whether you just dislike coffee that is too acidic or you have some health issues like gastroesophageal reflux disease, there are different solutions that you can use to make your brews less acidic.
Best Ways to Make Less Acidic Coffee
Some coffee drinkers have a digestive system that does not hand the acids in coffee well and so every cup of coffee they take can be quite unpleasant. But coffee acidity should not stop you from enjoying your favorite cup of java as below we show you how to reduce acidity in coffee.
1. Use Arabica Beans
Arabica coffee beans are generally less acidic than Robusta coffee beans. Hence, simply switching from Robusta to Arabica can make your coffee significantly less acidic.
However, Arabica coffee beans still have a significant amount of acidity which can still be problematic for some coffee lovers.
Using Arabica coffee beans is a great starting point for making your coffee less acidic. But, it is important to note that they will contain significantly lower caffeine content. Robusta beans have around 2.7% caffeine while Arabica will have around 1.5%.
Hence, you will need to decide if you are okay with sacrificing some caffeine boost to make your beverage less acidic.
Read More: Robusta vs. Arabica
2. Low Elevation
Coffee that grows in low elevation will have less acidity than coffee grown in high altitudes in the mountainous region. Hence, while high altitude coffee tends to be more flavorful, it will also come with a higher dose of acids.
Simply choosing beans grown in low elevations will significantly reduce the acidity in your coffee. Hence, it is always vital to know where the beans you use for your coffee are grown as this will give you an indication of how acidic they will be.
Most Arabica coffee beans are grown in high elevations of up to 2,000 meters above sea level while Robusta beans will do well in lower elevations of under 900 meter. However, Robusta will still contain caffeine.
What this means is that if you are looking for less acidic beans, you should go for low elevation Arabica coffee as the plants can still grow at lower altitudes of a little over 900 meters above sea level.
A good example of low elevation Arabica coffee is Costa Rican coffee that grows at a little over 1,300 feet above sea level and it tends to be less acidic when compared to coffee from other growing regions with high elevations such as Ethiopia and Kenya.
3. Dark Roast Coffee
How you roast your coffee will also determine the level of acidity as the roasting process breaks down the acids. And so it should be obvious that a dark roast will be less acidic than a light roast because the longer roasting time and high heat remove different compounds from the coffee including the acids.
Light roasts are often referred to as bright and they will emphasize the acidity in the coffee. This roast gets its brightness from acids in the coffee such as malic acid, and it is also one of the things that will give it the citrus fruit taste.
And while the light and medium roast are increasingly becoming popular as more and more coffee lovers prefer them for brewing single-origin coffee beans, if you hate acidic coffee it is best to avoid them.
Dark roasts, on the other hand, will contain less acid as a huge portion of the organic acids in the coffee beans will be removed during roasting. Generally, the darker the roast the less acidic the coffee.
4. Cold Brew Method
How you make your coffee also affects the level of acidity because some methods are known to emphasize the acidity and others like cold brewing will suppress it. Hence, if you want to know how to neutralize the acid in your coffee, you should start by learning how to make a cold brew.
Cold brewing is a slow process that can take up to 24 hours, and so if you want your coffee to be less acidic by using this method, you have to be patient and will need to prepare it in advance.
Soaking your coffee in cold water when cold brewing will ensure that there is no over-extraction of the organic acids. When brewing using hot water, the acids are easily extracted since the high temperature makes it easy for the oils in the coffee to release them but with cold water, it becomes harder for the coffee oils to release the acids.
As a result of using cold water to make your coffee, you will end up with coffee that has up to 70% less acid when you compare it to brewing with hot water. But, the only drawback with cold brewing is that you cannot rely on it when you want a quick cup of coffee.
5. Acid Reducer
One of the easiest ways to reduce the acid levels in your coffee is to trigger a chemical reaction that causes the neutralization of some of the acids using an acid reducer.
Acid reducers are widely available and inexpensive, and if you are a regular coffee drinker, you should have them around as they will help ensure your cup of coffee is always to your liking.
The acid reducers will reduce the level of acid in your coffee and do it without affecting the flavor. And if you get a good quality one, it can reduce coffee acidity by up to an impressive 90% and hence ensuring you will not get acid reflux.
An acid reducer will work by binding the acids in your coffee together to make them less prevalent to ensure they do not upset your stomach after drinking the coffee. But note that they are not antacids but are instead a proactive measure for lowering acidity before you drink the coffee.
6. Use Eggshell
Despite sounding a little weird, eggshells are a great way to reduce acidity in your coffee and besides being a simple method, they are still one of the most effective ones.
Because eggshells are alkaline, they can neutralize any acid and the organic acids found in coffee are no exception. And better yet, using eggshells also helps to make the coffee less bitter which might be caused by an overly dark roast or over-steeping coffee grounds.
For this method, you should take one or a couple of eggshells, rinse them thoroughly on the sink and then crush them well with your fingers before adding them to your coffee making setup. Now brew the coffee as you would normally do and it should be less acidic and less bitter.
But when using eggshells, you need to be cautious enough as some can easily end up in your cup of coffee which can be annoying.
7. A Dash of Salt
A dash of salt can also help solve your coffee acidity problem. And the best thing about salt is that you can add it either to brewed coffee on your mug or during the brewing process.
Like eggshells, a dash of salt will not only smooth out your acidic coffee but can also help to reduce the bitterness in your coffee. Salt is alkaline, and so it will neutralize the acidity easily.
However, you need to be careful with the quantity that you use because you can easily end up with salty flavor on your cup of coffee if you use too much of it.
This method is one of the easiest and most convenient since salt is always present in most homes. Besides salt, you can also use baking soda as it is also highly alkaline and can hence also neutralize the acidity.
8. Make Coffee with Hard Water
Filtered water always produces the best quality coffee, and so it is hard to imagine making your cup of java with hard water. However, if acidity is a big problem for you, it will be better than soft water.
Hard water will contain a wide variety of minerals such as calcium that can easily neutralize the acidity in the coffee or just outshine it and hence making it less prevalent.
Soft water, on the other hand, will have sodium as one of the dominant minerals which will make the coffee's acidity to shine when used for brewing.
9. Use Paper Filter
When using a coffee-making method that requires a filter, you should use a paper filter instead of the metal mesh ones if you want to minimize the acidity in your coffee.
Paper filters will always provide a smoother and lighter cup of coffee as they trap most of the oils and fats in the coffee. These oils and fats are what releases acids into your coffee, and so by trapping them the paper filter will help make your coffee less acidic.
10. Add Milk
If you do not mind having additives and lighteners in your coffee, adding some milk or even cream can also help to neutralize some of the acidity.
The calcium in these dairy products can help balance out the coffee’s pH and hence making it less acidic. But, this method will work best when using a dark roast because light roasts will not take milk well due to their high acidity.
Coffee that is too acidic is not only less flavorful but also comes with annoying problems like acid reflux. But acidity should not be the reason why you skip your caffeine dose as you can easily fix it.
In this piece, we have highlighted some of the best ways to make coffee less acidic, and you can be certain that there is at least one method from the 10 above that will work for you.
However, the best idea is to try out different acid reduction methods until you find that one that gives you the best coffee quality and flavor.