Coffee is an essential part of the day for millions of people around the world, and there’s a good chance it is for you, too. But for some people, the acidity of coffee causes problems. From acid reflux to damaging tooth enamel, coffee acidity can harm your body. If this is the case for you, then you could try one of a number of low acid coffee brands.
The producers and roasters of these coffees use a variety of methods to lower the acid content. That reduced acidity can make a difference for people who are vulnerable to the effects of acid.
10 low acid coffee brands you should try
We’ve tested a number of low acid coffees on the market, and found 10 that you may want to try.
The brands we recommend are:
- Java Planet Colombia Organic
- Puroast Low Acid Organic French Roast
- Lucy Jo’s Organic Mellow Belly Low Acid Blend
- Tieman’s Fusion Coffee Low Acid Dark Roast
- Simpatico Low Acid Dark Roast
- HealthWise Colombian Supremo Low Acid Ground Coffee
- Republika Coffee Fairtrade Low-Acid Organic Coffee
- Mommee Coffee Half Caff Low Acid Coffee
- Flax Coffee Decaf Medium Dark Roast and Flaxseed Blend
- Kava Reduced Acid Instant Coffee
These brands use several methods for reducing the acidity of their coffee, giving the resulting coffees unique characteristics. Depending on your own tastes, one or more of these might be the right low acid coffee for you. We’ll discuss each below.
Signs that your coffee is too acidic for you
Not everyone has a problem with coffee acidity. In fact, coffee only clocks in at a pH level of about 5, which is less acidic than many fruit juices.
But many people drink a lot of coffee. The repeated exposure to coffee’s acidity can take its toll. And some people just happen to be vulnerable to foods with a lot of acid.
The symptom most common to those who react badly to coffee acid levels is probably acid reflux, or gastroesophageal reflux. These people feel what’s commonly known as heartburn: a feeling of pain in the chest where the esophagus meets the stomach.
Another area where the acidity of coffee can cause problems is in tooth enamel. If your visit to the dentist reveals problems with your tooth enamel, it might be due to your coffee consumption.
Why does coffee cause acid problems for some people?
Every person is wired differently, and so are their stomachs. If coffee’s acidity bothers you but not your neighbour, much of that is directly attributable to how your stomach reacts to acids, and to caffeine in general.
Every person’s gut chemistry varies, depending on the types and concentrations of healthy bacteria living in the stomach, the levels of stomach acids produced, and other factors.
For some people, introducing additional acids to the stomach can cause a problem with the overall composition, making the stomach overly acidic. This may cause an issue as mild as a slightly upset stomach, all the way up to full-blown acid reflux.
There’s no way of knowing exactly how your stomach is wired, other than by observing your reactions to coffee and other acidic foods and beverages.
Another factor is the caffeine content in coffee. When you ingest large amounts of caffeine, it can cause your muscles to relax or tighten. For some people, it’s the esophagus that relaxes, allowing stomach acid to spill out.
Finally, coffee’s impact on your tooth enamel depends on how strong your enamel is, as well as lifestyle and environmental factors.
One of the biggest causes of tooth enamel erosion is the consumption of acidic beverages. While coffee can contribute, it’s not nearly as bad as sodas and fruit drinks. If you consume all of the above in significant quantities, you’re more likely to have problems with coffee’s acidity affecting your enamel.
How to neutralize acid in coffee
Aside from drinking low acid coffee variants, there are a handful of other methods you can use to reduce the acidity of your coffee. Some have significant impact, while others reduce acid only a small amount.
One popular method of reducing coffee acid is to use a range of products that cause a chemical reaction. Some of these are added to the coffee itself, while others can be taken after the coffee is consumed, to stabilize stomach acid levels.
There are a few natural remedies, too. One is to brew coffee with eggshells among the grounds. The alkaline eggshells balance out the acid in coffee without impacting the taste.
Similarly, adding a pinch of salt while brewing coffee will slightly reduce acidity.
Is cold brew coffee less acidic?
A common belief is that cold brewing coffee will reduce its acidity. However, this is mostly false. It comes from a misunderstanding of the difference between coffee tasting “acidic” versus its actual pH, or acidity level.
Cold brewing refers to the practice of steeping coffee grounds in water at room temperature rather than using hot water. The brewing process typically takes several hours.
It’s absolutely true that cold brewed coffee tastes different than traditionally prepared coffee. And it’s also true that you’ll often taste fewer acidic notes in cold brewed coffee. This has led many people to conclude that cold brewed coffee is low in acid.
However, a 2018 study at Thomas Jefferson University demonstrated that the pH levels of cold brewed coffee are virtually the same as those of traditionally brewed coffee. Since pH level is what causes the issues people have with coffee acid, cold brewing isn’t really a solution.
Light roast vs. dark roast coffee acidity
One thing that makes talking about acid and coffee confusing is that there’s a difference between coffee acid level and coffee acids.
Coffee acids are among the compounds within a coffee bean that give coffee the distinctive flavours characteristic to each strain of bean.
Coffee acid level refers to the pH level of your cup of coffee, or how acidic it is.
When a coffee bean is roasted, it loses coffee acids as the roast progresses. That means darker roasts tend to become more similar to each other in flavour, with that characteristic roasty coffee taste.
But the pH balance between a cup of light roast vs. dark roast will be virtually identical. And this is the factor that causes you problems with coffee acid levels, if that’s what you’re experiencing.
So, getting a light roast or medium roast coffee isn’t going to help you if you’re looking to remedy symptoms of coffee acidity. Low acid coffee and some of the other methods we’ve discussed are what you need in that case.
Our Top 10 recommendations for low acid coffee brands
Of the low acid coffees we evaluated, here are 10 that we recommend. Within these 10 coffees, we’re confident you’ll be able to find at last a couple that suit your tastes. We’ve included one brand of instant coffee.
Java Planet Colombian Organic
Java Planet’s Colombian Organic is an ideal pick for someone who appreciates the bright, acidic flavours of coffee but doesn’t want the acid levels of normal coffee.
Their coffee is grown in Colombia, and is both organic and fair trade. Java Planet is a small, family-run coffee producer, and their beans are of uncommonly high quality.
The resulting coffee has notes of fruitiness and chocolate to balance out the toasty elements commonly found in coffee. Its texture is smooth and rounded, and the overall taste is balanced for those who prefer lighter roasts.
Note that Java Planet sells its coffee beans unground, so you’d need to be comfortable grinding them yourself or taking them to be ground by a professional.
All in all, Java Planet is a great selection for people who aren’t big fans of the more burnt, stronger taste of darker roasts. If you’re looking for a bright flavour with distinctive notes of coffee acids without having to deal with the effects of high acid content, Java Planet may be what you’re looking for.
Puroast Low Acid Organic French Roast
Puroast creates a low acid coffee by using a technique they call “pure roasting.” When roasting their coffee, Puroast uses a wood fire and roasts their coffee beans far, far slower than conventional roasts, to a deep, dark French roast. This has the effect of reducing acid levels significantly.
In fact, Puroast’s organic French Roast boasts around 70% lower acid levels than most other coffees. With that kind of acid reduction, Puroast would be appropriate for anyone who is struggling with the effects of coffee acid levels.
Puroast is a dark roast, meaning it has that more characteristic coffee flavour with relatively few unique notes. That said, it avoids the unpleasant overly burnt taste that characterizes certain dark roasts.
For people who enjoy a nice dark roast but are having trouble with reactions to coffee acid levels, Puroast might be a solid choice.
Lucy Jo’s Coffee Mellow Belly Low Acid Blend
Lucy Jo’s is another small, family-run business, importing coffee beans from Indonesia and Brazil.
They achieve their low acid status by a combination of two factors: First, they use Arabica coffee beans grown and harvested in lowland locations. Arabica beans are the coffee beans with the lowest naturally occurring acid levels. And growing coffee at lower altitudes results in a less acidic coffee.
Then, they use a slow roasting process similar to—although not quite as intensive as—the slow roasting Puroast uses for their low acid coffee.
Lucy Jo’s is a medium-dark roast, and it has the rich body and characteristic coffee taste of many dark roasts. The flavour is often described as having buttery and brown sugar notes, although people who like exceptionally bold dark roasts may find this one a bit mild for their taste.
If you’re looking for a dark roast that doesn’t go crazy with bitterness, Lucy Jo’s may be a good selection.
Tieman’s Fusion Coffee Low Acid Medium Roast
Tieman’s Fusion Coffee medium roast is a somewhat unorthodox entry on the list, given that it’s a fusion of coffee and tea.
For people who want a straight-up cup of coffee with nothing fancy or out of the ordinary, this might not be the right choice. But for those willing to experiment with something interesting, it’s a real possibility.
In addition to being low acid, Tieman’s Fusion Coffee blends their medium roast coffee with rooibos red tea and matcha green tea. They also infuse it with goji berry powder, a powder known for its anti-inflammatory properties.
The resulting flavour is smooth and mild, if not exactly what a pure cup of coffee generally tastes like. But it’s certainly close enough that coffee lovers will be able to enjoy it if it fits the flavour profile of the coffee they generally like.
If stomach problems are the reason you’re seeking out low acid coffee, the goji berry powder and the higher pH of this coffee offer an alluring combination.
Simpatico Low Acid Dark Roast
Simpatico import their Arabica beans from Oaxaca, Mexico, where they’re shade-grown at low altitudes. As a result, they’re naturally lower on acid, and the roasting process further reduces acid levels.
Simpatico is committed to delivering a naturally produced coffee bean, from the growing process to harvesting, sorting and shipping all the way to roasting. Their farmers don’t use any pesticides or artificial fertilizers, and the coffee is grown naturally and harvested using traditional methods.
In terms of flavour and body, Simpatico Low Acid Dark Roast is what you would expect from a traditional dark roast. It’s got a very full body, with rich coffee flavour that can veer from toasty to more burnt. Presumably, if you’re buying a dark roast, you like that particular flavour. If so, Simpatico has what you’re looking for.
And if you care a great deal about the production values that go into bringing coffee to your cup, Simpatico is an excellent choice.
Healthwise Colombian Supremo Low Acid
HealthWise Colombian Supremo Low Acid Ground Coffee takes a scientific approach to creating a low acid version of coffee. Their secret to creating a low acid coffee is their roasting process, which they have trademarked.
This process, which they call “TechnoRoasting,” reduces the acid levels of the resulting coffee significantly while preserving micronutrients and minerals. HealthWise is able to produce a coffee with a pH of around 6.2. For reference, a glass of water is 7.0, and a normal coffee is around 5.0. A higher number means less acidic.
It’s not an understatement to say that HealthWise is possibly the best pick for people who are looking to drastically cut down on acidic beverages. The reduction in acid levels they’ve achieved is far more significant than a coffee like Simpatico, which relies mostly on the beans themselves to cut down on acid levels.
When it comes to flavour, we would argue that some of the other coffees on this list are more complex and nuanced than HealthWise. It has a nice smooth, full bodied flavour, but it’s lacking in complexity and can seem muted in comparison to other coffees we’ve tried.
If your No. 1 priority is reducing acid levels, HealthWise might be the best choice.
Republika Coffee Fairtrade Low-Acid Organic Coffee
Republika is a small coffee producer with a focus on producing low acid coffee with an environmental and ethical bent.
Republika coffee is fair trade and organic, as well as certified non-GMO. They work with small batches to produce a coffee of high quality. If your concern is being a responsible consumer and buying from brands that share your beliefs about treating workers and the Earth well, Republika might be your top pick.
While the coffee beans Republika chooses are of high quality, they are thoroughly roasted, meaning the resulting coffee is on the full bodied, toastier side. Republika isn’t as bitter as many other dark roasts, but it does lean that way in comparison with some of the other coffees on this list.
The main appeal of Republika is their commitment to ethical coffee sourcing.
Mommee Coffee Half Caff Low Acid Coffee
Mommee Coffee is a coffee specifically made to be safe for pregnant women to drink. This means it’s low acid, additive-free and low on caffeine. If you’re looking for the best low acid decaf coffee, give it a try. You might find “half caff” is enough.
While Mommee Coffee is intended for pregnant women, anyone who’s looking for those particular attributes can appreciate it. It’s organic and contains no potentially harmful chemicals that could damage a baby’s development. The beans are soaked in water before roasting to lower acid and caffeine levels.
Mommee Coffee’s flavour doesn’t stack up all that well compared to the other coffees on this list. That’s not to say it’s unpleasant, it’s just not very strong or distinctive. Mild would be a good description. Which might be up your alley, depending on your tastes.
If you’re pregnant, thinking about becoming pregnant, or simply prefer a mild cup of low caffeine, low acid coffee, Mommee is a reasonable choice.
Flax Coffee Decaf Medium Dark Roast and Flaxseed Blend
This one is a rather unusual coffee variant that has an unusual way of reducing acid levels.
Flax Coffee produces a blend of Arabica coffee beans and roasted flaxseed. Flaxseed is a naturally alkaline substance, so it helps neutralize the acidity of coffee when they’re roasted together. Flax Coffee uses a slow roasting process to further decrease acidity.
The brand boasts a number of other benefits, such as increasing your metabolism to assist with weight loss. There isn’t a lot of compelling science behind these claims, so our advice would be to evaluate this brand strictly on its low acid properties and whether you like the taste.
As for the taste, Flax Coffee doesn’t taste quite like traditional coffee. This can be a deal breaker for some, although others might even prefer it. It has a nutty, buttery flavour with a smooth texture. It’s very apparent that you’re not drinking standard coffee, though the flavour isn’t unpleasant.
If you’re looking to branch out from the traditional while looking for a low acid coffee, Flax Coffee might be a good pick.
Kava Coffee: A Low-Acid Instant Coffee
Kava Reduced Acid Instant Coffee is the oldest and most reputable brand of low-acid instant coffee on the market. They’ve been making it since 1962, and while it’s notoriously difficult to locate on supermarket shelves, you can find it pretty easily online.
It’s a godsend for instant coffee drinkers who have stomach problems. Kava uses a small amount of potassium hydroxide to neutralize acid in the coffee. Don’t be scared off by the chemical-sounding name—it performs a similar job to sodium bicarbonate, which is just regular old baking soda.
The nice thing is that it does this without creating bitterness, which can be an unfortunate side effect of taking acid too far in the opposite direction. Kava Coffee neutralizes 90 per cent of the acid—giving it half the acid of any other brand of instant coffee—without leaving a bitter taste. It’s full-flavored, with the same rich aroma as conventional coffee. So nice to wake up to in the morning.
You can make Kava Coffee just like you would any other cup of instant coffee. It’s as easy as boiling, spooning and stirring. It makes great iced coffee, too, and you don’t even have to boil the water. Just mix the crystals with warm water and then cool with a few ice cubes, and you’re good to go.
Given the choice, we’ll always take real beans over instant coffee, but if instant is your thing, then Kava reduced acid coffee has the most authentic taste in its group.
In the end, you know your own tastes and preferences best, and any of the above coffees might be the best choice for you. We would recommend Java Planet Colombia Organic or Puroast Low Acid Organic French Roast, depending on your tastes.
If you’re looking for a coffee with a distinctive, varied taste, more akin to a light or medium roast, Java Planet is the way to go. For people who savour the unique properties of the different strains of coffee bean but need low acid coffee brands, Java Planet is as good as it gets.
If you’re a fan of the traditional flavour of dark roasts, Puroast delivers best on it in our estimation. It has a full-bodied, toasty flavour that hits exactly what you’d expect and want while keeping acid levels down.
Of course, if one of those two don’t quite suit you, feel free to try any of the others if the description seems to fit your tastes. Any could be worthy replacements for your normal coffee if you’ve made the choice to cut down on acid levels.