A lot of us rely on coffee to get going in the morning—and for some people, that means dealing with a sour stomach by mid-day. But you don’t have to sacrifice your digestive health for your caffeine fix. Low acid coffee has the same jolt and great taste as other versions, but with a lower acid content that makes it more palatable for sensitive stomachs. Even better, you can find low acid coffees to suit every taste, whether you prefer a bold dark roast, a fruity light roast, or even the ease of instant coffee. Want to know more? Read on to see reviews of our top low acid coffees for 2020.
The Koffee Kult Dark Roast uses a blend of beans from Colombia, Brazil, and Sumatra. This combination of origins gives you a balanced cup, roasted dark to reduce the acid and bring out a bolder flavor. It has a lot of body, a long finish, and notes of chocolate and cinnamon that make it an ideal option for brewing low-acid espresso shots, or for use in Aeropress or Vietnamese coffee.
This Subtle Earth Honduran Marcala coffee is an excellent value for those looking for lower acidity and gourmet taste. These medium-roasted beans aren’t as bitter on the finish as many low-acid coffees. In fact, we found the aftertaste delightfully clean, with just a hint of sweetness. It’s also very versatile across brewing methods. Espresso will bring out a bit more body, but it tastes just as good on drip or French press.
Don’t have your own grinder? This Mellow Belly blend from Lucy Jo’s Coffee Roastery is packaged immediately after grinding to retain as much freshness as possible. It blends smooth Brazilian beans with earthy beans from Indonesia. The result is a balanced cup that won’t upset your stomach. We also love that it’s a family-run company using small batch roasting of 100% certified organic beans, with no fillers added.
Julian Coffee’s Puerto Rican coffee is another excellent choice if you’re looking for a delicious pre-ground option. It tastes great on cold brew, though you’ll get a flavorful cup from drip and pour-over methods, too. We’re just as into the company’s philosophy as we are the taste of their beans. They work with family-owned farms that pay their workers U.S. wages, and their packaging is as sustainable as their growing and roasting methods. It’s a guilt-free way to enjoy coffee that won’t upset your stomach.
The altitude where Kona coffee is grown naturally reduces the amount of acid in the beans. That means no blending or over-roasting is needed so you can enjoy the natural floral notes and caramelly sweetness of the bean. Its velvety, smooth finish is part of what led it to win the 2018 Kona Coffee Crown in a cupping contest of single estate coffees.
A blend of Arabica and Robusta beans gives you the intense depth of flavor Vietnamese coffee is known for. It’s best used for espresso, Aeropress, and Vietnamese brewing methods, and is pre-ground fine with that in mind. The use of Robusta beans in the blend adds more caffeine as well as a richer body and flavor. If you’re looking for a lower-acid option for making Ca Phe, Trung Nguyen Gourmet Blend fits the bill beautifully.
The Organic Hemp Coffee Blend from Artizan Coffee is ideal for cold brewing methods. This extra-coarse grind can also be used for cowboy coffee and French press if you like your coffee hot. As for the flavor, it blends beans from Guatemala, Brazil, and Colombia to make a balanced, smooth cup with just a hint of nuttiness on the finish. The addition of hemp to the blend doesn’t impact the flavor, simply adding more protein and amino acids that can help reduce inflammation, making it even better for those with intestinal issues.
Simpatico Low Acid Coffee is sourced and roasted specifically for those with heartburn, GERD, and other stomach troubles. It brews a smooth and surprisingly bright cup, letting the taste of the beans come through instead of overwhelming them with a darker roast. All the beans come from family farms in Mexico, where they’re shade grown without the use of pesticides. As far as flavor notes, it has a nice full body and clean finish, with just a hint of nuttiness and chocolate in the mix.
The unique roasting process used by Tyler’s Coffee makes it one of the few coffees you’ll find that’s not just low acid, but acid-free. This same process ups the caffeine content, too, so you’re in luck if you use coffee to wake you up in the morning. Tyler’s Coffee Acid-Free ground uses a medium grind that’s optimized for drip machines or pour-over brewing. We were a bit skeptical of how it would taste but were pleasantly surprised to find it’s no different than your usual ground coffee, with a smooth, medium body and notable lack of bitterness on the finish.
Rather than manipulate the acid content through roasting, Bones Coffee Company’s Colombia single-origin beans have a naturally lower acidity because of where and how they’re grown. You’ll get bright flavor notes without the corresponding sour feeling in your stomach. This well-balanced coffee is also very versatile across brewing methods. Since it’s whole bean, you can grind it coarse or fine to suit your needs. It’s smooth with bright citrus notes on espresso and gives a richer, caramel flavor brewed drip or French press.
For those concerned about the eco-footprint of their coffee habit, Nossa Familia Coffee is a brand you should check out. They’re committed to sustainability at every stage of the process. The beans are directly sourced from small farms in Brazil. They also use energy-efficient roasters and bio-degradable packaging. And don’t worry that the taste suffers for it. Their Delica coffee has a well-balanced taste profile, equally flavorful on drip, espresso, or any other brewing method.
Dean’s Beans are another top pick for eco-conscious coffee drinkers. Their packaging isn’t just bio-degradable, you can throw it right on your home compost heap. Their Roadhouse Blend combines beans grown on cooperative farms in Nicaragua and Mexico. It’s roasted dark to reduce the acid content. The finish is bittersweet with prominent roast flavor, but while it’s definitely dark it doesn’t overwhelm the palate. Their pre-ground coffee is ideal for drip machines, and since it’s roasted and ground in small batches it retains more freshness and aroma.
The roasting process for white coffee uses a lower temperature to retain more of the caffeine content in the bean. Wired Wiley’s White Coffee is the perfect morning pick-me-up and has a comparatively low acid content so it’s kind to your stomach. You’ll get the best flavor with espresso brewing, but it also does well in drip machines, giving a nutty flavor that’s markedly different from traditional roasts.
For those who want to cut out the caffeine, Dr. Mojo’s Decaf Coffee Grounds are our top choice. They use a chemical-free Swiss Water process that preserves the flavor of the bean. While it can be used for anything from espresso to iced coffee, its flavor is best on a traditional drip. We found the flavor had rich cocoa notes, with a brighter finish than many decafs. The roasting date is marked on the package, so you know it’s fresh when it reaches you, something that’s especially important for a pre-ground coffee.
Kopiko L.A. White is a convenient, affordable way to give white coffee a try. The white coffee roasting process maintains the caffeine content while lowering acidity. Compared to other white coffees, Kopiko L.A. White is more similar to a traditional roast. The Robusta beans used in the blend add more depth of flavor so it’s not as “tea-like” as other white coffees. Each individual serving also includes sugar and creamer, so it’s a no-hassle way to prepare your morning cup of Joe.
Trucup’s You’ve Got a Blend espresso blend is a smooth low-acid option for making café drinks at home. Each batch is hand-crafted using a unique process that removes much of the acid using plain steam and water. The end result is a balanced, full-flavored cup that even those with GERD or heartburn can enjoy. It has as much caffeine as similar blends, as well, so you don’t have to sacrifice taste or function—the only thing missing is the acid.
The organically-grown beans used in Mavericks Midnight Ride blend are slow-roasted to perfection. It has a bold flavor and a low acid content. In terms of the pH score, it’s closer to pure water than it is to most coffees. Taste-wise, it’s a great choice for people who like their coffee dark. There’s not a lot of bitterness on the back-end, either. The finish is soft, clean, and smooth, so it’s as kind on your taste buds as it is on your stomach.
The short answer is yes. For the long answer, we’ll need to start by talking about pH. The pH scale is used to measure how basic or acidic a given compound is, on a scale of 0-14. A neutral compound would be 7—right in the middle. Any number lower than a 7 is considered acidic, while numbers from 7-14 are basic.
Most coffees measure somewhere between 4.5 and 5.5 on the pH scale. That’s more acidic than water, sure, but is less acidic than other common drinks like orange juice (3 pH), beer (4-4.5 pH), or cola (2-3.5 pH).
Keep in mind a small change can make a big difference when it comes to the pH rating, which ranks everything from battery acid to bleach. Low-acid coffees normally have a pH rating between 6 and 7. That’s closer to neutral but still considered to fall on the “acidic” side.
You’ll notice we gave a pH range for coffee rather than a specific rating. That’s because not all coffee has the same acidity. Every stage of the process, from where it’s grown to how it’s roasted to the brewing method you use, will impact the final acidity of the cup.
Unless they’re marketed as low-acid, most coffees don’t advertise their acidity. Instead, you’ll have to do your research on the roasting process and bean origin. You should also pay attention to how you brew and drink it. Here are some tips to consider when you’re looking for a less acidic cup.
Let’s say all you have are high-grown, light-roasted beans, and you don’t have 24 hours to make a fresh batch of cold brew. You’re not necessarily stuck skipping your daily Joe (or dealing with a sour stomach). There are some methods you can use to reduce the acidity of your coffee.
Coffee, in general, isn’t bad for you. In fact, it contains a lot of helpful, healthy compounds, most notably antioxidants that have been shown to reduce your risk for everything from cancer to heart disease to dementia.
Having said that, there are a lot of different compounds in a coffee bean—some of which are better for you than others. Taking out the more acidic compounds lets you enjoy the positive side effects without as many of the negatives.
Why is low acid coffee better for you? There are a few key reasons:
If you have a gastrointestinal issue like Crohn’s disease, IBS, or acid reflux, drinking a low acid coffee can help to alleviate your symptoms. Caffeine junkies with these conditions should consider both switching to a low acid bean and using a cold brew method to minimize discomfort.
You may also want to consider low acid coffee if you drink more than three cups in an average day. Over time, the acidity in coffee can wear away the lining of your stomach and intestines. In addition to aggravating existing conditions, it can lead to new ones, including heartburn and stomach ulcers.