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Nov 14, 2013 08:30 AM

Low Acid Coffee

Love coffee flavor but am tired of the heart burn that inevitably follows. Any recommendations for a low acid coffee product? Have tried cold brewing but would prefer to try a low acid product for comparison.

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    So, try some Island espresso! (it's really low caffeine)

    1. Ah! So I'm not alone. I gave up my beloved coffee several months ago because it churned up too much acid reflux. I really do miss coffee.

      1. Some Moka Java's are low in acid. Have you tried mild to blonde brews?

        9 Replies
        1. re: HillJ

          The OP should steer clear of light & mild brews - the darker the roast, the lower the acid.

          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            Hey ghg. Moka Java is what my hubby drinks and he suffers from acid reflux. That's why I made the suggestion. But I'll defer to your expertise. I also bought the blond SB and it didn't bother him at all.

            1. re: HillJ

              I don't know anything about the Starbucks blonde roast so I just read the info on their website. The beans are wet-processed (as opposed to dry), which reduces the acid content. The acidity of the blonde roasts is listed as "medium," but they must be less acidic than dry-processed light roasts thanks to the washing, so I stand corrected on this particular choice!

              The problem with Mocha-Java is the wide variation in the blend of beans and the level of roast because there's no universal standard for it anymore. So as you said, *some* M-J is low acid, you just have to know what to look for. I'm glad DH found one he likes that doesn't give him trouble.

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                Yeah, it took him a bit of time to find the right ones and I think even the level of individual acid relux varies so much person to person too. As for Moka Java-so true blends are all over the map.

                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  About wet processing reducing acidity: are you sure about that? My experience has been the opposite. All the bright fruit bombs I've had have been wet processed; dry processed beans from the same areas tend to be more subdued. Other sources seem to agree with my tastebuds:

                  Though this article provides an alternate explanation for the greater *perceived* acidity of wet-processed coffees:

                  1. re: Scrofula

                    Fruit bombs are better dry, imho.

                    1. re: Scrofula

                      Perceived acidity as an element of flavor/mouthfeel and actual acid content/pH level aren't the same thing.

                      I wish I could remember where I read the research paper - I'll have to do some digging. Anyway, the results of the experiment showed that the pH of washed coffee was lower than the pH than dry-processed coffee.

                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        Interesting, and consistent with that last link: the increased body of dry-processed coffee reduces the perceived acidity. I'm curious whether the coffees compared in your study was identical in growing and roasting, and differed only in processing. The other possibility is that processing has little effect on acidity, but people choose more acidic varieties and lighter roasts for dry processing to compensate for the lower perceived acidity.

                        1. re: Scrofula

                          ghg, scrofula,
                          Any contact with water will extract caffeine (stuff loves to come out of coffee). And if caffeine (as I linked above) is part of what upsets stomachs, well, you're going to want to reduce it.


              here's what Coffee Review has to say. What worked for my hubby was experimenting a bit.

              1. I can't weight in on products that are specifically marketed as "low-acid" because I've never tried any, though I've seen one on the shelves at Trader Joe's for years so it must be popular.

                Some tips for a naturally low-acid cup:
                - Beans grown at lower altitudes are typically lowest in acid, so look for coffees from Brazil, India and the Indonesian island of Sumatra.
                - Coarse grounds yield a lower-acid brew than fine grounds.
                - Roasting has a major impact on the levels of acid *and* caffeine - which can also trigger heartburn - so opt for medium-dark or dark roasts.

                I suffer from pretty severe GERD, yet my morning cup of my beloved Peet's Aged Sumatra (which I brew in my Aeropress with *hot* water) never triggers an episode.

                10 Replies
                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  Interesting info. Kenyan beans used to be my favorite. Are the beans there typically grown at low or high altitudes? And is Kenyan usually vended in the darker roasts?

                  1. re: Perilagu Khan

                    High altitude (try rwandan or burundi for slightly lower altitude).
                    How sour were your beans? Kenyan tends to be some of the highest acidity -- at least if you get the good stuff.

                    1. re: Chowrin

                      I don't remember a great deal of sourness, but then it's been quite a while since I had a cuppa Kenyan. Perhaps I'll look for the Burundian and Rwandan.

                      1. re: Perilagu Khan

                        In my experience, Burundian and Rwandan coffees are still quite acidic. Maybe try a dry processed Ethiopian coffee if you want a less acidic coffee from that region. (Though dry processed coffees do have a different flavor profile.)

                        1. re: Scrofula

                          Seems like just about all African coffees are rather acidic. Looks like Brazil, Sumatra, maybe Guatemala and Nicaragua--all roasted nearly to cinder--is the way to go.

                          1. re: Perilagu Khan

                            Island coffee! Hawaii, Java -- all the nice low elevations.
                            (Personally, I'd just put milk in, but that's me)

                            1. re: Chowrin

                              Milk isn't a very good solution. Yes, it initially coats the lining of the esophagus and stomach to soothe symptoms and buffer acid...but it also increases the production and secretion of gastric acid and can actually exacerbate symptoms in many people. Whole milk and cream are particularly problematic - the higher fat content relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter allowing back-flow of the excess acid into the esophagus.

                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                More sage advice. And to think I might easily have gone for that "remedy."

                                1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                  Always happy to share the knowledge! Skim milk doesn't trigger reflux as badly as the higher-fat options do, but then your coffee sucks :)

                        2. re: Perilagu Khan

                          ahh, you probably aren't pulling a pure kenyan cappuchino.
                          tastes like grapefruit half the time.