How To Make Coffee Less Acidic?
While most of us relish the aftertaste of a cup of coffee, some people feel heartburn or simply do not enjoy it. If you are one of these people chances are it’s coffee’s natural acidity that’s causing this. Worry not! You are not alone in this. This is the case for 60 million Americans and there are several ways people use to go around this issue.
Why Does Coffee Cause Heartburn or Acidity?
Before we go any further into the methods that one can use to overcome coffee’s acidic nature, it’s essential to know why this happens in the first place. Let’s take a brief recap of what we learned about the pH scale in our schools. On a scale of 0-14, 0 being the most acidic, 7 neutral, and 14 is extremely basic.
Coffee has a pH of 5, which is not as bad as some of the other drinks we normally drink such as Fruit juices and Sodas. If Coffee leaves you feeling uncomfortable, chances are these drinks are doing the same. While we don’t know the exact ingredients in these drinks, we are sure about coffee.
It is estimated that an average coffee bean contains 850 different compounds helping build the taste and aroma we all love. Keep in mind, by acidity we are not referring to the sour or acrid taste that is experienced sometimes. That sour and acrid taste is actually the result of poor extraction, which we would like to talk about in another article.
Types Of Acids In Coffee
Being made up of so many compounds, the acidic nature is also not the result of one type of acid. There are six that we know of and are worth mentioning.
- Phosphoric acid – adds sweetness
- Malic acid – adds sweetness
- Citric acid – adds tartness
- Acetic acid – adds tartness
- Chlorogenic acid- adds bitterness and helps in weightless
- Quinic acid – considered as the real cause of coffee’s acidity
Of these, quinic acid might be the one upsetting you but its buildup can easily be avoided. In fact, it comes up only when coffee degrades and therefore, can easily be avoided.
Six Ways To Overcome Coffee’s Acidity
Buy Low Acidic Coffee
It might seem obvious to some but a lot of coffee lovers are not aware of this type of coffee. Or maybe, people are not sure if this type of coffee is healthy or safe to consume. Here are some tried and tested low acid coffee beans that will suit you.
The lower acidity is not achieved by some harmful process but rather very simple techniques. These include:
- Roasting the beans very slowly
- Interrupting the roasting process
- Removing the waxy outer layer of coffee beans before roasting them
- Choosing coffee grown at lower elevations
- Choosing dark roast coffee over mild or light roast
Different brands use one or the other technique but which everyone applied, the end product is safe and flavorful.
Acid reducers, such as Coffee Tamer, can be added to a cup of coffee or coffee grounds. These products are also safe to use and can be used with all types of coffee even decaffeinated coffee. Unlike anti-acids, these are consumed with coffee thereby preventing your body from acid reflux or flareups.
Use Egg Shells
This might seem odd to some but eggshells are alkaline and can help neutralize the acidity of coffee beans when added during the brewing process. Eggshells are also effective in reducing the bitter taste that some coffee beans exhibit. Make sure none of the raw egg is attached to the shells when you’re mixing it with your coffee brewing.
Also, crush the eggshells properly before mixing them with your coffee. This is a great way to reduce the acidity of coffee without affecting its taste.
Add Salt or Baking Soda to Coffee
Adding salt or Baking soda to your coffee is one of the easiest and economical ways of reducing your coffee’s acidity. Salt is a great acid neutralizer whereas baking soda is alkaline which also neutralizes the acidic nature of coffee. Remember to add one of them and in the right quantity, otherwise, it will rid you of the taste of coffee that you love.
Cold brewing is also a widely used technique to reduce the acidity of coffee without affecting its taste and aroma. It involves soaking ground coffee beans in cold water for 24 hours or more, prior to brewing. Contrary to popular belief, cold brewing does not remove the natural acids contained in coffee.
Cold brewing has a significant advantage over hot brewing in reducing acidity without affecting the natural oils and acids. However, it takes quite a long time as compared to hot brewing. A good way to overcome that is by brewing it in advance. But that might not be possible every time.
Cold brewing is further made easy by a french press or the latest cold coffee brewing machines.
Use A Paper Filter Over A Metal Mesh
As we have discussed before, the oils in coffee contribute significantly to its acidity. Using a paper filter, instead of metal mesh, is a great way to sieve them out. Metal meshes are quite common in households but they do not retain these oils as much.
Wrapping it up
Now that we’ve gone through all six methods that we’ve tried, tested, and approved, we hope you have found the one most feasible for you. If you try one of them and are not satisfied with the end product, try another method, and see if that works for you. The goal is to find what’s best for you and only you can find that out.