Are you looking for the very best low acid coffee brands?
There are many reasons why you might be considering switching over to a low-acid coffee blend for your morning cup of caffeinated fuel.
If you are a coffee lover who is dealing with heartburn, acid reflux, dental issues or merely a very sensitive stomach, you might have been told that you need to cut back on your coffee intake – or even that you need to completely eliminate coffee from your diet.
Thankfully, low acid coffee brands offer a much more appealing solution, which means that you get to keep enjoying your daily coffee, just without the downsides associated with drinking high acid coffee.
In this article we are going to talk about the very best low acid coffee brands, as well as discuss what makes for less acidic coffee and why low acid or acid free coffee is better for your health.
Sound good? Then let’s dive in.
Lifeboost Coffe claims to provided the healthiest coffee in the world, and when you look at this innovative coffee company’s credentials, the claim seems realistic. Lifeboost Coffee is not only low-acid, it is also shade-grown, pesticide, mycotoxin and GMO free, single origin and 100% organic.
Lifeboost Coffee has been featured in some of the weightiest publications known to man, including Rolling Stones and the New York Times. It has been described as the ‘best tasting coffee with no side effects.’
Keeping things simple, LifeBoost Coffee has just four different coffee blends to from on their website: Light Roast, Medium Roast, Dark Roast and Medium Roast Decaf. Whichever blend you choose, you get to decide which format you want them in. Your options are whole beans, ground coffee, pods and go bags.
Our recommendation from the Lifeboost Coffee website is the Medium Roast, which strikes the perfect balance between rich and fruity flavor and low acid.
Black Ink Coffee Company
Black Ink Coffee Company is a US Veteran owned and operated brand fuelled by passion and innovation. The brand’s ethos is to pursue your dreams relentlessly, no matter how big or small. That’s why every bag of Black Ink Coffee Company coffee you purchase has the bold statement ‘Begin’ printed on it.
To boil it down, Black Ink Coffee Company coffee is the stuff that fuels dreams and, according to the Black Ink Coffee Company website, fuels the grind of entrepreneurs, creators and makers.
Our best recommendation from Black Ink Coffee Company’s selection of delicious coffees is the Inkwell Blend, which is low acid dark roast with a smooth, equally chocolatey and caramelly flavor profile. The Inkwell Blend is created from organic and fair-trade coffee beans only.
Spirit Animal Coffee
Next up on our list is Spirit Animal Coffee, which has quickly become synonymous with a new breed of Honduran coffee made from the very finest shade-grown specialty beans from organic farms.
Spirit Animal Coffe focuses on bringing fresh, high-quality reasonably priced coffees to coffee lovers around the world, without any middleman. All of Spirit Animal Coffee’s coffee blends are low acid and have been tested for mycotoxins.
What’s more, the Spirit Animal Coffee e-shop offers quite a selection of different interesting blends to try out, all with different flavor profiles. And once you’ve found your favourite blend from Spirit Animal Coffee, you can even get it as a subscription!
If you want to try out one of Spirit Animal Coffee’s unique coffee blends for yourself, we suggest the CATUAI & IHCAFE-90 blend, which is low acid but still maintains notes of peach and mango. The CATUAI & IHCAFE-90 blend has a sweet, soft and juicy flavor profile that makes it the perfect choice for those of us who love fruity coffees (Most of which, unfortunately, also tend to be very high in acid).
The Volcanica Coffee brand is a powerhouse within the coffee world and carries over 150 different coffee blends from all over the world.
Needless to say, not all of these coffee blends are low acid, but there is an entire section of the Volcanic Coffee website which focuses specifically on low acid coffees. You can filter your coffee search by roast type (Such as light, dark or espresso) as well as by region. But no matter which type of blend you are looking for in the low acid category, you can rest assured that it has met Volcanica Coffee’s lower acid criteria, and that it is Kosher Certified.
Our choice from Volcanica Coffee is the Volcanica Low Acid Coffee blend, which is a blend of naturally low acid coffee beans hand-plucked from various regions including Brazil and Sumatra.
Volcanica’s own Low Acid blend is a medium roast which has a soft, velvety mouth feel and flavor notes of tangerine, nuts and chocolate.
Other low acid coffee blends to try
We could easily go on, but for the sake of simplicity we’ll leave it at the low acid coffee brands mentioned here, as they are the brans known to really specialize in low-acid coffee blends. But for those of you who might still be thirsty to try even more different low acid coffee blends, we’ve compiled this list of great options (All of which are available from Amazon).
- Puroast low acid coffee
- Mommee coffee
- Tieman’s Fusion coffee
- Java Planet Coffee
Coffee acids vs coffee acidity – is there a difference?
If you are a coffee lover, you have probably already been hearing expressions like coffee acids and coffee acidity being used in various contexts to describe different coffee beans and coffee blends, but is there a difference between the two?
A lot of people, some coffee professionals included, use the terms interchangeably, but in fact they refer to two different things. Let’s get clear.
First of all, what are coffee acids?
It might seem counterintuitive, but whenever coffee experts talk about coffee acids, they don’t mean the actual acid content of the cup of coffee in question. What they are referring to, instead, is the quality and flavor profile of the coffee beans used to brew the cup.
In other words, if you hear or read about a coffee brand or a coffee critic describing a particular coffee blend as acidic, this doesn’t refer to the actual acid content of the blend but rather describes the taste of the blend.
All right, now you’ve got that. But what does coffee acidity mean?
Coffee acidity refers to the actual acid content of the coffee blend. Most standard coffee blends contain approximately thirty different naturally occurring acids – most of them are the same acids found in citrus fruits, which also explains the citrusy taste notes that often characterise high acid coffee beans.
The typical coffee blend comes in on the pH scale, which ranges from 0-7, at a 5, give or take. What this tells you is that coffee is a rather acidic drink, although not as acidic as some fruit drinks.
Not everyone reacts negatively to the high acidity of most coffee blends, but some do, particularly if they have sensitive stomachs or other health issues that are easily triggered by ingesting anything with a high acidity level.
What types of acids are found in coffee?
Approximately thirty different acids are found in coffee, but only nine of them really impact both the flavor and the acidity of the coffee blend. Here is a quick overview over these nine significant acids and how they shape the flavor and overall acidity of your favourite cup of Joe.
Chlorogenic acid is what the majority of your coffee’s acidity stems from. Chlorogenic acid is particularly prominent in lighter coffee roasts, while much of it evaporates during the roasting process in darker roasts.
Quinic acid is primarily found in darker roasts and is part of what gives dark roast coffee their pungent flavor. Unfortunately, quinic acid is quite hard on the stomach lining – so if you find yourself experiencing acid reflux after drinking a dark roast coffee, quinic acid is at least partially to blame.
Citric acid is a type of naturally occurring acid which is found in fruit, as well as in coffee. Interestingly enough, coffee beans that have been grown at higher altitudes – such as Arabica coffee, a popular favourite among coffee lovers – also tends to be higher in citric acid.
Acetic acid has a sharp, vinegary taste and is found in actual vinegar as well as in coffee (in much smaller amounts). If you’ve ever had a cup of coffee that tasted sour and reminded you of vinegar, acetic acid is the culprit.
Now, a trace amount of acetic acid in your coffee is totally fine, as it can lend a sharpness to the flavor of your coffee. Too much, though, and the balance tips into the coffee becoming undrinkable, or at the very least unpleasant.
Lactic acid doesn’t have much of an impact on the flavor of your coffee, but it has a tremendous impact on its texture. Basically, the more lactic acid your coffee contains the softer and creamier its texture. If you prefer coffees with an ultrasoft and velvety mouthfeel, chances are your favourite coffee blends are all high in lactic acid.
Malic acid is most commonly found in some fruits, such as apples and pears, but small amounts are also found in your morning cuppa.
Unlike some acids, which are prone to evaporating or intensifying depending on the roasting process, malic acid is a constant in both lighter and darker roasts. Coffee blends that are high in malic acid have rich and fruity flavor notes.
Yet another acid that is impactful in terms of shaping your coffee’s flavor profile is phosphoric acid. Phosphoric acid has a surprisingly mellow taste compared to most other acids – its flavor notes are reminiscent of mango and grapefruit, so if you like fruity coffee, chances are many of them are high in phosphoric acid.
Linoleic acid is a standout acid on this list, because it is a fatty acid rather than a flavourful one. Linoleum acid has no noticeable impact on either the taste or texture of your coffee.
Finally on this list we have palmitic acid. Just like linoleic acid this is a fatty acid, and it is primarily found in lighter roasts. The reason for this is the palmitic acid is one of the elements that tends to evaporate during the prolonged roasting process that results in a darker roast.
Why can acids in your coffee be a bad idea
There are multiple reasons why you might benefit tremendously from exploring low-acid alternatives to your favorite coffee blends. Let us go over some of the primary reasons why you should consider replacing high acid coffee with low acid coffees.
If you have ever experienced an acid reflux reaction after eating a sour fruit or drinking a cup of coffee, you know how unpleasant a feeling it is.
Acid reflux can be triggered not only by the high acidity content of a cup of coffee, but also by the high caffeine content – it is really the combination that is the kicker. The reason why caffeine worsens acid reflux is that it relaxes the muscle that connects your stomach with your esophagus, which in effect creates a convenient tunnel through which stomach acids can flow. The result is acid reflux and heartburn.
Another good health-related reason to switch to low acid coffee blends is that highly acidic coffees can trigger gastrointestinal problems.
If you suffer from gastrointestinal ulcers or irritable bowel syndrome – or simply a delicate stomach – low acid decaf coffee might be the way to go.
Looking beyond heath concerns, there is one purely aesthetic reason why some coffee drinkers are replacing highly acidic coffee beans with a low acid alternative – the reason is tooth enamel.
The reason coffee is known to stain teeth is primarily because of the high acid content of most standard coffee blends. While these acids lend flavor and oomph to your daily cups of coffee, they are also terrible for the enamel on your teeth.
A final reason why you might want to consider switching to low acid coffees is the significant difference in flavor profiles between high and low acid coffees.
The fruitier and more tangy your coffee tastes, the higher in acids it is likely to be, and while some people love fruity flavor profiles, some prefer the darker, more mellow notes of dark roasts and low acid blends.
What makes for low acid coffee beans
In recent years, more and more coffee brands and producers have started focusing on low acid coffee, recognising that there is a market for it since many people deal with acid reflux or stomach upset as a result of drinking coffee on a daily basis, often combined with a high acid diet.
Naturally low acid beans
Every great cup of coffee starts with the coffee beans, and these can vary greatly in everything from flavor to acidity, depending on their species, location, altitude, and even what type of soil they are grown in. All in all, a surprising number of factors influence the coffee bean itself, before we even get to the roasting or the brewing.
Some species of coffee beans are particularly high in acid – Arabica coffee beans being a great example. While they are typically rather low in chlorogenic acids they tend to be high in many others.
In short, a low acid coffee starts with low acid coffee beans.
Lighter roasts or darker roasts?
Now that we understand that the coffee bean itself, as well as where and how it was grown has the first initial impact on the acidity level of your coffee, the next part of the equation is the roasting process.
Even coffee beans that were grown at higher altitudes and are of a species that tends to be high in acids can be turned into a less acidic coffee blend during the roasting process.
If you are a bona fide coffee lover, you are probably familiar with the fact that coffee blend are roughly divided into three different overall categories – light roasts, medium roasts and dark roasts. There are no clear definition of what constitutes a lighter, a medium or a dark roast, except to say that lighter roasts are when the beans are only lightly roasted, i.e. for a shorter amount of time and that dark roasts, by the same token, are roasted for a longer period of time. Medium roasts are roasts that are neither decidedly light or dark.
With light roasts, the coffee beans are only roasted very lightly in order to preserve much of their original flavor and nutrients, including acids. Lighter roasts tend to have a light, bright, mellow taste with many fruity notes that stem from the acids.
Darker roasts eliminate much of the beans’ original flavor profile and nutrients, and tend to have softer, darker, more caramel-like and nutty flavor. Because darker roasts are less acidic, they also tend to be more gentle on everything from your stomach lining to your teeth.
Apart from the beans themselves and how they have been roasted, the brewing method you use to prepare your coffee also matters in terms of how acidic your final cup of coffee ends up being.
The key to understanding how your brewing method impacts your coffee blend lies in the extraction process. As soon as your hot water hits the coffee beans in your French press or coffee machine, the extraction process effectively begins, and it has as lot of sway over how your coffee ultimately turns out. The extraction process is the answer as to why a fruity and highly acidic blend might yield a flat-tasting cup of Joe and why a mellow dark blend might turn into a bitter tasting cup.
You need to get your extraction just right if you want to obtain a perfectly balanced cup of coffee that is neither too bitter or too flat. If your coffee is under-extracted, your coffee is going to taste sour and acidic, no matter which coffee beans you have used. If, on the other hand, your coffee has been over-extracted, your cup of coffee is going to be flat and dull.
No acid coffee alternatives
If you are genuinely wanting to eliminate acid from your diet, swapping at least some of your daily coffee intake for other beverages might be necessary. Or, you might simply be curious to explore what great acid free alternatives there are to coffee.
No matter your reason for seeking out low acid/no acid coffee alternatives, here are a few ideas for you to try.
Matcha green tea
If you want to loose the acid while maintaining your caffeine kick, matcha green tea might be the perfect option for you.
Matcha is the green tea for people who don’t like green tea – its flavor is bold and creamy, with a texture reminiscent of coffee. What’s more, matcha green tea is extremely rich in antioxidants, some of which are believed to have cancer-fighting benefits.
Rooibos red tea
Rooibos red tea, also called red bush tea, is a great alternative to coffee for those with sensitive stomachs or any of the other health issues mentioned earlier in this article.
Rooibos red tea has a very similar taste to English Breakfast and Earl Grey teas, but unlike its black tea counterparts rooibos tea doesn’t have caffeine.
Best low acid coffee brands FAQ
What is the best coffee for acid reflux?
The reason why you might experience acid reflux after drinking a regular cup of coffee is due to a combination of high acidity and a high caffeine content. What you want instead is a low-acid, decaf coffee to replace the highly acidic blend you are currently using.
There are numerous great low-acid, decaf or low caffeine coffee blends out there. Check out some of the options mentioned in this article, such as Puroast low acid coffee, Volcanica’s low acid coffee, Mommee coffee or Tieman’s Fusion coffee.
What coffee is gentle on the stomach?
As a rule of thumb, if you are in the market for a coffee blend that is gentle on your stomach, avoid light roasts in favour of medium-dark roasts, since lighter roasts preserve most of the original flavor of nutrients of the beans, while darker roasts eliminate them during the roasting process.
Some great low acid coffee brands to try include Lifeboost Coffee, Spirit Animal Coffee, Black Ink Coffee Company and Java Planet Coffee, as all of these coffee brands specialize in low acid coffee.
Are there any acid free coffees?
No, there are no coffee blends that are entirely free from acids. The reason acids can’t be avoided in coffee is that coffee beans, regardless of their species, contain right around thirty different acids. In other words, you can’t remove acids from coffee without removing the coffee beans.
Luckily, there is an increasing number of coffee brands that are specialising in low acid coffee, including Lifeboost Coffee, Java Planet Coffee, Spirit Animal Coffee and Black Ink Coffee Company.
What are the best no acid alternatives to coffee?
Since you cannot get a coffee that is completely acid free, it might be worth considering an alternative to coffee if you need to eliminate acid from your diet wether for health-related or other reasons.
The best acid-free alternatives to coffees are teas, such as matcha green tea or rooibos tea, which is also free from caffeine.
Best low acid coffee brands – final thoughts
If you started off reading this article unsure of the benefits of switching to a medium-dark roast with low acidity, you have probably become convinced by now.
But just to recap, the reasons for swapping your regular old cup of highly acidic Joe out with a low acid counterpart a numerous – low acid coffee blends are better for your stomach lining, better for your teeth, and much better for exercising.
What’s more, switching to low acid coffee doesn’t require you to sacrifice flavor or quality – not when there are plenty of coffee brands that specialize in medium-dark roast coffees with low acidity. We’ve covered some of them in this article.
All in all, whether you’re struggling with acid reflux or simply want to switch to a coffee that is better for your health, you have nothing to lose by picking up a few different low acid coffee blends to see how you find them.