Quick Summary: The Best Low Acid Coffee
If drinking coffee has mutated from pleasure to torture because of heartburn, acid reflux, or GERD, does it mean you have to give up your morning cup of joe? Certainly not! There are plenty of stomach-friendly options out there that will provide the much-needed energy boost without making you feel miserable afterward. Today we present the super seven of the least acidic coffee options for your drinking pleasure.
Best Low Acid Coffee Brands in 2021: Everything You Need to Know
Like all the best things in life, coffee is only good when drunk in moderation. Too many cups a day, and you might find yourself setting up a GP appointment to deal with heartburn, acid reflux, or full-on GERD. While giving up highly acidic food, coffee included, might be the easiest course of action, it is also the least realistic one. Switching to low acid coffee, on the other hand, seems like a perfect compromise. But is it just a marketing scheme, or are some beans really less irritating for your stomach? Let's get to the bottom of this issue before we dive into specific brands.
First, let's set things straight. 'Low acid' is not about the taste of your cuppa, but about the pH level of the drink. On a scale from zero (car battery electrolyte) to fourteen (concentrated alkali), coffee rates at 5 on average (slightly acidic), while water is the only neutral at 7. Don't believe anyone trying to convince you it's the coffee's pH that's upsetting your stomach when the stomach juice falls between 1 and 2 on a pH scale.
So why does coffee make your tummy so upset? It's because of chlorogenic acid that promotes your stomach to produce more gastric acid than is necessary to process the food you consume with your coffee. The higher the chlorogenic acid concentration in the bean, the more stomach juice is produced, and the sooner your tummy will get uncomfortable. However, most beans contain N-methyl pyridinium (NMP) that suppresses gastric acid production and can prevent stomach issues.
Caffeine is the reason behind acid reflux. It relaxes your esophagus and allows some of the stomach juice to travel where it doesn't belong. As your esophagus doesn't have the same protective lining as your stomach, you feel like your insides are burning.
If you're bored by the science already, here's what you need to know in a nutshell. The safest coffee for your stomach is not the one with the low pH, but the one with lower caffeine and chlorogenic acid and higher NMP.
Unfortunately, coffee manufacturers do not provide this information on the package, even if they claim their products are low-acid. Still, there are ways for you to ensure a particular blend will not upset your stomach.
Genuine low acidity coffee can be achieved by
- A dark roast. While light roasts are usually marketed as 'mild', it describes the flavor profile, not the effect coffee has on your stomach. Longer roasting reduces the chlorogenic acid concentration and increases NMP at the same time. As a result, you get a cuppa that does not stimulate gastric acid production keeping your tummy safe.
- Cold brewing. While the process takes longer, the lack of high temperature slows down the extraction of some chemicals from the grounds, including caffeine and chlorogenic acid. Cold-brewed coffee is, therefore, safer for your stomach and less likely to cause acid reflux.
- Adding milk. While milk is less acidic (with a pH of 6.7), it's the proteins that make the difference. They attach to the chlorogenic acid molecules making them less bioavailable. As a result, your body produces less gastric acid that could burn through the stomach lining.
All things considered, a latte is probably the safest option for your stomach. But what do you do if you have no time for cold brewing and espresso is your poison of choice? That's why we're here with a shortlist of seven options that are safer for your stomach than your average bean!
Our Top 7 Picks for Reduced Acid Coffee
A short disclaimer before we go into the gritty details of each variety: while we've chosen the most well-liked low acidity products, there's no guarantee one of them will not cause discomfort for you. Your reaction may be highly specific to the beans used, the roasting method, or the additives designed to lower acidity. Start slow when trying a new coffee variety, heed your doctor's advice, and listen to your body. Stay safe and drink quality coffee that's good for your tummy.
Cafe Don Pablo Low Acid Coffee Review
- Organic Honduras-grown Arabica beans
- Medium-dark roast
- Rich flavor with chocolate nuances
Organically grown at a high elevation of Honduras Marcala region, this 100% Arabica coffee is CCOF certified. The beans are not exposed to any harmful chemicals, including insecticides and pesticides, making them safe for you. Moreover, the cherries' slow ripening results in a rich, velvety flavor full of chocolate, caramel, and vanilla notes. Despite the medium-dark roasting, there's no excessive bitterness, and the acidity is very mild. All this results in a well-balanced flavor with a sweet aftertaste.
Subtle Earth is a whole bean coffee, perfect for those who enjoy the taste of the freshly ground java. The two-pound bag might be a bit over the top for your first buy, but it won't last long if you like the taste. Besides, this bean tastes great regardless of the brewing method. You can French press it, load your espresso coffee maker, or cold brew it. While the coffee tastes good black, adding milk or cream is also an option, especially if you heed our earlier advice about making your morning cuppa safe for your tummy.
Despite hundreds of positive reviews, there are plenty of complaints too. Some buyers found stones among the beans, while others believe the coffee is burnt. Luckily, you can try this product risk-free. The company guarantees a refund if you do not enjoy your experience, so it's worth giving a try without wasting money. And that's what makes this product our top recommendation among low acid coffee varieties.
Folgers Low Acid Coffee Review
- A blend of Arabica and Robusta beans
- Mild, stomach-friendly roast
- Ground beans in an airtight canister
Unlike most products on this list, Simply Smooth by Folgers is a blend of Arabica and Robusta beans that produces a powerful flavor profile coupled with a significant caffeine kick. The mild roasting prevents the production of phenols that can upset the stomach and produces a smooth and velvety taste without extreme bitterness or acidity.
The beans are blended, roasted, and ground for a comfortable coffee drinking experience. All you need to do is load the grounds into a French press or a coffee maker and start the cycle. The airtight canister keeps the coffee fresh for as long as you need and holds 31.1 oz of coffee, enough for 240 servings (6 fluid oz each). Remember to seal the container tight and store it in a dark, cool place to prevent the grounds from losing their flavor and aroma.
None of the products on our list can boast a 5-star rating, and Folgers is no exception. While most buyers support the claim of this blend being easy on the stomach, some customers complain about gastric issues. Others do not enjoy the smooth flavor, claiming it's too bland and generic. Your coffee preferences and stomach reactions can differ from most; however, this product is affordable enough to try it out at least once.
Volcanica Sumatran Gayo Low Acid Coffee Review
- Organic, Fair Trade Arabica beans
- Sumatra Gayo-grown at 3,000+ feet
- Medium roast with a rich, heavy body
While it isn't among Volcanica's bestsellers, Sumatran Gayo is a perfect choice if you have a sensitive tummy or are prone to acid reflux. This coffee is medium-roasted to preserve the rich, powerful body without making it too hard on your stomach. The resulting flavor is full of caramel, peach, and floral notes with subtle nuances of fresh-fallen leaves. Layered and complex, the taste is well-balanced without extreme acidity.
The price tag is the only downside to this variety, considering the price for a 16 oz package is higher than that of two-pound bags by other manufacturers. Still, it's well worth the expense if you're not into generic java. The packaging is vacuum-sealed to preserve freshness, and the coffee is dispatched within 30 days of roasting. Besides, if you prefer to use a grinder, the whole bean version is available too.
Most reviewers are happy with the combination of great flavor and a stomach-friendly reaction to this coffee. However, we've found a couple of negative posts complaining about excessive bitterness. You'll have to taste-test this java to make sure it's up your alley.
Java Planet Low Acid Coffee Review
- 100% Organic Colombia-grown Arabica
- Medium-dark small-batch roasting
- Rich flavor without stomach issues
This is the coffee for you if you don't want to give up the rich, velvety body to keep your tummy happy. Organically-grown Arabica beans are free of harmful chemicals, making this product safe for you and the planet. And its Colombian origin, coupled with medium-dark roast, ensures the beans' powerful flavor shines in every cup. Regardless of your preferred brewing style, this coffee is smooth and balanced, without burnt and bitter notes.
The whole bean coffee is available in packs of one, two, and five pounds. Every bag comes with a roasting date that's never over 2 months before your order. Small-batch roasting guarantees consistency, so every batch tastes nearly the same with only subtle differences. While the bags are sealed, you should keep the beans in an airtight container before grinding to preserve their best aroma and flavor.
While this single-origin coffee is mild enough for most people suffering from stomach issues, some complain about adverse effects. According to one comment, this product is not suitable for those suffering from GERD. Others commend the lack of acid reflux. Start with a small bag to test this coffee before you invest in a 5-pound bag.
HealthWise Low Acid Coffee Review
- 100% Colombian Supremo Arabica
- TechnoRoasting process to reduce acidity
- Grounds suitable for French press and cold brewing
This brand's name says it all. They put your health first when creating coffee, and it is a lot easier on sensitive stomachs than other products. Each bag holds 100% Colombian Supremo Arabica beans grown on the richest soils to produce a mellow, yet rich flavor without unbalanced bitterness or acidity. The FDA-approved TechnoRoasting process preserves the healthy nutrients while lowering the beans' acidity and preventing acid reflux and heartburn.
The can holds 12 oz of ground coffee, which is enough for 110 cups of joe. Besides being low-acid, this java is also Kosher and Vatican-endorsed. You can use a French press or cold brew this coffee, though the grinding might be too coarse for an espresso machine. However, you have a choice between original and decaffeinated versions.
Unsurprisingly, the buyers are divided in their opinion about the effect this coffee has on their stomachs. Some even complain about the burnt and bitter flavor unusual for Colombian beans. We've also noticed a few mentions of quality fluctuations over the years, so we'll leave the final judgment to you.
Tieman’s Fusion Low Acid Coffee Review
- 100% Arabica beans grown in Central and South America
- Infused with Matcha, Rooibos, and Goji Berry
- 10 oz of dark roast enough for 40 cups of joe
As the name suggests, Tieman's is more than your regular cuppa, as the coffee beans are supplemented with Goji Berry, Matcha green tea, and Rooibos tea. This combination of ingredients makes for an overload of antioxidants and a pleasant, mellow drink that's easy on the stomach while filling you with energy to the brim. The manufacturer claims a pH of 5.85, which is less acidic than most coffee blends. And the use of 100% Arabica beans grown in South and Central America, coupled with a dark roast, ensures you get a perfectly smooth cuppa whenever you need a pick-me-up.
Rieman's Fusion Coffee is available in whole bean and ground versions. The latter is perfect for French press and coffee pots, but might not be the best choice for an espresso machine. The only available bag size is 10 oz, which is enough for forty cups, on average. However, the product is too pricey if you purchase it by the bag. If you find it to your taste, we recommend investing in a bulk order for maximum savings.
Considering this product is a blend of Arabica with tea and berries, the overall flavor might seem too bland for those who prefer their coffee to pack a punch. On the other hand, the dark roast tastes too bitter for some buyers, with burnt notes overpowering the flavor. The only way to find out if this product suits your morning routine is to give it a try.
Simpatico Low Acid Coffee Review
- Low acid, dark, smooth roast
- 100% Mexico-grown Arabica beans
- Organic, shade-grown, chemical-free coffee
The whole range of Simpatico products is marketed as low acid and tummy-friendly, but this roast, in particular, is beloved by those who can't handle regular coffee. The shade-grown Arabica beans from the Mexican Oaxaca region are one of the success factors. Thanks to zero use of chemical fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides, this coffee is much safer for your consumption. The small-batch dark roast makes it even more so and produces a creamy body with fruity notes and toasty undertones.
Despite its high quality and solid reputation, the company keeps the prices in the affordable range. You can buy a 2-pound bag first or invest in a 5-pound package from the get-go. The dark roast is sold ground, so you'll need to check the roasting date and store the coffee in an airtight container to preserve its original flavor and aroma. The ground beans are fine enough for a French press, a drip machine, or a cold brew.
While this product isn't as popular as others on our shortlist, most buyers commend the low acidity and note the lack of acid reflux, heartburn, GERD, and other stomach issues. However, we did find a couple of unenthusiastic posts on the bland flavor. As it's always a matter of personal preference, we'll leave the final judgment to you.
The Verdict. What Is the Best Low Acid Coffee?
All seven entries on our shortlist have their perks, like a velvety body, increased antioxidant concentration, or the perfect roast. However, it's Cafe Don Pablo Subtle Earth Organic Low Acid Coffee that takes the lead. Its popularity is well-earned, considering the quality of Honduran Marcala Arabica beans, the consistent medium-dark roast, and the rich, chocolatey flavor with subtle sweetness and no hint of unpleasant bitterness. The price is unbeatable too, and the refund policy makes this coffee a truly risk-free purchase. Make your tummy happy and give it a try!
Is Organic Low Acid Coffee Better for My Stomach?Organic farms don't use pesticides and other chemicals that can remain in the beans. Therefore, organically grown coffee should be less irritating for a sensitive stomach. Besides, it's better for the planet, so if you're trying for a greener lifestyle, organic coffee is definitely a step in the right direction.
Is There Such a Thing as Low Acid Decaf Coffee?Where there's demand, there's supply. While we did not include any decaf options on this list, there are plenty. However, before you replace your traditional cuppa with a decaffeinated version, try a cold brew of your low acid bean of choice. It will be safer for your stomach and have less caffeine, so you can enjoy a cup of coffee in the evening without losing sleep.
What Are the Best Low Acidic Coffee Brands?We've named a few in this overview, so you've got a starting point for your low acid coffee journey. If you want to expand your horizons, go for beans grown at low elevation and darker roasts, as they produce a milder cuppa that's less harmful to a delicate tummy.
What's Acid-free Coffee?It's nothing but a marketing trick. Regardless of the growing region and roasting process, coffee will always have a pH below 7, making it acidic. However, that doesn't mean your morning cuppa is full of acid. As we've explained, coffee acidity has less to do with your stomach upsets than its tendency to increase gastric acid production, resulting in GERD and heartburn. Do not fall for 'acid-free' tags, as they are mostly meaningless.
Any Chance of Turning My Regular Beans into a Less Acidic Coffee?Sure, you can cold-brew the grounds or mix in some milk or cream to reduce the concentration of chlorogenic acid that's making your stomach produce more gastric acid than necessary. You can also check the quality of your water. While it should be at solid seven on the pH scale, sometimes tap water can be acidic and contain too many salts and chemicals to affect not only the taste of your coffee but its acidity levels too. You could use a litmus paper or a digital pH meter to gauge the quality of the water or simply try brewing your favorite beans using filtered or bottled water. It's a simple thing that can make a world of difference!