Coffee is naturally acidic and known for its sharp flavour, making it one of the most consumed drinks in the UK. In fact, over 95 million cups of the stuff are drunk every day up and down the country. However, if you’re one of many who don’t like acidic drinks, but you enjoy the buzz coffee gives you, you’ll be happy to know that you don’t have to give up the drink forever.
Whether you get heartburn after drinking a cup of coffee, or you’ve developed a sensitive stomach out of nowhere, here are some of the best ways to make coffee less acidic, allowing you to indulge in your favourite drink, and potentially gain some health benefits in the process too.
If you’re wanting to make your coffee less acidic, cold brewing is one of the common methods to use. However, you need to prepare your coffee beforehand, or be patient if you want to make less acidic coffee. Cold brewing is very effective, and you’ll be left with a sweet-tasting cup of the good stuff. To do this method correctly, you will need to soak ground coffee beans for 24 hours in cold water. Should you rush the extraction process, this can leave you with a bland cup of coffee.
Unlike hot water, cold water does not extract the natural acids in coffee as quickly. When you cold brew your coffee, you’ll be left with a cup that has 70% less acid when compared with coffee that’s made through hot brewing. However, for those who are in a rush and want their coffee ready and waiting, this method may not be ideal for you.
While it may sound like a weird method, eggshells are a fantastic way to take acid out of coffee. This is because eggshells are alkaline, which means they can neutralise any acid. To begin, you should take one or two eggshells and ensure they’re washed thoroughly so any egg remains are gone. You do not want to mix a raw egg with coffee, as this will put you off the stuff for the rest of your life! After a good clean, crush the eggshells and mix them into the coffee grounds.
Next, brew your coffee like you normally would. Once you take a sip, you’ll be left with less acidic coffee, not to mention a cleaner taste. What’s more, you won’t have to worry about getting acid reflux afterwards.
Add Baking Soda
There are many uses for baking soda that you may already know about. Whether you use it in mouthwash, to whiten your teeth, or to clean your trainers, baking soda can even work its magic by reducing acidity in your coffee, just as long as you use the correct amount. Baking soda is highly alkaline with a pH of nine, meaning it can neutralise the acids in coffee to provide you with a more pleasant cup of joe.
However, the last thing you want is to add too much baking soda, as it can leave a salty flavour, so it’s wise to add just a pinch to your cup. Most of us have a cup of baking soda lurking in the kitchen cabinet, so if you’re serious about how to make coffee less acidic, baking soda may be the answer you’re looking for.
Use an Acid Reducer
A simple method to reduce acid levels in coffee is by using a coffee acid reducer. Acid reducers are inexpensive and widely available, so if you’re a frequent coffee consumer, you should keep acid reducers in your cupboard to make sure your coffee is perfect for you.
The great thing about an acid reducer is that it can lower the amount of acid in coffee without compromising the taste. If you purchase a high-quality acid reducer, it can decrease coffee acidity by up to a startling 90%! This will guarantee you aren’t left with acid reflux after taking your last sip.
Coffee that is grown in low elevation won’t have as much acidity when compared to coffee grown in high altitudes. While high altitude coffee is normally packed with more flavour, there will be a higher level of acid in it. Making a simple change of purchasing beans grown in low elevations will have a significant impact on how much acidity is in your coffee.
Before picking up your next batch of coffee beans, it pays to check where they are grown. As a rule of thumb, you should stick with Robusta beans, as they are grown in lower elevations of 900 metres and below. Arabica coffee beans, however, are grown in high elevations of up to 2,00 metres above sea level.
Add a Pinch of Salt
Something as simple as a pinch of salt may help sort out your coffee acidity issue. One of the greatest things about salt is you can either add it in the brewing process or into your mug. Similar to eggshells, a pinch of salt will do wonders for reducing acidity in your coffee as well as the bitter taste. Salt is alkaline, so it can easily neutralise the acidity.
Like with baking powder, you need to pay attention to how much salt you use in your coffee. Too much can ruin the flavour, not to mention that it is bad for your health.
Dark Roast Coffee
The way you roast your coffee will have an effect of the level of acidity. As you would imagine, a dark roast won’t be as acidic when compared to a light roast. This is because it takes longer to roast the beans, and the high heat will get rid of different compounds in the coffee, such as the acids.
While light and medium roasts are becoming increasingly popular with coffee lovers all over the country, for those who dislike acidic coffee, it’s always best to avoid them and stick to dark roast beans. Remember, the darker the roast, the less acidic it will be.
Buy Arabica Beans
Arabica coffee beans tend to be less acidic than Robusta coffee beans. If you’re set on the latter and want to make coffee less acidic, making the switch could really pay off. It must be noted that arabica beans still have a significant level of acidity, which could cause problems for some coffee fanatics.
If you want to know how to remove acid from coffee, the best place to start is by using arabica coffee beans. When comparing the two, arabica beans have roughly 1.5% caffeine in them, whereas Robusta beans contain around 2.7% caffeine. Before making your mind up, you need to establish whether you’re happy to sacrifice some caffeine boost in favour of making your drink less acidic.
Use Hard Water
If you use filtered water, you can be confident you’ll get the best quality coffee. Therefore, while the idea of using hard water to make a cup of coffee may fill you with dread, if acidity is a huge problem for you, it’s best to go down this route instead of relying on soft water.
Hard water contains a wide range of minerals like calcium which can easily neutralise your coffee’s acidity. Soft water, however, includes dominant minerals like sodium which can make your coffee more acidic.
If you’re fine with having lighteners and additives in your coffee, putting in a dash of milk or cream can help in neutralising some of the acidity. This is because the calcium found in these products can stabilise the coffee’s pH, which makes it less acidic. However, this option will only work best if you use a dark roast. This is because a light roast will not work well with milk because of its high acidity.
Adding fats through milk or cream can alter the texture of coffee. This makes it thicker, and when done correctly, provides a velvety smoothness. What’s more, the proteins in milk can soften the coffee’s bitterness. If you like your coffee black, the idea of milk or cream may not be appealing, but when it comes to lowering acidity, it may be worth adding a little to see the difference.
Use a Paper Filter
Before you next make a cup of coffee, why not try using a paper filter to reduce acidity? The filter paper will trap fat and oils that otherwise would release acids into the coffee. This means that any sediments can be filtered out in the brewing process, which will ensure you’re left with a sweet-tasting coffee to your liking. It's advised to stick with a paper filter rather than a metal mesh one if your aim is to minimise your coffee’s acidity.
Coffee that is too acidic will not only be less flavourful, but it can leave you with problems like acid reflux. In general, coffee is a fantastic drink that can boost energy levels and get your day off to a good start. However, if you’re struggling with acid reflux or other issues from your coffee, it’s wise to make a change today and try any of the options above that can reduce the acidity in your coffee and give it a smoother and sweeter taste.