Does decaf coffee have acid?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “Does decaf coffee have acid” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not decaffeinated coffee is acidic in nature. Moreover, we are going to discuss the less acidic coffee and the interrelationship between caffeine and stomach upset.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

Does decaf coffee have acid?

Yes, decaffeinated coffee is acidic, thus it does have acid. However, it contains acid in a lesser amount as compared to caffeinated coffee. Phenolic acid is the main constituent behind the acidic nature of coffee.

So when it comes to decaffeinated coffee, it has its caffeine content lower than regular coffee. Moreover, it is less acidic as compared to regular coffee. Regular coffee contains some acids like citric acid, cholinergic acid, quinic acid, and malic acid. These acids play their role in lowering the pH of the coffee, thereby making it acidic. But it is worth mentioning here that no doubt the decaf coffee is less acidic than regular coffee but it also has fewer antioxidants as compared to regular coffee. 

Therefore people with GERD and other gastrointestinal problems can substitute their regular coffee with decaf coffee.

So if your stomach is irritated by caffeine, we recommend you to consume decaffeinated coffee for the time being and the good news is that even some of the decaffeinated coffee variants taste as good as their caffeinated counterparts.

Where does coffee acidity come from?

Coffee is acidic in nature owing to the two groups present in it.

  1. Cholinergic acids
  2. Quinic acid (In some variants of coffee malic acid and citric acid are also present)

What are less acidic coffees?

Less acidic coffees don’t irritate the stomach owing to their high pH. Therefore, you should aim to drink a coffee with lower acidity which means that it has a higher pH. 

The process of roasting coffee beans produces coffee that is lower in acidity and cold brew coffee additionally bestows this impact because fewer compounds are conferred into the coffee when it is cold brewed.

So you can just go for a cup of cold-brewed coffee instead of your regular coffee without thinking much about the irritability of the stomach.

Why does my stomach hurt when I drink coffee?

Coffee can play a significant role when it comes to stomach ache and bloating owing to its effect on the stress hormone (cortisol) and how it impacts the secretion of gastric juices in our stomach. It increases the movements of the colon, stimulates the production of gastric juices, and increases the chances of heartburn and indigestion a lot.

Coffee also increases the production of cortisol that is our emergency hormone and it puts the body in “fight or flight” mode by increasing our blood sugar level, increasing the blood flow rate, and increasing the mobility of the gut. All of these symptoms are also the same for the stress conditions. Therefore we recommend you to cut down the number of coffee cups you consume daily.

Other FAQs about Coffee which you may be interested in.

Why does my coffee taste watery?

Should people with gastrointestinal issues consume coffee?

If you are already suffering from some gut health issues, coffee can escalate the symptoms to a great extent like gastritis, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, and Crohn’s disease. Therefore we do not recommend people with gastrointestinal health problems to consume a lot of coffee.

Moreover, if you can’t fully eliminate the coffee from your diet, it is better to shift towards less acidic coffee or decaf coffee.

What is N-methyl pyridinium?

The substance compound N-methyl pyridinium (NMP) may offer some information on how to make a coffee that doesn’t welcome stomach upset or irritability. A few studies that were carried out in 2014 pointed towards the fact that the coffee that contains a higher concentration of NMP controls the amount of stomach acid discharged, thereby decreasing it. This implies that there are fewer gastric juices thus there are fewer chances of irritable stomach or heartburn. 

Do dark roasted coffee beans cause an upset stomach?

As opposed to what would appear to be valid, the fact is that the dark roasted varieties of the coffee are the ones that go easy on the stomach and do not cause symptoms of stomach upset. 

A few of the studies demonstrated that the dark roast varieties of the coffee beans have enhanced NMP content and diminished chlorogenic acid substance as compared to the medium roasted coffee beans. The lower quantity of chlorogenic acid also points towards keeping the gut health a lot better. So try to consume a coffee made from dark roasted coffee beans.

Is there any association between caffeine content and stomach issues?

A study conducted in 2017 pointed out that there is an interrelationship between the caffeine content of the coffee and the stomach issues owing to the bitter flavor of the coffee. 

Moreover, the caffeine molecule itself is as of now viewed as a stomach irritant. It had a laxative effect and because of that, it directs your digestive system to work at a faster pace. 

Therefore if you want to have the surge of your morning coffee, we recommend you to go a little bit easy on the number of ground coffee beans you add to your coffee.


In this brief guide, we answered the question “Does decaf coffee have acid” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not decaffeinated coffee is acidic in nature. Moreover, we discussed the less acidic coffee and the interrelationship between caffeine and stomach upset.