Is coffee acidic or alkaline? (3+ tips)

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Is coffee acidic or alkaline? We will talk about decaf as an alternative and how can you make coffee less acidic. 

Is coffee acidic or alkaline?

Coffee is acidic and can aggravate acid reflux symptoms. For example, acidity is a term used to describe the clarity of coffee taste on your tongue. But a large amount of acidity in coffee is considered to be a desirable trait. 

When it comes to coffee, acidity is a sensation felt in the palate. This sensation is usually described as bright, refreshing, or clear. A coffee considered good will not be astringent or acidic. This will give it a taste that is softer and sometimes somewhat sweet. Acidity does not mean that coffee should have a bitter taste.

Awareness of weight on the tongue and viscosity is known to be the central part of coffee. A more robust coffee like Sumatra will weigh more and be more syrupy than a lighter coffee, such as Kenya or Costa Rica. Often, more robust coffees have a lower amount of acidity.

Is coffee bad for acid reflux?

European researchers studying the chemical constituents in coffee that cause stomach irritation have unexpectedly found one that inhibits acid production in the stomach.

The main meaning of our work is that it offers scientific proof that a much more stomach-friendly coffee can be produced by varying the processing technology,” said study author Veronika Somoza, professor, and director of the Research Platform of molecular gastronomy from the University of Vienna, Austria.

The scientists analyzed the effect of coffee on the human stomach cells using various preparations, including dark roast coffee, regular roast coffee, decaffeinated, and a stomach-friendly formulation. 

Rather than a single element, they identified a mixture of compounds, including caffeine, catechins, and the N alkanes 5-hydroxytryptamine, as the chemical constituents in coffee that stimulate stomach acid production.

But they found that a fourth chemical compound, N-methylpyridine, which is more common in dark roast coffee, such as espresso and French coffee blends, inhibits acid.

According to research, N-methylpyridine is the result of the roasting process itself, resulting in a dark roast coffee that is less likely than light coffee to cause stomach irritation.

One of them is Dr. Anthony A. Starpoli, director of gastroesophageal research at St. Vincent’s Catholic Medical Centers in New York, who does not recommend consuming decaffeinated coffee.

When someone is told that they can take a little, the mere fact of doing so becomes a license for that person to do what they want,” said Starpoli about the advice he gives to his patients. “I am very strict about coffee,” he added, because it causes severe stomach upset in some people.

The study suggests a balance between being cautious and going overboard on coffee, and that the process used to make it friendlier eliminates both points, he noted. Identifying the components that cause problems among coffee drinkers is a valuable finding and supports medical advice that some people should avoid coffee altogether, he said.

It shows us a reason, and you always have to have a reason. At the end of the day, if you have significant acid reflux disease, you shouldn’t drink coffee,” Starpoli explained.

Many medications prevent acid reflux, and Starpoli believes they help. But he cautions against their abuse since many individuals turn to them to drink coffee, wine, or other foods that cause heartburn. The drugs can inhibit acids that kill helpful bacteria, some cause diarrhea and other serious problems, and they can also lead to addiction, Starpoli noted.

Producing less irritating coffee is good news because many patients are reluctant to give up their daily coffee. 

Can I have decaf coffee or mint tea if I have gastritis?

Coffee increases the production of acid in the stomach, so it is not recommended in gastritis. This effect is due to caffeine and other substances that make up coffee. Thus, in these cases, decaffeination is not recommended, and it is suggested to replace it with mild infusions such as sage or chamomile, among others. 

Mint infusions are not recommended either. Peppermint contains substances that cause the esophagus’s sphincter to relax, facilitating gastric reflux and aggravating esophagitis.

Final tips: How to make coffee less acidic

Here we leave you some recommendations so that you can enjoy this delicious drink without suffering so much:

Drink dark coffee

It has been proven that the roasted coffee bean offers less chance of acidity due to the presence of N-methylpyridine, which is found in beverages such as espresso coffee. Some research suggests that coffee, the lighter it is, the more likely it is to contain acidity.

Drink cold coffee

Another way to enjoy coffee without stomach pain is to soak the coffee beans, ground, in a half-liter jug ​​of cold water. This process will be slower, but you will get a low acid concentrate mixed with hot water in each cup you want to prepare and lasts for several days in the refrigerator.

Use baking soda

Adding a pinch of baking soda to your cup of coffee is also an option so that your stomach does not suffer from acidity.

Use coconut oil

A teaspoon of coconut oil to your coffee, in addition to giving it a creamy touch and a rich flavor, is another excellent alternative to reduce coffee acidity.

Don’t limit yourself: coffee is a great way to greet the new day, right? If you liked this article, please leave a comment below!



Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.

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