Is Coffee Acidic?

You’ve probably been wondering whether or not coffee is acidic or basic, and the short answer is, yes coffee is acidic. It has a pH level ranging between 4 and 5, depending on how it is prepared.

Let’s explore this in more detail.

What is acidity?

Acidity indicates whether or not a water-based solution is acidic or basic, and is determined using the pH scale. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, with 0 being the most acidic. A water-based solution registering between 7 and 14 on the pH scale is considered to be basic, whereas a water-based solution registering between 0 and 7 is considered to be acidic.

Why is coffee acidic?

Coffee is acidic because it contains the following acids:

  • Chlorogenic
  • Quinic
  • Citric
  • Acetic
  • Lactic
  • Malic
  • Phosphoric
  • Linoleic
  • Palmitic

The brewing process plays a major role in coffee’s acidity levels as the above-mentioned acids are released from the coffee beans during the brewing process.

How does coffee’s acidity affect your health?

Coffee’s acidity is generally fine for most people, but it may have certain negative effects on others. While it is not the cause of these conditions, it may aggravate the following health conditions:

  • Acid Reflux
  • Gastric Ulcers
  • IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)

It is therefore recommended that individuals with these conditions avoid coffee, or opt for an alternative brewing process.

Fun Fact: Coffee is less acidic than apple juice which has a pH level of 3.8.

How to reduce the acidity in coffee

If you absolutely can’t live without coffee, as most of us can’t, and you are concerned about its acidity, then there are ways to reduce its pH levels.

  • Drink your coffee cold instead of hot
  • Brew your coffee for longer or at a lower temperature
  • Use a dark roast
  • Use a coarser grind

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While coffee is acidic, it is generally safe to drink for most people, and it has many positive effects on the human body. However, people with health conditions such as acid reflux, gastric ulcers or irritable bowel syndrome should try to avoid the world’s favourite brew.