Does Milk Make Coffee Less Acidic? How It Neutralizes and the Benefits

crazy by Editorial Staff | Posted on April 2nd, 2023

Are you a coffee enthusiast looking for a way to savor your favorite cup of Joe without upsetting your stomach? You’ve come to the right place!

In this article, we’ll explore whether milk can make your coffee less acidic and delve into the key benefits of this classic combination. So, let’s get brewing!

milk in coffee

Coffee and Acids: A Quick Overview

Many coffee lovers enjoy their daily brew for its potential health benefits, such as aiding in weight loss and lowering the risk of certain illnesses. However, coffee contains various acids that give it its distinct flavor profile—some of which can be harsh on the stomach.

Did you know that coffee contains nine significant acids? Here’s a quick overview:

  • Chlorogenic: Contributes to weight loss but also makes coffee bitter
  • Quinic: Found in dark and old roasted coffee, can be harmful in high concentrations
  • Citric: Produces a sour taste
  • Acetic: Also produces a sour taste
  • Phosphoric: Adds sweetness to coffee
  • Malic: Another acid that adds sweetness
  • Lactic, Linoleic, Palmitic: Other notable acids in coffee

As much as we adore coffee, it’s important to note that its acidity level, which averages around pH 4.85 to 5.13, can contribute to issues like heartburn and acid reflux. So, what can we do to reduce coffee’s acidity and still enjoy its benefits?

The Magic of Milk: Neutralizing Acidity

Enter milk—a beloved addition to coffee that does more than just enhance its flavor. Milk has a slightly alkaline pH level of around 6.3 to 6.6. When added to coffee, it increases the pH level, making the beverage less acidic.

But how does this work? Milk contains calcium and proteins that act as binding mechanisms to lower or balance coffee’s acids. For example, milk proteins can bind with chlorogenic acids, helping prevent an increase in stomach acid.

Keep in mind, though, that this method works best for dark roast coffee, which has lower pH levels. And if you’re sensitive to dairy, fret not! Non-dairy alternatives like almond, soy, or oat milk can be great substitutes. Here’s a comparison table of different milk alternatives and their pH levels:

Milk AlternativepH Level
Cow’s Milk6.3-6.6
Almond Milk6.4-8.4
Soy Milk6.6-7.6
Oat Milk6.5-7.5

5 Key Benefits of Adding Milk to Coffee

So, why should you consider adding milk to your coffee? Let’s explore five key benefits:

  1. Better Taste: Milk enhances coffee’s sweet, chocolaty, and nutty tones while softening its bitterness—perfect for a creamy, delicious cup.
  2. Increased Energy: While caffeine boosts your energy levels, milk supplies carbohydrates—your body’s primary energy source—for that extra kick.
  3. Whiter Teeth: Worried about coffee stains? Milk’s proteins bind coffee acids, reducing the risk of staining and keeping your pearly whites shining.
  4. Healthier Body: Adding milk to coffee not only makes it less acidic but also increases nutrient content. Milk is a source of essential vitamins and minerals, including:
  5. Calcium: Important for strong bones and teeth
  6. Vitamin D: Supports calcium absorption and immune function
  7. Protein: Essential for muscle growth and repair
  8. Vitamin B12: Vital for red blood cell formation and brain function Milk is a powerhouse of nutrition, making your coffee more nourishing and beneficial for your overall health.
  9. Safer Temperature: A splash of milk cools down hot coffee, reducing the risk of burns and ensuring a safer, more enjoyable drinking experience.

FAQs About Milk & Coffee’s Acidity

  • What’s the least acidic way to drink coffee? Try a slow-steeped cold brew—it’s 70% less acidic than regular coffee.
  • Is it okay to put milk in coffee? Yes! Milk balances the acids, but if you’re lactose intolerant, consider non-dairy alternatives.

Final Thoughts

Adding milk to coffee can be a delightful way to reduce acidity, enhance flavor, and reap additional benefits. Whether you prefer a splash of dairy or a dollop of almond milk, you’re sure to enjoy a comforting cup that’s gentle on your stomach. So go ahead, indulge in that creamy, delicious brew, and savor every sip. Happy brewing!

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Disclosure: No compensation or free products were received in exchange for writing this review.


Editorial Staff

The editorial staff at Crazy Coffee Crave is a team of coffee enthusiasts & Baristas who enjoy the one thing we all think about as soon as we get up in the morning. Trusted by thousands of readers worldwide.