Is Decaf Coffee Acidic Less Than Regular Coffee?

crazy by Editorial Staff | Posted on October 6th, 2022

Decaf coffee is a healthy choice for people looking to quit their caffeine habit; in fact, decaf coffee is less acidic than normal coffee and contains nearly no caffeine!


However, studies have shown that decaf coffee is less acidic than normal coffee! Let’s take a closer look at the details below.

Ordinary coffee gets its acidity from the roasting process, and varied roasting durations and temperatures result in different amounts of acidity, according to Healthline.

Being one of the world’s most popular beverages, coffee is here to stay.

Even coffee drinkers may be curious about the beverage’s acidity and how it may affect their health.

What Does It Mean? Acidity vs. Acid

An Education Poster of pH Scale illustration

Before we get to the coffee, let’s define acid:

Acid is defined as “a substance with special chemical qualities such as turning litmus red, neutralizing alkalis, and dissolving some metals; often, a corrosive or sour-tasting liquid of this sort.”

In layman’s terms, it refers to any substance with a pH less than 7.

Is coffee acidity good or bad?

This question can be divided into two parts:

  1. Is there any flavor to it?
  2. Is it beneficial to your health?

First and foremost, there is the flavor. A robust acidity is typically a good attribute for the flavor of your brew, although it is a matter of personal opinion. Flavors can be gotten using a variety of ingredients and concentrations, such as:

  • Citrus Sweet
  • Citrus
  • Sharp
  • Fruity
  • Clean/crisp
  • Wine/grape

Second, there’s health. Its main drawback is that it may upset your stomach. It may be a problem for you if you have a sensitive stomach or suffer from acid reflux.

Large amounts of it can harm the stomach lining or lead you to create too much acid, which can induce acid reflux in individuals with sensitive stomachs.

If you’re worried about this or have GERD symptoms, low acid coffee beans are a great option to keep drinking coffee.

Is it possible to remove the acid from my coffee without affecting the taste?

Some suggest that there are a few methods for lowering the concentration in your cup. They haven’t been scientifically shown to lessen it, though.

To avoid excessive extraction, use a coarser grind. Because the surface area is tiny, less acid may be recovered from the grounds.

When opposed to using hot water, a cold brew method is less likely to bring out the acids.

Add milk to your drink as it will help neutralize it. 

Some people believe that adding egg shells or baking soda to your drink would lower the concentrations, but we don’t advocate it because it may change the taste and be unpleasant.

Low acidity coffee is the best approach to avoid excessive concentrations because there is no loss of flavor, and you can still enjoy high-quality, delightful blends.

Acidity

The pH scale, which describes how basic or acidic a water-based solution is, is used to assess acidity. The scale goes from 0 to 14. Any solution with a pH between 0 and 7 is considered acidic, whereas those between 7 and 14 are considered basic.

The brewing process releases acids from the coffee beans, resulting in an acidic beverage with a pH of 4.85 to 5.10.

The brewing process generates nine main acids, which contribute to the beverage’s unique flavor profile, among the numerous chemicals in it.

From highest to lowest concentration, below are the nine main acids found in coffee: chlorogenic acid, quinic acid, citric acid, acetic acid, lactic acid, malic acid, phosphoric acid, linoleic acid, and palmitic acid.

Acidity variations

When it comes to coffee acidity, various factors might come into play.

Roasting

The way coffee is roasted is one of the most important factors determining its acidity. The length and temperature of roasting have both been linked to acidity.

According to one study, the lower the chlorogenic acid levels in coffee beans, the longer and hotter they were roasted.

This means lighter roasts have more acidity, whereas deeper roasts have less.

Brewing

The brewing method is another factor that influences acidity.

According to one research, cold-brewed coffee had a lower acidity than hot coffee.

Brewing time appears to affect total acidity, with a shorter length producing a more acidic beverage and a moderate duration producing a less acidic one.

Ground size

Acidity is also affected by the size of the coffee grinds. The smaller the ground, the more surface area exposed per volume, which means more acid is removed during the brewing process.

As a result, a finer grind may result in a cup of coffee that is more acidic.

Methods for lowering acidity

For some people, coffee’s acidity is a deterrent. So here are some suggestions for lowering it.

Decaf coffee has higher acidity than regular coffee. This is because chlorogenic acid, a natural detoxifier, and antioxidant, is produced during the roasting process of coffee beans. Decaffeination eliminates the caffeine and alters the flavor and chemical content of the bean, removing the majority of its antioxidants.

Green, unroasted beans are soaked in water and a solvent for 12 to 16 hours to produce decaffeinated coffee. The solvents are normally removed from the beans after that period before drying them out. The removal of caffeine may also result in the removal of some acidity.

Because some acids can seep out of roasted coffee beans over time, the longer decaf coffee sits after being brewed or otherwise prepared, the more acidic it becomes (think about how dark roast coffees get an even darker flavor with age).

Decaf does not have this problem since no caffeine remains after extraction. Thus, while decaffeinated coffee sits on your kitchen counter, whatever happens, will not happen again.

Your teeth vs. Acids

Large white tooth on a pile of roasted coffee beans. Coffee staining and teeth whitening concept.

Anyone who consumes coffee is aware of the negative impact on teeth. Some people have tooth discoloration, while others have more serious enamel concerns. But, of course, the acids in your favorite brews are to blame for this.

Coffee’s acids have been reported to demineralize teeth. Regrettably, this renders them more susceptible to acid corrosion in the future. In addition, coffee contains acids that can cause your tongue to produce its acids. Your mouth becomes a full-fledged acid party when this happens, which damages your teeth.

You might be wondering if switching to decaf coffee can help you avoid the problems that coffee causes your teeth. Unfortunately, it can’t accomplish much at the moment. Yes, decaf is healthier for your health in general, but the acids are still present, and your teeth will be damaged.

Your stomach and acids

Many coffee consumers get stomach problems as a result of their consumption. Unfortunately, this is not uncommon, and it is one of the primary reasons why coffee addicts have grudgingly given up their favorite beverage over time.

Your stomach’s biggest acid-producing problem is quinic. This acid gives coffee a smooth finish and a pleasant flavor when present in little amounts. When present in excess, this acid is known to produce acid reflux and stomach distress. High quantities of quinic acid are frequently found in dark roast coffees or those left in the pot for an extended period.

This is when decaf coffee enters the picture. While you won’t be completely free of acid, decaf coffee has been shown to help coffee drinkers with acid reflux. This isn’t to say you won’t have an upset stomach or other problems from drinking acidic coffee. However, decaf coffee may help prevent heartburn and other acid reflux symptoms when you sip your morning coffee.

Why does coffee upset my stomach?

Caffeine and coffee acids are the major causes of stomach distress in coffee drinkers. How?

“Caffeine is a natural stimulant, but it also promotes digestive system contractions and stomach acid production,” Dunn explains.

Depending on the type of coffee you’re drinking, it can include a lot of acids, which might speed up food digestion and make you need to go to the toilet more urgently.

Coffees high in acid include:

  • Coffee manufactured from Arabica beans
  • Lightly roasted coffees

How to make a smoother cup of coffee

A few additional adjustments to your coffee-drinking habits may alleviate these symptoms and allow you to receive the full range of coffee’s health benefits.

  • Coffee should not be consumed on an empty stomach.
  • Limit yourself to 3 to 4 glasses of liquid each day.
  • Replace the creamer with low-fat milk. As an alternative, low-sugar almond, soy, or oat milk can be used as a creamer.
  • Instead of using a metal filter, use a paper filter, which catches more of the acids that would otherwise leak into your cup.

Consult your doctor if heartburn, acid reflux, or bloating continue to be a concern.

Caffeine is present in drinks such as matcha, green tea, black tea, and kombucha, although its effects on the body vary.

Is it true that decaf coffee is better for acid reflux?

Decaf coffee can be a good acid reflux-controlling alternative to normal coffee to cut to the point.

When the valve that regulates the contents of your stomach fails to keep the food in, it’s called acid reflux.

As a result, stomach acid travels up your esophagus and into your throat, giving the burning feeling.

Various foods, including conventional coffee, can cause this condition, but they can be avoided by avoiding very acidic meals.

When people realize they can’t live without coffee, they resort to a decaffeinated option that will help them manage their symptoms.

Is decaffeinated coffee responsible for acid reflux?

In a nutshell, no. Decaffeinated coffee does not cause acid reflux any more than normal coffee.

The reason for this is that the decaffeination process eliminates 98 percent of the caffeine in coffee beans and many of the stomach-irritating compounds that induce acid reflux.

Cafestol and kahweol, which are only present in roasted coffee, are chemical compounds found in decafs that might irritate your digestive tract.

Does decaf coffee cause less heartburn?

gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

Because decaf coffee has less acid than normal coffee, it causes less heartburn. However, because the acid irritates the stomach lining, it might induce heartburn.

The judgment is still out on this one; some individuals report that decaffeinated coffee causes them greater heartburn, while others claim that decaf causes them no difficulties! Only coffee drinkers would be interested.

Caffeine, which can induce heartburn in some people, is absent in decaf coffee. Before making any more expensive dietary adjustments, consider switching back to regular brewed coffee if you’ve detected a link between your decaffeinated coffees and acid reflux or heartburn symptoms.

Cold-brew may be your answer

If you’re concerned about the acidity of your coffee, there is a method to eliminate it while still getting the tastes you like. Switch to a cold brew.

Although not everyone enjoys cold brew coffee, the process used to make it helps to reduce acid levels in the beans. In addition, certain chemicals cannot dissolve adequately when coffee beans are steeped in water for 24 hours before use. When you drink coffee, this helps prevent having a too acidic cup.

You might not be a fan of cold brew coffee, but if you combine it with decaf coffee for a less acidic taste, you can have a true winner. In addition, you’d be hard-pressed not to notice all the health benefits of drinking this beverage.

Downsides of regular acidic coffee

A regular cup of acidic coffee might have unfavorable consequences. Traditional coffee has several drawbacks, including:

Teeth wear and stain

Acidic coffee can damage enamel, causing discoloration and eroding the tooth’s hard outer layer.

Aggravates IBS symptoms

Coffee’s acid can irritate the intestinal lining, making it difficult for IBS patients to eat. In addition, regular coffee might be uncomfortable for patients with stomach ulcers.

Laxative effect

Coffee’s acidity might cause some consumers to need to use the toilet more frequently or urgently.

On the other hand, low acid coffee can provide several health benefits while having considerably fewer downsides.

Low acid coffee has all of the benefits of caffeine without the disadvantages of higher acid levels.

Conclusion

Before roasting, decaf coffee beans are routinely washed in solvents to remove up to 97 percent caffeine content.

Apart from the caffeine in coffee, we have the nutritional value of decaf coffee, which should be nearly (95 percent) comparable to regular coffee.

It won’t hurt to switch to decaf coffee while at it. You may even find that it’s the best option. But, on the other hand, you can bet that you’ll avoid coffee entirely to avoid heartburn and fatigue.

Despite all of the good findings on the health benefits of drinking a daily cup of coffee, there will always be a drawback in the form of side effects. It can also irritate your digestive system and prostate if you are susceptible to it.

If any of these symptoms apply to you, I’ll be honest: you’re better off avoiding a cup of coffee every day.

Even decaf has substances that lead to long-term adverse effects that we will regret in the future.

Keep in mind that, when compared to other caffeinated beverages, coffee has a significantly higher potential for addiction.

Now that you’re aware of these facts, I hope you change your lifestyle and coffee preferences. Believe me when I say that regret is a lifelong torment.

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Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at Crazy Coffee Crave is a team of coffee enthusiast & Baristas who enjoy the one thing that we all think about, as soon as we get up in the morning. Trusted by thousands readers worldwide.