What are Low Acid Coffees
Low acid coffees are a great alternative for you if you have a sensitive stomach, but you love caffeine way too much to let it go. These types of coffees simply had additional processes that they went through to reduce their acid levels. This way, the coffee will not have a negative impact on people with sensitive stomachs.
What affects a coffee’s acidity
Growth and Process Conditions
The process of growing the cherries itself affects how acidic the coffee would be even before going into the other steps of making it into a beverage. In theory, the acidity within the soil where the plant was grown is passed to the beans themselves, which is also experienced in the coffee’s taste when it’s ready to drink. Beans grown in specific areas such as Indonesia and Brazil are relatively less acidic than Ethiopia, Peru, and Guatemala, which are cultivated in high elevations. Additionally, dry-processed beans are usually less acidic than wet-processed.
Coffee Bean Roasting Method
This next process is probably the most major aspect that affects the acid levels of the coffee. There are four types of roasting coffee; light, medium, medium-dark, and dark roast. Apart from affecting the bean’s aroma, flavor, and appearance, it heavily impacts its acidity. The lighter the roast of the beans is, the lower the pH levels it has, which means its acidity is higher. The process of roasting has a significant neutralizing effect on the beans. More exposure to high temperatures means that the more acidity the coffee beans loses.
The brewing process of the coffee also has an impact on the acidity levels of the coffee. Different coarse grinds are used in different brewing methods. The more course the grind is, the more acidic it is. Finer grinds are generally less acidic, but it is more bitter. Additionally, if the brewing process is longer, more acid from the coffee is reduced, but a longer brewing time also results in more bitterness.
The Coldwater extraction process of coffee from the grinds usually tones down or even eliminates the acidity levels of the drink. This brewing process can reduce up to sixty percent of acidity in the coffee beans when compared to the traditional hot extraction process. Moreover, cold brewing usually takes longer than hot brewing.
The addition of milk or cream into your beverage also reduces its acid levels. Milk is neutral, which helps dilute coffee concentration and adds that smooth, creamy texture to the coffee. Diluting the drink with water also works wonders. You might end up with a less intense coffee flavor, but it results in a less acidic drink.
Downsides and Benefits
There are a few downsides when it comes to low-acid coffees. Your drink might end up with a different flavor than more traditional coffee. It might be a little bitter for some, but it sure is better for people with sensitive stomachs. Apart from protecting your stomach, low acid drinks also protect your teeth. Low acid coffees don’t stain as much as high acid ones. Most importantly, it helps you manage caffeine addiction or dependency.
Which coffees from Starbucks are low acid
Ready to consume
Readily available caffeinated beverages include any dark roast coffee brews from the Starbucks menu, such as the featured Starbucks Dark Roast Coffee. If you’re into cooler drinks, you might want to try Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold or Nitro Brew. Albeit being on the sweeter side, it is less acidic than traditional coffees. Sticking to cold brew drinks with milk is probably the best option for someone with a sensitive stomach because it is more diluted and has a more pleasant taste, unlike other low acid drinks, which tend to be bitter at times.
Beans and Grinds
Aside from ready-to-drink beverages, Starbucks also offers roasted beans on their website that everyone can order. One of the most popular low acid coffees on the menu is the Italian roast. It has a Dark Roast and a medium body profile. Even though the processing method was washed (wet), it is still categorized as a low acid coffee from the world-famous coffee chain.