The Best Low-Acid Coffee Brands of 2020
Coffee lovers take their coffee seriously. Getting up to the smell of its fresh brew every morning is essential to kick start your day and boost your productivity levels.
However, an empty stomach tends to not sit well with your normal cup of joe, and you might find yourself suffering from nasty acid reflux.
What Are the Acids That Come With Coffee?
There are over fifty different acids in your average cup of joe.
Most of those acids can be found in other foods that we eat:
- Citrus, formic, and malic acid are in various fruits and vegetables.
- You can find lactic acid in foods that are fermented, such as yogurt, milk, and kombucha.
- Vinegar has acetic acid, which makes up its distinctive taste. This is also found in coffee.
Chlorogenic acids are found mainly in coffee, potatoes, blueberries…etc. They’re about 7% of the composition of Arabica coffee and were found in 42 samples of Robusta.
How Does Acidity Affect Flavor?
If you’re serious about your coffee, you need to know how acidity influences flavor. You don’t want to buy coffee that contains zero acids, because that’d completely compromise the quality of your coffee.
Starbucks made an extensive review detailing the effects of acids in your coffee. We can surmise a few important points from it.
Citric acid is the most obvious one. It brings out the lemon, orange, and grapefruit tones.
Phosphoric acid is sweet. You can count on it to turn your sour coffee into a more tolerable one.
Malic acid showcases stone fruit, apple, and pear undertones
Chlorogenic acid is found in high amounts in light roasts, this is why they’re called bright.
Acetic acid is found in vinegar and gives a pleasant aftertaste in very low amounts.
Tartaric acid has a grape or wine-like flavor but can sour your coffee in high concentrations.
Quinic acid gives your coffee a remarkable finish, but will also turn your coffee sour in higher concentrations.
How Do I Know Which Beans Are Low-Acid?
This isn’t as hard as it seems. The process of reducing acid from the coffee isn’t actually a process at all. What coffee brands do is that they get smart about where they get their beans, and what kind they are.
There are two kinds of beans that associate themselves with low-acid coffees. First, there are Arabica beans. Those are probably the most famous worldwide and the best in quality. They were found strictly in Arabia but are now grown everywhere.
There’s another factor that isn’t the bean itself, but where it’s planted. If you yield your coffee beans from a low altitude point, you’re bound to end up with low concentrations of acids. This is because the plants withstand less stress.
Hawaiian Arabica beans are usually found in valleys and are a great choice for low-acid coffee. Anywhere that follows the same altitude formula should be okay. Brazil is well known for keeping its beans at lower altitudes as well.
You should look for the length of your roast as well. The more roasted the coffee beans are, the darker they get.
Dark roasts are the beans that were roasted for the longest periods and are usually bitter in taste and harder to push down your esophagus. However, they are associated with low acid content and would suit your sensitive stomachs more.
Should I Go for Grounds or Beans?
Deciding you want low-acid coffee is not enough to get you a product you’re completely satisfied with. Your next consideration needs to be how you want to make your coffee.
Whole coffee beans are very popular. Most coffee savvies will choose whole beans over grounds, because they’re a more attractive option for brewing using anything other than the traditional drip coffee maker. The reason for that is that they enable you to choose how coarse or fine you want your grounds to be.
Ground coffee is also a great option, and most people opt-in for it. If you lead a busy life and are always in a hurry, this is the one for you. All that you need to do is pour some grounds into your drip maker and watch the nectar flow into your cup.
Grounds are usually found cheaper than whole beans. The only disadvantage to them is that they lose strength quickly and go stale, especially when left in direct sunlight.
The Selection Process
Here, we’ve dedicated ourselves to testing every reputable low-acid coffee brand that can help us keep savoring these notes without tearing up our stomachs. If you’re an avid coffee sipper with a sensitive belly, we present to you our list with the best low acid coffee brands!
Getting rid of the acidity might be detrimental to the coffee’s taste and overall quality. Not every low acid coffee will maintain the same vibrant flavor and set the right expectations.
There are a lot of soils where coffee beans can be yielded with lower acidity levels. We carefully handpicked brands that get the fruit from places like Mexico, Guatemala, Singapore, Peru…etc.
A lot of other factors determine how fresh your bag is, but you shouldn’t care about the technicalities. That’s right, we went ahead and had a mouthful of each of those low-acid coffees, and let our taste buds and our team of best coffee enthusiasts decide for themselves!
This leads us to a very important point:
How Fresh is Your Coffee?
If you leave your coffee sitting for a period of time, its acid levels are bound to change. The catch is that there’s no way in actually knowing if it changed for the better (less acidity) or the worse (gut-wrenching acidity). So, don’t gamble with your stomach health and always choose a fresh bag or brew.
Here’s another thing to completely avoid: Robusta. They are hardy beans that contain a significant amount of acid. A lot of companies use those beans to make the Arabica flavor profile stronger.
Don’t forget to double, or even triple, check your coffees to make sure they are purely Arabica, all the time.
Do You Want to Reduce the Coffee’s Acidity Further?
Try cold-brewing your coffee. It’s not as hard as it sounds, you don’t need to get all fancy. You can opt-in for a cheap cold brewer that will get the job done.
The roast of your coffee matters too. Lighter roasts give emphasis to acidity. If your coffee is bright or described as citrusy, then this is because they got their properties for acids, such as malic acid.
Brewing your coffee has to be done right to not mess up the acid levels. If your coffee is under-extracted, this will make your coffee granules more acidic. Be sure not to make the grind size too coarse or brew your coffee for a short time.
There’s an untraditional method that some coffee drinkers use to make their favorite coffee product less acidic, and that it brewing with eggshells.
Yes, you heard us right. Eggshells are alkaline in nature, which is why they can neutralize the acidity of the coffee. They also remove over-extracted flavors, which balances things out even more.
One more thing to do is to add a sprinkle of salt to your coffee grounds before brewing. This not only plays an important role in reducing the acidity of your coffee, but it also helps in bringing out its sweetness. Don’t overdo it, though.
Cut to the Chase
Here’s a list of our favorite picks this year.
Java Planet’s Colombian Beans
Java Planet boasts its reputation for its GMO-free and USDA-certified coffee that’s 100% organic. Its family-owned producer grows those low acid Gourmet Columbian Arabica coffee beans. They are renowned for their top-shelf flavor and optimum freshness.
Java planet coffee is a good choice for those who are looking for low acid products with lighter roast, it’s also perfect for those who find dark roast too bitter.
It’s grown and harvested in Colombia, Java planet coffee is completely free of acids, chemicals, toxins, oils and anything else that might shoot anything up your esophagus.
It comes with a warm chocolaty nutty flavor and spices. It has a round, smooth texture, and even offers some brightness and fruitiness notes of caramel and allspice. We especially liked how it was wrapped up in a dark chocolate and pecan finish.
We got this all with no adverse effects to our stomachs. The journey of this caffeine fix was smooth without any turbulence.
Java Planet beans include the date of roasting on every bag of beans, next to the shiny USDA label.
We would go with Java Planet’s coffee in the morning because their light roast and freshness really stand out when you’re just getting your day started. The best part? It comes at a very affordable price tag.
- A great flavor profile
- Bright acidity balances the toastier taste
- Complex chocolate and nuts undertones
- Suitable for pregnant women and moms
- Their flavor identity is matched by some competitors
- Lighter roasts do not saturate your taste as medium or dark roasts
- If you don’t own a grinder, you’re out of luck
Mommee Quarter-Caff Beans
Pregnant women and regular coffee don’t share a particularly healthy relationship. The high acidity levels can increase the frequency of nausea, and the acid reflux can turn her pregnancy into a nightmare. Not to mention, caffeine shouldn’t be regularly taken when pregnant.
Momme coffee solves this problem with its selection of low acid coffee products. They offer decaffeinated and quarter-caf variants that make their way to our best low acid coffee list.
They use a water processing method to prevent using any harsh chemicals. Their coffee is also the lowest from all competition in chlorogenic acid, which is the main culprit in acid reflux.
We recommend Mommee coffee if you have an underlying medical condition that’s making you especially sensitive to acids, or if you’re expecting or breastfeeding, this is the one for you. It does incredibly well on the pH scale and tastes smooth and delightful.
- A great balance between caffeine and taste
- It’s considered safe for pregnant women at all stages
- Breastfeeding mothers can also drink Momme coffee
- Don’t offer anything special in terms of the flavor profile
- Their target audience limits its potential.
- Dark roasts can
Lucy Jo’s Mellow Belly Coffee
The great thing about Mellow Belly is that it gets everything right (except for one thing, more on that in a second), it keeps its caffeine levels high enough for you to feel that buzz any time of the day, It’s flavor is also really smooth and it goes down easily on the stomach.
It’s also very well priced, which makes it a really good value. So what stopped it from taking the number 1 spot on our list? How it fared during storage.
That’s right, this ground coffee loses its strength fairly quickly. Of course, you can try and extend its shelf-life by keeping it in a container that’s airtight, but there’s no denying that the inevitable will happen.
If you’re really fond of its flavor profile, try grinding what you need and then storing the rest. If you buy it ground, there’s not much you can do about it.
- Strong in caffeine
- Characteristic smooth flavor
- Great value for the money
- Strength degrades quickly
Bulletproof Medium-Roast Coffee
There is one thing that stopped this selection from securing the top spot, and that is the price. No product is without flaws, I guess. However, if you’re willing to bite the bullet and go for this selection, you know you’re getting one of the best-tasting coffees in the market.
Bulletproof’s medium roast has a balanced caffeine punch, made purely from the best low-acid beans, and has an amazingly smooth flavor.
We detected subtle notes of cinnamon, orange, plum, and hazelnut undertones, which made this my personal favorite choice. It’s a real shame it couldn’t be priced more appropriately.
- Incredible flavor
- Pure Arabica beans
- Smoothest coffee you’ll drink
- (Very) expensive
Manatee Medium Roast Coffee
This was a tough one. When you compare coffee brands, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the number of products in the market. There is the premium one, the budget-friendly one, the healthier alternative, the specially tailored one…etc.
So when it comes to Manatee’s medium roast grounds, what caught our attention?
Manatee’s coffee compares well to any product on this list. It’s cheaper than Lucy Jo’s Mellow Belly. It’s very smooth on the throat and easy on the stomach. It’s truly an all-rounder.
What this also means is that it doesn’t impress us with anything new. Nothing particularly stands out. I can personally say that the flavor isn’t as great as Mellow Belly’s coffee. However, taste is subjective, and we had more than one vote to nominate this product for the top spot.
- The best value for money
- Aimed for the more sensitive stomachs
- Only available as ground coffee
- Nothing about flavor stands out
- Clean Coffee Co. Medium-Dark Roast
It’s a bold claim to say that you completely remove the impurities from this medium-dark-roast coffee.
Clean Coffee Co. uses strong-flavored Arabica beans that are low on acid. Their techniques in cleaning their coffee from all impurities are not mentioned. However, I can agree that this is one of the smoothest coffees I’ve ever tired.
I recommend trying this for cold brew. This might mean that you’ll have to buy them as whole beans, but remember, ground coffee loses strength quickly anyway.
There are some downsides to this product, however. The flavor is mediocre and doesn’t offer a good value for money.
- Very smooth especially as morning coffee
- Pure, unadulterated, coffee beans
- Ground coffee loses strength quickly
- Not the best flavor
Puroast House Blend
This cheap low-acid ground coffee isn’t earth-shattering by any means. However, they are decent in a few aspects.
If you’re not very picky when it comes to coffee, this will be a good choice. There is quality somewhere if you look. It has a lot of antioxidants and won’t be so hard on your stomach.
If you know your coffee, you won’t enjoy the flavor profile on this one very much. The reason is simple: the coffee beans themselves aren’t of the best quality. They are Arabica based, but they don’t state if it’s 100% pure. And spoiler alert: it isn’t.
It’s smooth and the packaging is pretty to look at. The antioxidants are a nice addition, but that’s about it.
- More antioxidants than the competition
- Good packaging
- Unsuitable for French presses or cold brews.
- Flavor is unimpressive
Tieman’s Fusion Coffee
It’s unfortunate that Tieman’s coffee only comes pre-grounded, but that’s not all its disadvantages.
This is not to say that this low-acid coffee is terrible by any means, or it wouldn’t have made it to our list. However, as the list goes on and on, it becomes harder to find products with features that stand out. So let’s compliment Tierman’s only virtue: its mellowness.
The flavor is weak, but the mellow flavor might win the hearts of some coffee lovers. Dark roasts are notorious for giving you that feeling of acidity, even if it’s not. We were surprised when we found how this intense dark roast tasted compared to other dark roasts.
- Mellow profile
- Weak flavor
- Ground only
Cafe Don Pedro French Roast
This low acid K-cups are not gonna get a high ranking with us. Their acid levels are low and they won’t disrupt your stomach or esophagus, but their taste is weak and unimpressive.
There is one thing that is particularly bad about this product, and that is how those K-cups drop some grounds inside your mug. In addition to that, they can only be used with Keurig coffee makers.
This list teaches us one thing: not all low-acid coffees are going to be great. While it does the job and tastes tolerable, you have over half a dozen options to choose from before settling for this french roast.
- Very affordable price
- Limited in usage
- Will leave grounds in your cup
HealthWise Supremo Coffee
You’ve made it to the end of our list. Anything other than these products will probably be intolerable for your taste buds, and this one comes pretty close to that as well.
While I’ll personally compliment its low-acid content and smoothness, I will say that this low acid coffee barely tastes like coffee anymore. I will assume that it’s because they implemented some artificial methods to clear up the extra acid, and didn’t go for the more naturally low-acid beans.
One thing to note is that its effect on your stomach is pretty much non-existent. Sadly, good taste and quality are almost non-existent too.
- Will have no adverse effects on your stomach
- Attractive packaging. Well thought-out design
- Bad taste
- Lacking even proper coffee smell
And the Winner is…
We have to go with Java Planet’s coffee for this roundup review.
What makes this the best choice for low-acid coffee is its authenticity. There’s no extra process to lower the acid content of chemicals that are added to neutralize the acids. The coffee beans are selected from specific regions that ensure that they’re high on quality and low on acids.
You can’t go wrong with any of our extensive list of the best low acid coffee brands this year.
Everything is worth trying. So, pick a favorite and be ready for some experimentation!