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9 Best Low Acid Coffee Brands (For Your Sensitive Stomach)

While drinking coffee is a great way to get an extra energy boost, and has been enjoyed for centuries around the world, it also has a number of downsides. Heartburn, acid reflux, and stomach pains can all result from your morning espresso or cappuccino.

That’s where low acid coffee comes in. In recent years there has been a growing trend in the coffee world, as many of the leading producers have released their own brands of low acid coffee that are great for people with a sensitive stomach. Now there are so many to choose from and picking the right one isn’t easy.

Aside from best coffee beans list, we’ve put together a list of our nine picks for the best low acid coffee brands, as well as a few important tips to help you reduce the acid content yourself.

How to Find the Best Low Acid Coffee for You

High Altitude = High Acidity – Where Were the Beans Grown?

The origin of your coffee can have a significant effect on the acid content, with beans grown at higher altitudes and in volcanic soil (such as in Kenya, Peru, Brazil and Ethiopia) reportedly having higher acidity (1).

Coffee acidity is typically a highly valued quality especially in Central American and some East African coffee. Sourness, however, is an extreme of acidity and can be considered a coffee defect.

If you’re looking coffee with lower acidity, then the first thing you should look out for is a coffee that was grown closer to sea level.

A Lot to Process – How Was the Coffee Processed?

Dry processed beans, such as most coffee from Africa, have the lowest acid content, while coffee that has been washed has a higher content. Wet hulling, however, is a process used by Indonesian producers that lowers acidity in favor of body and earthy tones. So, long story short, you should avoid washed coffee if you’re looking to lower your acid intake.

The Darker the Roast, the Lower the Acidity – How Is the Coffee Roasted?

If you’re really after the lowest possible acidity for your coffee, then the darker the roast, the better, so consider this when buying your beans, instant coffee, or signing up for coffee clubs. The culprit behind the lowered acidity levels is the longer roasting process, which breaks down the acids in the coffee beans (2). However, this can also lead to diminished aroma and sweetness of the brew. That being said, you can somewhat mitigate that depending on how you brew the coffee.

Darker roasts usually have less caffeine, which can be responsible for some of the symptoms associated with a high acid content.
dark roasts tend to be low in acidity, thus, they make great low acid coffee

They also contain higher levels of a compound called N-methylpyridinium, or NMP, which has been demonstrated to decrease stomach acidity when ingested at the same time as coffee. So if you’re having acid reflux after you drink your morning cup of Joe, try switching out your light roast coffee beans for a French roast, and see how much of a difference it makes.

Related: Best Pour Over Coffee Beans

Trouble Brewing – How Are You Going to Brew Your Coffee?

The longer you brew your coffee, the lower the acidity. Conversely, the hotter the water you brew with, the higher the acid content. Consider switching to coffee that is suited for brewing methods that take longer, like a French press. Or, if the longer prep time doesn’t put you off, cold brewing beans reduces the acidity by around 67% when compared to standard methods that use hot water (3).

Convenient as it may be, pulling an espresso is one of the most acidic ways to make coffee.

The high temperature and short brewing time for espresso contribute to a cup of coffee that might leave you clutching your stomach. To help prevent future problems with acid reflux, here’s our list of the top nine coffee brands with low acidity. We’ve included something to satisfy every style and taste. Let’s dive right in.

Related: Best Espresso Beans

Our 9 Favorite Low Acid Coffee Brands

1. Volcanica Low Acid Coffee – Volcanica, Highly Rated Time and Time Again, Low-Elevation South American Coffees

Volcanica Low Acid Blend

Specifications

  • Country of Origin: Brazil and Sumatra
  • Altitude: Low
  • Roast: Medium

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Volcanica have earned the respect of coffee drinkers the world over, as they are a brand that does their best to keep up with the demands of their customers while providing great tasting coffees. Highly rated time and again, their Low Acid Coffee is made from a blend of Arabica beans that are naturally low in acid.

These low-elevation South American coffees are mixed with beans from Sumatra, and the result is a delicious brew that doesn’t compromise on flavor profile while still being kinder to your stomach. The Low Acid Coffee by Volcanica is full-bodied, with a smooth finish that avoids being overly bitter. Despite not being a dark roast and thanks to the care taken with the sourcing, it’s still a great choice for keeping your acid levels down.

It’s available as whole beans, as well as pre-ground in different coarseness grades. Available coarseness grades include drip, espresso, and French Press. What’s more, they don’t roast the coffee until you order it, so you can be assured it will be as fresh as possible. The company also offers a wide range of single origin beans like Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee (although quite acidic) and Kona Coffee, so you might wanna check them out while you’re at it.

Pros:

  • High quality coffee for a reasonable price
  • Made from beans that are naturally low in acid
  • Tastes great while still being easy on your stomach
  • Roasted to order

Cons:

  • Not single-origin, so potentially less predictable flavors

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2. Puroast Organic House Blend – French Roast, Venezuela Beans

Puroast Organic House Blend

Specifications

  • Country of Origin: Venezuela
  • Altitude: Low
  • Roast: Dark French

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One of the very few low acid coffee brands that have been tested by a researcher, Puroast coffee is the product of lucky circumstances. The company set out to make a coffee that tasted as good as the ones they sampled in a hacienda in the foothills of the Venezuelan Andes. It wasn’t until people told them how easy it was on their stomachs that they realized they had something special on their hands.

It’s a French roast, made from a blend of organic beans from Venezuela. The most remarkable thing about it is that it is 70% lower in acid content than your average popular blends. In addition, it has impressive antioxidant qualities with seven times more than can be found in green tea. In terms of flavor, it has notes of vanilla, complemented by hints of hazelnut and pecan.

If you really suffer badly from the acidic reflux when drinking coffee, this is one low acid coffee brand that you can rely on to be gentle on your stomach. Fret not, the Puroast Organic House Blend still provides a very enjoyable cup of Joe. It’s even certified kosher.

Pros:

  • 70% less acid than other coffee brands
  • Seven times more antioxidants than green tea
  • Proprietary wood roasting method
  • Claims are confirmed by scientific research
  • Organic

Cons:

  • Blend rather than single-origin
  • Large bags can go stale before you use them all

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3. Java Planet Guatemalan Organic Medium Roast – Medium Roast, Guatemalan Sourced Beans

Java Planet Guatemalan Organic Medium Roast

Specifications

  • Country of Origin: Guatemala
  • Altitude: Low
  • Roast: Medium

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Grown in the shade of the Guatemalan rainforest, this organic coffee has won numerous awards for a good reason. It’s a rich, smooth, and tasty medium roast (though Java Planet also offers other roasts if you want a different taste and aroma) that has plenty of fruit to it, with strong notes of caramel and a dark chocolate finish.

It’s also one of the most environmentally friendly coffees out there. It’s organic, it’s Fair Trade and no pesticides at all are used in the growing process. It is important to note there are no GMOs in there, and it’s even certified by both the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center and the Rainforest Alliance. We also reviewed some of the best organic coffee brands and variants in this post.

This proves Java Planet’s clear commitment to making a great coffee with a strong ethical backbone. It’s no surprise then that they also stand by the freshness of their product by including the roast date on the bag, so you know exactly how fresh it is when it arrives.

Pros:

  • Organic, shade-grown arabica beans
  • Fair Trade
  • Bird friendly
  • Pesticide free
  • Roasted in small batches
  • Roast date is included on the bag

Cons:

  • Some batches are occasionally bitter or bland
  • Medium roast and wet processed, so it doesn’t have the lowest acid levels

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4. Mommee Coffee Half-Caf Low Acid Coffee – Low in Caffeine (Which Causes Some Acid Symptoms)

Mommee Coffee Half-Caf Low Acid Coffee

Specifications

  • Country of Origin: Unknown
  • Altitude:  Unknown
  • Roast: Medium-dark

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When Mommee Coffee’s founder Emilie Simmons was pregnant with her second child, she didn’t want to give up her treasured morning cup of coffee. Doctors recommend that pregnant women and those trying to stay pregnant should avoid caffeine. Therefore, Simmons started researching, and Mommee Coffee’s range of coffees with reduced caffeine content was the result.

The reduced caffeine content isn’t just ideal for moms, though, despite the packaging and the name of the brand. Low caffeine coffee can help both women and men reduce the symptoms of acid reflux and heartburn, as caffeine has been shown to cause them. Mommee Coffee also has 60% less chlorogenic acid, which is one of the main culprits behind acid reflux. Plus, it’s organic and fair trade, which is good for your conscience.

It’s also available in Decaf and Quarter-Caf versions. However, the Half-Caf strikes the best balance between flavor, the extra energy provided, and the potential effects on your stomach. The water-based decaffeination process doesn’t use harsh chemicals. Like these brands and variants, Mommee Coffee Decaf is a great choice if you’re particularly sensitive. This is a sweet and smooth coffee that’s available in whole beans or pre-ground.

Pros:

  • Low caffeine content
  • Specially designed for all stages of motherhood
  • Organic
  • Fair Trade
  • Five times lower in acid levels
  • 60% less chlorogenic acid

Cons:

  • Lack of information about the origin of the coffee
  • Can tend towards a slightly burnt flavor

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5. Volcanica Geisha Coffee – Very Exclusive Coffee

Geisha Coffee Costa Rica - Costa Rican Geisha Coffee

Specifications

  • Country of Origin: Costa Rica
  • Altitude: Low
  • Roast: Medium

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Even though one might think otherwise, the Volcanica Geisha Coffee isn’t named after Japanese courtesans. It’s actually named after the Ethiopian town of Gesha, where this ancient coffee variety comes from. Geisha beans are naturally resistant to many types of diseases that affect other types of coffee. That being said, it comes at the price of a greatly reduced crop yield.

Because it comes from Volcanica, you can trust the quality will be high, and that it will be freshly roasted the day you order it. This helps to preserve the complex and layered flavors that are a real treasure in a low acid coffee. Medium bodied, and with a silky texture, its flavor starts out with an aromatically herbal flourish, bringing to mind freshly cut grass and lavender. It then develops into a chocolatey taste that has a hint of molasses and even a touch of tobacco.

It’s rare to find such a complex and delicately flavored coffee that is also low in both acid and caffeine. It just goes to show how special the Geisha beans are. Sure, you will have to pay a premium, but for coffee this good, it’s worth it.

Pros:

  • Naturally has 30% less caffeine than most coffees
  • Unique, rich flavors that are rare in low acid coffees
  • Roasted when you order it for maximum freshness

Cons:

  • Low crop yields mean it’s more expensive and often sells out

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6. Tieman’s Fusion Decaf Semi-Dark Coffee – Blend of Coffee, Matcha, Roiboos, and Goji Berries for Antioxidants

Tieman's Fusion Decaf Semi-Dark Coffee

Specifications

  • Country of Origin: Guatemala, Ecuador, Columbia
  • Altitude: Low
  • Roast: Medium-dark

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And now for something completely different. Tierman’s Fusion coffee is possibly the healthiest option on our list, thanks to the added ingredients, the carefully chosen blend, and a slow roasting process. It’s also very close to neutral in terms of pH, so it’s a great pick for those looking for low acid coffee.

The Japanese matcha green tea provides the energy boost that you would expect from a standard coffee without the acidic symptoms or the jitters that normally would come with it. The South African rooibos red tea has been shown to have a settling effect on the stomach, rather than merely not aggravating it like other low acid coffee brands. And goji berries contain a crazy amount of antioxidants, and have strong anti-inflammatory properties.

It’s also a rich and flavorful brew, though coffee purists might be slightly put off by the addition of teas to their favorite beverage. Even so, it’s still very much coffee, though you could think of it as ”coffee plus”. It’s full bodied and rich, with a very smooth mouth feel. Who said that great coffee couldn’t also be good for your health?

Pros:

  • Very low acid content
  • Infused with matcha green tea, roiboos red tea, and goji berries
  • Available pre-ground or as whole beans

Cons:

  • The addition of the teas influences the flavor somewhat
  • Pricier thanks to the extra ingredients

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7. Cafe Don Pablo Subtle Earth Organic – Best Medium Dark Roast

Cafe Don Pablo Subtle Earth Organic

Specifications

  • Country of Origin: Honduras
  • Altitude: High
  • Roast:  Medium-dark

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Despite the high altitude it is grown at, this medium-dark roast coffee still manages to keep its acid levels low. This is thanks to the slow roasting process and the organic beans, which tend to be less acidic. It’s grown as naturally as possible, with no pesticides or insecticides used. They even recycle the cherries from the coffee plants and us them as the fertilizer, making this is a good pick for the environmentally conscious coffee lovers out there.

In terms of flavor, the first taste that springs to the palate is one of milk chocolate, tempered by hints of caramel and honey and hazelnut notes. It’s a medium to full bodied brew, with a bold and velvety mouth feel that still packs a respectable punch. All in all, it’s a relatively sweet and easy-to-drink option, meaning it is not best suited for people who favor the stronger and punchier taste. It is called ‘subtle’, after all.

If you’re a fan of complex flavor-rich coffee, then you can hardly go wrong with Don Pablo’s Subtle Earth. That’s why it’s our favorite of the medium-dark roasted coffees.

Pros:

  • Organic
  • Pesticide free
  • GMO free
  • Roasted to order in small batches

Cons:

  • Some recent batches seem to come out with a bitter, burnt flavor

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8. Intelligentsia El Diablo – Notes of Chocolate, Caramel, and Molasses

Intelligentsia El Diablo

Specifications

  • Country of Origin: Varies
  • Altitude: Medium
  • Roast: Dark

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It might be named after the Devil, but this coffee is far from evil. With a very low acidity for such a flavor-rich coffee, it’s also surprisingly bright for a coffee with the dark roast designation. With a predominant dark chocolatey taste complemented by notes of caramel and molasses, this coffee is also strong enough to kickstart your day with a bang.

Intelligentsia do their best to take care of their producers, taking the concept of Fair Trade a step further with what they call Direct Trade.

They cut out unnecessary parts of the supply chain, so they can develop a direct relationship with the farmers responsible for their product. That’s one of the reasons why they take pride in the quality and freshness of their coffee. Moreover, the company is always willing to listen to any complaints or issues that might arise.

It’s a fantastically tasty cup of coffee and it comes in just about any grind size you could possibly imagine, as well as whole beans. It’s a seasonal coffee, so its country of origin varies over the course of the year. This can have a subtle influence over the flavors that come across that you’ll notice if you become a regular drinker.

Pros:

  • Available as whole beans or in a huge range of pre-ground options
  • Ethically sourced in a way that supports the farmers
  • Fantastic and rich taste

Cons:

  • No roast date on the bag, so freshness varies

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9. Counter Culture Coffee Big Trouble – Perfect Morning Coffee for French Press or Drip

Counter Culture Coffee Big Trouble

Specifications

  • Country of Origin: Mexico, Nicaragua, Papua New Guinea
  • Altitude: Varies
  • Roast: Medium

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Don’t worry, this coffee won’t be a Big Trouble for you. Its name is just a reference to all the effort that Counter Culture has to go through to find the perfect beans for this blended coffee. That’s because the company is constantly trying to make sure that they procure the best coffee from small farms around the world.

The result is a delicious, well rounded, and full-bodied cup of coffee that’s a perfect option to start the day with. Also, this coffee is great when brewed using a French press or a drip. Its dark caramel sweetness mixes with molasses, malts, and baking spices to leave you satisfied and energized. Big Trouble by Counter Culture has a low enough acid level to not trouble your stomach. Finish that off with a rich aftertaste with hints of citrus and carob, and you’ve got one hell of a tasty cup of coffee.

Pros:

  • Constantly updated sourcing means they don’t compromise on quality
  • Ethically and sustainably sourced
  • Balanced and tasty coffee
  • Roast date is marked on the bag

Cons:

  • Changing producers can result in different taste profiles
  • Occasionally long time between roast and deliver

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Brands of Low Acid Coffee – the Verdict

Picking a favorite coffee is always a tricky proposition, as what flavors you enjoy is inherently subjective. If you can manage to get your hands on it, the Geisha coffee from Volcanica is a beautiful, complex, and robust choice that won’t leave you clutching your stomach no matter how much you drink. It’s super rare, though, so if you can’t find it, Don Pablo’s Subtle Earth Organic coffee might be a good substitute.

Whichever coffee you pick from this list of the best low acid coffee brands, you can rest assured that they won’t be turning your stomach. Though if you’re still suffering from acid reflux or stomach pains, you might want to give up sodas, because you can’t blame your morning cup of coffee anymore!

FAQs

The pH level of coffee is typically about 5 – roughly as acidic as a banana. Many factors affect this, though.

The size of your coffee grind will affect the flavor of the end result depending on your brewing method. The time taken to extract the coffee from the grounds influences everything from bitterness to acidity. And how coarse your grind is makes a big difference depending on how you are brewing.

If your grind is too coarse for your method, the coffee will end up being under-extracted, tasting weak and sour. If it’s too fine, it will be over-extracted and taste more bitter than it should.

The easiest and quickest way to make your coffee less acidic is to add milk. Another option is to take some extra time to cold brew your coffee, as this method results in lower acidity in the end product (4). It’s also a good idea to avoid leaving your coffee on a burner or a stove, as the constant heat degrades the coffee and ups its acid content. That’s why old coffee tastes so nasty and hurts your stomach even more.

References
  1. Coffee Chemistry: Coffee Acidity. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.coffeeresearch.org/science/sourmain.htm
  2. Coffee Roasting. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.coffeeresearch.org/coffee/roasting.htm
  3. Low Acid Coffee. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://toddycafe.com/cold-brew/low-acid-coffee
  4. Glamour. (2017, December 7). Is Cold Brew Coffee Better for You Than Regular Coffee? Retrieved from https://www.huffpost.com/entry/is-cold-brew-coffee-bette_b_8964244
a cup of one of the best low acid coffee brands
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