Acid in Your Coffee Cup!

A frequent question that we get is” How much acid does this coffee have?” The answer is that a cup of a typical gourmet coffee has slightly more acid than a glass of milk and less acid than a cup of tea.
Consumers equate acid with bad coffee. However, acid free coffee is flat and flavorless. It is the acid that refreshes the palate and creates the good coffee flavors in your mouth.
The word acid brings up images of sour, bitter and burning sensations. However, many foods have high acidity and are pleasant, probably, the best examples, are soda drinks and fruit juices. Acidity in coffee is the bright, sparkling sensation in your mouth that sets high quality specialty coffee apart from commercial coffee.
Not all coffee acids are equal, there are good coffee acids and bad coffee acids. There are over 30 acids that can form in a roasted coffee bean. Some of these acids in small amounts are flavorful and refreshing e.g. citric acid can create coffee flavors like orange or tangerine and malic acid creates flavors like apple. Others are distasteful like acetic acid which tastes like vinegar and chlorogenic acid which tastes bitter and harsh.
People tell us that they used to be able to drink coffee but now they can’t. We tell them that maybe they haven’t changed, instead maybe the coffee they are drinking has changed. Commercial coffee used to be 100% Arabica coffee. However, when Vietnam began to produce large amounts of cheap Robusta coffee beans, many commercial roasters began to add Robusta beans to their coffee blends. Robusta coffee has about twice the chlorogenic acid as Arabica coffee. The result for many people is undrinkable coffee.
Some ways to drink reduced acid coffee are:
Drink high end coffees
Specialty grade coffees tend to have less of the bad acids. Some specialty coffees, like Hawaiian coffees, are known for their sweetness and their low acid.
Drink coffee from ripe beans
.Partially ripe beans are high in both good and bad acids. As the bean ripens the acid goes down and the sweetness goes up. Ken David at Coffee Review suggests: “coffee from ripe fruit is naturally sweet and lacks the sharp, astringent sensation of cheaper coffee processed from less-than-ripe fruit.” However, the only way you will know for sure about ripeness is to buy farm direct.
Drink dark roast coffees.
Roasting coffee beans breaks down cholorgenic acid in the beans. So dark roast coffees have less chlorogenic acid then light roast coffees.
Drink cold brew coffee
Cold brewing takes less of the acids out of the ground coffee. It also takes less of the flavors and produces a pleasant flat tasting drink. Some consumers choose cold brew coffee because of less perceived acidity. In fact, cold brewed coffees do have less acid than the same beans hot brewed.
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