Is decaf coffee less acidic? Have you ever asked yourself this question? If you’re trying to live a healthy lifestyle, you may have thought about removing caffeine from your coffee. You may, however, have heard of other things that have made you apprehensive about your cup of Joe. One of them might be acidic. But, what precisely do we mean by acid in the context of coffee?
The pH scale is used to specify the acidity of a solution. A solution is deemed acidic if its pH value is less than 7. The precise pH value of decaf coffee varies based on various factors. These include the kind of beans utilized, the roast profile, the brewing method, and the coffee-to-water ratio employed during the extraction process.
Despite all of these variances, it’s reasonable to state that regular coffee is acidic, as its pH value is often between 4.85 and 5.13. But is the acidity of coffee affected by the decaffeination process? I decided to answer this topic in this article and tell you, is decaf coffee less acidic?
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
- Health Benefits of Coffee
- What Is The Deal With Decaf Coffee?
- Is Decaf Coffee Less Acidic Than Regular Coffee?
- Effects Of Decaf Coffee On Your Acid Reflux
- How To Switch From Regular Coffee To Decaf Coffee?
- How To Neutralize The Acid In Coffee?
- Keep Caffeine In Check
- Brewing Methods Matter
- Better Coffee Through Chemistry
- Choose A Dark Roast
- Regulate The Hotness Оf Тhe Water
Health Benefits of Coffee
Caffeine, a natural stimulant that helps you feel more active, gives coffee its kick. On the other hand, caffeine does more than just wake you up. It improves memory, mood, response speeds, and mental function by acting on the brain. According to one study, caffeine can boost endurance and performance during exercise.
Caffeine isn’t the only advantage coffee provides. Coffee includes over a thousand botanical components. Scientists haven’t researched all of them thoroughly, but the news so far is positive.
The numerous components of coffee combine to create a beverage that is greater than the sum of its parts. Drinking coffee every day has been found to reduce the incidence of various conditions:
- Type 2 diabetes: Several studies have revealed that drinking coffee every day reduces acquiring this disease. This is true for both decaf and high-octane coffee.
- Liver disease: Coffee appears to protect against liver cirrhosis in persons who are predisposed to the condition, such as those with an alcohol use problem or fatty liver disease.
- Cancer: Researchers discovered that coffee users have a decreased chance of developing liver cancer and colon cancer, two of the world’s top causes of cancer mortality.
- Neurological diseases: Regular daily caffeine consumption, such as what you receive from your daily cup of coffee, has been associated with a decreased chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
- Depression: Several studies have revealed that the more coffee a person consumes, the lower the risk of depression.
What Is The Deal With Decaf Coffee?
Decaffeinated coffee is the same as ordinary coffee, but it lacks the bulk of caffeine. Decaf coffee drinks still include a minimal amount of caffeine (about 3% compared to regular coffee) since caffeine can never be totally eliminated. A standard cup of coffee, for example, has around 95 milligrams of caffeine. Still, a cup of decaf coffee contains only 2 milligrams of caffeine.
Decaf coffee can benefit with:
- Sensitivity to caffeine. By drinking decaf coffee, you eliminate the adverse side effects of caffeine found in regular coffee. Caffeine is both a diuretic stimulant and an acidic chemical. Many people experience sleepiness, restlessness, heart palpitations, elevated blood pressure, and anxiety due to caffeine. Suppose you have heartburn, digestive difficulties, or trouble sleeping. In that case, decaf coffee can help reduce the effects of caffeine while still allowing you to drink coffee.
- Caffeine-related anxiety. Anxiety is a typical coffee adverse effect. Caffeine can cause agitation, anxiousness, and what scientists call “jitters.” However, it is crucial to emphasize that coffee does not cause anxiety, although it might increase symptoms in those already anxious. If you suffer from anxiety and consume regular coffee, consider switching to decaf coffee.
- Digestive/dehydration issues. Coffee generates a gastrocolic reaction in some people after drinking it. That indicates some laxative effects, but this is still being researched today. Finally, everyone’s body is unique, and you are the most incredible judge of your own.
Is Decaf Coffee Less Acidic Than Regular Coffee?
Is decaf coffee less acidic? Decaf coffee is technically still acidic. Coffee is high in phenolic acid. When coffee is decaffeinated, the quantity of phenolic acid in the beverage reduces. This reduction affects the amount of acid content detected in decaf coffee. According to research, drinking decaf coffee may also assist with stomach acid concerns.
It’s an excellent option for individuals who desire the taste and flavor of coffee without the harmful influence of acidity. Consider the caffeine content of a regular cup of caffeinated vs. decaffeinated coffee for comparison.
Effects Of Decaf Coffee On Your Acid Reflux
If you’re unsure whether coffee aggravates your acid reflux, maintain a journal of your symptoms as well as your caffeine intake. Then you may go back over what you wrote, looking for a link between your coffee usage and acid reflux symptoms.
When drinking fully caffeinated coffee, some people develop heartburn, acid reflux, or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) symptoms, but not when drinking decaf. This occurs because the caffeine level of regular coffee might increase the amount of acid produced by your stomach.
Avoid caffeinated beverages and replace them with low acid coffee beans if you have acid reflux. Decaf coffee beans are also available for people who like coffee. However, they are sensitive to highly acidic beverages, and they still want to gain the health benefits of coffee use.
Although coffee has many advantages, it is essential to be aware of the negative consequences of drinking more than the recommended (1-4) cups per day.
How To Switch From Regular Coffee To Decaf Coffee?
The shift to decaf might be nearly as unpleasant as eating cold turkey. The withdrawal headaches will begin between 12 and 48 hours after your last higher-dose caffeine usage.
The simplest method to begin the transition to decaffeinated coffee is to assess how much caffeine you now consume on average.
Once you’ve determined how much coffee you typically consume, gradually reduce your intake. If you usually drink three cups of coffee each day, start with two. After a few days, limit it down to one or reduce the size of the second cup. Then add decaf as the second cup. Continue to lessen your typical coffee consumption until your body has adjusted to the decreased caffeine intake. After that, decaf suddenly seems like enough of a boost to get you through the morning or afternoon slump.
Of course, the taste will play a role here. If you prefer your coffee black, your best choice for the most delicate tasting decaf coffee is for decaf coffee blends. Most likely, these blends have been carefully chosen to include coffees from different growing areas that complement each other, even without the flavor-enhancing properties of caffeine. This suggests that single-origin decafs are always wrong. Still, they are at a higher risk.
Those who enjoy milk and sugar in their coffee, on the other hand, should delight in the fact that it’s not uncommon for an excellent decaf to have a chocolate-like feel to it. That is an indication of mixing well with most kinds of milk, creamers, and syrups.
If you wish to switch to decaf, there are still plenty of tasty options to fulfill your coffee cravings while minimizing the amount of caffeine you consume regularly.
How To Neutralize The Acid In Coffee?
Although coffee contains natural acids, it has a strong flavor. Not everyone enjoys drinking coffee with too much acid, especially if you suffer from heartburn after consuming acidic meals and drinks.
If you are hesitant to drink acidic coffee, some of the natural acids provide healthful antioxidants good for the body.
Keep Caffeine In Check
Coffee has a pH of 5 on a scale of 0 to 14, with 0 being the most acidic and 14 being the most basic, indicating that it is acidic. It is, however, not as sour as many other beverages you may consume during the day. Because most fruit juices and sodas are substantially more acidic than coffee, why does a glass of apple juice not necessitate a sleeve of antacids?
It’s not the acid in your morning coffee that’s causing your esophagus to catch fire; it’s the caffeine. Numerous studies have shown that coffee raises the natural acid levels in your stomach, causing heartburn.
While most people can tolerate a moderate amount of caffeine, caffeine consumption is a matter of personal sensitivity. So if you’re experiencing side effects from your morning mug, it might be time to switch to a less-caffeinated blend.
Brewing Methods Matter
Coffee acidity is also affected by brewing procedures. Coffee produced with a fine grind has less acidity, such as using a regular drip maker or an AeroPress. In contrast, the coffee produced in a French press (with a coarser grind) makes moderately acidic coffee. The absence of a paper filter, which would absorb some acids, is also a factor.
Better Coffee Through Chemistry
So, if you have a cup of dark roasted drip coffee, how can you lower its acidity even further? One solution is to add ordinary (cow’s) milk, which has a pH of roughly 6.7. However, this results in only a slight reduction in acidity. On the other hand, аlmond milk is alkaline and will result in a more drastic increase in pH.
To counteract the acidity, add a small amount of baking soda (1/4 teaspoon) to a pot of brewed coffee.
Also, consider that the pH of different forms of sugar varies. Raw and unprocessed sugar, for example, is somewhat basic, whereas white and brown sugars are acidic. If you frequently add sugar to your coffee, you may want to consider switching varietals if acidity is an issue. Additionally, while untested, adding cinnamon to your coffee may lower stomach acid production. It may be worth a try for people who suffer from acid reflux (even if it does not strictly lessen the acidity of the coffee).
If you discover that you can’t stand anything except plain, black coffee, you have another option: coffee acid reducers. These are little pills that must be dissolved in a cup of coffee to neutralize the acid. Products offered to coffee lovers tend to affect the cup’s flavor as little as possible while reducing acidity by up to 90%. You’ll find that your cup of coffee is much gentler on the stomach once you’ve combined it this way.
Choose A Dark Roast
Caffeine in significant concentrations in coffee produces acidic beverages. Although coffee is all about personal choice, if you want a less acidic cup, pick dark roast coffee over medium or light roast coffee. This is because dark roast coffee undergoes chemical processes that remove the acid. In contrast, dark roast coffee has less caffeine than medium or light roast coffee.
Regulate The Hotness Of The Water
You may not have the time to cold-brew your coffee if you are in a hurry. That implies you’ll be using the hot brewing method, which produces acidic coffee. You must adjust the hotness of the water to lessen the acidity in your coffee.
The hotter the water, the more acids the oils release, making coffee more acidic. To minimize flavor over-extraction, do not heat the water to high degrees. In this manner, you’ll get a cup of coffee that’s less acidic but still full of flavor.
Before roasting, decaf coffee beans are often washed in solvents to remove up to 97 percent caffeine content. Aside from the caffeine in coffee, the nutritional value of decaf coffee should be almost (by 95 percent) equal to regular coffee.
So, Is decaf coffee less acidic? Yes, while you’re at it, switching to decaf coffee won’t harm you. You could even discover that it is the most excellent option. You may place your money on avoiding coffee entirely to prevent heartburn from becoming severe.
It’s important to remember that coffee has a considerably higher addiction potential than other caffeinated beverages.
Now that you’re aware of these facts, I hope you’ll make a change in your lifestyle and coffee preferences.
References for is decaf coffee less acidic:
- Rao, N. Z., & Fuller, M. (2018). Acidity and Antioxidant Activity of Cold Brew Coffee. Scientific reports, 8(1), 16030. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-34392-w
- Ramalakshmi K, Raghavan B. Caffeine in coffee: its removal. Why and how? Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 1999 Sep;39(5):441-56. https://doi.org/10408699991279231. PMID: 10516914
- El-Serag HB, Sweet S, Winchester CC, Dent J. Update on the epidemiology of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease: a systematic review. Gut. 2014 Jun;63(6):871-80. https://doi.org/10.1136/gutjnl-2012-304269. Epub 2013 Jul 13. PMID: 23853213; PMCID: PMC4046948.
- Pehl C, Pfeiffer A, Wendl B, Kaess H. The effect of decaffeination of coffee on gastro-oesophageal reflux in patients with reflux disease. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 1997 Jun;11(3):483-6. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2036.1997.00161.x. PMID: 9218070.
- S. Lohsiriwat, N. Puengna, S. Leelakusolvong, Effect of caffeine on lower esophageal sphincter pressure in Thai healthy volunteers, Diseases of the Esophagus, Volume 19, Issue 3, 1 June 2006, Pages 183–188, https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1442-2050.2006.00562.x
- Rachel R. McCusker, Brian Fuehrlein, Bruce A. Goldberger, Mark S. Gold, Edward J. Cone, Caffeine Content of Decaffeinated Coffee, Journal of Analytical Toxicology, Volume 30, Issue 8, October 2006, Pages 611–613, https://doi.org/10.1093/jat/30.8.611
- Wendl, B., Pfeiffer, A., Pehl, C., Schmidt, T. And Kaess, H. (1994), Effect of decaffeination of coffee or tea on gastro-oesophageal reflux. Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 8: 283-287. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2036.1994.tb00289.x
- Ding M, Bhupathiraju SN, Chen M, van Dam RM, Hu FB. Caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and a dose-response meta-analysis. Diabetes Care. 2014 Feb;37(2):569-86. https://doi.org/10.2337/dc13-1203. PMID: 24459154; PMCID: PMC3898757.
- Shukitt-Hale B, Miller MG, Chu YF, Lyle BJ, Joseph JA. Coffee, but not caffeine, has positive effects on cognition and psychomotor behavior in aging. Age (Dordr). 2013 Dec;35(6):2183-92. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11357-012-9509-4. Epub 2013 Jan 24. PMID: 23344884; PMCID: PMC3824984.
- Dong X, Li S, Sun J, Li Y, Zhang D. Association of Coffee, Decaffeinated Coffee and Caffeine Intake from Coffee with Cognitive Performance in Older Adults: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2011-2014. Nutrients. 2020 Mar 20;12(3):840. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12030840. PMID: 32245123; PMCID: PMC7146118.
- Brian J. Distelberg, Andrea Staack, K’dee D. Elsen, and Joan Sabaté. The Effect of Coffee and Caffeine on Mood, Sleep, and Health-Related Quality of Life. Journal of Caffeine Research 2017 7:2, 59-70. https://doi.org/10.1089/jcr.2016.0023
- Kessing BF, Bredenoord AJ, Saleh CM, Smout AJ. Effects of anxiety and depression in patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2015 Jun;13(6):1089-95.e1. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cgh.2014.11.034. Epub 2014 Dec 9. PMID: 25496817.
- Brandt A, Nier A, Jin CJ, Baumann A, Jung F, Ribas V, García-Ruiz C, Fernández-Checa JC, Bergheim I. Consumption of decaffeinated coffee protects against the development of early non-alcoholic steatohepatitis: Role of intestinal barrier function. Redox Biol. 2019 Feb;21:101092. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.redox.2018.101092. Epub 2018 Dec 23. PMID: 30605883; PMCID: PMC6313826.
- Mills L, Boakes RA, Colagiuri B. Placebo caffeine reduces withdrawal in abstinent coffee drinkers. J Psychopharmacol. 2016 Apr;30(4):388-94. https://doi.org/10.1177/0269881116632374. Epub 2016 Mar 1. PMID: 26933153.