Is Coffee Acidic or Basic? PH of Coffee

Learn From Doctor Team
Learn From Doctor Team is made up of well-qualified doctors of different fields with brilliant academic results and professional careers. The article is written and reviewed by doctors of this specialty.

Is Coffee Acidic or Basic?

The ph scale determines acidity. According to that, most coffee is acidic and has a ph between 4.85 to 5.10. 

A coffee lover person starts his day with a cup of coffee. Some of them may feel abdominal discomfort after taking a few sips. 

The coffee is acidic and a diuretic, which means you may have to urinate after taking a cup of coffee. Some people may experience a mild stomach cramp while drinking the coffee and need to go to the toilet for defecation. 


The Ph of Coffee

In general, acidity is calculated using the pH scale, which determines how basic or acidic a water-based solution is. The scale ranges between 0 and 14. 

Ph of coffee
Ph of coffee

Any solution that registers on a scale from 0 to 7 is considered acidic, on the other hand, a solution that registers from 7 to 14 is considered basic ( alkaline).

Most coffee varieties (according to the source and end products) are acidic, with an average pH value of 4.85 to 5.10.


Acids That are Making The Coffee Acidic

The brewing process releases nine major acids among the countless compounds in this coffee cup that contribute to its unique taste and smell.

Here are the nine primary coffee acids: 

  1. Chlorogenic 
  2. Quinic 
  3. Citric 
  4. Acetic 
  5. Lactic 
  6. Malic 
  7. Phosphoric
  8. Linoleic 
  9. Palmitic

They are tabulated from highest to lowest concentration.

Usually, the acids present in coffee are in two categories: 

  • Organic
  • Chlorogenic

The organic acids include;

  • Citric
  • Malic 
  • Quinic 
  • Acetic
  • Succinic 
  • Tartaric acid 

These organic acids provide a good and fruity flavor to the coffee and that’s what makes the coffee different. 


Essential Organic Acids on Coffee

Malic Acid

It’s the same kind of acid you get in blackberries, blueberries, cherries, grapes, pears, plums, green apples as malic acid. Imagine a cup of freshly brewed coffee with the juiciness and smooth taste of a green apple.

Citric acid

It’s often found in sour fruits, including lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, pomelos. It makes the coffee more sharp and edgy and is often mixed artificially while processing the caffeine. 

Tartaric acid

It provides a more sharp and strong effect on the coffee than the citric acid. It can be found on many sour fruits. It is also found in bananas. 

Acetic acid

Acetic acid is less enjoyable because of its taste and flavor. It’s naturally found within the coffee beans, and it gives a natural raw taste which is enjoyable for some coffee lovers. 


Important Chlorganic Acids on Coffee

Chlorogenic acids are broken down into quinic and caffeic acids. 

Quinic acid doesn’t taste well. These compounds are responsible for the taste of bitterness, astringency, and soundness,

For this reason, the darker the roast, the bitterer it is, and the lighter the roast, the more acidic it will be.

Read Masago-Benefits

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The Factors plays a role in Coffee Acidity

Various factors play their part and contribute to coffee acidity. 

Making a cup of coffee begins by collecting the beans and ends by serving the cup. Every step can alter, increase or decrease the coffee acidity to more or less extent. 

The Roasting

How it’s roasted is one key factor that defines the acidity of coffee. Acidity has been associated with both roasting time and temperature. 

The longer and hotter coffee beans were roasted, the lower their chlorogenic acid levels.

However, roasting for a long time may reduce the taste of coffee. Excessive heat releases the air from the water and makes it dull, flat, and relatively tasteless. 

This means that lighter roasts appear to be higher in acidity, though darker roasts are lower.

Making Brewing

The brewing process is another aspect that influences acidity. One research showed that the acidity of cold-brewed coffee was considerably lower than that of hot coffee.

low acid coffee
low acid coffee

The overall acidity also seems to be influenced by brewing time. A shorter duration of brewing time results in a more acidic drink and a moderate duration, resulting in a less acidic one.

You may make hot and cold coffee with the same coffee seed and check it all yourself. 

The scale of the Field

Acidity can also be affected by the scale of the coffee grounds. The smaller the soil, the greater the exposed surface area compared to volume, which will lead to more acid being extracted in the brewing process.

Therefore, a more acidic cup of coffee can result from using a finer grind.


Health Effects of Coffee Acidity

While coffee acidity is tolerated in most individuals, in others, it can aggravate some health conditions. 

These conditions include acid reflux, gastric ulcers, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Coffee’s effects on these conditions are mainly caused by its acidity and mild laxative effect in some people.

Caffeine has a severe effect on specific diseases like; IBS and gastric ulcers. If you have those conditions, you should know details about the effect. 

The ph of coffee effects on different disease conditions is discussed below.


The Impact of Acidic Coffee on IBS

High caffeine content is one of the key causes coffee usually worsens IBS symptoms. The substance in coffee that helps to raise energy levels and alertness is caffeine. 

Although this caffeine also helps to retain sanity during a busy working day, it does not often help symptom management. Caffeine increases the production of stomach acid (causing pain and indigestion) and enhances levels of motor activity in the colon/gut (causing diarrhea). 

Those with IBS-predominant diarrhea are typically more influenced by coffee than those with IBS-predominant constipation.

Insensitive individuals, any food rich in caffeine will exacerbate IBS symptoms. Coffee is typically worse than other caffeinated beverages for symptoms since caffeine usually is much higher. 

Tea, energy drinks, dark chocolate, soft drinks (especially cola), and pre-workout supplements are items to be mindful of.

Coffee in moderate quantities should be accepted by most people with IBS! Caffeine-sensitive people with IBS can restrict coffee and tea to no more than 3 cups a day.

This means, to kick start the day (phew!), it would be best if you were perfect with your basic morning cup of coffee. If you find you are especially sensitive and do not manage to handle an entire cup, consider getting a half-strength or decaf coffee. 

Coffee can also be substituted for tea, which has a lower amount of caffeine. Green tea is also a fantastic low-caffeine alternative to coffee, and since it contains antioxidants, it has some amazing health benefits!

Try to restrict the consumption of caffeine to no more than 150mg-200mg a day (about 2-3 cups of coffee/tea).


The Impact of Acidic Coffee on Dyspepsia

Dyspepsia is a concept that includes a group of symptoms in the upper digestive tract, including impaired digestion, pain, and discomfort. To date, research does not demonstrate any connection between coffee intake and dyspepsia.

Several studies have found no association between dyspepsia and coffee intake. 37 percent of 500 adults found coffee to be a cause of dyspepsia in one study that considered the effect of alcohol, coffee, and smoking on GI symptoms. 

Further investigations, however, show no correlation between coffee drinking and this disorder. Dyspepsia is closely associated with both smoking and having quit smoking.

A cross-sectional analysis of 8,407 individuals also revealed that there is no correlation between coffee intake and dyspepsia, but that the existence of the bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) and dyspepsia was strongly related.


The Impact of Acidic Coffee on GERD

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GORD) is an unpleasant reflux disease caused by stomach acid returning to the esophagus. It is proposed that spicy or fatty food intake and overeating are common causes. 

Coffee has been suggested in some cases as a potential cause, but there is no proof that GORD symptoms are affected by coffee intake. Many who suffer from symptoms often, according to their sensitivities, self-regulate their diet and some patients may prefer to restrict their coffee intake.

Although some research indicates that coffee drinking is viewed as a risk factor for GORD, other studies have identified no correlation.

Research from the Netherlands that uses a catheter inserted into the esophagus of patients to control reflux indicates that coffee only affects when eaten on an empty stomach and that the effect on reflux is smaller than that observed after ingestion of a full meal. 

Other factors associated with reflux, such as the functioning of the esophageal sphincter muscle, have not been found to affect coffee. The researchers concluded that GORD in healthy volunteers does not affect coffee itself.

A major patient control study involving 3,153 sufferers and 40,210 controls explored associations between causes of reflux and lifestyle. The biggest influence tends to be on both smoking and high salt intake. 

The researchers indicate that coffee intake, along with high-fiber bread consumption and daily physical exercise, decreased the risk of GORD.

Further analysis of lifestyle and reflux factors in twins indicates that high BMI, smoking, and lack of physical activity at work are risk factors for repeated symptoms of GORD13. 

No dietary factors have been found to have a link, including coffee intake, and indeed, in men, the consumption of more than seven cups of coffee per day is associated with a lower risk of reflux.

A 2006 review of 16 studies assessing the role of lifestyle factors in GORD shows that modifying eating habits, including coffee consumption, does not affect symptoms of acid reflux14. A further 2013 meta-analysis also showed no association between coffee intake and GORD.

One study suggests that consuming caffeine at breakfast reduces acid reflux, but this has not been confirmed in other studies, and conclusions cannot be drawn.

Read Cardiac Glycosides


The Impact of Acidic Coffee on Peptic Ulcer

Peptic ulcers are lesions that appear in the mucosa of the wall of the stomach and induce pain and distress. Coffee has historically been associated with the production of peptic ulcers. 

However, research has concentrated in recent years on understanding the function of the Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacterium in the production of peptic ulcers. 

Studies evaluating the risk factors for stomach ulcer development suggest that coffee is no longer considered a risk factor.

A cohort study of 2,416 adults analyzed risk factors for stomach ulcers and concluded that risk factors include pylori, smoking, and the use of tranquilizers. It was found that coffee intake was not a risk factor.

There is no link between coffee intake and peptic ulcers in a 2013 cross-sectional analysis of 8,013 healthy subjects in Japan.


The Impact of Acidic Coffee on Gastritis

Gastritis is a mild inflammation of the stomach wall, but more intense gastritis can cause ulcers and associated pain, which is usually unnoticeable. 

There is no indication that the production of gastritis is affected by coffee.

Patients dealing with painful gastritis often opt to avoid such foods or drinks if they feel discomfort, and self-management is normal.


The Impact of Acidic Coffee on Stomach Cancer

There is no evidence to indicate a connection between coffee consumption and the risk of developing stomach cancer, research to date shows. 

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) analyzed all available scientific evidence in 2016 and found no direct connection between coffee consumption and cancer at any location of the body, including the stomach.

No link between coffee consumption and the occurrence of stomach cancer was found in a previous systematic review and a meta-analysis of 23 studies.

The EPIC Cohort study results indicate that consumption of total coffee intake and caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee intake is not correlated with the overall risk of gastric cancer. 

However, an increased risk of gastric cardiac cancer can be associated with the overall intake of coffee and caffeinated coffee.


The Impact of Acidic Coffee on Duodenal Ulcer

As the first portion of the intestine after the stomach, the duodenum is frequently exposed to stomach acid as the contents of the stomach pass through the duodenum in order to begin the digestive process. 

The duodenum wall is covered by mucus covering against stomach acid. Still, infection or the use of some drugs, including painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs, can interfere with the development of mucus.

There is currently no correlation in available research between coffee consumption and the development of duodenal ulcers.

The relationship between caffeine, alcohol and smoking was tested for the risk of developing duodenal ulcers in a broad prospective cohort study of 47,806 American men. 

It was found that none of these variables were associated with a significant increase in risk.

There was also no link between coffee consumption and duodenal ulcers in a further 2013 cross-sectional analysis of 8,013 balanced subjects in Japan.

An additional study indicates no difference between those with duodenal ulcers and controls in the daily pattern of coffee consumption or the pattern of complaints after drinking coffee.


The Impact of Acidic Coffee on Intestinal Peristalsis

Peristalsis is the mechanism of intestinal muscle contraction, which enables food to travel along the intestine. In some individuals, coffee can stimulate peristalsis.

A survey of 99 people suggested that coffee induced intestinal activity in 29 percent of individuals.

Research comparing the effect of regular and decaffeinated coffee with the same quantity of hot water or a complete meal of 1,000 calories on intestinal motility found that the effect of caffeinated coffee was as significant as the meal, 60% stronger than water, and 23% stronger than decaffeinated coffee.

Further study shows that strong coffee and hot water both have a significant influence on the movement of the intestines.

There is no evidence that coffee causes diarrhea in healthy adults. The role of coffee intake in constipation cannot be proven since this would depend on the cause and severity of constipation.


The Impact of Acidic Coffee on Colorectal Cancer

In 2016, insufficient evidence was found by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) to suggest any connection between coffee consumption and colorectal cancer.

There is no correlation between coffee consumption and colorectal cancer in several major literature reviews. While some studies mentioned, moderate coffee consumption could reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.


Acidic Coffee on Other Intestinal Disorders 

There are also other intestinal disorders, including diverticulitis, inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s Disease, and ulcerative colitis, that have a variety of triggers. 

There is no indication that these disorders are influenced by coffee acidity. 

A systematic review in 2017 concluded that coffee consumption tends to lead to a decreased risk of ulcerative colitis, but this finding is not significant and confused with smoking.


How To Low the Acid of Coffee

Most people want to reduce the ph of coffee, while some other people want to eliminate it. 

Here are some ways to lower the ph of coffee. 

  • Choose light roasts over dark ones.
  • Drink a cold brew rather than a hot one.
  • Increase the time for brewing, such as using a French press.
  • Opt for a coarser mesh.
  • Brew at a lower temperature.

Many coffees are deemed to be very acidic with an average pH of 4.85 to 5.10.

Although this is not a concern for most coffee lovers, acidity in certain individuals, such as acid reflux and IBS, may deleteriously impact some health conditions.

There are many ways to minimize acidity, such as drinking coffee with a cold brew and preferring darker roasts. You will enjoy your cup of coffee using these techniques while reducing the side effects of its acidity.


Best Low Acid Coffee Brands

Coffee is acidic naturally, and you can’t just reduce it and expect the same taste. However, some coffee brands refine to keep the acidity in coffee minimal. 

The low acid coffee brands may include;

  • Lifeboost Coffee Organic Medium Roast
  • Puroast Organic House Blend
  • Low-Acid Coffee Blend (Volcanica Coffee)
  • Komodo Dragon Coffee (Volcanica Coffee)
  • Mommee Coffee Half Caff Organic Coffee
  • Tieman’s Fusion Coffee
  • Hawaiian Kona (Volcanica Coffee)
  • Java Planet Organic Medium Dark Roast


Caffeinated Products with low acid coffee

  •    Instant coffee= 60-80mg per teaspoon (approximately 1 cup)
  •    Filtered coffee (from coffee machine) = 60-120mg per 250ml cup
  •    Tea = 10-50mg per 250ml cup (strength depends on brewing time)
  •    Energy drinks= 80mg per 250ml can
  •    Coca Cola= 48.75mg per 375ml can
  •    Dark chocolate= 21mg per 50g (approximately 2 rows)


Acid Free Coffee

Naturally, all coffee and caffeinated products contain a small or large amount of acids. These acids can be organic, chlorogenic, or both.  

Some brands reduce the acidity of the coffee by mixing or eliminating particular substances. Most of the time, this refining process changes the taste of the original coffee. 

Unless we are used to the original bean coffee taste, the minimal change of the taste of coffee while lowering the acidity in coffee shouldn’t be a concern. 

Some famous brands sell coffee by labeling acid-free coffee; that is what they achieved by processing the original beans. 



Most of the coffee is acidic because of its natural components. The ph of coffee is about 4.85-5.10. The ph determines the coffee is acidic or basic. 

Acidity in coffee changes over various steps through it goes while processing it. The acidity in coffee is not that high to cause much trouble to a man. 

However, some people with certain medical complications may experience some discomfort and trouble while taking a cup of coffee. 

If you experience something unusual because of taking a coffee, consult with your doctor to diagnose the issues, and shifting to an acid-free coffee can be an option. 


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How soon can you drink coffee after taking omeprazole?

Omeprazole is a PPI (proton pump inhibitor. PPI is indicated to take half an hour (30 min) before taking any meal or drink.

You can drink coffee after 30 min of taking omeprazole. Omeprazole would lower gastric secretion and help you to reduce the effect of acidic coffee.

What is the ph of coffee?

The ph of coffee is not constant, it varies according to the brand and source. However, the average ph of a coffee is 4.85-5.10.

Can coffee cause heartburn?

Yes, coffee can cause heartburn as it is slightly acidic. However, the coffee does not cause acidity to every person. The coffee induced heartburn is more likely to occur in people with GERD, Ulcer, or other intestinal conditions.

Does coffee cause heartburn?

Yes, strong coffee cause heartburn in some individuals. Taking a few sips of water between a coffee drink is a good habit for people who are experiencing heartburn because of acidity in coffee.

Does coffee cause bloat?

Coffee is slightly acidic and the acidity of coffee triggers other gastrointestinal conditions in some individuals. Therefore, coffee can cause bloat.

Does coffee make you bloated?

If you are suffering from some gastrointestinal condition such as GERD, PUD, etc, you may get bloated because of acidity in coffee.

However, coffee is slightly acidic and it’s less likely to be the cause of bloating.

Last Updated on February 23, 2022 by Learn From Doctor Team

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