Is Cold Brew Better For Acid Reflux +Tips To Reduce Acidity

Is Cold Brew Better For Acid Reflux? +Tips To Reduce Acidity

Last updated on October 24th, 2023 at 14:42

Many sufferers of acid reflux have that question: Is cold brew better for acid reflux? Flashing past their mind as they still wish to be social and enjoy a cup of coffee.

The answer is “it depends”. Cold brew is less acidic and by definition is better for acid reflux, but cold brew is also higher in caffeine, a compound that stimulates your stomach into producing more acid.

For many coffee lovers, cold brew will be a better choice, for others not so. Consult with your doctor if you have serious issues.

Kee reading for more details and what you can do to make your cold brew coffee even less acidic.

Is Cold Brew Better For Acid Reflux?

Cold brew coffee is brewed with cold water and for the best effect and extraction of the low temperature compounds, it is best extracted in your fridge. Since the acidic compounds in coffee are best extracted at higher temperatures, the result is less acidic coffee.

By definition, cold brew coffee is better for acid reflux than regular hot coffee. Cold brewing doesn’t neutralize the acid in coffee; it is less acidic as it is simply less effective at extracting the acidic compounds.

The result of brewing at low temperatures is a cup of coffee that is 70% less acidic. There are steps that you can take when brewing your own to ensure that you take maximum advantage of the low temperature extraction to ensure that your coffee has as low an acidity as possible.

Is Cold Brew Better For Acid Reflux
Cold Brew Could Be  Better For Acid Reflux

Read: How much baking soda should I put in my cup of coffee?

How To Make Your Cold Brew Coffee Less Acidic

The first and most obvious one is to use ice-cold water and while your coffee is extracting store it in your fridge. I know that Starbucks and other coffee shops use room temperature water and extract at room temperature.

Another step you can take to reduce the acidity levels is to use alkaline water while brewing. It is also advisable if your goal is to make your cold brew a low acid coffee is to filter out the grounds using a paper filter.

The paper filter will remove all the coffee oils that are in the brewed coffee and thus will reduce the acidity. The result will be a cleaner and crisper tasting cup of coffee. You absolutely must filter out the coffee grounds as they will continue to extract, and your coffee will become overtly bitter.

Normally I advise using a metal filter, but since the goal is to brew a cup of coffee with as low an acidity as possible use a paper filter.

Be patient as extraction time is 16 to 24+ hours. Make it in batches as cold brew coffee keeps well for 5 to 7 days.

You can also experiment with adding a dash or baking soda or cinnamon to your cup of coffee to reduce the acidity further. Also, worth knowing is that adding milk will also reduce the acidity of coffee.

One of the biggest steps that you can make is by consciously selecting low acid coffee beans. Of course, you can buy purposely manufactured beans that have been processed to have a reduced acidity.

If you are a coffee lover and want to enjoy specialty grade coffee, seek out dark roasted arabica coffee that has been grown at a low altitude in non-volcanic soil as this type of bean will be the least acidic naturally.

How To Make Your Cold Brew Coffee Less Acidic
You Can Make All Kinds Of Coffee Less Acidic

Read: pH of coffee

Cold Brew pH Vs Regular Coffee

The pH of regular coffee is 5 while the pH of cold brew coffee is 6 to 6.5 which is considerably less acidic.

Brewing in cold water with a large coarse grind size and extracting while in your fridge certainly has the effect of producing a low acid coffee.

As a note, chlorogenic acid, one of the principle acids in coffee is only found in coffee is a powerful antioxidant with many health benefits including:

  • anti-inflammatory.
  • Anti-diabetic.
  • Anti-carcinogenic.
  • Anti-obesity.

Chlorogenic acid is poorly extracted with cold water extraction methods. Depending on your own situation regarding your health, it may be better to enjoy hot brew coffee and enjoy the benefits of the chlorogenic acid. You can use a number of other methods to reduce the acidity of hot brew coffee, should you need to.

Cold Brew pH Vs Regular Coffee
Cold Brew pH Vs Regular Coffee

Read: How to make coffee less acidic with baking soda

Cold Brew Acidity vs Iced Coffee

Iced coffee, despite its name, is a hot water extraction method where a stronger and more focused coffee is brewed to compensate for the ice melting. Iced coffee is brewed over ice.

The result is a coffee that is more acidic than a cold brew due to the hot water extraction technique used. The addition of ice or brewing over ice has no effect on reducing the acidity of coffee.

In the contest of cold brew coffee Vs Iced coffee acidity, it is the cold brew method that wins out in terms of having the lower acidity level.

If you have a sensitive stomach, an iced coffee is not going to help you much, the cold brew coffee will be better for you.

Does Cold Brew Have More Caffeine?

Yes, cold brew coffee has more caffeine than regular hot brew coffee. Even though hot extraction is much more effective at extracting caffeine, a cold brew coffee is more concentrated having a coffee to water ratio of 1:8 compared to other brewing methods which have a ratio of 1:12, 1:15, 1:16 and 1:18 depending on the type of coffee beverage.

The fact that cold brew coffee has more caffeine in total than other coffee brewing methods may still cause problems with acid reflux and GERD if you have a particularly sensitive stomach, even though cold brew is less acidic.

Caffeine has the unfortunate effect of making your stomach produce more acid. If you are making a cold brew at home, and still want some caffeine in your drink, it may be a wise idea to use 50% decaffeinated and 50% regular coffee beans.

It is what I do with all the coffee beverages that I make, not because of any stomach issues but because of a wish to reduce my caffeine intake.

Frequently Asked Questions About Is Cold Brew Better For Acid Reflux

Cold brew coffee has lower acidity levels than other coffee beverages due to the low temperatures not extracting as much of the acidic compounds and thus may help or be a better coffee to drinks if you wish to avoid an acid reflux flareup.

Despite having a reduced concentration of acids, it may still be problematic and cause acid reflux symptoms due to being high in caffeine. Caffeine, while not particularly acidic, does cause your stomach to produce more stomach acid.

Please consult with your family doctor.

What Is The Best Coffee For Acid Reflux?

The best coffee for acid reflux is low acid coffee. Coffee beans that are naturally lower in acid are dark roasts, arabica and grown at low altitudes and non-volcanic coffee. If you can find a low altitude dark roasted arabica coffee that is non-volcanic you will be on the right track to enjoying a cup of coffee with a reduced acidity. 

Coffee with milk or cream will help to reduce the acidity as will adding bicarbonate of soda and brewing with egg shells. The calcium content will reduce the acidity. 

Mushroom and chicory coffee blends and low acid coffee brands are good options also. 

Yes, studies have proven that cold brew coffee has an acid level that is 66% lower than regular hot coffee. This is due to hot coffee and hot water extraction is more effective at extracting the acidic compounds than cold water extraction.

Hot coffee has a greater chlorogenic acid concentration. Although cold brew is less acidic, due to the increased caffeine content, it may provoke your stomach into producing more stomach acid.

It certainly possible that cold brew is easier on your stomach and easier to digest than regular coffee due to having less acid compounds and a lower concentration of acids. The caffeine content of a cold brew is higher and while it may be easier on your stomach while you are drinking it, but caffeine does make your stomach produce more acid.

It is certainly something to ask your doctor about regarding your own particular case.

Cold brew coffee is better for acid reflux due to being coffee that is lower in acid than a hot coffee. It is even better if you add milk.

Cold brewing doesn’t neutralize the acid in coffee, it just poorly extracts the acidic compounds from the coffee grounds.

Which Coffee Is Easiest On Stomach?

Low acid coffee is the easiest on the stomach. Dark roasted coffee, French roast and Italian roast have less acidic compounds than other roasts. Also, the variety and altitude matters. Arabica coffee beans are less acidic than robusta coffee beans. 

Something worth knowing also is a low altitude coffee that is grown in non-volcanic soil is less acidic. Bourbon, a variety of Arabica beans grown in Brazil and all over Latin America has a very low acidity due to being an arabica bean, part of that family and grows at low altitudes. 

As a dark roast it, an arabica bourbon coffee is low in acid and therefore easy on the stomach.

Final Thoughts – Is Cold Brew Better For Acid Reflux?

Is cold brew better for acid reflux is a complicated topic and each individual coffee drinker should consult with their medic for an answer that is most suitable for them. If you do suffer, please do that. 

Even though cold brew is less acidic and there are steps that you can take to reduce the acidity further the problem may be the caffeine content making your stomach produce more acid. 

Join our online coffee community on Facebook/Meta and join in by sharing your own solutions with coffee and acid reflux and help other members. 

Derek Marshall, a certified barista by the Specialty Coffee Association possesses over two decades of experience in specialty coffee shops. He holds professional certifications for coffee brewing and barista skills. Derek is also an author with authoritative books covering various coffee topics including specialty coffee, sustainability and coffee, coffee brewing, coffee recipes, coffee cocktails and books focusing on Brazilian coffee, Vietnamese coffee, Indonesian coffee and Malaysian coffee. As a barista for over two decades, Derek Marshall has worked in specialty coffee shops across the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. His expertise extends to the distinct coffee cultures, specialty beverages, and brewing techniques of each nation. Functioning as a coffee consultant, Derek charges US$50 per hour. To learn more about Derek Marshall and Latte Love Brew, visit his About Me Page. For coffee inquiries, contact him at +34-639-410-375 or Derek@LatteLoveBrew.com, mentioning your name and location

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