Best Low Acid Coffee Brands in 2023 (For Sensitive Stomachs)
The acids in coffee are what give it the bright, tart flavors that many find appealing. But not all coffee drinkers were created equal and for those with sensitivities, they can also lead to heartburn, acid reflux or tooth decay.
Sensitive stomach? Don’t like the taste of acidic coffee? Rather than switching your morning coffee to decaf (oh god) you can try beans engineered for low levels of acidity, that still taste great. In this guide we show you how to choose the best low acid coffee beans, and give you a range of options.
Here are the best low acid coffee brands:
- Lifeboost Coffee
- Fabula Coffee
- Low Acid Coffee Blend (Volcanica Coffee)
- Caffe Vita Organic Sumatra Gayo River
- Hawaiian Kona (Volcanica Coffee)
- Java Planet Medium Roast
- Mommee Coffee Half Caff Organic Coffee
- Tieman’s Fusion Coffee
Top 8 Low Acid Coffee Brands
All of the options reviewed in this article are great for certain subsets of the population and are some of the finest coffees you can find.
1. Lifeboost Coffee – Best Overall
When you buy this low acid coffee from Lifeboost you’re buying some of the healthiest and most sustainable coffee money can buy.
Sitting 5700 feet above sea level in the lush green rain-forest of the Nicaraguan Highlands sits a tiny 6 acre farm. The soil is pristine (almost untouched) the rivers are full of natural minerals, and here, under the canopy of humongous guava trees grows a gorgeous, high-quality gourmet coffee.
The coffee plants are harvested by the smiling local farmers; washed with local chemical free spring water, then dried naturally in the clean fresh sunlight.
And since you’re looking for low acid coffee that’s high in flavor; you’re in for a treat. Sitting at a PH level of just 6.0 (water being 7.0) means these beans will not give you any of the uncomfortable side effects that usually come with regular coffee.
This low acid coffee is available in a range of roasts and flavors, but is limited in supply, so see if you can grab some by checking out their store here. Here’s what Scott said when he tried them:
Here’s where you can learn more about Lifeboost coffee and what they do.
2. Fabula Coffee – Runner Up
Fabula Coffee was founded on the simple premise of making pure, healthy, 100% organic coffee widely available. Easier said than done, the founders traveled extensively to discover and partner with small farmers to make their dream a reality.
The result is a large selection of low acid single-origin coffee, all fairly traded, certified Organic, GMO-free. As a bonus, these beans are third-party tested for mycotoxins and over 350 other chemical contaminants. Whether you have a sensitive stomach or are concerned about the health and environmental consequences of traditional coffee, Fabula Coffee is a great choice for you.
Fabula coffee beans are shade-grown at high elevations to yield coffee that is naturally low in acid and richly flavorful. The top seller is the versatile medium roast, a wonderfully balanced single-origin brew. But with light roasts, dark roasts, decaf beans, seasonal specials, and coffee pods, there’s something for every taste!
Every bag of Fabula Coffee is roasted right before shipping, so you can trust your coffee will arrive fresh and at its flavor peak. Read Home Grounds’ Fabula Coffee review to learn more.
3. Low Acid Coffee Blend (Volcanica Coffee) – Budget Pick
This delightful Low Acid Coffee Blend comes from Volcanica Coffee – a leading online coffee bean company that supplies some of the finest gourmet coffees on the market. Volcanica’s large variety of whole bean options are sourced from the best growing regions around the world, and especially those defined by rich, volcanic growing soil – a condition renowned for yielding incredibly high-quality beans.
The blend itself is made from beans that are naturally low in acidity, which brings the added benefit of not needing to be dark roasted to achieve that low acid label. This low acid coffee is sourced from Arabica varietals in lower altitude growing regions like Brazil and Sumatra. These factors allow this exquisite blend to deliver a unique flavor profile that is both scrumptiously low-key and naturally gentle on your stomach.
4. Caffe Vita Organic Sumatra Gayo River – Best Single Origin
Coffees from Sumatra are often naturally low in acid due to the unique processing method used in the region. Sumatra is one of the wettest climates where coffee is grown, so sun drying isn’t an option. Instead, a process called “wet-hulling” (aka Giling Basah) is common.
Giling Basah yields low acid coffee with a full body and distinct earthy character. Sumatran beans shine with a medium or dark roast, and their dense mouthfeel makes them a popular inclusion in espresso blends.
A skilled roaster can produce an exceptional Sumatran single origin, such as this tasty example from Seattle’s Caffe Vita. These certified organic coffee beans are grown in a fertile valley in the Gayo Highlands. The coffee has a syrupy mouthfeel and robust flavors of black currant, maple, and earth. As you brew, you’ll note balanced aromas of sweet blackberry, bitter hops, and spicy cinnamon.
5. Hawaiian Kona (Volcanica Coffee) – Best for Coffee Geeks
If you’re a fan of supporting a “grown in the U.S.” coffee experience or want to experience some of the best coffee in the world, another excellent Volcanica option is Hawaiian Kona. Defying the company’s typical desire for high-altitude beans, it aligns with the volcanic soil part of the deal, as it’s grown in the rich earth of the Hawaiian islands. Because Hawaii falls at a higher latitude than most coffee growing regions, it has become famous for its exceptional coffee grown at low elevations.
These particular beans are grown on the slopes of Kona, a district on the Big Island of Hawaii. The climate on these slopes is absolutely ideal for coffee plants. With mild weather year-round and protection from the hot sun, these beans are Shade Grown, ensuring that the coffee trees are in the ultimate environment for growing low acid coffee.
This is Peaberry coffee, a unique mutation that occurs in only 5% of coffee cherries. Instead of producing two coffee beans, each coffee cherry produces only one: the peaberry. As a result, it receives twice the nutrition and twice the flavor! It is also guaranteed to be “pure Hawaiian Kona Coffee,” meaning it hasn’t been “watered down” by other inferior beans in a blend. These low acid coffee beans are dry-processed and medium-roasted, delivering gentle hints of acidity and silkiness. The flavor is nutty, with hints of tropical fruit and a velvety mouthfeel.
6. Java Planet Medium Roast – Best for the Environment
Java Planet Organic Coffee is a great option for those looking for a low acid coffee product with a lighter roast. While most low acid coffee offerings favor a dark roast to further remove tartness, many consumers find dark roasts too bitter. Java Planet offers a medium (along with dark, French, and espresso) roast in order to appeal to all palates.
The other major selling point of Java Planet beans is their commitment to including the date of roasting on every bag of beans. This ensures that you know precisely how fresh the product is.
They source their exclusively Arabica beans from Guatemala where they are shade grown without the use of pesticides. The flavors of the medium roasted coffee are described as floral and chocolate, with notes of caramel and allspice wrapped up in a dark chocolate and pecan finish.
Java Planet also carries the certified USDA Organic label, which we cover in detail in our article on organic coffee beans.
7. Mommee Coffee Half Caff Organic Coffee – Best Low Caffeine Option
Mommee Coffee is marketed towards women in all stages of child-bearing. From trying to conceive through pregnancy and breastfeeding, women are often advised to limit caffeine and take dietary precautions as stomachs can be more sensitive. It was devised by a pregnant woman to fill a void she found in the coffee market. Which is not to say that men and women in any life-phase can’t enjoy it!
Mommee Coffee is processed using a water method that promises to avoid the use of harsh chemicals during decaffeination. Additionally, it is certified USDA organic, fair trade and low in acid making it an ideal guilt-free choice. The company offers a range of caffeine choices — decaf, quarter-caf, half-caf, and full caf — but the half-caf is popular for striking the right balance between energy and sensitivity.
Their low acid coffee has been tested and found to have acid levels five times lower than commonly available coffees. They are particularly low in chlorogenic acid, which is considered the major contributor to acid reflux.
8. Tieman’s Fusion Coffee – Best Blend
Tieman’s Fusion Coffee offers another blended option, in this case through the incorporation of Matcha Green Tea, Rooibos Red Tea, and Goji berry powders. As a starting point, they source 100% Arabica beans from Guatemala and Ecuador, with Colombian beans for great balance. Then they optimally blend and roast them for a low acid brew.
The addition of Matcha green tea is said to boost energy for 5-7 hours, the Rooibos Red Tea settles the stomach, and Goji berry powders offer anti-inflammatory benefits. Tieman’s Fusion Coffee offers five times the body’s daily requirements for anti-oxidant protection.
They pride themselves on offering a delicious brew that is “coffee first”. This is a drink that was designed with coffee lovers in mind and the additives are there to enhance, rather than mask, the delicious natural coffee flavors.
How to choose great low-acid coffee
Acidity is measured on the pH scale, which ranges from 0 (extremely acidic) to 14 (extremely basic) with pure water falling square in the middle at 7.
For reference, most coffees typically have a PH balance of around 5, which is actually less acidic than juices like orange (3-4) or cranberry at 2-3 (1). Surprisingly, dark roasts often have less acid than lighter roasts.
You’ll hear 2 major terms thrown around when looking for coffee with low levels of acidity: Treated low-acid coffees and inadvertent low-acid coffees (2). What do these means?
Treated low acid coffee beans are put through processing techniques designed to reduce acidity. E.g. a natually high-in-acidity coffee may be roasted using a very slow or interrupted roasting process.
Inadvertent low acid coffee refers to coffees that are naturally low in acid. Coffee plants grow at low altitudes tend to be low in acid (as a general rule). If you like the sound of this, look for beans from regions such as:
..as these regions tend to produce inadvertent low acid beans. Hooray!
Can you reduce the acidity levels of normal coffee?
Maybe you have a favorite coffee already that you don’t want to stop drinking?
The short answer is: yes, there are a few things you can do to reduce the acidity in your favorite coffee without compromising the taste (too much). Take a look at our article on coffee acidity here where you can learn a few simple hacks. But here are the ones you should try first:
Avoid light roast coffee’s altogether
The more coffee is roasted, the more acids (flavors) are killed. It’s a fine line – you don’t want to remove all the acids, just the stomach upsetting ones, when roasting. But if you struggle with acidity; a medium to dark roast is a better choice for you.
…Or, cold brew your light roast coffee
Light roasted beans are typically higher in acidity, but cold brewing can reduce those levels down to manageable levels. So if you find a light roast that you really love, just cold brew it and you should be OK.
In the article we mentioned earlier, there are a few suggested additives that will reduce acidity problems. When brewing and drinking coffee, adding milk, salt, or eggshells (yes, eggshells) can combat high acidity. Find out more how and why here.
If you’re looking for an all-around pleaser with low acid coffee that also has great flavor, opt for Lifeboost coffee. Their ability to offer a variety of roasts shows their faith in the quality and flavor of their beans. And their commitment to roasting beans only before they are shipped guarantees the freshness of the coffee arriving at your doorstep! Happy brewing.
Yes, decaf coffee has less acid than caffeinated coffee, all other things being equal. Yet, decaf coffee it is not acid free. If you have a sensitive stomach, decaf can be an excellent choice. However, decaffeinated coffee also has fewer antioxidants and health benefits than regular coffee.
No, Arabica coffee is not less acidic than Robusta. Robusta lacks several of the acids found in Arabica coffee, like citric and phosphoric acid. This is why many people without acid reflux problems prefer Arabica coffee; the acidity gives it brighter and more complex flavors.
Yes, espresso is less acidic than drip coffee for several reasons. First, if you order an espresso at a cafe, it is likely to be a darker roast and it may even contain a portion of Robusta beans, both of which are low-acid options. Second, the faster brew time of an espresso extracts fewer acids into the cup.
- How to Find Coffee That Won’t Bother Your Stomach – Scientific American Retrieved from https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-to-find-coffee-that-won-t-bother-your-stomach/
- 4 Burning Truths About Making Low Acid Coffee – Grumpy Goat Coffee Co Retrieved from https://grumpygoat.com/4-burning-truths-about-low-acid-coffee/