Is Cold Brew Coffee Less Acidic? Here's What You Need to Know!

Is Cold Brew Coffee Less Acidic? Here's What You Need to Know!

Have you been wondering if switching to cold brew coffee can help to reduce its acidity? If so, you are in the right place! For some people, coffee can be hard on the stomach. For others, bright acidic coffee simply does not go well with their taste preferences.

So which coffee will be the easiest on your tummy? Well, the simple answer is any brew from One Great Coffee. We have some of the best low-acid coffee on earth right here! You can brew it hot or cold for a smooth, comfortable, and delicious fresh-roasted coffee experience. However, we understand that you probably want all of the facts. That's why we've broken it all down below!


So is cold brew less acidic?

The simple answer is, it depends. According to Thomas Jefferson University studies, cold brew often has a slightly higher PH than hot brew coffee. However, there are many exceptions to this. Different types of coffee can have different levels of acidity. If you prefer hot brew coffee, there are plenty of great options out there, too. Cold brew acidity is tricky and the method you use to brew your coffee matters as well! When cold brew is made using a slow steeping process in cold water, it can definitely feel smoother and be less irritating when consumed. This has to do with inflammation effects in the body, temperature, as well as acidity.


Helpful Tip: Our Coffees Go Great in Cold Brew Drinks!

The PH of cold brew ranges from 5.10 to 6+ while espresso has a PH of 4.9 to 6. So, they're generally in the same PH range. Coffee can also have a PH as low as 4.8, depending on what beans are used, how they are processed, their roast level, and tha acidity of the water used for brewing.

The thing is, brewing coarse ground coffee in fresh, cold water for 24-hours can help to balance its acidity and may also distribute lipids more evenly. Plus, as a rule of thumb, heat leads to inflammation while cold tends to reduce it. That’s why you ice inflamed muscles, but use heat for nerve pain.

For the best cold brew coffee, we recommend any of our coarse French Press grinds. You can make a range of different drinks with our premium low-acidity coffee beans! So, whether you prefer hot brew or cold brew coffee, we have you covered. We also offer a range of roasts for all kinds of coffee lovers! See our premium gourmet coffees here!




Types of Acid and How they Impact Coffee Taste

Understanding which coffee is less acidic and how cold and hot brew acidity works can be helpful. Here are all of the types of acid in coffee and how they work to impact the flavor profile of the beans. Also, higher concentrations of total titratable acids impact whether you can taste the acidity of coffee. As such, even if coffee has high acidity, you will not be able to taste it in certain scenarios. Ergo, regular iced coffee that was made with a hot brew method and then poured on ice will be as acidic as any hot brew drink. Alternatively, hot coffee made with our dark roast Arabica beans will be far less acidic than any Starbucks cold brew. Here are the five main types of coffee acid and how they impact its flavor.


• Citric Acid

Citric acid is fruity and tangy in flavor. Think lemons and oranges. Latin American coffees are known for having lots of citric acid due to the wet climate and slow growth of coffee trees there. Citric acid is removed during roasting as well. So, a medium roast will only have about 50 percent of its initial citric acid concentration. A dark roast will have even less citric acid and will thus have a smoother, less acidic taste. While Latin American coffees are often known for having fruitier flavors from citric acid, Kenyan coffees are thought to have less citric acid. Even when green and unroasted, these beans are super smooth.

• Acetic Acid

Acetic acid is also impacted by roast levels. As such, the darker you roast the coffee beans, the less acetic acid will be present. In low concentrations, acetic acid imparts a clean, pleasantly sweet taste to coffee. It also helps to produce the fermented coffee flavors that so many people love in barrel-aged coffee. Acetic acid is influenced by growing practices and soil types. 

• Quinic Acid

This acid imparts a slightly astringent taste to coffee. People who dislike the dryness of coffee are tasting quinic acid. Quinic acid goes well in a gin and tonic though! Brewed coffee that sits on the heater too long will develop this type of quinic taste. That's why fresh coffee is always better tasting! Our coffee always comes freshly roasted the day your order comes in. So, if you want the freshest, least bitter beans, we have you covered. 

• Malic Acid

Next up is malic acid. It is found in fruits such as green apples and has a tart taste. It also leaves a lingering flavor on the tongue. This acid is produced within the coffee plant itself and roasting does not have much of an effect on it. If you want to avoid this acid, look for coffees from Africa. We have some delicious ones such as our Ethiopia Yirgacheffe! Alternatively, Panamanian Coffee is known for having lots of malic apple flavor. It sometimes is described as imparting notes of apple or pear.

• Phosphoric Acid

Phosphoric acid does not have a taste. However, it does affect your taste buds. It leaves a sharpness and tingle on the tongue. High levels of phosphoric acid should be avoided. Instead, a balanced brew is best. Too little phosphoric acid and your coffee will be bland. Too much, and it has a harsh bite. Coffee that is picked fresh at the peak of ripeness is ideal! No worries, all of our coffee comes that way. Check out our single-origin brews for the ideal phosphoric concentrations straight from the source!

• Chlorogenic Acid, or CQA

This type of acid leaves a bitterness on the back of your tongue. It is most often highest in Robusta beans. So, if you don't like that lingering bitterness, skip Starbucks. Instead of a Starbucks cold brew, make your own with Arabica coffee beans! Arabica coffee beans have far less CQA, hands down. Good news for you, almost all of our coffees use pure Arabica beans in various different types from regions all over the world! 


Final Thoughts

So there you have it. The best low-acid coffee will be an Arabica-type bean that has been roasted to a dark level. Better yet, go for a single-origin Arabica coffee from a dry growing region that has been processed to improve smoothness. Ethiopia Yirgacheffe anyone? Try our delicious smooth brews today and see why coffee lovers rave about the smoothness of our velvety coffee! Our flavored brews are a treat as well with the same wet mouthfeel but extra kicks of tasty flavor.


  • Audrey

    I also like hot coffee and would love to know if heating cold brew coffee would change the acidity level. And also what coffee you recommend for hot brew that has the lowest acidity.

  • Patricia Grones

    I love hot, coffee, but need to avoid acidity. This was great information . Two questions… 1. Can you buy cold brew and heat it to drink without changing the acidity level? If not, 2. What coffee would you recommend for hot brew, full flavor but lowest acidity that you sell? Thanks!!

  • Trace

    This is great! I love using the coarse grind coffee to make cold brew. I steep it in a repurposed glass jar (used to be for lemonade) over night at least 16 hours in the fridge. I’m not too sensitive to acidity, but cold brew is great for preventing me from getting stomach trouble so that’s awesome. I’m gonna try making cold brew with the flavored coffee from here soon to see how it works. I’ve gotta say, I’ve never had coffee that was less acidic until this stuff. I’m pretty picky and I love how it doesn’t make my mouth feel dry.

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