Acidity in coffee is a good thing! It offers a bright, clean element to a coffees flavor profile. Many of the world’s renowned coffees are held in high regard in no small part due to their pleasant acidity. A coffee truly free of any acid would be dull and lifeless. Acidity in coffee also indicates the presence of organic acids loaded with anti-oxidant properties.
However, some of Café Altura’s customers simply cannot tolerate high acid coffees. This has led to a frequent question asked of the Café Altura staff, “Do you offer any low acid coffees?” For customers burdened by frequent heart burn or acid reflux we aim to offer some guidance so that they can still enjoy a great cup of organic coffee without the irritation.
There are companies that use specific treatments for their beans that aim to lower the acidity of their coffee. Here at Café Altura, we recommend that customers first make an informed decision on a country of origin, roast intensity and brewing method before switching to treated coffees. That may be enough to quench the flames of undesirable acid related symptoms without sacrificing flavor.
Country of Origin
The first of three recommendations for finding a high quality, low-acid coffee is to purchase beans sourced from a country which is known for lower acid coffees for natural reasons. Café Altura offers many coffees known for being lower in acid: Sumatras, Mexicos, Perus, and Guatemalas. Following are some of our preferred roasts.
Café Altura’s Sumatran Dark Roast is our most popular Indonesian Coffee and is great for those troubled by acid related symptoms. Both the location where it is grown and the roast intensity lend towards a lower acidity cup for the consumer. The coffee is roasted just long enough to develop the characteristics unique to the bean without masking any of its natural flavors. This Indonesian coffee is rich and full-bodied with a natural, almost earthy, taste. While it has deep tones, it is also gentle, making it easy to enjoy for long periods. This product is certified Organic and Fair Trade.
We Recommend: Fair Trade Sumatran Dark Roast
Organic, Arabica Coffees from Chiapas, Mexico make up the majority of Café Altura’s sales and make a great choice for those seeking a coffee that’s good day after day – both on the stomach and the wallet! The body of our Regular Roast is light and clean and stands up well when taken black. The flavors are a delicate floral with a mild sweetness and no bitterness or pronounced acidity. The finish is subtle and also lends well to a black cup. Café Altura’s Regular Roast is great on a regular basis for those seeking lower acid coffees or those seeking a delicate flavor and consistent quality year after year. Those interested in a darker roast can try Dark Roast, French Roast or House Blend – all of which are made from 100% Arabica coffees from Chiapas Mexico.
We Recommend: Regular Roast
The only blend on our list, New Orleans Blend, is comprised of Mexican French, Peruvian French and Sumatran French. This roast is far into the ‘dark and oily’ realm allowing for much of the natural acids to be broken down through roasting. All three of these coffees fall on the lower end of the acid flavor spectrum. Hopefully, you will notice the body from the Sumatran, a mellow acidity from the Peruvian and the core, balancing these two distinct coffees, is our most popular coffee from Chiapas Mexico.
We Recommend: New Orleans Blend
Café Altura’s Guatemalan French Roast earns a place on our ‘lower acid coffee list’, in part, due to its oily, black French Roast that reduces acidic compounds found in green coffee, but more importantly, because we can barely keep it in stock! Our customers love it for its traditional French Roast flavor first, but comment frequently on how well the Guatemalan coffee maintains flavor qualities that set it aside form other French Roasts. Words like smoke and spice do little to describe the sharpness that comes from a coffee low in acid, but packing in bite. The body is full and the brew comes out thick. The flavors of bourbon and chocolate stand up against the intense roast. The finish is noticeable but lacking bitterness.
We Recommend: Guatemalan French Roast
The second recommendation is to focus on coffees that are roasted dark – the darker the better. Café Altura offers many Dark and French roast options with Dark Roast helping to keep the acidity down and French Roast being most effective at breaking down the acids found in green coffee. Those who prefer our Medium Roast coffees are going to focus more on the country of origin and the brewing method.
Finally, last on our list of recommendations for low acid seekers is the cold water extraction method from Toddy. While this method extracts less acid from the coffee it does so with a noticeable hit to the coffees aroma and flavor. If all other suggestions have been implemented and it still leaves your stomach flinching from the acid there is still hope and you should give this extraction method a chance.
Low Acid Coffee Sampler
We are very pleased to now offer a low acid coffee sampler pack for our customers who cannot tolerate high acid coffees. If you experience frequent heartburn or acid reflux, our low acid coffees may allow you to enjoy a great cup of organic coffee without the irritation.
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(image credit: flaivoloka)