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Acidity in Coffee: Good or Bad? - NO HARM DONE

2 coffee cups with red and blue coffee cream designs.

When you hear a drink described as having high acidity, you may automatically assume it’s a bad thing. After all, who wants to drink something that might be sour? However, acidity in drinks, especially coffee, can be a good thing! This is because acidity helps open up a new world of flavors for a coffee drinker. Let’s learn once for all, if acidity in coffee is good or bad.


What is Acidity?

Coffee is naturally acidic and is listed as a “5” on the pH scale of acidity. That places it below orange juice, soda, and beer! So, coffee itself is not highly acidic. However, when a coffee has a high level of acidity, it means that there are different flavors, which drinkers can often identify. The good news is that acidity does not automatically equal a bad flavor. Instead, acidity in coffee is often described as “bright”, “tangy”, “dry”, “clean”, or “sparkling”.


How Does Acidity Differ in Coffee?

  1. Coffee beans are naturally acidic and contain around a dozen different acids. However, these acids break down during the roasting process. So, if you want to drink a low-acid coffee, then go for dark roasted coffees because they will naturally have a lower acidity
  2. Cold brewed coffee has lower acidity than hot brewed coffee.
  3. A finer grind of coffee beans leads to more acidity as the surface area is larger.  
  4. The location of your coffee beans also plays a role in how acidic your coffee will be. Those that are grown in Central America tend to be more acidic and offer a less mellow experience. On the other hand coffee beans grown in Brazil, El Salvador and India tend to be less acidic. Want to know what the flavors of different coffee beans from different countries taste? Check out our other article.

pH of coffee image from:


What Does Acidic Coffee Taste Like?

Acidic coffee flavors vary wildly, which is part of the fun of drinking them. It’s a great way to try new flavors and expand your coffee drinking horizons. Many acidic coffees have fruity notes that are described as citrusy, melon-like, and even grape-y!


It may take a little while to get used to the different flavor profiles, but once you do, you can enjoy new and exciting coffees that push the boundaries of flavor. Many roasters are experimenting with different acid levels to find the best tasting coffees. So, the next time you get a chance to try a new light roast coffee, go for it! You may be in for a fruity treat.


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