When you want that little tart spark, acidity can be a very good thing in coffee. It changes the experience from dull to exciting. The tartness comeses from the organic acids which have powerful antioxidant properties and for many, show coffee as a healthy drink.
Unfortunately, many people who love to drink coffee regularly and especially those who enjoy the benefits of caffeine, also have digestive systems that can’t handle lively and healthy organic acids. For these people, low acid coffee is the answer. Certainly, low acid coffee helps people drink without any of the internal burning and acid reflux.
How to find low acid coffees
There are a number of companies that specifically advertise their brands as low acid coffee. This still represents a very small part of the coffee market and industry, but it is growing as more people have the need for low acid coffee.
All of these companies use quite low-tech methods to reduce the acidity in their coffee. This can be achieved by roasting the coffee beans extremely slowly or interrupting the process, which helps lower the acidity and the aromatics.
Alternately, the green beans can be treated before they are roasted. The waxy outer laying is removed through a steaming process. This reduces the acidity and lowers the aromatics to an acceptable level. The majority of these manufacturers buy their green coffee from certain regions of Brazil that produce a naturally low acid bean.
Using dark roasting to reduce acidity
Some manufacturers take a different approach to providing low acid coffee. They use a process that is called dark roasting and particularly, very dark roasting, which naturally, in unintended ways, considerably reduces the level of acidity in the coffee. These companies didn’t set out to produce low acid coffees, but through an accident of the process used, they are able to supply good quality low acid coffees.
If you prefer a medium or light roasted coffee, then you won’t find it so easy to find a low acid version. Your only option is to locate a coffee manufacturer that uses beans that are much lower than usual in the acidity rating when they are in their raw and unroasted state. They are usually found where much lower growing elevations are used. The lower the elevation for growing, then the less powerful is the acidity. They may also use fruit removal methods to reduce acidity which can mean drying the whole fruit or the fruit pulp.
Brazil leads the world amongst all the producers of naturally made lower acid coffees. Sumatra is also working hard to break into low acid coffee niche markets.
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Damien Higgins writes for Eden Springs, the UK’s No. 1 bottled water cooler supplier. Eden Springs also provides rental of coffee machines for the office.