Having Coffee with Acid Reflux - A Helpful Guide
As long-time lovers of coffee, it can be devastating to know that life with acid reflux usually requires you to give up your favorite morning drink. Your doctor will probably recommend healthier stuff like green teas and fruit smoothies, but let’s be real, they won’t make your early mornings bearable as coffee does.
The relationship between having coffee with acid reflux is a rather delicate one. Coffee, or anything with high amounts of caffeine, aggravates reflux symptoms and worsens the overall condition. It is a common trigger for most people suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD) and is reported to cause bloating heartburns, and inflammation of the esophagus.
Since caffeine is the main culprit causing all these issues, it is important to note that different types of coffee will affect your condition differently. For example, people who enjoy picking up a latte from the cozy coffee shop down the road probably won’t be as affected as someone who takes their coffee strong and black. That’s because lattes just have 63-100 mg of caffeine while black coffee has over 165 mg.
Are you seeing that little glimmer of hope? Because we sure are! Living with acid reflux doesn’t mean you necessarily have to stop drinking coffee altogether. By making some minor adjustments to your coffee preferences, you can continue your love affair with coffee without any of the pain or discomfort.
Factors Affecting the Acidity Levels of Your Coffee
We’ve gone over why life with acid reflux often requires people to give up on caffeine, but there are some ways to ensure you don't have to! Do you remember back when you were diagnosed with acid reflux? It probably felt like a morning death sentence to hear your doctor recommend skipping your daily brew...
Don’t worry though, we have found a way to make sure you don’t have to pick between having coffee and burning your esophagus! And no, it won’t require you to switch over to that bland decaf stuff.
You just need to pick the best kind of premium coffee beans from Lifeboost Coffee, and roast them to perfection! It’s that simple.Here are some factors that affect the acidity of your morning drink. Pay close attention to them and you won’t have to survive a single day without your trusted old mug of rich, aromatic coffee.
Coffee Growing Conditions
Did you know that the conditions under which your coffee beans are grown can significantly affect their acidity levels? You read it right! Farm elevations, soil conditions and the amount of sunlight that your plants receive will all contribute to how acidic your coffee is.
A general rule of thumb to remember is, the less acidic the growing soil, the less acidic your coffee beans will be. Therefore, coffee from farms in Brazil, Nicaragua and Indonesia is less acidic than the beans obtained from other regions. Additionally, higher elevation areas and volcanic soils like the ones found in Peru or Guatemala usually produce more acidic coffee beans.
Lifeboost Coffee secures its beans from a single-origin plantation in Nicaragua. This plantation lies at a low elevation of 5700 feet in the covering of guava trees. All of these geographic factors combine to form exceptionally low acid coffee beans that are perfect for people with acid reflux!
Processing and Roasting Technique Used
When the coffee cherries have been picked, they will be processed in either of the following ways:
- wet processing (also known as washed)
- dry processing (also called natural processing)
- hybrid technique (includes a mixture of the two)
Although processing methods have a limited effect on the pH of your coffee, it is still an accepted fact that wet processed coffee is more acidic than the other two. Dry processed coffee also has a strong bodied flavor that does wonders to mask the acidity of the beans.
After the processing is complete, next comes the roasting techniques. Roasting has a massive impact on the acid levels of your coffee beans. Lighter roasts have lower pH, thus resulting in high acidity. On the other hand, dark roast coffee beans are of a neutral pH since the roasting process burns off most of the acid content. You should also keep in mind that the roasting duration and temperature both lend in a hand to reduce the acidity of your coffee beans.
So, a dark roast that has been roasted at 410*F will still be more acidic than the same roast done at 500*F for the same amount of time.
Lastly, you need to brew your coffee in a way that ensures the lowest levels of acidity possible. Since this one is completely in your hands, you will have the most control to make sure your coffee preparation technique is perfect for people with acid reflux.
If you’re having coffee with acid reflux, it is best to opt for a brewing method that uses a fine grind. Standard drip brewers work great in this regard. In contrast, coffee brewed with a French press requires a coarse grind that makes a more acidic cup of coffee.
Some other brewing factors you can look into are:
- Using a paper filter paper to absorb some of the acidity.
- Lower water temperature to extract less acid.
How to Reduce Acidity Before Brewing
Once you’ve selected the best low acid coffee beans from Lifeboost Coffee, the next step is to brew it in a way that gets rid of any remaining acid. Apart from buying low acid beans, the best way to continue depending on coffee to wake you up each morning and get you through a tiring work day is by eliminating as much of the acidity as possible.
With little to no acid left swimming about your perfectly rich cup of coffee, you won’t need to worry about a burning esophagus or abdomen getting in the way of your daily routine. Below, we have listed down and explained some great tried-and-tested tips to safely enjoy coffee as you navigate life with acid reflux.
Buy a Less Acidic Roast - Desperately looking for a way to hold on to your early cup of coffee after being diagnosed with acid reflux? Simply buy a dark, low acid roast from Lifeboost and you will never have to search for other types of coffee to try out!
As we discussed above, single-origin coffee beans grown in low elevation plantations are better for people with acid reflux. Moreover, Lifeboost Coffee offers an impressive variety of roast types so you can order a dark roast that has been roasted for a long time at high temperatures. All of these factors will ensure extremely low acid levels in your coffee beans, while still retaining their full flavor profile.
You should also consider buying beans that have had the waxy outer layer removed before roasting. This is another great way to ensure your coffee has reduced acidity levels, so you won’t need to grab an antacid (more on these later!) right after drinking. The only downside to low acid coffee is that some of the natural acids of the beans are removed as well, resulting in a less aromatic drink. But, at least you still get to have your coffee each morning, right? Can’t win it all.
Use the Right Brewing Methods - Now that you have the perfect coffee beans ready to be brewed into a cup of wholesome goodness, you also need to make sure you use the right coffee brewing methods.
We previously mentioned how you should go for coffee brewing techniques that require a fine grind. As your coffee grinder does its magic, you should change the paper filter of your drip machine to make sure it traps most of the acid in it. Remember, the finer the grind, the lower the acid levels of your freshly brewed coffee.
Cold Brewing - If you’re anything like us, you probably love grabbing a glass of iced coffee on those hot summer days. It is the perfect way to get your much-needed dose of caffeine in a super refreshing form. But , have you ever considered making it your signature way of enjoying coffee?
Cold brewing is becoming more and more popular among coffee connoisseurs as it offers amazing health benefits while you continue to enjoy your favorite drink. This is because cold brewing makes a delicious cup of well-rounded coffee that has none of that bitter, acidic taste, making it ideal for people with acid reflux and digestive issues.
This coffee brewing method effectively neutralizes the acids in your coffee beans by exposing them to cold water to extract all that delicious flavor we love so much. As a result, the final brew has up to 70% less acidity than a regular cup of coffee. Cold brewing is also super simple so you won’t need to YouTube complicated brewing methods for hours before getting the hang of it. Just pull out your French Press and get right to work.
If you don’t have a French Press, that’s fine! You can use any mason jar or container with a lid and a piece of cheesecloth. Super fine mesh strainers work great as well! With cold brews, the longer your beans sit in the solution, the better your resulting flavor profile will be. We recommend leaving the beans in overnight for the perfect cup of morning coffee!
Add Eggshells to Coffee Grounds - This one may seem a little weird, but you should save the eggshells when you crack open an egg to fry or poach in the morning. Using eggshells to reduce acidity in your coffee is strange, but it’s basic chemistry so we can’t really argue there.
Eggshells are naturally alkaline, so they will do a great job of neutralizing the acids in your coffee beans. Simply take an eggshell or two, rinse them well and crush them using your hands. Place these crushed shells into your coffee maker (use the carafe or chamber if you’re preparing coffee with a French Press) and brew as normal. You’ll notice that your coffee tastes much smoother and doesn’t cause any inflammation at all! Don’t worry, you won’t get any of that eggy smell or taste from the shells, we promise!
Our Secret Trick: Using Alkaline Water - Want to know a well-guarded secret to making that perfect cup of coffee without any acidity getting in the way? Use alkaline water instead of your usual water! As we’ve discussed all through this guide, anything alkaline in nature will neutralize the acids in your beans. The higher this alkalinity, the better the results.
Alkaline water is anything over the pH of 7, but we recommend that you pick out water that is over 8 on the pH scale at least. It’ll work best to get rid of the acids and you can continue drinking your coffee like the rest of us caffeine addicts.
How to Reduce Acidity After Brewing
What you add to your coffee after brewing has just as much of an effect on its acidity as the brewing techniques used. Let’s say you’ve chosen a dark roast that was roasted at high temperatures and then fine ground it yourself. Your cup of delicious drip coffee is ready to be enjoyed, but oh wait!
There are a few more steps you can take to get rid of any remaining acidity in your steaming hot cup. After all, you would want to eliminate as much of that acid as possible so the doctor no longer insists you give up your coffee.
Let’s go over some things you can add to further neutralize any lingering acids in your coffee.
Add Some Milk - If you prefer cappuccinos or lattes, you’ll add some milk to your brew right about now. While your intention may be to bring out that delicious flavor of coffee, milk can actually neutralize the acidity of your coffee as well! That is why milky coffee drinks don’t cause flare ups in people with acid reflux, but espresso shots do.
Regular cow’s milk has a pH level of 6.7, which is more on the neutral side than alkaline. While it will work to reduce the acidity of your drink, the effects will be slight. A better option is to use almost milk, which is quite alkaline and will cause a dramatic decrease in your coffee’s acidity levels.
A Pinch of Baking Soda - A more potent way to neutralize the acidity of your coffee is to head to your pantry and bring out the big guns - yes, we just mean baking soda! While it’s considered a simple baking ingredient in most kitchens, baking soda is actually quite a powerful neutralization agent.
Have you ever noticed how baking soda sizzles when you add vinegar, lemon juice or other acids to it? That’s the alkaline powder causing a neutralization reaction. This simple white powder will induce a dramatic decrease in the acidity levels of any kind of coffee, giving you a deliciously strong cup of coffee with none of that typical heartburn. Just be sure not to add more than 1/4th of a teaspoon to a pot of brewed coffee. Any more than that will ruin the flavor and texture of your drink.
Choose Your Sugar Wisely - Different types of sugars have different pH levels, so be sure to pick one that is slightly basic. Basic (or alkaline) sugars will neutralize any leftover acids in your coffee, giving you a smoother, more enjoyable drinking experience that won’t have you rushing to the bathroom right after.
Raw, unprocessed sugar is the most alkaline kind that you can opt for. On the other side, white or even brown sugars tend to be acidic, so they won’t do any favors for people trying to have coffee with acid reflux. P.S. YOu can also consider adding a little bit of cinnamon to your coffee. Cinnamon is known for its ability to reduce stomach acid production, and it’ll do so while also adding a delicious bit of flavor into your drink.
Coffee Acid Reducers - As you probably know, the best way to eliminate acid is by neutralizing it through a chemical reaction with an alkali. But, how do we achieve this without altering the taste of your favorite morning drink? By using coffee acid reducers!
Coffee acid reducers decrease the amount of acid in your coffee by upto 90%, which in turn ensures you won’t end up with an aggravated stomach just before school or work. These products aren’t antacids that you take to reduce the effects of acidity in your body. Instead, they work as a proactive measure to prevent inflammation caused by acidity altogether. The best part is that they have little to no effect on the flavor profile of your beans, making them absolutely perfect for people who love an espresso shot to wake them up. You won’t need to add milk or sugar at all!
Some Other Trigger Management Tips for Acid Reflux
Acid reflux is an extremely uncomfortable condition that leads to sore throats, abdominal pains and a really nasty taste in your mouth. If left untreated for extended periods of time, it can turn into a full-blown gastroesophageal reflux disorder (or GERD) which often makes the heartburn so severe that you feel like you’re having a heart attack.
The three main conditions that aggravate your acid reflux are poor clearance of acidic food from the esophagus, large volumes of acid in the stomach, and delayed stomach emptying . Therefore, you can work on managing your acid reflux triggers by tweaking your food habits and adopting a healthier lifestyle. Apart from having low acid coffee, here are some other ways you can bid farewell to that terrible burn-like feeling in your abdomen.
Antacids Help Neutralize Stomach Acids - Life with acid reflux is not easy. Luckily, there are numerous antacids that can help you get quick relief if your acid reflux is acting up. They are over-the-counter drugs, like Mylanta and Tums, that subside the effects of inflammation in the esophagus and stomach lining. They also neutralise the higher concentration of acids in your stomach to relieve indigestion and heartburn. While antacids are a good way to get rid of the pain and discomfort caused by acid reflux, you should keep in mind that they are not a permanent solution.
Moreover, long-term use of these drugs can cause complications for your stomach as well. So, popping a chewable tablet before having your cup of coffee just won’t cut it. You need low acid coffee from Lifeboost, brewed to perfection, to enjoy your daily shot of caffeine without any stomach complications.
Maintain Your Weight - Excess pounds are known to make the effects of acid reflux worse. This is because the extra weight puts additional pressure on your abdomen, causing your stomach to be pushed up and the acid to reflux back into your esophagus. This results in that burning sensation that’s stopping you from enjoying the food and drinks you love.
Therefore, maintaining a healthy weight is an excellent (and quite achievable) way to reduce acid reflux. It’ll even help you adopt a healthier, more active lifestyle making it a gift that keeps on giving!
Don't Lie Down After Eating (or Drinking) - Your doctor has probably already told you not to move too fast or exercise right after eating. But did you know, people with GERD should also avoid laying down immediately after a meal or drink?
Yeah, it goes both ways! While it may be tempting to enjoy breakfast in bed over the weekend or lay in with your cup of coffee and a good book, doing so will make your acid reflux worse. Instead of spending some time relaxing, you’ll be stuck with heartburn and acidity. So, it is best to give up those extra minutes in bed and head out to the porch or your backyard to enjoy your low acid coffee.
Get Your Low Acid Coffee from Lifeboost Coffee Today!
Now that you’ve gone over our guide on having coffee with acid reflux, you already know how important it is to select low acid beans and utilize the correct coffee preparation techniques. Low acid coffee may not be easy to find, but trust us it’ll do wonders for your new food lifestyle!
If you’ve been searching for some delectable and aromatic options for your morning coffee, we have the perfect recommendation for you!
Check out Lifeboost’s impressive coffee subscription, which boasts premium, non-toxic beans delivered straight to your doorstep! Not only are our gourmet coffee beans among the tastiest and healthiest ones found worldwide, but they are only exceptionally low in acidity - making them ideal for people who suffer from acid reflux.
We ensure low levels of acid by bringing you single origin beans unlike other subscriptions that send coffee beans from various plants and countries. This automatically makes our coffee more pure as each Lifeboost Coffee bag contains beans from the same plant growing in the same farm and thus having a similar roast profile. Our beans are purely obtained straight from the most treasured national reserve and top coffee farm in Nicaragua.
To offer a truly elevated coffee experience, we also guarantee that our coffee won’t bother your stomach at all! Curious about how we make this possible? It’s because there simply aren’t any toxins, GMOs, pesticides or harsh chemicals used which could irritate your esophageal lining or cause inflammation. Sounds like a dream come true, does it not?
Here are some more ways in which our coffee is designed to be low acid for a better drinking experience:
- Shade-grown beans.
- 3rd party tested for mycotoxins.
- 11.5% internal humidity maintained.
- Boost of clean energy.
Ready to enjoy the healthiest, most delicious cup of coffee that’ll leave your kitchen smelling HEAVENLY? Order from Lifeboost Coffee today and get free shipping on all orders above $50!
10% OFF our entire store with coupon code "10OFF" at checkout
This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Dr. Charles Livingston nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content.
All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.