Is coffee an acid or base?

Most coffee consumers will almost always respond “no” when asked if they would be willing to give up their daily brew.

We drink coffee to wake ourselves up, to get our day started, and because it is a delightful part of our habit. These are all great reasons to pour and savor that steaming mug of love.

You may have heard that taste is influenced by acidity. Higher acidity may and frequently does improve coffee’s flavor.

However, a cup of coffee’s acidity may be more detrimental than beneficial for those who suffer from specific digestive conditions.

How much acid truly exists in coffee, then? And Is coffee an acid or base?

The location of the bean’s origin, as well as how the beans are roasted and brewed, all have an impact on the amount of acid in your cup.

What Types of Acid Does Coffee Contain?

How can coffee become acidic?

There are about a dozen distinct acids, some of which you may not be familiar with.

Before we continue with this lengthy list of the many acids found in coffee, let us be clear about one thing:

By no means does the word “acid” imply that anything is unhealthy.

Many of the meals and drinks we consume include these acids. They are naturally occurring compounds that provide a variety of health benefits for the body.

They are often only detrimental if you have specific medical issues that necessitate maintaining a low-acid diet.

Here is a brief overview of the many acids found in coffee, what they do, and what other foods they may be found in:

Is coffee an acid or base Is coffee an acid or base?

Chlorogenic acid

This acid aids in lowering blood sugar levels and decreasing the absorption of carbohydrates. found in potatoes, kiwi, apples, carrots, and eggplant.

Quinolone acid

increases the effectiveness of antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. found in several varieties of berries, peaches, and apples.

Citrus acid

This acid, which is present in lemons, limes, grapefruits, and oranges, may eliminate dangerous microorganisms and preserve a variety of foods.

Acid acetic

acts as a natural preservative that has the ability to destroy germs; it is the primary component of vinegar, which is used in several sauces and snack foods.

Acid lactate

This acid, which is present in foods that are fermented, such as yogurt and pickles, aids in the improvement of lactose digestion.

The acid malic

a fruit that may be found in apricots, cherries, pears, plums, and other fruits that helps the body get rid of dead skin cells and produces more saliva

Acid phosphoric

This acid supports renal function and helps to build strong teeth and bones when combined with calcium. It may be found in fish, eggs, poultry, beans, and meat.

Acid linoleic

increases blood pressure, lowers cholesterol, and enhances heart health. found in nuts, seeds, soybean oil, sunflower oil, and soybeans.

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Acidic palmitate

an acid that helps the body store energy and maintains cellular activity. It is found in meat, dairy products, and coconut oil.

Is Coffee an Acid or a Base? – All things you need to know

You already know that certain chemicals are bases and some are acids if you paid attention in chemistry class in the tenth grade.

Without delving too far into the physics of atoms and molecules, a substance’s pH value defines whether it is in the acidic or basic category.

Bases are chemical substances that are alkaline and have a pH of 7.0 or above. The pH of an acid is less than 7.0. Bases cause red litmus paper to become blue when dissolved in water.

Coffee is classified as an acid rather than a base because its acid content ranges from 4.85 to 5.10 on the pH scale. Even though coffee may be tasty, due to its acidity, some health issues may make it difficult for them to enjoy.

Is coffee an acid or base 1 Is coffee an acid or base?


A cup of coffee with a pH of 5.0 is suitable for the majority of individuals. Other popular beverages have substantially higher acidity levels in contrast. The pH range of orange juice is between 3.3 and 4.2. The pH of sodas like Coke and Cherry Coke is around 2.5. And just for the sake of curiosity, battery acid has a pH of 1.0.

Coffee is therefore totally safe to consume given that its typical pH level is 5.0. Although it is on the acidic side, it is closer to being a base than you may imagine when compared to other common beverages.

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The definition

We must delve into some fundamental chemistry in order to describe words like “acidic” and “basic.”

Let us begin with two molecules of water. We may separate the water molecules into a hydronium ion (positive charge) and a hydroxyl ion by rearranging certain hydrogen atoms (negative charge). When there are too many hydronium ions, which result in a net positive charge, a material is said to be “acidic”. A material is considered “basic” in contrast when it has an excess of hydroxyl ions, which results in a net negative charge.

It turns out that most of the things we consume on a daily basis have a mildly acidic or basic composition. Acidic compounds naturally taste “sour,” whereas basic substances taste “soapy.” A substance’s acidity or basicity can be determined using the pH scale. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, with 14 being the most basic and 0 being severely acidic. When the ratio of hydronium and hydroxyl ions balances out to produce a pH of 7, the material is said to be neutral since it has no net charge. As an example, the pH of pure water is 7, that of human blood is 7, that of lemon juice and vinegar is 2, and that of baking soda is 9.5.

Coffee has a pH that ranges from 4.5 to 5.0, depending on its content. The chemicals present, including caffeine, chlorogenic acid, cafestol, trigonelline, and kahweol, are what give coffee its acidity.

There are several elements that impact a coffee’s acidity, including:

  • Shade and altitude – Coffee plants cultivated in shaded and high-altitude environments have a higher acidity level than those produced in other environments.
  • Naturally pulped coffee has less acidity than washed coffee because of the processing method.
  • Because Robusta coffee has twice as many chlorogenic acids as other varieties, it is more acidic than other varieties of coffee.
  • Lighter roasts often have higher acidity because shorter roasting times and lower roasting temperatures result in lower quantities of chlorogenic acid.
  • Temperature and time of brewing both have an impact on acidity. Compared to hot coffee, cold-brewed coffee is substantially less acidic. Shorter-brew coffee provides a significantly more acidic flavor profile.
  • Grind size – Coffee that is finerly ground has a lot higher acid content because more acid is extracted during the brewing process due to the greater surface area exposed compared to volume.

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Side Effects of Acidic Coffee

Although acidic coffee is not intrinsically bad for you, it can make some medical disorders like IBS, acid reflux, and stomach ulcers worse.

It is advised to cut back on your coffee consumption or, at the at least, to lower the acidity of your coffee if you struggle with certain medical issues.

Still experiencing health issues as a result of acidic coffee? You may try reducing the acidity of your coffee, so do not panic.

Is coffee an acid or base Is coffee an acid or base?

You may lessen the acidity of your morning cup of coffee in a number of ways, including:

substitute cold brew for hot coffee. Because it steeped at room temperature for a longer period of time, the acid content was reduced.

  • Choose a more coarse grind.
  • Dark roasts are preferable over mild.
  • Choose for coffee cultivated at a lower altitude, such as arabica.

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Related questions

Q1: Is coffee bad for my teeth?

A1: Yes, because coffee is acidic in nature, consuming too much can lead to tooth enamel erosion over time if not balanced with other foods that are high in calcium or other minerals.

Q2: Is coffee acidic or alkaline?

A2: Coffee is slightly acidic, with a pH level between 4.85 and 5.10. This makes it less acidic than black tea or beer, but more acidic than sodas or fruit juices.

Q3: Is coffee good for your digestive system?

A3: Yes, while the acidity of coffee can cause indigestion in some people, research has shown that it can also help to stimulate digestion and improve gut health in others. Additionally, drinking coffee may reduce the risk of certain digestive disorders such as Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Q4: Is coffee acidic or basic?

A4: Coffee is slightly acidic, with a pH level between 4.85 and 5.10. This makes it less acidic than black tea or beer, but more acidic than sodas or fruit juices.

Q5: Is coffee good for your health?

A5: Yes, research has shown that drinking coffee may have a number of health benefits, including reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes, improving cognitive performance, and lowering the risk of certain cancers. However, it’s important to remember that too much caffeine can have side effects such as insomnia and anxiety.


Because it includes acidic substances including chlorogenic acid, tannins, and polyphenols, coffee is acidic chemically. Some people experience stomach discomfort from the caffeine in coffee, which also increases the release of more stomach acid. Coffee is tolerated when compared to some of the FDA’s pH levels for popular beverages, thus that is distinct from characterizing it as an acid or a base.

For instance, blueberry lemonade has a pH of 2.9, grapefruit juice has a PH of 3.6, and apple juice has a PH of 3.8. Kenyan coffee has a PH of 4.3. Coffee actually has a lower acidity than soda and beer.

You may test the acidity of your coffee by dipping a piece of litmus paper into it. Your coffee becomes crimson when it becomes acidic. Pour a few coffee drips into a container if you want to acquire an exact scale. Simply add a few drops of the indicator, then use the indicator’s PH scale to determine if the coffee is acidic or alkaline.

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