Coffee is one of the best beverages and the best way to kickstart your day is with a hot cup of coffee. You may be among the numerous coffee lovers who suffer symptoms of acid reflux after coffee consumption and quitting it may be the best decision. However, this article brings good news.
It turns out cold-brew coffee is a better choice for people with Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) than other types of coffee. Read on to find out why.
Is Cold-brew Coffee Better For Acid Reflux?
Cold brew is unlike your regular cup of Joe made with hot water brewing. Apart from the sweet taste compared to hot brewed coffee, a factor that makes it a better choice for people with acid reflux is its pH levels. Studies have shown that cold brew coffee has pH values ranging from 4.85 to 5.10 on the pH scale, meaning it has up to 67% less acidity than any coffee made with another brewing method.
The lower concentration of caffeoylquinic acids in cold brew coffee than in hot brew coffee contributes to the lower acidity level. Also, chlorogenic acid that causes bitterness in hot coffee is not as concentrated, though it reduces the antioxidant activity of cold brew coffee.
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What Makes Cold-Brew Coffee Less Acidic?
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The main reasons why cold-brewed coffee has a lower amount of acid than any other type of coffee are:
The Size Of Coffee Grounds
The size of ground coffee is crucial in the extraction process because the more the ground size, the longer the time the extraction of flavors takes. Cold-brewed coffee is made with medium grind size and steeped for over 12 hours without being overly extracted.
You should use a finer grind if you prefer a more acidic coffee, but you should not consider this option if you manage GERD symptoms.
The Roasting Process
There are three levels of roast in the coffee roasting process: light roast coffee, medium roast coffee, and dark roast coffee. The darker roast coffees are the least acidic because fewer compounds remain if you roast the coffee for a long time.
Dark roast coffee beans give the best results if you want to make cold-brewed coffee, but bear in mind that scorched black coffee beans tend to be bitter.
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The Brewing Process
The brewing process also determines how acidic the coffee will be. This process starts once water hits the coffee, and extraction of the compounds does not happen simultaneously.
The first compounds to be extracted are fats and acids. They have the simplest molecule structure and easily dissolve when in contact with water. The brewing process continues with the extraction of sugars, followed by plant fibers.
These compounds play a role in the taste of your coffee. Acids are the main reasons your coffee may be bitter, and sugars contribute to the sweet taste. Plant fibers also add bitterness to your coffee.
You should steep your cold brew coffee for about 12 to 18 hours to let all the compounds have enough time to dissolve. Though all the acidic compounds will not disappear, the coffee becomes balanced once sugars and plant fibers get extracted.
Some compounds do not simply dissolve without hot water. Acids, for example, are not fully extracted in cold water or room temperature water. However, they break down in hot water.
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How To Make Your Coffee Less Acidic
Though cold brew coffee has lower acidity than other types of coffee, the difference is not so huge as it could still cause symptoms of acid reflux.
The best choice for making the coffee less acidic is going for a dark roast coffee bean, as they are the coffee bean with a lower amount of acidic content.
You should also employ a slower brewing method because after bitter compounds get extracted, the acidity is balanced if you steep coffee grounds in water for a longer time. Ensure you use water with a pH between 8.0 and 9.0 to get the best results.
You can add milk to your coffee as it solves the problem of high acidity. Milk is rich in calcium, which is an alkali that can help neutralize excess acid, and it also helps to give your coffee a better taste.
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Is Cold Brew Better For Acid Reflux Summary
Cold-brewed coffee is the best choice for people who want to reduce the amount of stomach acid that triggers GERD symptoms. However, it still contains a reasonable amount of acid and could cause a burning sensation in your chest if you take it too frequently.
You can drink cold-brewed coffee with acid reflux, but combine it with a healthy diet containing less acidic foods. Also, ensure you drink water to neutralize stomach acid and avoid drinking your coffee close to bedtime.