There are plenty of coffee lovers in the world, and I know I certainly love and rely a little too much on my morning cup to help get me started on my day.
However, some health conditions can get in the way of truly enjoying your coffee.
This article will discuss something called acid reflux, how drinking coffee can affect people with this condition, and then list some of the best coffee for acid reflux.
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What is Acid Reflux?
In order to understand acid reflux, you must first understand a basic piece of anatomy.
If you followed the food that you ate with a camera, you would see it go down your esophagus and through two sphincters.
The one we are concerned with is the lower esophageal sphincter that connects to the stomach.
This usually stays closed unless it is allowing food through. Sometimes, the sphincter, which you can think of like a muscle, gets weakened (1).
It is also subject to additional pressure in people who are obese, eat larger meals, or are pregnant.
This weakened sphincter combined with extra pressure forces the acid from your stomach up into the esophagus where it doesn't belong.
This is called acid reflux. Check out this video for a visual representation of what happens.
Can Coffee Cause Acid Reflux?
Coffee can be a trigger for acid reflux, which is what can make it so hard to enjoy sometimes. There are a couple reasons that coffee can act as a trigger. The first is that it is an acidic substance.
Drinking coffee, or even ingesting other acidic foods, can contribute to an increase in the acidity of your stomach. This can put you at a higher risk for acid reflux (2).
The other reason that coffee acts as a trigger is that it can irritate the esophagus and lead to a weakened esophageal sphincter.
This is the part that allows the acid and stomach contents to flow backward and up into your already irritated esophagus.
The double impact that coffee can have on your esophagus and stomach make it a very strong trigger for acid reflux.
What's the best type of coffee beans for Acid Reflux?
You may be wondering if you have to give up coffee for good, and lucky for you the short answer is no.
However, if you are already experiencing acid reflux or just want to improve your health overall, then it is recommended that you try choosing a different type of coffee that has a lessened chance of causing issues for you.
There are a couple different options for achieving this goal. The first is to look for coffee with a lower acidic content.
This could be as simple as selecting beans from a different region or something with a lower caffeine content. You should also consider switching to half-caff coffee or to decaffeinated coffee.
These two types of coffee can help improve symptoms of acid reflux while still giving you the mental boost of drinking coffee.
What's the best type of roasting for Acid Reflux?
One of the best roasting options for your coffee is a darker roast.
The main reason for this is that lighter roasts, such as those labeled "breakfast blend" have a higher caffeine content.
The darker roasts have a lower caffeine content and therefore provide you with less potential for having an acid reflux episode.
The option of a cold brew coffee is also great because this typically contains less acid, giving you a great cup of coffee without some of the ugly side effects from your stomach.
Lastly, you should always try to use fresh grounds if you can. This will also help you with acid reflux symptoms.
You can easily purchase coffee beans from your local grocery store and grind them yourself at home using a variety of different grinders designed to fit your individual needs.
This does require an extra step to get your coffee, but the payoff is worth it if you want to be able to enjoy your coffee.
What's the best region of beans for Acid Reflux?
Before your cup of coffee is made, it started out as a coffee bean in a field.
This may not seem significant to you, but the growing procedures and processing that your coffee beans go through before they make their way into your kitchen are important.
If you know more about this process, you can make a better choice about which types of coffee to look for to provide you with the best results.
Coffee beans that are great for those who suffer from acid reflux are those from lower elevations like Mexico and Sumatra.
Coffee grown in these countries is naturally lower in acidic content. It's also important to note the difference between coffee grown in shade versus beans grown in the sun.
The sun will ripen your beans much quicker and lead to a more acidic coffee, while the beans grown in the shade are slower growing and therefore have a lower acidity level.
What's the Best Brewing Method for Acid Reflux?
This website has a lot of great information about how you can alter your coffee purchasing and brewing methods to better help you avoid symptoms of acid reflux.
It lists cold brew coffee as having an incredible 65% lower amount of acid per cup. It also states that you can take your cold brew cup of coffee and heat it to still have a warm cup of coffee.
The extraction process has already occurred during the brewing and the heat will have no effect on the acid level.
Pro Tip 1: Try adding eggshells because they are more alkaline and can help minimize the acid content in your coffee grounds.
Pro Tip 2: Salt can also help neutralize the acidity and bitterness in your cup. Try adding it into the grounds as you're brewing or directly into the cup afterward.
The Best Coffee for Acid Reflux - 2018 Reviews
1. Lucy Joe's Coffee
This product is an organic and low acid blend. The beans are from Indonesia and Brazil, and it is a medium-dark brew.
This bag is only 11 ounces, and does not currently come in any other sizes. However, you are always able to purchase more than a single bag at a time.
You could also purchase this product online and stock up when they offer discounts.
2. Java Planet Organic low acid Coffee Beans (Our Top Recommended)
The packaging for this product is very appealing to the eye, and makes me eager to check out the quality of the coffee inside.
The beans are from a family owned and operated business that offers you a certified organic product.
The company selling this product was also considerate in that they send their two pounds of beans in two bags.
This helps preserve the freshness and keeps the acid content low for your coffee.
3. Don Pablo Colombian Decaf Coffee (Our Top Recommended)
This is a decaf coffee that comes in a two-pound package.
The only issue with that is that, depending on how often you make coffee, you may have a harder time keeping these beans fresh for brewing.
This can cause issues with acidity and acid reflux. The company does mention that their bags are equipped with a one-way valve to let CO2 out and not allow oxygen in.
It is also a medium roast with hint of caramel, cocoa, and citrus.
4. Sumatran Gayo Low Acid Coffee
This product comes packaged as 16 ounces, and contains beans sourced from Indonesia.
It is a low acid bean that has been medium roasted prior to packaging.
It is also an organic product free from chemicals and pesticides.
This coffee bean is a great option if you are looking for something that is sweet and clean.
5. Equal Exchange Organic Coffee
This product contains coffee ground that is french roasted and decaffeinated.
It is packaged in a 10-ounce bag with a one-way valve to help preserve the freshness.
These grounds also have a creamy malted chocolate flavor mixed that can end up being bittersweet.
The beans were grown in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. This makes them more likely to have a lower acid content.
As you can see, there are many things to take into consideration the next time you select coffee beans for your perfect cup of coffee at home.
Acid reflux can be a serious condition that has the potential to cause harm if you continue to ingest things that will trigger your stomach acid and lower the strength of your esophageal sphincter.
Coffee can be a major trigger for acid reflux, and it's important to choose the right type to help you with symptoms of acid reflux.
From this list, I think the best coffee for acid reflux is the Java Planet coffee beans. Their product packaging is appealing, and they use procedures that help to reduce the acid content of their product.
This is especially important in order to allow you to continue drinking your favorite drink.
My name is Kathy Gallo, Editor of Daily Cupo, a Coffee buff. The guide you find here is designed exactly for you, and it is our hope that you find it not only interesting but also actionable.