Ahh, the wonderful smell of coffee. I could drink it every hour of every day. But there is just one problem —acid reflux. It helps to know the best decaf low-acid coffee so I can still enjoy a caffeine fix minus the consequences.
Coffee's acidity is fine for most people but may worsen acid reflux, gastric ulcers, and irritable bowel syndrome for others. Luckily, there are low-acid decaf coffee brands we can use.
How Much Acid Does Decaf Coffee Have?
Your regular decaf coffee will likely have a pH level of 5.0 to 5.1. On the other hand, your usual cup of Joe has an average pH of 4.85 to 5.10.
We can consider most coffees to be rather acidic. This could cause you some discomfort —big time.
Our stomachs naturally have hydrochloric acid and pepsin in them to facilitate digestion and kill bad bacteria. Food and drinks like coffee can promote the body’s production of such acids.
When there are too many of the very acidic digestive substances in our gut, they can rise up from the stomach to the esophagus and throat. This unfortunate phenomenon —and equally uncomfortable— is called Acid Reflux.
Is decaf coffee bad for acid reflux? Unfortunately, yes. It is dangerous as it can irritate the lining of the esophagus. It can cause around-the-clock heartburn, and even aggravate tooth decay.
If this happens repeatedly over time, you are highly likely to develop Gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. uh-oh.
What surprises me is how dark roast can be one of the best low-acid decaf coffee beans. In fact, they’re the least acidic. This is because they contain fewer compounds that cause our stomachs to produce acid.
A good option to still enjoy coffee while also being wary of the potential risks acid reflux can bring is to switch to low-acid decaf coffee.
But will decaf give us the same satisfaction?
Some people argue that a cup of decaf coffee tends to taste bland.
One Reddit user claimed that decaf tends to taste “...below regular because they [manufacturers] never put the best lots to decaffeinate.” because manufacturers are cutting edges during the decaffeination process.
The final product likely ends up with “physical defects” that make the coffee less palatable.
This could be because the process of decaffeination may remove significant components in coffee that give our cup of joe the taste that we all know and love.
Another Reddit user who switched to decaf finds themselves disliking the taste. 👇
Thus brands have been developing decaf roasts without compromising their taste profile.
The process of decaffeination is expensive. Because of this, producers often source cheaper —and often low-quality— raw materials. This leads to an expected flavor degradation in any decaffeination process.
Some manufacturers can make quality decaf. But they would have to start with exceptionally good — and often expensive— coffee beans.
If you add the decaffeination costs to this, then you have exceeded the price most of the consumers are willing to pay.
In this article, we are giving you a list of five brands that offer good-tasting decaf variants that would fit well for a low-acid caffeine diet.
The 5 Best Low-Acid Decaf Coffee Brands
Enjoying your favorite coffee shouldn’t always result in such terrible circumstances. And switching to a tummy-friendly option, shouldn’t have to sacrifice flavor.
Check out these low acid decaf coffee brands
1. Fabula Coffee
The decaf medium roast variant is Fabula Coffee’s most popular low-acid coffee product. They use the Swiss water process or SWP.
The Swiss water process is a natural decaffeination method used on coffee beans. This process only adds water to remove the caffeine from the coffee beans.
The nuanced flavors can stay better when coffee beans undergo the swiss water decaf process. The flavors in your coffee are not washed away during the decaffeination process.
This means you can fully enjoy high-quality coffee with premium flavor profiles without the use of caffeine.
This brand claims that they do not compromise in terms of taste with its nutty aroma and flavor. Fabula is a certified organic low-acid decaf coffee, single-origin, and non-GMO.
- Low-acid decaf coffee is easy on the stomach
- Great aroma and flavor
- Comes in freshly-roasted bags
- shade-grown, organic beans
- Mold and toxin-free
- On the expensive side
- Can be a bit weak for some people
2. Seattle's Best Coffee Decaf Portside Blend
Seattle’s Best Decafis another medium roast decaf option. You might be encouraged to buy a bag after knowing that Seattle’s Best Coffee is a subsidiary of Starbucks.
But unlike Fabula, the beans aren’t decaffeinated using the Swiss Water process. They instead use the direct contact process.
The direct contact process uses substances other than water to extract caffeine and other substances from coffee.
It has a rich sweet nutty flavor, despite being decaf. It’s also on the more affordable range of options, compared to the previous brand in the list.
- Low-acid decaf, easy on the stomach
- Sweet nutty aroma and flavor
- Affordable and easy to find
- Can only be purchased in a 12oz bag
- The decaffeination process is chemical
- Strong, but the flavor is not too intense
3. Kicking Horse Decaf Dark Roast Coffee
Another strong contender for best-tasting low-acid decaf coffee is Kicking Horse Coffee.
This particular coffee uses dark roast beans. It has a rich, robust roasted hazelnut and milk chocolate flavor.
It’s one of the more expensive options, but then, most good-quality decaf is. Another good thing is that it’s easy to find in stores and online.
Kicking Horse Decaf Dark Roast Coffee is certified organic and the beans are decaffeinated using the Swiss Water process.
- Decaf, easy on the stomach
- Rich, robust milk chocolate and hazelnut taste
- Easy to find in stores and online
- Decaffeinated naturally with the Swiss Water process
- A bit on the expensive side
- People argue that they are misled that the kind of roast doesn’t taste as it seems
4. Mount Hagen Organic Freeze Dried Instant Decaf Coffee
For those who would like an instant coffee option, Mount Hagen’s organic decaf coffee is a strong choice.
For days when you find yourself in a rush, this coffee can help get that caffeine fix.
According to customers, Mount Hagen’s is one of the best low-acid decaf instant coffee. This coffee’s flavor profile is that of a well-balanced medium roast: strong but not too acidic.
It is packaged into a pack of 25 sticks for individual servings or in a 3.53oz jar. For this brand, the green beans are decaffeinated by soaking them in highly-compressed carbon dioxide.
The caffeine is then separated from carbon dioxide using activated carbon filters. These filters are reused to extract caffeine once again.
- Decaf, easy on the stomach
- Sold in sticks for individual servings
- It uses a natural decaffeination process
- Some customer claim that the flavor profile isn’t as pronounced as other non-instant options
5. The Original Donut Shop Decaf Medium Roast K-Cup Pods
The Original Donut Shop Decaf Medium Roast K-Cup Pods can be a convenient choice for those who own a Keurig.
It is also considered one of the best low-acid decaf coffee k cup options.
The Original Donut Shop’s K-Cup pods use a medium roast. People who have tried it before described it as smooth and flavorful. However, the brand does not disclose the decaffeinated process their beans go through.
- Decaf, easy on the stomach
- Smooth and flavorful
- Their decaffeinated process is unknown
How to Buy the Best Low-Acid Decaf Coffee
When buying coffee, there are a few things to consider to make sure you have the best kind of coffee to make your pick-me-up.
This is the same even when you are picking out a good decaf brand.
Here are the factors you need to consider.
1. Decaffeination Process
For decaf coffee, the process they used to extract caffeine and other substances from coffee beans is important.
There are four major decaffeination processes existing right now.
Some of the decaf processes are considered “natural” while some involve chemicals:
- Direct-Solvent Process
- Indirect-Solvent Process
- Swiss Water Proces
- Carbon Dioxide Process.
Usually, brands that use natural processes are preferred, as processes that use chemical solvents for decaffeination use the same substances as in paint removers.
There are a lot of reservations from coffee lovers when it comes to the flavor of decaffeinated coffee.
This is because decaffeination processes extract not only caffeine but also other components that contribute to the aroma and flavor of the coffee.
Our main concern may be for the coffee to help us to keep us awake is how it tastes like.
Like any other product, budget is always a concern when picking out a decaf coffee brand.
Since the decaf process can be a bit complicated,
It’s always a plus for any consumer when they get the right value for their money. I mean I’m going to want to buy it again the next month.
4. Type of roast
Coffee roast levels, as you may or may not be aware, influence the acidity of coffee.
Acidity decreases and becomes less noticeable as a roast darkens. Yes, this was once a surprise for me too. I would have thought that a light or medium roast would have more acidity than a dark or espresso roast.
But as it turns out, since dark roasts are cooked longer, the caffeine evaporates from the bean.
5. Type of bean
The type of beans you use for your coffee also affects the acidity of your cup of joe.
Arabica beans have a higher acidity level than Robusta beans. Arabica coffee grows and matures more slowly, resulting in better flavor development and higher acidity.
Can decaf coffee cause acid reflux? Yes. and this is not only because of the decaffeination process but the type of bean used.
For those with sensitive stomachs or those who are just wary of their digestive health, low-acid decaffeinated coffee is a great choice of beverage to incorporate into their diet.
There are quite a few things to consider, but we hope that the list in this article can at least serve as a guide to find out the best decaf coffee for you.
The best decaf low-acid coffee helps you enjoy your caffeine fix
On the PH scale, caffeinated drinks are usually around the measure of 5.
Since coffee is pretty acidic, it can get harmful to the digestive system especially when consumed daily. However, we should remember to consume everything in moderation. For example, the high potassium in decaf may cause issues if you already have kidney problems.
For us who love drinking coffee but would hate to experience acid reflux or diarrhea after drinking coffee, stocking on the best decaf low-acid coffee is a GREAT idea.