Is Espresso Less Acidic Than Coffee? 5 Tips You Need to Know!

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A cup of espresso with steam coming out of it.
Table of Contents
A cup of espresso with steam coming out of it.

Key Takeaways:

  • Espresso generally contains less acid than regular coffee due to its unique brewing process under high pressure and shorter extraction time.
  • Factors such as roast levelbrewing methodwater temperature, and extraction process can influence the acidity of coffee.
  • Choosing lower-acid coffee beans, adjusting water temperature, using baking soda, and optimizing the extraction process are ways to reduce acidity in coffee.
  • Despite being less acidic overall, individual sensitivity to acids may vary among individuals when consuming espresso.

Is Espresso Less Acidic Than Coffee?

Espresso is indeed less acidic than regular coffee. This may come as a surprise since espresso has a stronger taste and higher caffeine content, but when it comes to acidity, the verdict is clear.

The unique brewing process of espresso, which involves high pressure and shorter extraction time, contributes to its lower acidity compared to regular coffee brewed with less pressure and longer extraction times.

Espresso beans are typically dark roasted for a longer period of time, resulting in lower acidity levels. So if you’re looking for a coffee option that is easier on your stomach or digestive system, espresso might be the way to go.

Despite its lower acidity levels, it’s important to note that individual cases may still vary depending on factors such as specific bean varieties used or the brewing technique employed.

While generally considered less acidic, some individuals may still experience discomfort or issues with certain espressos due to their personal sensitivity to acids. For most people seeking a potentially more stomach-friendly option without compromising on flavor and caffeine strength, espresso can be an excellent choice.

To help you understand this better, we have analyzed various factors that influence the acidity levels in different brews. Dive in and discover how your favorite espresso could be a low-acid delight!

Understanding Acidity in Coffee

Acidity in coffee is determined by various factors, including the type of beans used, the roasting process, and the brewing method.

Acidic Levels

Acidity is a key attribute in coffee, contributing to its taste and overall flavor profile. The acidity can vary significantly between different types of coffee and brewing methods.

The pH scale measures this acidity level – with 0 standing for the most acidic substance and 14 for the least. Coffees generally fall within the range of five to six on this scale, though certain brewing factors can impact these values.

How long coffee beans are roasted or brewed can affect their acid content substantially. Espresso has less acid compared to drip coffee because it’s brewed under high pressure that extracts more oils but fewer acids from the beans.

On top of that, going through longer roasting periods also reduces espresso’s acidic levels as well as using specific dark roast beans suited for espresso preparation. Despite having higher caffeine concentration than regular coffee which often associates with increased acidity, espresso surprisingly emerges as a lower-acid alternative due to its unique brewing process and properties.

Factors Affecting Acidity

Several factors can influence the acidity of coffee. One important factor is the roast level of the coffee beans. Dark roasted beans tend to have lower acidity compared to lighter roasts.

Another factor is the brewing method used. Espresso, for example, is brewed under high pressure, which can result in a higher concentration of oils and acids being extracted from the grounds.

Drip coffee brewed with less pressure may have fewer oils and acids extracted, resulting in a less acidic cup of coffee. Water temperature and extraction process also play a role in determining acidity levels.

Different Brewing Methods and Acidity

  • Espresso is brewed under high pressure, resulting in a higher concentration of extracted oils and acids.
  • Drip coffee, on the other hand, is brewed with less pressure, leading to lower levels of extracted oils and acids.
  • Cold brew coffee typically has lower acidity compared to regular coffee due to its longer brewing process with cold water.
  • The acidity of coffee can also be influenced by factors such as water temperature, grind size, and extraction process.
  • Dark roast coffee beans used for espresso are generally roasted for a longer period of time, which can result in lower acidity.

Ways to Reduce Acidity in Coffee

There are several ways to reduce acidity in coffee, such as adjusting water temperature and choosing lower-acid coffee beans. Discover more tips on how to enjoy a less acidic cup of joe by reading the full blog post!

Adjusting Water Temperature

The temperature of the water used to brew coffee plays a significant role in its acidity level. Higher water temperatures can extract more acids from the coffee grounds, resulting in a more acidic cup of coffee.

Lower water temperatures may lead to a milder and less acidic taste. Experimenting with different water temperatures is one way to reduce acidity in your coffee.

Keep in mind that too low of a temperature may result in under-extracted flavors, so finding the right balance is key.

Choosing Lower-Acid Coffee Beans

One way to reduce acidity in coffee is by choosing lower-acid coffee beans. The level of acidity in coffee can vary depending on the type and origin of the beans. Coffee beans that come from regions with higher altitude tend to have higher acidity levels.

Lighter roast coffees generally have more acidic flavors compared to darker roasts. By selecting beans that are known for being low acid, such as those from Brazil or Sumatra, you can enjoy a smoother and less acidic cup of joe.

Using Baking Soda

Baking soda can be a useful tool in reducing acidity in coffee. By adding a small amount of baking soda to your brewed coffee, you can help neutralize some of the acid content and make it easier on your stomach.

This is especially beneficial for those with sensitive digestive systems or those who experience acid reflux after drinking coffee. The alkaline nature of baking soda helps balance out the acidic properties of the coffee, resulting in a smoother and less harsh taste.

Just be sure to use caution when using baking soda, as too much can give your coffee an unpleasant flavor.

Optimizing Extraction Process

To reduce acidity in coffee, optimize the extraction process. Here are some ways to do so:

  1. Adjust grind size: A finer grind allows for more surface area and faster extraction, which can result in a smoother, less acidic cup of coffee.
  2. Control water temperature: Brewing at the correct temperature (around 195-205°F or 90-96°C) can help extract flavors while minimizing acidity. Avoid using water that is too hot or too cold.
  3. Brew time: Controlling the length of the brew time can affect the acidity level. Over-extraction can lead to a more acidic flavor, while under-extraction may result in a sour taste.
  4. Use proper brewing equipment: Using high-quality equipment, such as a burr grinder and a reliable espresso machine or pour-over setup, can help achieve consistent results and minimize acidity.
  5. Consistency in measurements: Maintaining consistent ratios of coffee to water can help control extraction and ensure a balanced flavor profile with lower acidity.
  6. Pre-infusion technique: Pre-infusion involves wetting the coffee grounds before starting the extraction process. This helps to evenly distribute water throughout the coffee bed and can contribute to a more balanced extraction.

Maintaining Coffee Quality

To maintain the quality of your coffee and reduce acidity, pay attention to various factors. First, make sure you’re using fresh and high-quality coffee beans. The freshness of the beans can greatly impact the taste and acidity levels.

Secondly, store your coffee properly in an airtight container away from light, moisture, and heat to preserve its flavor.

Next, be mindful of water temperature when brewing your coffee. Using water that is too hot can result in over-extraction and increased acidity. Use water at around 195-205°F (90-96°C) for optimal extraction.

Besides these steps, consider adjusting your brewing method or grind size if necessary. Different brewing methods have different effects on acidity levels. For example, French press brewing tends to produce a higher acid content compared to pour-over or espresso preparation.


After exploring the acidic levels of espresso and regular coffee, it is evident that espresso is indeed less acidic. This can be attributed to the unique brewing process of espresso, which involves higher pressure and extraction of oils and acids.

Dark roasted beans used for espresso tend to have lower acidity. Understanding these factors allows coffee lovers to make informed choices based on their preference for less acidic options or those with stomach issues.


Can espresso help reduce acid reflux?

While there is no scientific evidence that espresso can directly reduce acid reflux, some people find that consuming low-acid coffee or espresso can be gentler on their stomach and may help alleviate symptoms of acid reflux. It is always best to consult with a medical professional for personalized advice.

How can I make espresso with low acidity?

To make espresso with lower acidity, you can try using low-acid coffee beans or blends specifically labeled as “low-acid” or “reduced acidity.” Additionally, adjusting the brewing process, such as using a cooler water temperature or a shorter brewing time, may also result in a less acidic espresso.

Is espresso better for acid reflux than regular coffee?

It depends on the individual. While espresso is generally less acidic than regular coffee, some people may still experience acid reflux or irritation due to its concentrated nature. If you have acid reflux, it’s best to listen to your body and determine which type of coffee works best for you.

What makes coffee more acidic than espresso?

There are several factors that contribute to coffee being more acidic than espresso. One factor is the brewing method. Espresso is brewed under high pressure, which extracts only the desirable compounds from the coffee beans and leaves behind some of the acidic compounds. Additionally, the type of coffee beans used and the roast level can also impact the acidity level.

Does espresso have less acidity than cold brew coffee?

Generally, cold brew coffee has lower acidity than regular brewed coffee, including espresso. Cold brewing involves steeping coffee grounds in cold water for an extended period, resulting in a smoother, less acidic beverage. However, the acidity level can vary depending on the coffee beans used and the brewing technique.

Can I use regular coffee grounds to make espresso?

No, regular coffee grounds are not suitable for making espresso. Espresso requires finely ground coffee specifically made for espresso machines. Regular coffee grounds are usually coarser, and using them to make espresso may result in a subpar taste and texture.

Is espresso more acidic than coffee made from a coffee maker?

It depends on the specific variables, such as the type of coffee beans and the brewing method used in the coffee maker. Generally, espresso is slightly less acidic than coffee made from a coffee maker, but the difference may not be significant. Factors like the coffee-to-water ratio and brewing time can also impact the acidity level.

Does espresso have more caffeine than regular coffee?

Yes, espresso typically has more caffeine per ounce than regular brewed coffee. The concentrated nature of espresso and the shorter brewing time result in a higher caffeine content. However, the overall caffeine intake can vary depending on factors like the serving size and the specific coffee beans used.

Is low acid coffee the same as low-acid coffee?

Yes, “low acid coffee” and “low-acid coffee” refer to the same thing. They are both terms used to describe coffee with reduced acidity, which is believed to be gentler on the stomach for those who are sensitive to acidity.

About the Author:
Oliver Bennett, a seasoned barista, focuses on the technical aspects of coffee-making. His journey from local cafes to specialty coffee shops has equipped him with skills in the science of coffee, from grind size to latte art. Oliver's articles and how-to videos delve into brewing techniques and coffee science, fostering a community of home baristas and elevating the home coffee experience.