The 101 on Coffee Acidity
Regular coffee drinkers know how much terminology there is surrounding their favorite drink. There are countless drink names, roast options, and brewing methods—flat white, light blends, and pour over, for starters. And with that, there are even more ways to describe coffee’s flavor and properties, one of which is term known as acidity. Coffee acidity is commonly spoken of in the coffee community—especially in reference to nitro cold brews—but how many can really nail down what it means?
What is the acidity of cold brew coffee?
Coffee acidity isn’t much different than the acidity of a lemon—both are measured on the pH scale, where 0 is a high level of acidity and 7 or up is a low level of acidity. On average, lemon juice has a pH level of 2—a fairly high level compared to some black coffees that clock in at a 5 pH level.
A study published in Nature by Niny Z. Rao of Thomas Jefferson University showed that the pH values of cold brew coffee sampled ranged from 4.85 to 5.10. While the cold brew samples were found to have comparable pH levels to traditionally brewed coffee, there were total lower acidity measures, with the researcher pointing out that pH is a poor measurement for the complex chemical arrangement in coffee. The difference in overall concentration and complex compounds found in hot and cold brew coffee means that cold brew is less acidic in every way that matters to the coffee drinker.
Nitro cold brews generally have a lower acidity level than regular coffee, and RISE is no different. That’s because it’s a darker roast brewed at a lower temperature—meaning it eliminates some of the natural bitterness that most regular coffees have while still maintaining the caffeine levels. And since it’s infused with nitrogen, it’s able to develop a frothy texture similar to beer. That means most don’t require any milk or sugar to be added to it—much in the same way you can pop open a can of RISE and be on your way without any fussing.
The acidity in your cup of joe doesn’t just impact the flavor; it can have wildly different health implications, especially for those with acid reflux or stomach issues. High levels of acid in foods can bother those with stomach, digestive, or reflux issues, plus can be bothersome to most who regularly deal with heartburn. It’s no wonder drinking a cup of highly acidic coffee can leave you feeling meh, whereas a low acidic cold brew can make you feel more energized—the way coffee should be!
Of course, this is all good news for those of us who love to take their coffee cold. But what about the hot coffee drinkers of the world? Are they able to enjoy their coffee with the added benefits of it being low acid? Sure, there are beans and ground coffees that are made less acidic, but it turns out there’s also cold brew made hot.
No, hot cold brew isn’t just a confusing oxymoron. It’s a real thing, and it’s simply cold brew heated up via stove or microwave, and it offers the same benefits of the drink without having to sacrifice temperature. That means you can still get the caffeine, the eclectic flavor, and the lower acidity that regular cold brew has. Even better, you can get all of this at our RISE cafes. Here, we use flash heaters and steamers to heat coffee, so rest assured you can order your cold brew at whatever temperature desired.