It’s no secret that some peoples’ stomachs get upset by drinking black coffee, or sometimes any coffee at all. There’s some misconception about why this occurs and how to best deal with it while still enjoying that morning cup.
Dark Roast vs. Light Roast for your stomach
There’s a misconception that dark roasted coffee is more “acidic” (on the pH scale) than light roasted coffee, which has no basis in fact. This is likely due to the increase in bitter flavor as a coffee is roasted longer, as well as more intense coffee flavor, which people assume means there’s a higher concentration of other negative compounds.
In fact, the longer a coffee is roasted, the more the chlorogenic acids that are present in green coffee beans are destroyed and transformed into other compounds, making the coffee less “acidic”. The acidity of coffee has no relation to pH level however.
A research study has shown that dark roasted coffee is actually better for your stomach.
“This discovery is going to help a lot of people who suffer from coffee sensitivity,” say Veronika Somoza, Ph.D. from the University of Vienna in Austria, and Thomas Hofmann, Ph.D. from the Technische Universität MÜnchen in Germany, who conducted the study.
Evidence was actually found that another chemical, N-methylpyridinium (NMP), was a byproduct of roasting, and actually had the effect of reducing stomach acid product. This chemical has higher concentrations (up to 2x as much) in dark roasts than other roasts.
You might also be interested in The Five Best Coffees in the World.
Decaf Coffee has lower acidity
Caffeine is partially responsible for the production of stomach acids when drinking coffee. It was found that two decaffeinating methods – using ethyl acetate and dichloromethane – legitimately did reduce the response of stomach-acid producing cells. This isn’t great news for those of us that still rely on our morning dose of caffeine, but is great news for those that simply enjoy the ritual of a cup here and there.
Unfortunately not everyone can consume dairy, and adding a milk or heavy cream isn’t a solution for some. In these cases, milk alternatives can be used with varying levels of effectiveness – drinks like almond milk, soy milk and coconut milk are all great options for mixing with coffee and espresso. There are even some options for rice milk and soy milk available on the market.
While you can absolutely use something off the shelf at a grocery store, these aren’t formulated especially for steaming or being mixed with coffee. For that, you’ll need a brand like Pacific Barista that
On another note: Almond milk frequently has calcium carbonate added to bring the calcium contents up to the level of regular milk, which is what antacids like tums are made for.