Off Topic     Acidic or Alkaline coffee, is it possible to tweak?

2020-06-26 09:47

Acidic or Alkaline coffee, is it possible to tweak?

Hey Mill City Staff,

My customers are concerned about acidity and I always get this non-sense about Kopi Luwak coffee (







2020-06-29 16:38

Hey Meg,

I noticed that you'd posted a video on this topic but haven't watched yet - I apologize if I mention things here that you've already figured out.

In general, coffee isn't super acidic. On the pH scale, it rates at about a 6.0 (water - neutral in acidity - is a 7.0). When our customers complain about acidity in coffee, they're usually talking about one of two things:

1. It tastes acidic. We a call this "perceived acidity". This can be cause by many things, as you know. Roasting a coffee too light, too fast, or spending too little time in the development phase will result in high perceived acidity. Super fresh crop coffees and freshly roasted coffees will also taste tart or sour, which is why we let them rest both at export and at our roasteries. Also, certain origins simply have more pronounced acidity and are praised for that lively flavor (Kenya comes to mind as an example). The solution, if you're trying to find one, is to offer your customers a longer or darker roast, or recommend an origin that has less inherent perceived acidity - Papua New Guinea and Sumatra are usually good options for a low-acid cup (people use the descriptor smooth or bold when they're talking about coffees with low perceived acidity, and those descriptors are common for SE Asian origins).

2. It gives them heartburn. Some people get acid reflux from coffee and assume it's from the acidity in their brew. This is one of those common myths that we all accepted as fact for a while before we learned more. Coffee can cause acid reflux for some drinkers but it's not from the acidity in the coffee - it's from their own stomachs producing acid in response to the coffee. The solution here is less straight forward. Some people can avoid the symptoms by not drinking coffee on an empty stomach. Others have to avoid coffee altogether. Well-known cold brew brand Toddy actually started out as a company marketing a "low acid coffee" that would be easier on consumer's stomachs. Turns out, when you cold brew coffee, the perceived acidity is almost totally diminished and it isn't as harsh on people's stomachs. You might recommend cold brew to your acid-averse customers, they can even heat it up and enjoy it as a hot cup (as Toddy originally brewer instructed).

Lastly, I'm sure you already know this but avoid Kopi Luwak at all costs. It's inhumane, novelty coffee that doesn't taste anywhere close to good enough to account for its high price. Buy good greens, roast them well, and make people happy.

Keep up the good work!



2020-06-29 17:35

Awesome thank you Lauren, you definitely said it much more succinctly as usual! I did mention in the description of video that the Kopi stuff is just a horrible scam. But I'd love to nail the point further with another video.

Thank you!






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