Low-acid coffee is coffee that contains higher levels of a compound called N-methylpyridinium that reduces the production of stomach acid. Low-acid coffee is usually made by steaming the coffee beans or chemically treating the beans prior to roasting, and then roasting the beans until they are nearly black in color.Continue Reading
Regular-roast and light-roast coffees contain high levels of caffeine and the plant compounds catechols and N-alkanoly-5-hydroxytryptamides that increase the production of stomach acid. Low-acid, dark-roasted coffees contain these same compounds but less caffeine and have higher levels of N-methylpyridinium, which causes stomach cells to produce less acid, explains Rodale News. The longer coffee beans are roasted, the darker they become and the higher the levels of N-methylpyridinium. In addition to roasting coffee beans until they are very dark, manufacturers of low-acid coffees treat the raw beans with steam or chemical solvents, such as ethyl acetate or dichloromethane, before roasting the coffee beans.
If coffees that are labeled low-acid are unavailable, individuals who suffer from stomach acid should select the darkest roast coffee possible to minimize excess acid production. Common names for dark roasts are French-roast and Spanish-roast. Decaffeinated dark-roasted coffees are also available for persons who experience stomach irritation from the low levels of caffeine in dark-roast coffees.Learn more about Coffee & Tea