How Acidic is Cold Brew Coffee? A Closer Look at its pH Level

When it comes to coffee, we all have our preferences. Some like it hot, while others prefer it cold. In recent years, cold brew coffee has gained popularity among coffee enthusiasts for its smooth and less acidic taste. But just how acidic is cold brew coffee? In this article, we will take a closer look at the pH level of cold brew coffee and explore why it may be a better option for those with sensitive stomachs.

The Basics of Cold Brew Coffee

Cold brew coffee is different from regular hot coffee in terms of both preparation and taste. While hot coffee is brewed using hot water and often takes just a few minutes, cold brew coffee is made by steeping ground coffee beans in cold or room temperature water for an extended period, usually 12 to 24 hours. The result is a concentrate that is typically mixed with water or milk before being served over ice.

What is pH Level?

To understand the acidity of cold brew coffee, we must first understand what pH level means. pH is a measure of how acidic or alkaline a substance is, ranging from 0 to 14. A pH level of 7 is considered neutral, while anything below 7 is acidic and anything above 7 is alkaline.

The pH Level of Cold Brew Coffee

When it comes to the pH level of cold brew coffee, it is generally less acidic compared to regular hot coffee. Regular brewed coffee typically has a pH level ranging from 4 to 7, depending on the type and roast of the coffee beans used. Cold brew coffee, on the other hand, tends to have a pH level of around 6.5 or slightly higher.

The reason for the lower acidity in cold brew coffee lies in the brewing process itself. When coffee grounds are steeped in cold water, the extraction of certain acidic compounds is slower compared to hot water. This results in a smoother and less acidic taste, making it a popular choice for people who find regular coffee too harsh on their stomachs.

Benefits of Lower Acidity in Cold Brew Coffee

The lower acidity in cold brew coffee offers several benefits, particularly for individuals who experience acid reflux or have sensitive stomachs. Acid reflux occurs when the acidic contents of the stomach flow back into the esophagus, causing discomfort and heartburn. By choosing a less acidic coffee like cold brew, these individuals may be able to enjoy their daily cup of joe without the unwanted side effects.

Additionally, lower acidity levels in cold brew coffee may be gentler on tooth enamel. High acidity in regular coffee can contribute to tooth enamel erosion over time, leading to tooth sensitivity and decay. Cold brew coffee, with its reduced acidity, may help mitigate this issue and maintain better oral health.

Factors Influencing Acidity in Coffee

While cold brew coffee tends to be less acidic than hot brewed coffee, it’s essential to remember that not all cold brews are created equal. The pH level of cold brew coffee can be influenced by various factors, including the coffee beans used, the steeping time, and the water-to-coffee ratio.

Different coffee beans have different chemical compositions, resulting in variations in acidity levels. Lighter roasts generally have higher acidity compared to darker roasts. Therefore, the choice of coffee beans can impact the overall acidity of the cold brew.

The steeping time also plays a crucial role in determining the acidity level. A longer steeping time allows for more extraction of compounds, including acids, from the coffee grounds. As a result, a longer steeping time may yield a slightly more acidic cold brew coffee compared to a shorter one.

Lastly, the water-to-coffee ratio affects the concentration of acidity in cold brew coffee. Using more coffee grounds and less water can result in a stronger and potentially more acidic brew. Experimenting with different ratios can help achieve a desired taste profile, especially for those seeking the optimal balance between acidity and flavor.


In conclusion, while cold brew coffee is generally less acidic compared to hot brewed coffee, its exact pH level can vary depending on various factors such as coffee beans, steeping time, and water-to-coffee ratio. The consistent trend towards lower acidity in cold brew coffee makes it an appealing choice for individuals with acid reflux or sensitive stomachs, as well as those looking to minimize tooth enamel erosion. However, it’s always essential to listen to your body and make choices that align with your specific preferences and needs when it comes to coffee. So, the next time you reach for a cup of cold brew, you can enjoy its smooth flavor and milder acidity knowing that it might be a more stomach-friendly option.

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