Is Coffee with Milk Acidic? Exploring the pH of this Popular Beverage

Coffee with milk is a popular beverage enjoyed by millions of people around the world. Many people start their day with a cup of coffee, and adding milk can enhance the flavor and make it more creamy. But have you ever wondered if coffee with milk is acidic? In this article, we will explore the pH of coffee with milk and determine whether it is an acidic drink or not.

Understanding pH

Before we delve into the acidity of coffee with milk, it’s important to understand what pH is. pH is a scale that measures the acidity or alkalinity of a solution. The scale ranges from 0 to 14, with 7 being considered neutral. Anything below 7 is classified as acidic, while anything above 7 is considered alkaline or basic.

The pH of Coffee

Coffee itself is naturally acidic due to the presence of various acids. Some of the main acids found in coffee include chlorogenic acid, quinic acid, and citric acid. These acids contribute to the distinct flavor and aroma of coffee but can also result in acidity.

The pH of coffee can vary depending on the brewing method and the type of coffee bean used. On average, black coffee has a pH ranging from 4.85 to 5.10, making it mildly acidic. However, it’s important to note that acidity can vary between different coffee brands and brewing techniques.

Does Adding Milk Change the pH?

Now let’s move on to the main question – does adding milk to coffee change its pH? Milk is predominantly neutral, with a pH ranging from around 6.5 to 7. Milk contains proteins, sugars, and fats, which can help neutralize the acidity of coffee.

When milk is added to coffee, it can slightly raise the pH of the beverage, making it less acidic. The exact change in pH will depend on the amount of milk added and its fat content. Higher-fat milk, such as whole milk, may have a more significant impact on reducing the acidity of coffee compared to skim milk or non-dairy alternatives.

Is Coffee with Milk Acidic?

Based on the information we have gathered, coffee with milk can be considered less acidic compared to black coffee. The addition of milk helps to neutralize the acidity of coffee, making it more enjoyable for those who may have a sensitive stomach or are prone to acid reflux.

However, it’s important to note that even with the addition of milk, coffee may still be mildly acidic. If you have a medical condition that requires you to avoid highly acidic foods or beverages, it’s best to consult with your healthcare provider to determine whether coffee with milk is suitable for you.

Effects of Acidity on the Body

While coffee with milk may be less acidic than black coffee, it’s worth understanding the potential effects of acidity on the body. Consuming highly acidic foods and beverages can have a few implications for our health.

Dental Health

Acidic beverages like coffee can have a negative impact on dental health. Acids in coffee can erode the enamel on our teeth, leading to tooth sensitivity and an increased risk of cavities. Adding milk to coffee can help minimize the direct contact of coffee with our teeth, thus reducing the potential damage to our dental health.

Stomach Sensitivity

Individuals with a sensitive stomach or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) may experience discomfort or heartburn when consuming highly acidic foods and beverages. For such individuals, coffee with milk may be a better option as it is less likely to trigger acid reflux symptoms.

Tips to Reduce the Acidity

If you enjoy coffee but want to further reduce its acidity, here are a few tips that you can try:

Cold Brew

Cold brewing coffee can result in a less acidic beverage compared to hot brewed coffee. The slow extraction process of cold brewing reduces the release of acids, resulting in a smoother and less acidic cup of coffee.

Adding Baking Soda

Adding a pinch of baking soda to your coffee grounds before brewing can help neutralize some of the acidity. However, it’s important to note that excessive use of baking soda can alter the taste of coffee, so it’s best to use it sparingly.

Choosing Low-Acid Coffee Beans

Certain types of coffee beans are naturally lower in acidity. Look for beans labeled as “low acid” or “stomach-friendly” if you want to further reduce the acidity of your coffee.


In conclusion, coffee with milk can be considered less acidic compared to black coffee due to the neutralizing effect of milk. While coffee itself is naturally acidic, adding milk can raise the pH and make it more enjoyable for individuals with a sensitive stomach or those looking to reduce the acidity. However, it’s important to note that every individual’s tolerance to acidity may vary, and it’s always advisable to consult with a healthcare provider if you have specific dietary concerns or medical conditions. Enjoying coffee with milk can still be a delicious and satisfying way to start your day, while minimizing the potential adverse effects of acidity.

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