What is Coffee Acidity?

When tasting coffee you may hear coffee connoisseurs refer to acidity. You may even taste acidity yourself without realizing it. This may have you wondering. Why is coffee acidic? Where does it come from? Do I want more or less acidity in my coffee? Let’s find out!

What is Coffee Acidity?

When people talk about coffee acidity it can be a bit misleading. They actually aren’t referring to the actual level of acid or PH levels of the coffee. They are referring to acidity as a primary coffee flavor sensation. 

Acidity can be perceived as sharpness in the front of the mouth, a numbing sensation on the tip of the tongue, or dryness at the back of the palate. It helps describe the quality of a coffee. 

The acidity helps characterize coffee along with the body, aroma, sweetness, bitterness, and aftertaste. Acidity is a pleasant crispness and is seen as a desirable characteristic.

Acidity can be hard to decipher and perceive to those who aren’t experienced in coffee tasting. Other terms used to describe acidity include dry, sharp, vibrant, lively, moderate, or dull. A coffee’s acidity may have a subtle fruity quality like citrus, lemon, or berry-like as well. 

Acidity in Different Coffee Roasts

Coffee roast levels can affect the level of acidity. As the roast gets darker acidity levels usually decrease. A light roast will have a higher level of acidity compared to a dark roast.

There are two primary types of coffee. Arabica beans are more acidic than Robusta beans. Arabica coffee grows and matures more slowly allowing for improved flavor development and higher acidity. 

Acidity in Different Brews

The cold brew process will produce much less acidity than a typical coffee brew. This type of coffee is made by allowing ground beans to steep in cold water for at least 24 hours.

Compared to using hot water, cold water extracts less of the coffee’s natural acids. As a result, your coffee is about 70% less acidic than a typical cup of hot-brewed coffee.​

How do You Like Your Coffee?

The best level of acidity will be based on your personal flavor preferences. That could be the reason why you prefer a lighter or darker roast. To find your ideal cup of coffee, join us at our coffee shop in Minneapolis. At 7 Corners Coffee our baristas are dedicated to crafting each cup of coffee to your liking. 


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