Does Milk Make Coffee Less Acidic? 5 Key Benefits

Are you looking for an alternative way to enjoy coffee without upsetting your stomach? Find out the answer to “Does milk make coffee less acidic?” here.

Does milk make coffee less acidic?
Find out how acids affect coffee and how adding milk helps combat heartburn

Excess coffee consumption causes over 60 million Americans to suffer from heartburn every month. As a coffee lover, I always find ways to make my blends healthier. Making coffee less acidic is by adding milk to neutralize its acids.

Read on to find out how acids affect coffee and how adding milk helps combat heartburn. 

Coffee And Acids

Many coffee enthusiasts drink coffee for its potential health benefits. Drinking coffee can aid in weight loss, lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s, and helps fight other illnesses. 

Each chemical compound found in coffee has its good and bad effects. Caffeine, for example, increases your nervous system’s activity but can also cause high blood pressure and heart palpitations.

The acids in coffee help describe its quality, taste, and effects. There are the nine significant acids in coffee:

  • Chlorogenic
  • Quinic
  • Citric
  • Acetic
  • Lactic
  • Malic
  • Phosphoric
  • Linoleic
  • Palmitic

Phosphoric and malic make the coffee sweet. Citric and acetic produce a sour taste. 

Chlorogenic and quinic have the highest concentration of acids and are considered harmful to people’s health. Chlorogenic acid contributes to weight loss, but it also makes coffee bitter. Dark and old roasted coffee and reheated brewed coffee produce quinic acid.

These acids can upset the stomach, among other side effects like nausea and vomiting.

The pH Levels

Several factors may affect the level of acidity in coffee:

The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14—the lower the level, the higher acidity. According to studies, coffee has an average of 4.85 to 5.13 pH.

If you liked this post, you might be interested in our round-up of the best alkaline coffee alternatives.

Growing Conditions

Coffee beans growing conditions
To avoid the side effects of coffee’s acids, choose Arabica beans with low chlorogenic acids

The coffee bean’s variety, planting elevations, and soil affect its acidity level. 

Coffee beans planted on volcanic soil and higher elevations make it more acidic. These beans include Brazilian, Ethiopian, Kenyan, and Peruvian beans. To avoid the side effects of coffee’s acids, choose Arabica beans with low chlorogenic acids.

Roasting

The roast level and duration can reduce or increase chlorogenic acids. For instance, roasting green beans longer at a high temperature lowers the acid levels.

Brewing Method

The hot brew method extracts more acids and has higher titratable acids and antioxidants. Brewing time also affects the overall acidity, with longer brewing lowering the coffee’s acidity level.

Coffee Grounds

Types and sizes also affect coffee’s acidity. The smaller the ground, the larger the volume of acid extracted while brewing. 

How Does Milk Make Coffee Less Acidic?

Milk has a 6.3 to 6.6 pH level. Adding milk to coffee increases the pH level, making it less acidic. The calcium and proteins in milk act as binding mechanisms that help lower or balance coffee’s acids. Once protein binds with chlorogenic acids, it can prevent the increase in stomach acid. 

This method only works for dark roast coffee due to lower pH levels. However, milk can also upset your stomach, especially if your body doesn’t digest dairy products easily. In this case, almond milk is a good substitute. 

If you can’t add milk to your coffee, drink cold brew instead of hot. If you are already experiencing acid reflux, drinking hot brew coffee will further irritate your esophagus and stomach. 

Benefits Of Milk In Coffee 

Better Taste

Benefits of milk in coffee

Dairy products enhance the sweet, chocolaty, and nutty tones in coffee. While the lactose, protein, and fat in milk soften its bitterness.

Increased Energy

Caffeine fights fatigue and increases energy. Milk supplies carbohydrates, the body’s primary energy source.

Whiter Teeth

The acids in your coffee may leave dark residues and stain or damage the teeth. Since milk has proteins that bind these acids, it can lower the risk of staining.

Healthier Body

Adding milk to your coffee will not take away any of the health benefits of coffee. Milk will increase the nutrient contents by adding protein and calcium. 

Safer Temperature

Milk lowers the risk of damaging your mouth, throat, and other internal organs, leading to cancer and burns. A splash of milk will help reduce the hot coffee’s temperature for a safer drink.

Are you looking for other ways to tone down the acidity of your coffee? Read more on the 12 Ways To Make Coffee Less Acidic.

FAQs About Milk & Coffee’s Acidity 

Does Milk Neutralize Acidity In Coffee?

The calcium and protein in milk bind with coffee acids to increase pH levels. The higher the pH level, the less acidic a drink will be. Choose a dark roast coffee for lower acidity.

What Is The Least Acidic Way To Drink Coffee?

Go for a slow-steeped cold brew; it’s 70% less acidic than a regular cup of Joe. You can add almond milk for a less acidic and healthier coffee. 

Is It Okay To Put Milk In Coffee?

Milk balances out the acids, but the coffee remains acidic. If you can’t digest dairy products well, adding milk to your coffee is not advisable.

Is Milk Coffee Acidic Or Basic?

Coffee has a pH level of 4.85 to 5.13, while milk has a 6.3 to 6.6 pH level. Combining the two drinks will increase their pH level, making them less acidic. 

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