A couple weeks ago, a customer asked me to recommend a coffee that wouldn’t upset her stomach. She also mentioned that she had been drinking Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, our most popular single-origin coffee, perhaps on the basis that it was a “mild,” “light” coffee, that is, not “strong” or “bold.” This was all the info I needed to aptly diagnose this coffee-related disorder: Ethiopian Yirgacheffe is one of the most highly acidic coffees we currently roast, and is generally grouped together with other coffees from the region, such as Tanzanian Teaberry and Kenyan AA, with this specific attribute in mind. That said, our stomachs probably have all the acid they need without a potent 20 oz. dose before breakfast.
Overall, lower acidity will come from either the natural properties of the raw green bean or by lengthening the roasting process itself. Green beans from Southeast Asia, namely Indonesia, have a lower acid content. In roasting, darker roasts will have lower acid levels.
For the benefit of all those with sensitive stomachs, Blanchard’s roasts several coffees that are relatively low-acid. In our retail space, try Dark as Dark, the House Blend or April’s Coffee of the Month, Indian Monsoon Malabar. If you are at Ellwood Thompson’s Coffee, pick up a 12 oz. bag of the Fair Trade Organic Sumatran. Get your fix, not an upset stomach!
This Post was written by Jonathan Lesko.