The pH of Dark Roast Coffee: Exploring the Acidity Levels

The pH value of dark roast coffee is generally around 5, which is slightly less acidic than light roast coffee. However, contrary to popular belief, dark roast coffee does not have less acid than medium roast coffee. The pH of brewed coffee remains the same regardless of the roast level.

Understanding the Acidity in Coffee

The acidity in coffee is often associated with its gastrointestinal impact. The chemicals that promote excessive stomach acid production, rather than the pH itself, are responsible for the “acidic” feeling in the stomach. A study suggests that N-methylpyridinium, a chemical formed during the roasting process, may suppress stomach acid production, indicating a potential link between higher roast levels and easier digestion.

Contaminants and Chemicals in Coffee

Contaminants and chemicals present in coffee include pesticides, mycotoxins, and ochratoxin A. However, these substances are not directly related to the pH value of coffee. To deal with these contaminants, it is recommended to purchase organic and specialty-grade coffee, as they are subject to stricter quality standards and have lower levels of these substances.

Balancing the Acidity in Coffee

ph of dark roast coffeeImage source: wikimedia

Home remedies to balance the acidity in coffee include adding baking soda or a pinch of salt. Baking soda, with a pH of about 8.5, can neutralize some of the acidity in coffee, while salt can enhance the natural sweetness and cut out some of the acidity and bitter taste. Cold brew coffee is also naturally lower in acidity than hot brewed coffees due to the steeping process at room temperature or below, which extracts fewer acids from the coffee beans.

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Comparison of Acidity Levels

Roast Level pH Value
Light Roast Around 5.5
Medium Roast Around 5.2
Dark Roast Around 5.0

As the table shows, dark roast coffee has a slightly lower pH value compared to light and medium roast coffee, indicating it is slightly less acidic.


In summary, dark roast coffee has a pH value around 5, slightly less acidic than light roast coffee. The gastrointestinal impact of coffee is more related to the chemicals that promote stomach acid production than the pH itself. To reduce the acidity in coffee, consider adding baking soda or a pinch of salt, or try cold brew coffee. To address contaminants in coffee, opt for organic and specialty-grade coffee.

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