Brewing Tips to Reduce Acidity

with Dustin Ryan Yu, Director of Coffee

Everybody has their preference on how they like their coffee, so no judgment from our end on however you drink yours! I personally prefer more acidity, so I typically approach brewing with a general recipe, while having some idea of which variable(s) I’d want to alter, in order to get it closer to tasting a certain way. 
We get a lot of questions from subscribers about how to brew coffee to have less acidity, so I’m here to share some tips and tricks. 

Pick your roast level:

There are multiple distinct acids in coffee, and the roasting process changes how these acids show up in our cup. Darker roasted coffees typically have less acidity because more acids are broken down in the roasting process, but there are always some exceptions! Sometimes darker roasted coffees have a stronger bitterness and burnt note that some prefer and enjoy as well. 

Certain origins and processes have less acidity, and other variables also affect your perception of acidity. For example, coffees from Brazil, India, Indonesia, or China, for example, are generally less acidic. And natural processed coffees are also less acidic compared to washed and honey-processed coffees. The trade off is, however, that naturals generally have a stronger fermentation note, usually reminding me of blueberry yogurt or a ripe berry jam. 

Change your brewing process:

Grind coarser, pour slower, and increase your dose: I find that brewing longer with a slightly coarser grind can help increase sweetness and reduce some acidity. Having more coffee increases the strength of the coffee, such as going from 1:16 down to 1:14 or 1:15. 
Use a slightly lower temperature (90-92C), versus a higher temperature (94-96C). This should reduce some of the stronger acids. If you prefer more bitterness to mask acidity and highlight roasty flavours, try increasing the temperature and grinding finer. As always, finding the perfect balance is key!
Most coffee acidity is actually extracted at the beginning of the brew process. If you are using a manual pour over method for example, a more wild variable to adjust would be to pause your brewing, and remove the first 30-60ml of coffee liquid that is extracted. You can always taste it separately and add it back in, too! 

Change your brewing method:

In my personal experience, varying methods yield a different combination and balance of flavour, sweetness, acidity, and mouthfeel. I find that the best methods to reduce acidity and to have a silky mouthfeel include shifting to AeroPress with a metal filter, French press, and finally, cold brew (probably the least amount of acidity, ever!).