Low acid coffee is just what it sounds like: coffee that has a much lower acidity than regular coffee. This refers to the actual pH of the coffee – not just to a bright/acid flavor. But the acidity of coffee is one of the trademarks of the beans, so why would you want to opt for a low acid coffee? Low acid coffee exists because there are many coffee-lovers whose stomachs are irritated by coffee with even moderate acidity, irritated to the point that they just can’t tolerate it. Low acid coffee should have a smoother, less bright finish and can be a bit sweeter overall than regular coffee.
There are a couple of ways to reduce the acidity of the coffee in your cup. Some makers treat coffee beans with neutralizers that even out the pH of the coffee, though this can result in a loss of flavor to some palates. Another way is to aim for a very dark roast on your coffee beans, as roasting actually minimizes the acids in coffee. The downside to this is that the flavor can be too strong or bitter for some coffee drinkers. The final way is to start with a bean that is naturally lower in acid than others, which low-acid coffee makers tend to do (in addition to utilizing the two other techniques).