Dear lovely Kate:
It is common to equate acidity with bitterness. Even for a classy coffee aficionado such as yourself. However, in the coffee world, acidity can mean bright, clear, snappy, dry, clean, winey, etc. Coffees without acidity tend to taste flat and dull, like flat soda. Acidity is to coffee what dryness is to wine. Interestingly, coffee acidity levels are high in beans that have a light roast and low when the beans are roasted to dark roasts. Also coffees that are processed using the wet-process method have a higher level of acidity as compared to coffees that are processed using the dry-process method. Usually coffee from Kenya, Ethiopia, and a few other countries are known to have high acidity levels while coffee from Brazil and India is known to contain low acidity levels. A cool lady I work with loves charts. Let’s make one.
ACIDITY …………….. LOW ACIDITY
Light roast…………..Dark roast
Wet processing ……Dry processing
Your preference for dark roasts indicates you are already enjoying a low acidity coffee. So where is that taste coming from you are wondering. Being a whiz at math, I have come up with a simple equation for you:
Beans, roasting, processing technique = acidity level
Brewing technique = sweetness or bitterness
Aha. Brewing seems to be the culprit. Brew your coffee only for 3 to 4 minutes. This will prevent your beverage from leaving a bitter aftertaste in your mouth, which in turn might compel you to think that the coffee itself was too acidic. How is that water you are using? How much freshly ground beans are you using? And of course you are grinding them minutes from use as ground coffee loses its flavor so quickly. Coffee is complex. So check your water, brewing time and technique, and origin of your bean. Then, take a look at our newsletters for more important coffee information, and in our next issue we will have a cupping lesson! Thanks for a great question!
I’m a fan of strong dark roasts but sometimes find them to be too acidic. Any suggestions?
Here’s the thing. Soda is evil. Filled with sugar and chemicals, as well as caffeine, why would you give it to your child. Coffee is sublime. No sugar, helps reduce risk of diabetes, keeps us mentally alert, and may alleviate depression and memory loss. Footnote my previous posts. Okay okay I’m biased I recognize that but here’s my take: There are many benefits to coffee. There are NO benefits to toxic sugar drinks – I mean soda. For an energetic kid, no caffeine. For a sleepy teen on the morning of a test? Home coffee. Or Latte’ Da! coffee. None from you-know-where. I do not give my 13 year old soda. But I do offer her coffee or tea on a sleepy school morning.
(She always prefers English Breakfast Tea with cream)
But look at your own child and make that decision on what’s best for his/her age and energy level. And remember the strange substances in those sodas.
Coffee 80.0 mg. caffeine
Pepsi One 55.5 mg. caffeine, + gobs of sugar
Mountain Dew 55.0 mg. caffeine, + truckloads of sugar
Why do some parents let their kids drink soda but tell them they can’t drink coffee. I see little kids drinking P*&si but get funny looks if they are holding a latte. I don’t get it.
Excellent question. The innumerable pages of information out there indicate that consumption of coffee has many health benefits. However, the coffee bean contains a substance called cafestol that is a stimulator of LDL cholesterol levels and activated during boiling.
When you brew coffee with a paper filter, the cafestol gets left behind in the filter. Other methods of coffee preparation, such as French press coffee or Turkish coffee, are much higher in cafestol. Espresso is somewhere in the middle; it has less cafestol than boiled or French press coffee, but more than paper filtered coffee. And let me add that no one should boil their coffee grounds. This leaves a burned, bitter taste. Coffee is meant to be savored, treasured and used for easy first dates. So continue to enjoy that Latte’ Da! coffee and save me a Pekara pastry while you are there.
Is drinking coffee made with a paper filter healthier than drinking boiled coffee or other types of coffee?
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