Is Espresso Less Acidic than Coffee?

If you’re like me, you can’t start your day without a hot cup of coffee. But have you ever noticed that sometimes your coffee leaves you with a sour aftertaste and a rumble in your stomach?

That’s because coffee is naturally acidic, and some people’s digestive systems just can’t handle it. Fear not, coffee lovers, for there is a solution – espresso!

Now, I know what you’re thinking – isn’t espresso just a concentrated shot of coffee? And if coffee is already acidic, wouldn’t espresso be even more acidic? 

The answer might surprise you. Despite the fact that it is prepared from the same beans as normal coffee, espresso is less acidic. But how is this possible?

Espresso is made by forcing hot water through finely-ground coffee beans under high pressure, for a very short period of time. Everything boils down to the brewing process. Because of the short extraction time, less acid is released from the beans, resulting in a smoother and less acidic taste. 

Is espresso less acidic than coffee

Is Espresso supposed to be Acidic?

Espresso is known for its rich, strong flavor and its unique, bold taste. When it comes to acidity, it can depend on a variety of factors.

The acidity of espresso can also be influenced by the type of beans used, and the roast level. Some espresso blends are designed to have a more balanced flavor profile with lower acidity, while others may have a more pronounced acidity for a brighter, fruitier taste.

So, to answer your question, yes, espresso can be acidic, but it’s not always the case. If you’re looking for a less acidic way to satisfy your coffee cravings, espresso may be the solution you’ve been looking for!

“Most coffee varieties are acidic, with an average pH value of 4.85 to 5.10”


Read Amazing health benefits of Espresso

The pH level of Espresso compared to other coffee drinks 

The pH level of coffee drinks might vary based on the drink and how it’s prepared. Coffee is often regarded as mildly acidic, with a pH level ranging from 4.5 to 5.10.

The pH level of the espresso is slightly higher than that of coffee around 5.5 because espresso is typically made from dark-roasted coffee beans that have a lower acid content than light or medium-roasted beans.

Other coffee beverages, such as drip coffee, French press coffee, and cold brew coffee, can also have a slightly more acidic pH level in the same range as espresso.

It’s worth mentioning that the acidity of coffee is normally not a reason for concern for most individuals, since the pH level of coffee is still within a safe and healthy range for intake.

Note: pH is a scale from 1-14 for measuring the acidity or alkalinity of the substances. The higher the pH the higher the alkalinity the lower the pH the higher the acidity.

Read an interesting guide on Calories in Espresso

Can Espresso cause Acid Reflux?

Espresso, like other coffee beverages, may cause acid reflux in some folks. As stomach acid runs back up into the esophagus, it causes symptoms such as heartburn, chest discomfort, and a foul taste in the mouth.

Coffee, particularly espresso, can cause acid reflux in some people for various reasons.

Coffee includes components such as caffeine and acids that can enhance stomach acid production, hence exacerbating acid reflux symptoms. Also, the high temperature of coffee might irritate the lining of the esophagus, exacerbating symptoms.

It is important to note, however, that not everyone has acid reflux symptoms after drinking espresso or coffee. Individual physiology, nutrition, and lifestyle can all play a role in sensitivity to these chemicals.

At least I have never faced acid reflux no matter how much coffee I drink

“The acid or fat content in coffee may be causing gastrointestinal issues like heartburn, acid reflux, and bloating,”

Cleveland clinic

3 Tips to reduce Acidity in Espresso

I don’t know about you, however, I don’t like acidic or sour Espresso. Instead, I like a fully balanced nice, and sweet shot of Espresso.

For that reason, I am going to list 3 tips to lower the acidity of your Espresso shot if it tastes too sour.

Use the Right Coffee Beans

If you are using light-roasted coffee beans for Espresso you will get a sour shot no matter how you brew

The acidity level of your espresso is greatly influenced by the roast of coffee beans you use.

A low-acidity roast involves roasting coffee beans at a higher temperature for a longer time period. This results in a darker roast, which reduces the acidity of the bean while bringing out bold, smoky flavors. It is a great roast for coffee lovers who want a well-balanced, less sour taste.

Here’s the list of my favorite beans for Espresso

Use the Right Grind Size

If you are already using dark roasted beans and still facing the issue of an overly acidic shot you may be using too fine grind size. In that case, try adjusting the grind size to a little coarser side.

Using a coarser grind allows for a slower extraction process, resulting in less acidic flavors being extracted.

Avoid Hard Water

Using hard water to prepare your espresso might also lead to a greater acidity level. Hard water is heavy in minerals like calcium and magnesium, which can make your espresso taste sour and acidic. Instead, use filtered or soft water.

I hope these tips help you to reduce the acidity level in your espresso and enjoy your drink even more!

Also read a guide on reducing bitterness in Espresso

Final Thoughts

It’s difficult to say whether espresso is less acidic than coffee. It’s like questioning if a cat is preferable to a dog or whether pineapple belongs on pizza (the answer to which is obviously YES). Personal preference, as well as factors like the type of beans used and the brewing parameters, all have a role.

But here’s the thing: if you enjoy the robust and rich flavor of coffee but find the acidity a little too much, espresso may be the right remedy. Espresso, due to its concentrated flavor and decreased water level, can provide a strong yet less acidic taste than other brewing methods

If you are entirely against acidity, adding milk or creamer to the espresso shot will help cut the acidity, resulting in a smooth and enjoyable drink.

But hey, at the end of the day, life’s too short to worry about acidity levels. Whether you prefer your coffee strong and bold or sweet and creamy, just enjoy it and savor every sip. Cheers to that!

When Should You Not Drink Espresso?

While espresso is a delicious and energizing beverage, there are certain situations in which you might want to avoid drinking it.
Before bedtime: Espresso is known for its high caffeine content, which can interfere with your sleep. If you’re sensitive to caffeine or have trouble sleeping, it’s best to avoid drinking espresso in the evening or before bedtime.
On an empty stomach: Drinking espresso on an empty stomach can stimulate the production of stomach acid, which can cause discomfort, especially for those with sensitive stomachs. Consider having a light snack or a meal before drinking espresso to help buffer the acid.
Read a guide on how much Espresso is safe for you

Is Espresso Worse For Your Stomach Than Coffee?

Whether espresso is worse for your stomach than coffee depends on various factors, such as the quality of beans, brewing method, and personal health conditions. Both espresso and coffee contain caffeine and acids that can irritate the stomach lining, but espresso has a higher concentration of these compounds due to its concentrated nature. 
Additionally, drinking espresso on an empty stomach or in large quantities can cause acid reflux and other gastrointestinal issues. However, for some individuals, espresso may be less irritating than regular coffee due to its lower volume and milder taste. It’s best to listen to your body and consume espresso or coffee in moderation.

Johny Morrisson is a passionate coffee enthusiast and an avid blogger dedicated to exploring the world of coffee.

Whether it's repairing or troubleshooting coffee equipment, reviewing cutting-edge brewing machines, or delving into the latest coffee trends, Johny's writing captivates readers and invites them on a flavorful journey.

When he's not writing, Johny enjoys traveling, seeking inspiration from different cultures and coffee traditions worldwide.