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If you suffer from reflux in Canada is low acid coffee ok? Would you like to avoid reflux yet still enjoy your favorite brew?
Which are the best low acid coffee brands in 2021? Read on to find out more about coffee and low acid coffee, and whether they could be a pain or comforter for reflux sufferers in Canada.
Night time reflux? Read how to avoid it here
If you’re short of time, check out our top picks for less acidic coffee brands in Canada below. For find out the answer to the questions “is low acid coffee good for gerd” and “is low acid coffee better for you” jump to the relevant sections below.
Any recommendations we make are always based on either products we already own and use, or are carefully assessed in terms of their attributes and user feedback – criteria we use ourselves whenever we buy.
Where products sold by Amazon are suggested, they will have the following criteria at the time of writing (There may be exceptions if product choice is limited):
- Minimum of 4 stars
- No more than 15% of all reviews are 1 or 2 stars
- The product has a minimum of 100 reviews
We also highly rate products which have free shipping or are sold through Amazon Prime.
Here are our Top Picks for acid free and low acid coffee brands…
Acid Free & Less Acidic Coffee Brands in Canada – Top Picks
Top Pick ACID FREE CAFFEINATED GROUNDTyler’s Caffeinated Ground Coffee
Top Pick ACID FREE DECAF GROUNDTyler’s No Acid Organic Ground Decaf Coffee
Top Pick LOW ACID WHOLE BEAN CAFFEINATEDDon Pablo Signature Blend – Medium-Dark Roast – Whole Bean Coffee
Top Pick LOW ACID WHOLE BEAN DECAFFSubtle Earth Organic Medium-Dark Roast – Whole Bean Coffee
Top Pick LOW ACID GROUND CAFFEINATEDPuroast Coffee Low Acid Colombian Supremo Blend Drip Grind Coffee
Top Pick LOW ACID GROUND DECAFFEuromild Low Acid Decaffeinated Ground Coffee
Top Pick LOW ACID COFFEE BAGSMaud’s Cold Brew Coffee Filter Bags
Here are the quick takeaways:
- Coffee is a trigger food for many with acid reflux and gerd. Coffee may relax the valve between stomach and food pipe BUT a review of a number of studies showed caffeinated coffee had no effect on acid reflux.
- One study found that decaffeinated coffee significantly reduced reflux symptoms.
- Research has shown that dark roasted coffee actually blocks the production of stomach acid.
- Coffee has been shown to have a number of health benefits.
- A small study suggested that specially prepared “low acid” coffee does not avoid heartburn in sufferers. However, it’s important to bear in mind that everyone is different – the best low acid coffee brands worked well for some people with reflux.
A cup of coffee – Is it the first thing you think about in the morning? For millions it is, but for those of us who suffer heartburn, acid reflux or even gerd (gord), we often think twice before reaching for the coffee pot.
Coffee frequently appears as a heartburn trigger food which is to be avoided by anyone prone to this condition. But what is it that gives it this reputation, and in practice is it deserved – would, after all, a cup of something which gives so much pleasure to many offset momentarily the misery of having to live with acid reflux on a frequent basis?
If coffee is such a bringer of pleasure, could you reduce the risks of heartburn through brewing low acid coffee?
Conventional wisdom suggests that coffee (and tea for that matter) are bad if you suffer from acid reflux and gerd. Caffeine relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), thus allowing acidic stomach contents to flow into the esophagus.
Also, coffee is described as an acidic food, adding to the acidity in the stomach and therefore possibly acting as a heartburn trigger.
A study published in Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics found that drinking regular (caffeinated) coffee led to significant reflux effects whilst the decaffeination of coffee significantly reduced reflux symptoms.
However, a Stanford University study evaluated medical reports published from 1975 to 2004. The study found no scientific evidence to support the contention that eliminating coffee helps to avoid reflux.
Another study published in the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology also found that caffeinated coffee had no effect on acid reflux.
The other thing to bear in mind is the overall beneficial effects of coffee, a number of which have been supported by research, which are largely rooted in the antioxidants it contains. For example there is evidence to suggest it helps you burn fat, lower the risk of Type 2 diabetes, and protect you from dementia, Alzheimers, Parkinsons and some forms of cancer. See ref 1. below.
What Somoza and Hofman also found was that a component called N-methylpyridium (NMP) blocks the production of stomach acid. NMP does not occur naturally in the bean, and only appears when the beans are roasted; darker-roasted coffees contain a greater amount of NMP, which means espresso, French roast, and other dark-roasted brews may actually be less irritating to the stomach. (See reference 2 below)
Nevertheless, whether that translates into fewer incidents of heartburn, is another matter – less acid in the stomach doesn’t necessarily translate into less acid in the esophagus (though this is exactly how acid blockers such as Protein Pump Inhibitors work).
Low Acid Coffee
But what about low acid coffee? This is coffee which has been roasted for an extended time, called conduction roasting, to the point where the chlorogenic acid in the coffee bean is reduced or even removed.
Whilst that may seem a good thing, it is important to bear in mind that chlorogenic acid is an antioxidant, and its removal or reduction may reduce the beneficial effects of coffee.
But what about the impact of low acid coffee blends on heartburn?
A small study (ref 3 at the end of this article) of thirty coffee-sensitive individuals found that “low acid” coffee does not avoid heartburn in sufferers.
But, it was a small study, and you only have to take a look at the Heartburn forums and Facebook pages devoted to acid reflux to see that one man’s poison is another’s nectar.
We looked at the best brands of low acid coffee to see the user feedback, assuming that those buying such coffee would be more likely to suffer from stomach complaints in general, and heartburn in particular. There were certainly a lot of supporters for low acid brands.
The Best Low Acid Coffee Brands
There are now a number of brands of low acid coffee on the market, all with varying levels of acidity.
We’ve looked at the brands with the best user feedback on Amazon. These are set out in the table at the beginning of this article.
Remember that the darker roasts, of any brand, tend to have a higher proportion of the acid blocking NMP, mentioned above.
Low Acid Coffee On Test
I decided to test the Puroast coffee which boasts that it has 70% less acid than other coffees, and 7 times more antioxidants than green tea. The coffee is produced using a special, unspecified, roasting technique which results in a low acidity and high antioxidant level.
I chose the Dark French Roast to test. The 12 oz / 340 g packet displays a bright, Mexican style design, which hints at the origin of the coffee beans used in the production. Usefully, it sports a metal band around the top which facilitates a virtual airtight seal after opening.
Once open, the smell exhibits all the headiness of that usual intoxicating coffee aroma. Preparing the brew according to the instructions on the packet (simply 2 tablespoons for each cup in a cafetiere or filter) the coffee produces a rich, deep flavor with a hint of nuttiness. There is no suggestion of bitterness and the aftertaste has a characteristic creamy taste. The overall impression is of a full flavor coffee with a satisfying taste, easily holding its own with the best of ground coffees I’ve tried.
But what about the acid test – what were the after effects of the coffee on digestion? Well, for me, the experience was entirely positive – it wasn’t a heartburn trigger. I didn’t experience any symptoms of acid reflux or heartburn as a result of sampling this coffee on a number of occasions, and I will certainly add it to my collection of reflux aids.
In my view, the take away from this is pretty simple: drink coffee if it doesn’t regularly trigger heartburn, and make it a dark, rich blend. If it does cause acid reflux symptoms, try a decaffeinated or a low acid blend, or enjoy a cup less frequently and control the symptoms another way – say through Tums or Rennies (the pleasure of the drink may even create endorphins and improve your overall well being!). The best low acid coffee blends clearly pass muster among their users, so give one of those a try.