Is Coffee More Acidic Than Tea?

If you’re a fervent coffee or tea enthusiast, you’ve probably heard whispers about their acidity levels. The question that often swirls around in the minds of many is, “Is coffee more acidic than tea?” The acidity in our favorite morning beverages can have implications for our stomachs, teeth, and overall well-being. Let’s delve into the world of acidity in these beloved brews and uncover the truth behind the claims.

Is Coffee More Acidic Than Tea?

Is Tea Acidic or Alkaline?

First things first, let’s clarify the pH puzzle. Tea, despite its delicate and soothing demeanor, is actually slightly acidic. While it’s not going to knock your pH levels out of whack, it does have a lower pH than the neutral 7.0 mark. Typically, tea falls in the pH range of 4.6 to 7.5, varying depending on the type and brewing method.

The pH Level of Tea: Is It Acidic or Alkaline?

Tea’s pH level can be compared to a gentle breeze – pleasant but not entirely neutral. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, with 7 being neutral. Anything below 7 is considered acidic, while above 7 is alkaline. Herbal teas usually lean towards the alkaline side, while black and green teas showcase a touch of acidity. It’s a dance of flavors and chemistry that makes every sip unique.

How to Lower the Acidity of Your Coffee

If you’re an avid coffee drinker who’s concerned about acidity, there are ways to make your brew less acidic. Opting for beans with lower acidity levels, choosing darker roasts, or even cold brewing can help reduce the acidic punch in your cup. Cold brewing, for example, involves steeping coffee grounds in cold water for an extended period, resulting in a smoother and less acidic taste.

How to Lower the Acidity of Your Tea

If you’re eager to lessen the acidity in your tea, a few simple tweaks can do the trick. Adding a splash of milk or a pinch of baking soda can help neutralize the pH. Interestingly, this trick was born out of the need to prevent milk curdling in hot tea rather than for pH adjustment. So, your cuppa gets smoother, and your tummy remains content.

Are Coffee and Tea Bad for Your Stomach?

Ah, the stomach – the true battlefield for many coffee and tea aficionados. Both coffee and tea can trigger stomach discomfort due to their acidity. Coffee’s pH can range from 4.85 to 5.10, often landing it on the more acidic side compared to tea. The high acidity in coffee can cause digestive distress, leading to heartburn, acid reflux, and an upset stomach. Tea, while somewhat milder, can also irritate sensitive stomachs.

Are Coffee and Tea Harmful to Teeth?

Is Coffee More Acidic Than Tea?

Your pearly whites might be at stake in your quest for caffeinated bliss. The acidity in both coffee and tea can erode tooth enamel over time. However, the extent of damage depends on factors such as the frequency of consumption, brewing methods, and dental care habits. Sipping through a straw or rinsing your mouth after consumption can help minimize potential enamel erosion.

Acidity in Tea: A Multifaceted Tale

Tea’s acidity is a tale woven with layers of intricacy. The variety of tea – black, green, white, or herbal – dictates its acidity. For instance, black tea tends to be more acidic than green tea due to differences in oxidation during processing. Herbal teas, on the other hand, can sway towards the alkaline end of the spectrum.

Acidity Levels in Different Types of Tea

Tea TypeApproximate pH Level
Black Tea4.9 – 5.5
Green Tea7.2 – 7.5
Herbal Tea6.0 – 7.0
White Tea5.5 – 7.0
Oolong Tea6.2 – 6.8
  • Black Tea: As one of the most popular tea varieties, black tea often boasts a pH level ranging from 4.9 to 5.5. Its robust flavors come hand in hand with a touch of acidity.
  • Green Tea: The pH of green tea generally ranges from 6.0 to 7.5, positioning it on the less acidic side of the spectrum. This is partly due to its minimal oxidation during processing.
  • Herbal Tea: Herbal teas are a diverse bunch, but most tend to be alkaline or neutral with pH levels hovering around 6.0 to 7.0.

The Impact of Brewing Time on Acidity

Is Coffee More Acidic Than Tea?

Brewing time is a silent conductor that orchestrates the acidity of your tea. The longer you steep your tea, the more time there is for compounds to be extracted. This includes acids that can contribute to the overall tartness of your brew. Shortening the steeping time can result in a milder, less acidic cup.

How to Lower the Acidity of Your Tea

Taming the acidity in your tea can be a breeze with these tips:

  • Add Milk: A splash of milk can neutralize acidity and create a smoother taste profile.
  • Baking Soda Trick: A tiny pinch of baking soda can help offset the acidity without dramatically altering the flavor.
  • Choose Herbal: Opt for herbal teas if you’re aiming for a less acidic option. These infusions are often naturally more alkaline.

Acidic Tea, Coffee, and Acid Reflux

If you’re prone to acid reflux, your tea and coffee choices matter. Both beverages can relax the lower esophageal sphincter, potentially leading to the backflow of stomach acid. While tea is generally considered gentler on the stomach, individuals with acid reflux might find relief by choosing low-acid options and consuming it in moderation.

Which Teas Are The Most Acidic?

Tea TypeApproximate pH Range
Lemon Tea2.0 – 2.5
Lime Tea2.0 – 2.8
Orange Tea3.0 – 3.5
Hibiscus Tea3.5 – 4.5
Black Tea4.9 – 5.5

When it comes to acidity in teas, the crown of acidity rests upon the head of black tea. Its stronger flavor often comes with a more pronounced tartness. On the other end of the spectrum, herbal teas usually shine as the least acidic option, providing a more soothing and neutral experience.

In conclusion, the acidity of coffee and tea is a nuanced topic that holds both flavor and health implications. While coffee tends to wear the acidity crown, tea is not far behind on the pH scale. The impact of acidity on your stomach and teeth is a consideration worth making, but with a few adjustments and mindful consumption, you can continue to enjoy your favorite brews without letting acidity rule your sips. So, whether you’re Team Coffee or Team Tea, a harmonious coexistence with acidity is indeed possible.


Is tea easier on the stomach than coffee?

Tea is generally considered gentler on the stomach than coffee due to its lower acidity and caffeine content. Herbal teas are particularly mild and soothing, making them a preferable choice for those with sensitive stomachs.

What drink is most acidic?

Lemon juice is one of the most acidic common drinks, with a very low pH. Other highly acidic beverages include grapefruit juice and some soft drinks, which can potentially erode tooth enamel and irritate the stomach lining.

Is coffee the most acidic drink?

Coffee is acidic, but it’s not the most acidic drink. Lemon juice and grapefruit juice tend to have lower pH values. However, coffee’s acidity can vary based on factors like the bean type and brewing method.

Is coffee with milk acidic?

Coffee with milk is less acidic than black coffee. Milk’s proteins can bind to coffee’s acidic compounds, reducing their impact on stomach irritation. However, individual tolerance varies, and some people might still experience discomfort.

Is milk an acid or alkaline?

Milk is slightly acidic, with a pH around 6.5. However, it’s considered to have an overall alkaline effect on the body because it contains minerals like calcium that can help buffer acids, maintaining pH balance.

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