pour over coffee

Are you a coffee lover with a sensitive stomach? You may have heard that pour over coffee is less acidic than other brewing methods. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the truth behind this claim and what it means for your morning cup of joe.

Is Pour Over Coffee Less Acidic?

pour over coffee

Pour over coffee is indeed considered to be less acidic compared to other brewing methods such as drip or French press. This difference in acidity levels can be attributed to the pour over method's usage of a paper filter, which influences the coffee's extraction, flavor, and acidity. In this section, we will discuss the reasons for the lower acidity in pour over coffee and compare it with other brewing methods.

Reasons for Lower Acidity

There are several factors that contribute to the lower acidity levels found in pour over coffee. One key factor is the use of a paper filter. The filter paper traps sediment, preventing it from landing in the bottom of the cup, and creates a filter bed for the coffee grounds. This allows a cleaner and smoother brew with less acidity.

Another contributing factor to the lower acidity in pour over coffee is its brewing mechanism. Pour over coffee involves pouring hot water over coffee grounds, allowing it to pass through the filter slowly. This controlled process makes it easier to achieve the desired level of extraction, subsequently leading to a smoother and less acidic cup of coffee.

Comparing with Other Brewing Methods

Compared to other brewing methods, such as drip coffee or French press, pour over coffee is known to have lower acidity levels. Drip coffee tends to produce a more acidic brew due to the longer brewing process, which allows for more extraction. This increased extraction can yield higher acidity levels in the final cup.

Similarly, French press coffee does not use a filter paper, allowing more sediment to mix with the brewed coffee. This lack of filtration has the potential to introduce more compounds that can contribute to acidity, ultimately resulting in a more acidic cup of coffee.

Espresso, on the other hand, can be less acidic compared to drip and French press methods because its brewing process involves shorter extraction times. Nonetheless, pour over coffee still maintains a competitive edge in terms of its lower acidity levels, thanks to its brewing process and the use of paper filters.

Understanding Acidity in Coffee

pour over coffee

Acidity is a crucial aspect of coffee's flavor profile, contributing to its overall taste and complexity. It refers to the sourness, sharpness, or brightness felt on the tongue and is influenced by various factors such as the beans, roasting, grind size, and extraction method.

Beans and Roasting

The type of coffee bean and the roasting process play significant roles in determining the acidity of the coffee. Beans grown at higher elevations and in volcanic soils tend to have higher acidity levels. Arabica beans, for instance, are known for their bright and tangy flavors, compared to the mellower acidity of Robusta beans.

The degree of roasting also affects acidity levels. Lighter roasts typically preserve more of the naturally occurring acids found in the coffee beans, while darker roasts reduce their acidity through the Maillard reaction as the beans are exposed to high heat over a longer time.

Grind Size and Extraction

Grind size and extraction method also contribute to coffee's acidity. A finer grind results in a larger surface area and promotes faster and increased extraction of solubles, including acids. In contrast, a coarser grind tends to yield a mellower cup with less acidity.

In the context of pour-over coffee, which generally uses a medium to medium-coarse grind, the balance between acidity and other flavors can be fine-tuned by adjusting the grind size and extraction process. For example, a slower pour will lead to a longer brewing time and can extract more acidity, whereas a faster pour may result in less acidity.

Overall, pour-over coffee may appear to be less acidic than other brewing methods, but it is mostly due to the control it provides over the brewing process. By understanding the factors that influence coffee acidity, such as the beans, roasting, grind size, and extraction, one can experiment with these variables and create a cup that best suits their preferences.

Effects of Water Temperature

pour over coffee

When it comes to pour over coffee, the temperature of water plays a crucial role in the overall taste and acidity of the final brew. In this section, we will explore how controlling the temperature in the pour over process can influence acidity and how water temperature is directly linked to the extraction of acids from coffee grounds.

Controlled Temperature in Pour Over

Maintaining an optimal water temperature in the pour over brewing method is essential for a balanced cup of coffee. According to the National Coffee Association, the ideal water temperature for coffee extraction is between 195°F and 205°F (93-96°C) (source). Using an electric kettle with a built-in thermometer or a separate thermometer allows you to monitor and maintain the recommended temperature range during the brewing process.

When it comes to pour over coffee, a slow and steady pour technique can help ensure the water stays within the suggested range. A controlled pour also allows for even extraction and distribution of flavor compounds from the coffee grounds, leading to a more balanced and enjoyable cup of coffee.

Water Temperature and Acidity

Water temperature has a significant impact on the acidity levels of your pour over coffee. Generally, higher water temperatures result in a higher extraction of acids from coffee grounds, whereas lower temperatures extract less acid (source). This is crucial information for individuals who are sensitive to acidity in coffee or looking for a smoother, less acidic brew.

To reduce acidity in pour over coffee, you can experiment with slightly lower water temperatures, staying within the lower end of the recommended 195°F - 205°F range. Keep in mind that excessively low temperatures can lead to under-extraction, resulting in a sour or weak-tasting cup of coffee. Therefore, it is essential to carefully monitor the water temperature during the brewing process to achieve a balanced cup with the desired acidity levels.

In summary, the water temperature plays a fundamental role in determining the acidity of pour over coffee. Utilizing an electric kettle and thermometer helps maintain the optimal temperature range, resulting in a well-balanced, aromatic, and flavorful coffee that caters to individual preferences.

Filters and Their Role

pour over coffee

The type of filter used in pour over coffee can have a substantial effect on acidity and flavor extraction. To better understand the role of filters in brewing pour over coffee, we'll explore the differences between paper and metal filters and their impact on acidity and oils.

Paper Filters vs Metal Filters

Paper filters are commonly used for pour over brewing due to their ability to trap fine coffee particles and oils, resulting in a cleaner and less oily cup of coffee. On the other hand, metal filters tend to have larger holes, allowing more coffee particles and oils to pass through, creating a fuller-bodied brew with more texture and complexity.

Selecting the appropriate filter thickness can contribute to the desired level of acidity in the brewed coffee. Thicker paper filters (0.28mm) are recommended for darker roasts, while thinner (0.15mm) ones are suggested for medium roasts. Abaca filters can be used for medium to light roasts. The choice of filter can greatly influence the brewing time and overall flavor profile of the pour over coffee.

Effect on Acidity and Oils

Coffee acidity levels can be affected by the brewing process and the filter used. Paper filters play a significant role in reducing the acidity of coffee. As mentioned, paper filters trap more coffee particles and oils compared to metal filters, leading to a smoother and less acidic cup of coffee. Brewing methods that use paper filters can help produce a milder, lower-acid coffee.

Oils present in the coffee beans can influence the coffee's acidity, taste, and body. When using paper filters, many oils are filtered out, creating a cleaner, brighter cup of coffee. With metal filters, more oils are allowed to pass through, enriching the brew with a full-bodied, robust flavor.

Keep in mind that different coffee beans and brewing techniques will also affect the overall acidity and taste of your pour over coffee. Experimenting with the right combination of these factors, along with the use of the proper filter, will ensure the best possible cup of coffee suited to your preferences.

Pour Over Coffee Equipment and Technique

pour over coffee

Pour over coffee is known for its smooth and less acidic taste compared to other brewing methods. To achieve the desired result, the right equipment and technique are essential. In this section, we will discuss dripper and carafe options, as well as the brewing process for pour over coffee.

Dripper and Carafe Options

There are various pour-over drippers on the market, each with its own unique features. Here are some popular options:

  • V60: The Hario V60 is well-known for its cone shape and spiral ridges, which promote even extraction and a clean, balanced flavor.
  • Chemex: A combination of a dripper and a carafe, the Chemex is known for its elegant design and the ability to produce a smooth, bright cup of coffee. The thick Chemex filters remove much of the coffee's acidity and bitterness.
  • Kalita Wave: Featuring a flat-bottomed design with three small holes for controlled flow, the Kalita Wave ensures a more even extraction and a nuanced, well-rounded taste.

When choosing a carafe, factors like size, materials, and compatibility with your chosen dripper should be considered. Glass carafes are popular for their heat retention properties and aesthetic appeal, while stainless steel carafes offer durability and insulation.

The Brewing Process

The process of brewing pour over coffee involves a series of steps to achieve a consistent, tasty cup. Here are the key steps for brewing pour-over coffee:

  1. Measure and grind the coffee: A consistent, medium-fine grind is recommended for optimal extraction. Weigh the coffee beans (typically, 25 grams) and grind them just before brewing to maximize freshness.
  2. Heat the water: The water temperature should be around 200°F. If you don't have a thermometer, bring water to a boil and let it stand for about 30 seconds before using.
  3. Prepare the filter: Place the paper filter into the dripper and rinse it with hot water to remove any potential paper taste and to preheat the dripper and carafe. Discard the rinse water from the carafe.
  4. Bloom the coffee: Pour twice the measure of coffee in water (e.g., 15 grams of coffee, 30 milliliters of water) over the grounds in a circular motion. Wait 30 to 45 seconds for the coffee to bloom, allowing the gases to escape and promoting an even extraction.
  5. Pour the water and start the extraction: After the bloom, continue pouring water in a steady, circular motion, maintaining a consistent water level in the dripper throughout the process. The entire brewing time should take around 3 to 4 minutes.

By choosing the right equipment and following these steps, you can enjoy a less acidic, smooth, and delicious cup of pour-over coffee.

Other Factors Affecting Acidity

pour over coffee

When brewing pour over coffee, numerous factors affect its acidity, making it more or less acidic depending on the techniques applied. In this section, we will discuss how brewing time and agitation, as well as coffee-to-water ratio, contribute to the overall acidity of the pour over coffee.

Brewing Time and Agitation

Brewing time plays a significant role in determining the acidity of pour over coffee. The extraction process, which involves the release of solubles from the coffee grounds, impacts the acidity of the brewed coffee. A shorter brewing time typically results in a more acidic taste, as the initial solubles extracted from the coffee grounds are mostly acidic compounds.

Agitation, or the act of stirring or disturbing coffee grounds, promotes a more even extraction from the coffee grounds. Ensuring that the grounds are fully wetted during the brewing process increases the contact between water and coffee particles, leading to more efficient extraction of flavors, including acidity. Blooming, which is the action of pouring a small amount of water onto the coffee grounds to release trapped gases, can also help in achieving an even extraction.

To reduce acidity in pour over coffee, consider extending the brewing time and ensuring proper agitation for even extraction.

Coffee to Water Ratio

pour over coffee

The coffee-to-water ratio is another essential factor affecting the acidity of pour over coffee. A higher coffee-to-water ratio will likely result in stronger, more acidic flavors, primarily because there are more coffee solubles being extracted from the grounds. On the other hand, a lower coffee-to-water ratio will likely result in a milder, less acidic taste, as there will be fewer coffee solubles in the final brew.

To achieve a less acidic pour over coffee, experiment with a lower coffee-to-water ratio, while maintaining proper brewing time and agitation for balanced extraction of flavors.

In conclusion, adjusting the brewing time, agitation, and coffee-to-water ratio can have a significant impact on the acidity of pour over coffee. Keep these factors in mind when brewing to achieve your preferred balance of acidity and flavor profiles.

Tips for Less Acidic Pour Over Coffee

pour over coffee

Many coffee drinkers may find pour over coffee to be acidic, but there are ways to make it less so. This section will discuss tips for reducing acidity in pour over coffee, focusing on choosing the right beans, proper measuring and timing, and other factors that can affect acidity levels in the final cup of coffee.

Choosing the Right Beans

One of the key factors in reducing acidity in pour over coffee is selecting the right coffee beans. Generally, dark roast coffees have lower acidity levels due to the roasting process, which removes some of the compounds responsible for stomach cell acid production. Espresso beans can also be a good option as they tend to contain fewer acidic compounds.

Proper Measuring and Timing

Using accurate measures of coffee and water, as well as precise timing during the brewing process, can help control acidity levels in pour over coffee. Here are some tips to achieve optimal results:

  • Grind consistency: Use a good quality coffee grinder that can provide a consistent grind. This will ensure even extraction and better control over acidity levels.
  • Scales: Always measure your coffee beans and water with a digital scale for accuracy. A good ratio to start with is 17-18 grams of coffee per 250ml of water.
  • Timer: Using a timer during the brewing process can help you achieve a consistent brewing time. Aim for a total brewing time of around 2 to 3 minutes, adjusting as needed based on taste.

Paying Attention to Brewing Parameters

There are several brewing parameters that can impact acidity levels in pour over coffee, such as water temperature, steeping time, and water-to-coffee ratio. Consider the following:

Parameter Effect on Acidity
Water temperature Using slightly cooler water (around 1°F lower than usual) can help reduce acidity levels in the coffee, as hotter water extracts more acidic compounds quickly.
Steeping time Avoid over-extracting your coffee, which can result in increased acidity. Experiment with different brewing times to find the sweet spot that results in a smooth, balanced flavor.
Water-to-coffee ratio Adjusting the water-to-coffee ratio can also affect acidity levels. Experiment with different ratios to find one that produces the desired taste and acidity level in your pour over coffee.

By focusing on these factors, you can create a pour over coffee with lower acidity levels that's both enjoyable and better suited for those with sensitive stomachs.


pour over coffee

In conclusion, pour-over coffee is generally considered to be less acidic than other brewing methods such as drip coffee or French press. This is primarily due to the use of a filter paper that traps sediment and allows it to settle on top of the coffee grounds, creating a filter bed. This results in a cleaner, smoother cup of coffee with fewer bitter elements.

Additionally, pour-over coffee brewing allows for more control over key factors such as water temperature, flow rate, and grind size, which can all affect the acidity of the final cup. When prepared correctly, the pour-over method extracts more flavors from the coffee grounds and offers a distinct taste that many coffee enthusiasts appreciate.

It is worth noting that pour-over coffee brewing requires precision and patience, but the rewards can be well worth the effort for those seeking a less acidic and more nuanced cup of coffee. Experimentation and practice with various beans and brewing techniques can help coffee lovers find the perfect balance of taste and acidity that suits their preferences.

Drip coffeeFilter coffeePour over coffee
Tony Barlow

Tony Barlow

Majesty Coffee Technical Sales Expert - Meet the Team

Tony Barlow, with over a decade of experience in the coffee industry, is the go-to technical sales expert at Majesty Coffee. He's passionate about helping businesses find the right espresso equipment for their needs.

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