Things that pair well with coffee: coffee cake and donuts. Things that don’t make such a nice pairing with our favorite drink? Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD, for short) and an upset stomach. Certain brews contain high levels of acidity, and while they may taste delicious, your body may not feel so great afterward.
At A Glance: Best Low Acid K-Cup Pods
Thankfully, low acid coffee exists, so you can still enjoy a piping hot cup of Joe without worrying about bodily discomfort later. More good news: scoring less acidic coffee doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice convenience. If you regularly use a single-serve, K-cup friendly machine, pop in a pod from our list of best low acid K-cups, and prepare to enjoy a low acid brew.
The Lowdown on Low Acid Brews
We care about your coffee intake and overall health, and for that reason, we’ve made it our mission to scope out the best low acid K-cups on the market today. These brews are heavy on quality but low on acid content and the chances of bodily discomfort later, and we know you’ll love them as much as we do.
Let’s take it from the top with Lifeboost Coffee. These pods make our list of favorite low acid K-cups because of their near neutrality; on the pH scale, this brew comes in at a 6, making it one of the easiest coffees for those with acid sensitivities to stomach.
This coffee is made from a supply of non-GMO beans that were naturally sun-dried and free of pesticides, chemicals, and other dangerous items, and these grounds contain high levels of natural antioxidants that coffee acid naturally suppresses. Good coffee that’s good for you? We can definitely get on board with that!
trücup Low Acid Coffee
A good place to start on your quest for low acid coffee pods is trücup. This brand’s medium to dark roasts are packed with so much flavor, you’ll hardly notice a taste difference between this coffee and other more acidic brands.
trücup manages to produce a smooth, full-bodied low acid brew through a natural process that uses water and steam to remove most, if not all, of the potentially irritating acids in the coffee without impacting the flavor, aroma, or caffeine content.
We recommend the Heart of Bold medium-dark roast, but if you’re unsure which of the brand’s three roasts would make the best brew for you, try a 6-pod sampler package instead.
HealthWise Low Acid Coffee
Next on our roster of easy-to-stomach coffees is HealthWise’s 100 percent Colombian Supremo blend.
HealthWise uses high-grade Arabica beans and the Techno Roasting process to create a blend that has high levels of vitamins, micronutrients, and minerals without a bitter taste or harsh acids. If you appreciate a lower potency coffee, you’ll enjoy this brew, as it manages to be flavorful without being overwhelming or intense.
If you’re looking to explore the vast world of flavored coffees, HealthWise has you covered, offering flavor options including French vanilla, chocolate coconut, or hazelnut. And if you’re a fan of decaf coffee made with the Swiss Water process, HealthWise has you covered, too, as the brand sells the United States’ only low acid Swiss Water K-cups.
Organic Coffee Company French Roast
We at Roasty believe there are fewer things more satisfying than a good French roast, and Organic Coffee Company’s French roast blend is no exception. This dark roast is a creamy blend of South and Central American coffee beans and has notes of milk chocolate, clove, and toasted almond.
Because it’s a dark roast, this particular product is a perfect option for those who want a more potent coffee experience with lower acid content. Plus, Organic Coffee Company and its sister brand, San Francisco Bay, are dedicated not only to creating quality coffees but also improving the communities that house the coffee farms they source from. Drinking this coffee isn’t only good for your body, but also farmers all over the world.
San Francisco Bay Variety Pack
What can we say about San Francisco Bay? Well, for starters, the company’s pod variety pack comes in four different roasts — French Roast, Fog Chaser Blend, Rainforest Blend, and Breakfast Blend — and all are low in acidity. You can buy each blend (and plenty of others!) separately, but the variety pack gives you a chance to give each blend a try while ensuring you get the biggest bang for your buck.
This coffee is ground and packaged fresh, which produces a better and more consistent flavor than other pods. These cups are also made of plant-based materials, which makes them commercially compostable. However, they’re not recyclable, so if there’s no commercial composter near you, simply toss the pods in the garbage after use.
If you’re a decaf drinker, however, your San Francisco Bay options are limited to French roast, so if you’re trying to cut your caffeine intake but aren’t a fan of the smoky, dark chocolate roast, you may need to look elsewhere for a lower acid coffee that’s compatible with Keurig.
What to Look for in a K-Cup
When looking for a low acid K-cup, whether on this list or otherwise, it’s important to consider a few different elements, like roast, flavor, and price. Make sure to carefully research each of these elements on your k-cup before you purchase to ensure that you get the great low acid k-cups for your home.
If you’re a longtime coffee drinker, you probably know by now that coffee beans are roasted at different temperatures for varying amounts of time, and the roast levels play a role in the coffee’s flavors, acidity, and caffeine content. Light roasts, for instance, are often earthier, as they retain more of the coffee bean’s original flavor. A dark roast, on the other hand, tends to be smokier and more bitter in taste.
Before selecting a K-cup pod, be sure to search for the coffee’s roast level listed on the package so you know exactly what you’re getting.
Chances are, you know exactly what kind of flavor profile your favorite blend boasts, and you expect your brew to taste the same, even if it comes from a pod.
Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case when it comes to K-cup coffee. The ground coffee present in your pod may have been put there a long time ago, and who knows exactly how long those pods sat on your grocery store’s shelf? The flavors you’ve come to know and love may not be as strong as you’re accustomed to, but to get the best quality out of your pod, be sure to use it within a few weeks of purchasing and before the expiration date.
Unfortunately, purchasing K-cups can add up quickly, as these pods are only intended for one use. That’s why the price and amount of cups per package are such important factors to keep in mind. Just as with any pre-ground or whole bean coffee, the most expensive option is not always the best, so researching before you buy is a crucial step in getting the most bang for your buck.
Craving the convenience of a K-cup but concerned about prices? Check out our guide to inexpensive K-cups here; we’re sure you’ll find something you like without breaking the bank.
You may want to note other elements of a K-cup, like sustainability. These days, many coffee brands, like Organic Coffee Company, for example, make their cups out of recycled or plant-based materials that break down much easier in compost piles.
Q: Should I buy recycled K-cups?
Many types of recycling centers will take K-cups and recycle them to protect the environment. Is this a good choice for your buying needs? We’ve found that recycled cups cost about the same as non-recycled ones, which means you won’t save or lose money by buying them. And they are designed to work with all appropriate Keurig machines. So you should buy them if you want to minimize the environmental impact caused by K-cups. Otherwise, they are of the same price point as new cups.
Q: Can I use my own low acid coffee in a reusable pod?
Short answer: YES! Long answer: those concerned about the environmental impact of Keurig machines and k-cups may want to consider reusing their pods two or three times after they are done. And while there are methods out there for reusing a store-bought single-use pod, we recommend purchasing a reusable K-cup instead. These little lifesavers reduce waste, save money, and ultimately, gives you a better coffee experience, as you can choose to fill the pod with whatever coffee you want.
Q: Do low acid K-cups expire?
Just like any food product, low acid K-cups may lose freshness after enough time has passed. It isn’t necessarily that they expire in a traditional sense (the packaging is designed to prevent air and other contaminants from decreasing the coffee freshness) but that the pods may become less intense or secure after a long enough time — usually months or even years. Each package of K-cups should have a “Best When Used By” date stamped on the side, and though you can still get a fresh taste when using them after this date as long as you keep the cups sealed in an air-tight container, we recommend sticking to the expiration date for the best drink possible.
Q: Do doctors suggest low acid coffee for patients with stomach issues?
Many medical professionals find that caffeine-rich or heavily-acidic drinks may cause stomach issues such as GERD, hernias, stomach cancers, and various other types of diseases. By decreasing the acid in a person’s coffee, it may be possible to decrease these issues.
Darker blends are recommended over light because they are roasted for more extended periods and lose much of their acidic nature. The same fact is true of low acid k-cups, making them a good choice for those struggling with stomach-related problems that they cannot control. However, doctors also suggest that those with stomach problems limit their intake of low acid coffee, as it may still cause minor agitation if consumed in heavy enough doses. The exact amount varies based on each person, so talk with your doctor to learn more.
Q: Does low acid coffee have less caffeine than regular blends?
Removing the acid from various types of low acid coffee should not affect the caffeine level, which should keep its energy-boosting benefits intact. However, darker blends naturally have less caffeine, even in low acid coffee. And light or medium roasts with higher caffeine content will also naturally produce more stomach acid. As a result, those who drink low acid coffee may want to focus on darker blends to avoid excessive stomach acid and other types of health concerns. Check the label of the K-cups and try to aim for lower caffeine levels to get the best results for stomach acid management.
Q: Where can I buy low acid K-cups?
Many brick-and-mortar shops may contain the low acid K-cups of many types in their coffee aisles, but shops that specialize in coffee and Keurig machines likely have the best options for your needs. However, it is often easier to buy directly from the manufacturer or an online shop.
Usually, low acid K-cups are considered specialized products rarely purchased enough to be an accessible item to stock. And many online shops provide discounts you won’t be able to get from other sources.
While we find ourselves leaning toward Lifeboost’s coffee blend to meet our low acid needs, be sure to do a little digging to find the best low acid coffee brand for you and your Keurig.
We hope you know that, whether or not you decide to invest in any of the K-cups we’ve reviewed above, you can still enjoy a good cup of coffee, even if digestion or acid reflux are issues you face. Whatever coffee you choose, bear in mind that though your low acid coffee is not actively irritating your body or flaring up any pre-existing digestive issues, low acid coffee is not some kind of miracle cure, so don’t throw out those antacid tablets or ditch the doctor appointments just yet.