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All you need to know about Acidity

All you need to know about Acidity

All you need to know about Acidity

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When we think of the word acidity we think of the following descriptive words; tangy, sour, bitter and sharp. Some consider these as something to avoid but in fact, coffee acidity is used as a descriptor of positive attributes in coffee and this blog brings you all you need to know about acidity.


So, what is acidity? Acid is a chemical substance and the word itself comes from the Latin ‘acidus’ meaning sour or sharp. Coffee enthusiasts identify it as the dry, bright sparkly sensation that sets high-quality, high-grown coffee apart from others. For most of us, it’s a lively palate with cleansing qualities, where taste resonates on the sides and tips of the tongue – think sucking a slice of lemon.


The tanginess or tartness is associated with a high acidity but there are differences across a variety of coffees dependent on region and roast. The 3 types of acidity are as follows:


Citric acid: a sharp-tasting crystalline acid present in the juice of lemons and other sour fruits. It is made commercially by the fermentation of sugar and used as a flavouring and setting agent.


Malic acid: a crystalline acid present in unripe apples and other fruits.


Tartaric acid: Tartaric acid is a white crystalline organic acid that occurs naturally in many plants, most notably in grapes. Its salt, potassium bitartrate, is commonly known as cream of tartar. This type of acid can also be found in bananas and avocados.


Citric acid is most commonly found amongst high-grown Arabica coffee and research suggests that this type of acid is most common amongst different regional coffee beans. Despite what you may think, acidity in coffee is good for you and whether you prefer a more pronounced or a mellow acidity, they are all considered a positive part of the coffee drinking experience. If you are interested in figuring out whether high or low acidity coffees are for you, you can trial different roasts and different brewing methods because a taste test is the decider of acidity levels before anything else.

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