Acidity of Coffee vs Tea – Is Tea or Coffee Easier for Caffeine Sensitivity?


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The acidity of coffee vs tea may have stumped some, but after you’ve read this post, you’ll know just how much acid is in each! Whether you’re looking to cut down on acid or don’t want to agitate symptoms associated with acid reflux, this post has got the answers you need to make informed decisions about what you put into your body.

Acidity of Coffee vs Tea

Table of Contents

Is Tea Better Than Coffee for Acid Reflux?

Yes, tea can be better than coffee for acid reflux. However, this all depends on the type of tea we’re talking about.

In general, teas that are fruit infused or bottled may have a higher pH than those that are not. On top of this, some teas are low in acid by nature, making them much less acidic than coffee. 

So, which is which?

How Much Acid Does Coffee Have?

Coffee has an acidity of around 5 on the pH scale.

In case you don’t know, the pH scale is a way to measure the acidity levels of an “aqueous solution”. The lower something ranks on the pH scale, the more acidic it is. Conversely, the higher something is on the pH scale, the more alkaline, or less acidic, it is.

The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14. Water is a 7, which is also considered neutral. With this in mind, you can see that coffee would be considered a slightly acidic beverage as it has a pH value of around 5.

Is Tea Less Acidic Than Coffee?

Tea can be less acidic than coffee, but it can also be more.

The acidity level of most teas will strongly depend on what kind of tea it is you are drinking. Knowing not only the caffeine content of teas and coffee but also the acid level can assist those with caffeine sensitivities or acid reflux in making wise choices when choosing to drink.

Thus, it is important to know which teas are highest in acid.

Acidity Of Coffee Vs Tea – Is Tea Or Coffee Easier For Caffeine Sensitivity?

Which Teas Have the Most Acid?

It can be hard to know exactly which teas are highest and lowest in acid, as many teas fluctuate wildly in terms of their acid content. Like with teas that have less caffeine, teas with high or low acid levels are usually contingent on how they are brewed and what they’re made with.

Alright, tea drinkers. Are you ready to find out how much acid is in your favorite teas? If so, let’s get started.

Green Teas

Most green teas aren’t only lower in caffeine than coffee, but also lower in acid as well. Green tea tends to hover somewhere around a 9 or 10 on the pH scale. This makes green tea rather alkaline. Some green teas you find may be even more alkaline, with pH scale ranges of 10 or above.

Having said that, it is important that you don’t take in too much green tea if the type you choose is bottled. Most bottled iced teas of any sort, but especially green tea, can contain excess sugar in the form of high fructose corn syrup. Instead, opt for drinking tea that is unsweetened or comes in the form of tea leaves or bags. Then, add a little of your own sweetener. This will make cause the tea to provide you with more health benefits.

White Tea

Much like green tea, white tea is not only less acidic than coffee, but less acidic than other types of tea as well. White tea ranges between 8-10 in terms of pH levels. This should be easy on anyone dealing with stomach acid.

Want to lower the acid level even more? Throw in a bit of water, milk, or non-acidic fruit juice. This low acid tea will become just what the doctor ordered. Just know it will be very mild in terms of taste.

Black Teas

Black tea drinkers will need to be careful. Like those who drink coffee, you’ll need to watch for signs of irritation in regards to acid reflux, heartburn, or other uncomfortable symptoms when consuming black tea. The reason? Unlike white and green tea, black tea hovers around a 5 on the pH scale. It is very similar in terms of acid to coffee beans. Thus, you’ll need to be extra careful when consuming this type of tea. This is especially if drinking tea that is mildly acidic bothers you.

Lemon Tea

You’ve likely already guessed this, but drinking lemon tea is likely to be a no-go for anyone struggling with acid. That’s because lemon juice ranks at about a 2 pH level wise which can cause an upset stomach. This can also cause oral health to degrade if you drink too much of it. Note: Remember also that most bottled iced tea, especially those containing lemon or citrus juice, are naturally high in acid. Avoid these whenever possible.

Iced Tea

Most bottled iced teas are uncommonly high in acid, especially if they contain fruit juice. Some bottled iced tea may have pH levels as low as 3. Therefore, you should likely avoid bottled ice tea. However, if you make iced tea from brewed tea that is less acidic than coffee, you should experience fewer symptoms associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease or other acid sensitive conditions.

Is Tea Easier on Stomach Than Coffee?

It can be! The reason tea can be easier on the stomach isn’t totally clear. Some sources claim it to be a direct result of how much caffeine is in the beverage. Thus, if you are drinking a tea lower in caffeine it is less likely to bother your stomach.

On the other hand, some people assume that tea is better because it contains more tannins. “Tannins” are antioxidants found in tea that have many health benefits. Still, tannins can cause side effects in people that consume too much of them. Ironically, one of these noted side effects is stomach irritation. So, which is it?

The answer to this question seems to boil down to each person’s own body and sensitivities. Because some people might be sensitive to caffeine in general, they may react to both coffee and highly caffeinated teas (like Thai tea). For others, the issue may be more closely related to consuming too many tannins in teas, making both tea and coffee a no go for the drinker.

Still yet, some people may find that coffee is harder on their stomachs than tea. Ultimately, which is better for the stomach will vary from individual to individual. If you notice that your stomach seems to be irritated after drinking either of these drinks, it’s best to stay away from them.

If you can, go for gentler teas like ginger tea or chamomile tea. You can also consider consuming low acid coffee or low acid tea to see if that helps. If you notice that the more caffeine you consume, the worse your stomach feels, then it may be best to stick only to decaf coffees and teas to see if that alleviates your problems.

Acidity Of Coffee Vs Tea – Is Tea Or Coffee Easier For Caffeine Sensitivity?

How Acidic Is Green Tea Compared to Coffee?

Green tea drinkers rejoice! Green tea is typically a less acidic tea. Thus, it can be less acidic than coffee and other acidic beverages. If you are a tea lover but tend to have tummy troubles due to acid in the tea, it may be that green tea is the best pick for you. Just know that too much tea consumption may be harmful, especially for those that are caffeinated. Drink only a few cups (or less) per day to stay within a reasonable limit.

Is Green Tea Acidic Like Coffee?

Remember that green tea isn’t nearly as acidic as coffee. Coffee ranks at about a 5 on the pH scale. Recall that the closer to zero a substance is on the pH scale, the more acidic it is. By comparison, green tea ranks at about 8-9. This makes green tea more alkaline and thereby much less acidic than coffee.

Acidity of Coffee vs Tea

Why Does Tea Give Me Heartburn but Not Coffee?

In this case, it could be that your stomach is reacting to the tannins in the tea. While coffee is shown to also contain tannins, it isn’t the same amount as that which is found in tea. Because tea is so high in tannins, it can lead to unsavory side effects. Unfortunately, heartburn is one of them.

Remember also that caffeine in tea or anything else can cause heartburn to flare. So, if you’re knocking back way too many cups of tea, it could be that you’re experiencing heartburn from excess caffeine.

Is Coffee or Tea More Acidic

That depends! Remember that different types of tea contain differing amounts of acid. Though both tea and coffee contain acid, some teas like green tea contain considerably less. Still, other teas, such as rosehip tea, are more acidic. In fact, this tea ranks at about a 2 on the pH scale while coffee only ranks at a 5! Thus, it really does depend on the type of tea your drink when determining if it is more acidic than coffee.

Acidity of Black Tea vs Coffee

When it comes to the acidity of coffee vs tea, you may be surprised to know that both black tea and coffee have equal amounts of acid. Unless you consume a less acidic coffee or a less acidic black tea, you can expect both to rank at a 5 on the pH scale.

Signs You May Be Sensitive to Acid in Tea or Coffee

Think you may be sensitive to the acid in tea or coffee? Coffee drinkers and tea drinkers alike should look out for the following symptoms that may alert them that they are sensitive to the acid in their drink:

  • Bloating
  • Heartburn
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea

Ways to Lower the Amount of Acid in Tea or Coffee

If you find that you are sensitive to acid in tea or coffee, there are things you can do.

Try finding a tea or coffee that is low in acid. Low acid coffee is often sold in markets. As for low acid tea, that will depend on the type you buy. Remember that green tea tends to be very low in acid.

Another thing you can do is dilute your tea or coffee with milk, fruit juice, or extra water. When using milk, feel free to get fun and creative with the type you use. You can use a plant-based version of milk, chocolate milk, or you can even use egg nog! Either way, these are great ways to dilute your coffee or tea while making it even tastier than before.

Acidity of Coffee vs Tea

Acidity of Coffee vs Tea: Both Can Be Quite Acidic!

Depending on the type you chose, some teas can be as acidic (or more acidic) than coffee. If you are sensitive to acid, try opting for teas and coffees that are low in caffeine. Also, remember that certain teas are higher in acid than others.

I hope this helps answer your questions surrounding the acidity of coffee vs tea. See you next time!


How to lower the acidity of your tea?

Try adding more water or adding milk to your tea. Teas like oolong tea, herbal teas, mint tea, rosehip tea, ginger tea, chamomile tea bags and more will do great with the addition of milk. It will make more of a tea “latte” but it’s a great way to lower the acidity levels in the drink.

How to lower the acidity of your coffee?

Just like with tea, adding additional milk to your coffee can make it less acidic. You can also choose to buy coffee beans labeled as “low acid”.

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