Last Updated on March 11, 2023

3 Reasons Why Baking Soda in Coffee is a Good Idea

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If you love your morning coffee but it doesn’t seem to love you back, it could be the result of the acidity in the java. Sometimes the acid found in coffee can cause an upset in the form of heartburn, acid reflux, or even a stomach ache.

Let’s see how the simple act of baking soda in coffee can help alleviate these unwanted issues, no matter how small or infrequent. Let’s take a closer look at our little alkaline buddy, baking soda, and see how just a pinch can help us enjoy our coffee more.

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What is Baking Soda?

baking soda in coffee - 3 reasons why it might be good for you to do

Also referred to as sodium bicarbonate, baking soda is a salt composed of sodium cation (Na) and a bicarbonate anion (HCO3). That’s the technical explanation, if you really wanted to know. It is also referred to as bread soda, cooking soda, and bicarbonate of soda.

What does baking soda do for us on a day-to-day basis? This white, fine powder is used in baking as a leavening agent. It reacts with acid, and carbon dioxide is released. That is what causes expansion of the batter and results in that characteristic texture that we’re looking for.

Baking soda also reacts spontaneously with acids, releasing CO2 gas. So, it can be mixed with water and used as an antacid. Similarly, a small amount of baking soda added to coffee before or after brewing can help reduce the acidity, and the effects of it, when we drink the coffee.

Baking Soda in Coffee: Why Does It Help? How Much to Use?

Coffee is acidic. The acidity occurs during the roasting process, with the shorter, lighter roasts resulting in higher acidity levels than longer roasts. Finely ground coffee beans can lead to more acid being extracted during the brewing process.

Some of us react negatively to that acidity, but we still want to enjoy our java. So we look for ways to reduce the acid and its effect on us when we drink coffee. 

Baking soda is an alkaline, so adding just a 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon to a pot of coffee can improve the taste by making it a bit smoother, and making it a little easier to digest.

You can also add just a pinch to your brewed coffee before you drink it. 

3 reasons why baking soda in coffee is a good idea

 1 | Baking Soda Can Help Prevent Heartburn

If drinking a cup of your favorite coffee results in occasional heartburn, adding a small amount of baking soda can help neutralize the excess stomach acid that causes the symptoms. That’s because baking soda has an alkaline PH. When it mixes with an acid, it alters the pH level. 

Remember that if you regularly suffer from heartburn and the discomfort it causes, medical treatment might be a wise decision. 

2 | Baking Soda can help reduce Acid Reflux

Acid reflux, which can be another name for heartburn, occurs then acid from the stomach backs up into the food pipe. Sometimes a sour taste in the mouth occurs.

If this is something that comes and goes, and doesn’t last more than a couple of weeks, our friend baking soda in coffee can help reduce the effects.

3 | Baking Soda Can Help Prevent Stomach Aches

Because baking soda is an alkaline substance it alters the pH level when it mixes with an acid. So your stomach ache can be soothed quickly. 

Adding a small amount of baking soda to your coffee – just a pinch to a cup – can help reduce the chance of the stomach upset occurring.

Are There Any side Effects When Putting Baking Soda in Coffee?

There are some common side effects of baking soda:

  • stomach cramps
  • increase in thirst
  • gas/bloating

In addition, be aware that baking soda can interfere with how the body absorbs some medications. Of course, for the purposes of this article we’re discussing very small amounts of baking soda in coffee. But, if you regularly take medication it is always good to know all of the facts!

the coffee files - how to make good coffee at home

TIP:  Consider making your coffee with a French Press. The coarse ground coffee will help lower the acidity in the brewing process.

Should You Buy Lower Acid Coffee?

If the thought of putting baking soda in coffee doesn’t quite do it for you, it’s possible that a switch to lower acid coffee might be a more permanent solution to your coffee-drinking woes. If your taste in coffee tends toward a lighter roast, you’re actually getting more acidity in that brew than with a dark roast. I know, it seems like the opposite would be true, but that is the way the coffee roasting process works. ☕

Many lower acid coffees are medium-dark to dark roast, are often 100% Arabica coffee, and organic. Here are a few suggestions to get you started should you decide to investigate the option of lower acid coffee.