Is Kona Coffee Low Acid?

With some coffee types having the reputation of being acidic, one of the questions you might think could be, is Kona coffee low acid? For this guide, you're going to learn whether Kona coffee is high or low in acid and what it means for your brew.

Is Kona Coffee Low Acid?

In general, Kona coffee is low in acid. However, this would also depend on the brewing and processing method. Additionally, the roast level can influence the acidity as the darker roast has the lowest acidity, whereas the light roast is the most acidic.

Woman enjoying a cup of Kona coffee

Some people may think that the nuanced notes give an acidic taste when drinking coffee. Certain factors affect a Kona coffee's acidic content.

What Is the Acid Content of Kona Coffee?

The average cup of coffee has an acidity rating of four to five. Soda and orange juice are at pH 3, whereas pure water has a rating of seven. As you can see, coffee varieties, including Kona coffee, are fairly low in acid.

Coffee contains roughly 38 naturally occurring acids. However, these are the most notable.

  • Chlorogenic acid: This good acid contains antioxidants, providing health benefits of drinking Kona coffee. 
  • Quinic acid: This bad acid is the byproduct of a roasting process. High concentrations of quinic acid only happen when you reheat or burn espresso.

What Makes Kona Coffee Low in Acid?

Kona coffee is low in acid due to factors such as the processing method, roast level, and brewing. 

Some people define low acidity by whether coffee leaves a sharpness in the mouth. However, it's more than that. Acidity is a chemical compound, so a combination of factors can significantly influence it.

Processing Method

Removing the cherry's essence can be tricky. While there are different ways to do this, the method can also impact the Kona bean's acidity.

For instance, washed coffee beans get pulped and rinsed in water to remove the layers of fructose and sucrose. This enables the acidity to overpower the sweetness.Mug filled with coffee beans

Meanwhile, naturally processed coffees leave the cherry fruit intact until the coffee dries. This is why Lava Lei follows all-natural processing to increase the sweetness and bring out the fruity notes to subdue the acidity.

Roast Level

The roasting process also has a big impact on Kona coffee's acidity. During the heating process, the natural acids from the beans break down. The longer the roasting time, the lower the acidity level.

  • Light roast: Light roasted Kona coffee is the most acidic. It only requires heating at 350 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes or less. This period won't release much of the natural oils, making light roast more acidic.
  • Medium roast: Medium roast heats a little beyond the first crack at 400 to 430 degrees Fahrenheit. In effect, it has fewer concentrations of acids.
  • Dark roast: Dark roast Kona coffee has the lowest acid content. This is mainly due to the longer roasting time at 430 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Brewing Method

When coffee gets extracted through high-temperature methods, the chemical reactions may increase the Kona coffee's acidity. This is why you can reduce the acidity even if you use light roast Kona beans, as long as you prepare it using cold immersion methods.

Low-acid brewing methods often use filters that remove much of the oils where the acidic compounds reside. Drip, pourover, and cold brew are among the most effective ways to minimize the release of quinic acid or caffeine.

Hot water passes through the beans during a typical hot brew process, releasing the oils that make Kona coffee more acidic. Cold brewing removes around 70% of the acidity in Kona coffee. The oils don't get released much by steeping the coffee grounds in cold or room-temperature water.Several cups of coffee placed on a round tray

How Can I Remove the Acidic Taste in Kona Coffee?

With Kona coffee being low in acid, drinking a cup of it can be gentler on digestion. You can further control the pang of acidity by adding dairy products to balance the pH level.

For example, you can put steamed milk or frothed coffee cream to make latte or breve. Another way is to choose a finer grind size. Fine Kona coffee grounds would have a quicker extraction, which means less time for the water to extract the oils.

Related Questions

Is Flavored Coffee Less Acidic Than Regular Coffee?

No, flavored coffee won't be less acidic than regular coffee. This is because the flavor is simply an added component, so the coffee's original acid content remains.

Is It Safe to Drink Highly Acidic Coffee?

It's generally safe to drink highly acidic coffee. However, the effects may depend on the body's reaction to acidity or a person's health conditions. For instance, a highly acidic coffee may cause acid reflux, gastric ulcer, or irritable bowel syndrome to some people.


Kona coffee is low in acid, especially darker roasts. The processing method, roast level, and brewing can also affect it. To ensure you drink low acid coffee, start with Lava Lei 100% pure Kona coffee, so you'll get more of the sweet, fruity taste.