Coffee Chemistry: Coffee Acidity

Coffee Chemistry: Coffee Acidity

The perceived acidity of coffee results from the proton donation of acids to receptors on the human tongue. Coffee acidity is typically a highly valued quality especially in Central American and some East African coffee. Sourness, however, is an extreme of acidity and can be considered a coffee defect. Acidity has been correlated with coffees grown at very high altitudes and in mineral rich volcanic soils. The perceived acidity of washed coffees is also significantly higher than the acidity found in naturally (dry) processed coffee. This is likely due to an increase in the body of naturally processed coffees relative to wet processed coffees since body masks the acidity in coffee. The coffee acid content in a brew is also greatly dependent upon the coffee roasting degree, type of roaster, and coffee brewing method.

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