Decaf Coffee And Acid Reflux Disease  

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Written By Anh Dung Pham

If you suffer from acid reflux disease or Barrett esophagus disease, you may be hesitant to indulge in a cup of joe due to its notorious acidity. However, there is hope for coffee lovers who want to avoid the uncomfortable side effects of organic coffee.

I’m Anh Dung Pham, as a barista for over 15 years, I’ve served thousands of cups of delicious non-caffeinated coffee to customers who can’t tolerate regular. For many, the lower caffeine reduces acid reflux symptoms. But does non-caffeinated coffee or caffeinated coffee actually help acid reflux and GERD?

My article “Decaf coffee and acid reflux” below, what I discovered about the science, and my tips for making your cup of non-caffeinated as reflux-friendly as possible.


  • Non-caffeinated coffee has almost all caffeine removed but retains similar acidity to regular.
  • Cold brewing, dark roasts, and the Swiss water process can reduce acidity.
  • Limit non-caffeinated to 1-2 cups a day, avoiding within 3 hours of meals.
  • Add milk and cool coffee to further minimize acid production.
  • For persistent reflux, see a doctor about prescription remedies alongside diet changes.

Decaf Coffee and Acid Reflux Disease

This coffee, such as Don Pedro Organic Acid-Free Ground Coffee, is a low-acid alternative that allows you to enjoy a cup of joe without worsening your symptoms. Healthwise, is non-caffeinated coffee a healthier option for acid regurgitation sufferers? Let’s dive into the health benefits and potential drawbacks of this widely consumed beverage.

Decaf Coffee And Acid Reflux

Based on the study and experience in the coffee industry, from my viewpoint, moderation, and timing are key when drinking coffee with acid reflux. 

Here are some general guidelines based on my research:

  • Limit your intake to 1-2 cups of non-caffeinated coffee per day. More than this often triggers regurgitation.
  • Avoid drinking it within 3 hours of mealtime, as the combination exacerbates symptoms.
  • Drink your last cup no later than early afternoon to prevent nighttime decaf coffee consumption and late-day flare-ups.
  • Pay attention to your symptoms and adjust your limits accordingly. The amount you can tolerate varies individually.
  • Drinking non-caffeinated coffee within these limits and avoiding other regurgitation triggers can help minimize discomfort while still letting you enjoy coffee your favorite morning drink.
  • Opt for low-acid coffee beans – Dark roasts are less acidic than light roasts. Also, look for “low acid” labeled type of coffee.
  • Make it with cold water – Iced and cold brew coffee is less acidic than hot coffee. The heat makes it more acidic.
  • Drink it cool, not piping hot – Letting your non-caffeinated coffee cool down before drinking coffee reduces the acidity.
  • Add milk instead of creamers – A dash of milk can buffer acids but creamers may worsen regurgitation.
  • Try other low-acid drinks – Herbal tea, lactose-free milk, and water are gentle alternatives.
  • See a doctor if symptoms persist – Severe GERD requires prescription meds alongside diet changes.

Tips for Preparing Low-acid Non-caffeinated Coffee

Are you a coffee lover who suffers from gastro-oesophageal reflux induced by certain foods and beverages? If so, you may want to consider switching to low-acid non-caffeinated coffee.

While regular coffee and tea can cause acid reflux due to their high acidity levels, decaffeinated coffee alternatives can provide a solution. This is because the decaffeination process helps to lower the acid content in the beverage, reducing the likelihood of triggering GERD symptoms. 

So, if you’re looking for ways to enjoy your daily cup of joe without the discomfort, read on for some helpful tips on preparing low-acid non-caffeinated coffee.  While isn’t acid-free, there are preparation methods that can reduce its acidic bite.

Here’s how to make a mellow, reflux-friendly cup:

  • Choose non-caffeinated beans with a dark roast. The longer roasting lowers acidity.
  • Make non-caffeinated coffee using a cool brew method. No decaf cold brew is available, but the cold water has less acidic extraction.
  • Opt for a Swiss water process non-caffeinated. This method is chemical-free and reduces acidity.
  • Drink non-caffeinated iced or at room temperature. The heat of hot coffee exacerbates acidity.
  • Pair your non-caffeinated with milk or lactose-free milk over creamers, which are acidic.
  • Avoid adding triggers like chocolate or citrus flavors to your non-caffeinated.

With these adjustments, you can still enjoy your morning cup of joe without the usual regurgitation woes.

Other Reflux-Friendly Drink Alternatives

 For individuals suffering from cause heartburn or acid reflux, coffee can be a trigger due to its high acid content. Fortunately, there are other reflux-friendly drink alternatives available.

In a recent study, it was found that coffee adapted to normal tea and normal coffee or tea with reduced caffeine concentration resulted in fewer symptoms of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease. The aim of this study was to explore the effects of different components of coffee on GERD and provide viable alternatives for coffee consumption. 

Other Reflux-Friendly Drink Alternatives

Initial results showed that regular coffee induced a significant increase in acid regurgitation, suggesting that avoiding coffee altogether may be beneficial for those. For those times when even modified non-caffeinated coffee is still too acidic, here are some soothing low-acid drink options:

  • Ginger tea – Naturally anti-inflammatory. Adds nice spice.
  • Fennel or chamomile tea – Calms digestion and inflammation.
  • Low-acid fruit juices – Grape, cranberry, and pomegranate juices tend to be lower in acid.
  • Lactose-free milk – Much easier on the stomach than dairy.
  • Iced herbal hibiscus tea – Delivers antioxidants without the acid.
  • Reflex-friendly smoothies – With banana, melon, spinach, almond milk.

Sipping these drinks throughout the day can help provide hydration without provoking reflux symptoms.

If you have one of the symptoms below, see your doctor for a healthy approach. While an occasional non-caffeinated coffee may be fine for minor regurgitation, persistent symptoms on a daily basis require a doctor’s care. See your physician promptly if you experience:

  • Frequent heartburn, regurgitation, or chest pain
  • Difficulty swallowing, hoarseness, or throat/chest pain
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Persistent cough or wheezing
  • Vomiting blood or bloody stools

For recurrent acid regurgitation, prescription medications or surgical procedures may be warranted alongside diet and lifestyle changes. Don’t neglect severe GERD complications.

What are Acid Reflux and GERD?

Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid flows back into the esophagus, causing irritation and symptoms like heartburn, regurgitation, sore throat, and chest pain.

What are Acid Reflux and GERD?

GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) is the chronic, more severe form of acid regurgitation, often linked to a weakened lower esophageal sphincter. Left untreated, GERD complications can include esophageal ulcers, narrowing of the esophagus, and Barrett’s esophagus.

Common causes include hiatal hernia, pregnancy, obesity, smoking, and certain foods. Acid regurgitation sufferers know coffee is a common trigger, but what about non-caffeinated?

How Does Decaf Coffee Compare to Regular?

The process of decaffeinated coffee uses water, organic solvents, or carbon dioxide to remove 97–99% of the caffeine from coffee beans while leaving flavor and antioxidants intact.

How Does Decaf Coffee Compare to Regular?

An 8 oz cup of regular coffee contains about 95–200 mg of caffeine, and studies on GERD and caffeine show mixed results, while non-caffeinated has only 2–15 mg. So yes, non-caffeinated has drastically less caffeine than regular cafes. However, for those seeking ultra-low caffeine decaf options, this may still be too much.

However, the effect of decaffeination of coffee on its acidic content shows it remains similar between regular and non-caffeinated varieties. Acid is what typically aggravates regurgitation conditions.

So while the lack of caffeine in non-caffeinated reduces one regurgitation trigger, its acidity means it may still flare up symptoms if consumed incorrectly.


There are several reflux-friendly drink alternatives that are less likely to cause discomfort for individuals. These include beverages like herbal tea, chamomile tea, ginger tea, almond milk, coconut water, and non-citrus fruit juices.

A small dash of regular milk can help buffer acids. However heavy cream, whole milk, or creamers may worsen symptoms.

To prevent late-day flare-ups, finish your last cup of non-caffeinated no later than early afternoon, or at least 4-6 hours before lying down.

Yes, the longer roasting process lowers the acidic content, making it gentler for those prone to regurgitation.

Ginger, fennel, aloe vera, and marshmallow root supplements may naturally ease regurgitation symptoms for some people.

For more in-depth insights into coffee and its impact on various health conditions, visit the home page. Discover my extensive coffee knowledge and experience in the process of conquering different types of coffee. Enjoy the best coffee with confidence and comfort.