Does Starbucks Have Low Acid Coffee? Say No To Belly Aches!

does starbucks have low acid coffee

Does Starbucks Have Low Acid Coffee? Say No to Belly Aches!

There’s a reason why coffee is a popular beverage around the world. With bright, crisp acidity that adds tangy notes to energizing beverages, coffee often contains high levels of acidity that can cause issues for sensitive stomachs such as acid reflux.

Many people think that popular chains like Starbucks don’t offer any low-acid coffee options. But there are ways to indulge your coffee habit without risking a stomachache.  

Starbucks offers several kinds of low-acid coffee beverages that range from Nitro brew to chai tea and refreshing specialty drinks. The good news is that Starbucks coffee is already lower in acid since the brand uses high-quality Arabica beans instead of Robusta beans which contain higher acid levels. If you order a dark roast at Starbucks, you’ll taste the lower acid difference in just one smooth, lingering sip.

Key Take Away Of This Article

We will answer the question: does Starbuck’s have low acid coffee? And highlight fan favorites that are sure to keep your tummy calm to have an excellent coffee experience. Read to the end and watch the video about whether or not low acid coffee can help with acid reflux.

Check out the top low-acid coffee drinks at Starbucks that won’t trigger sensitive stomachs and can help soothe a brewing acid storm.

Best Starbucks Low-Acid Coffee

When you step into Starbucks to scan the overhead menu, pick your drink at a drive-through station, or order on the mobile app, it can be confusing to figure out low-acid drink options since Starbucks doesn’t specifically list its drinks in high-acid or low-acid categories.

To make things easy next time you order, here are the best low-acid coffee drinks that you can buy at Starbucks.

1.     Iced Chai Tea Latte

A traditional chai tea latte will land you lower down the acidity charts than a regular latte with a single or double shot of espresso. That’s because you’re getting less caffeine and less acid at the same time.

With low acid levels, an iced chai tea latte offers refreshing calm. It’s also been tested to ensure that it won’t cause heartburn or other acid reflux issues.

 At just 95mg of caffeine in a Grande-size cup, an iced chai tea latte can give you a hit of caffeine without making you reach for medicine afterward. The same goes for a hot chai tea latte that can offer creamy comfort without discomfort.

2.      Iced Latte

With low acidity levels and soothing coldness, a Starbucks iced coffee latte is a safer choice that shouldn’t cause any stomach issues.

Keep in mind that while it’s safe for acid reflux sufferers to drink a mild iced latte, it’s a good idea to consume this beverage in moderation since it still contains some level of acidity. If you want to dilute any acid effects further, opt for oat milk, coconut milk, or almond milk or stick with non-fat milk.

It’s always best to go slow when trying a new drink if you experience acid reflux issues. While most people report that drinking iced lattes doesn’t cause any problems, people can have different reactions so it’s up to you to test if this drink works for you.

If you’re concerned that any caffeine can trigger acid reflux and heartburn, recent studies say that this isn’t the case. Until a new study comes out that disproves this, it’s safe to say that you can enjoy your beverage without worrying about any issues.

3.      Nitro Cold Brew

With dramatically lower acidity levels, Nitro brew is considered a reflux-friendly drink. The cold brew process slowly steeps coffee grind in cold water which reduces acidity and makes it a better choice for a drink base than an espresso which is produced with heat, pressure, and speed.

If you order a Nitro cold brew at Starbucks, the barista will add nitrogen to the brew to extract the ground coffee’s natural sweet flavors without adding any processed sugar. Since sugar is also acidic, eliminating sugar from the drink and using a lower acid process makes this a top choice for low-acid drinks at Starbucks.

Even though Nitro brew is lower in acid, it still contains 280mg of caffeine in a Grande-size serving, so it’s best to stick to the USDA’s recommended 400mg daily caffeine intake limit.

4.     Matcha Tea Latte

If you’re looking for a less acidic tea at Starbucks, the Matcha Tea Latte has you covered. It’s a good choice if you have heartburn and want to reduce a flare-up. Some people report great results after switching from coffee to Matcha tea lattes since you get some caffeine without a burning stomach.

Just order an iced matcha tea that’s mixed with milk or a dairy-free option to get a low-acid matcha version. Not only is a matcha latte chill and relaxing, but green tea is considered a superfood that has powerful alkaline compounds that are great for neutralizing acid reflux.

5.      Salted Caramel Macchiato

A favorite Starbucks drink for acid reflux sufferers, a Salted Caramel Macchiato is a smooth and delicious option that’s easy on the stomach.

Sweet, caffeinated, and low in acid, this drink works well with plant-based milk such as almond, oat, or coconut milk reduces the acid-forming pH found in cow dairy, and helps neutralize hyperacid in the body.

With a creamy texture and mild acid levels, salted caramel can soothe digestive issues like nausea and bloating that can worsen the acid reflux burn. Just make sure to drink salted caramels in moderation to enjoy a coffee drink that’s gentle on your stomach.

6.      Salted Caramel Cream Cold Brew

It’s simple to try a Salted Caramel Cream as a cold brew. Just ask a Starbucks barista and they will blend a Nitro cold brew with caramel syrup and vanilla to create this smooth drink that’s low in acidity.

You can recognize that the low-heat process used to make the Nitro brew results in a smooth flavor that doesn’t have a sharp, bright acidic taste. According to dieticians, cold brews are a safe option for people who experience GERD and heartburn. Order a sugar-free syrup option to lower acid levels from sugar even further and maintain a good pH balance.

7.      Honey Almond Milk Cold Brew 

Now that you know that cold brews are key to ordering a low-acid drink at Starbucks, you know that you can drink it without experiencing any issues. Starbucks’ Honey cold brew with almond milk (or another plant-based milk) contains a natural sweetener that won’t stir up any acid trouble.

In fact, according to a clinical review by the British Medical Journal, honey can soothe acid reflux and reduce heartburn because it has a viscose texture. Just a single teaspoon of honey can calm down a burning stomach and esophagus in seconds.

Even if you suffer from acid reflux or are sensitive to acids, you can test out this drink by ordering a small size at Starbucks and moving up to larger cup sizes if it works for you.

8.      Iced White Chocolate Mocha

Perfect for the holidays or a hot summer day, an Iced White Chocolate Mocha is a year-round favorite among acid reflux sufferers. A good coffee drink that won’t cause an acid flare, a white chocolate mocha has a higher chocolate content, texture, and flavor than coffee. The more that you dilute a drink with chocolate, sugar-free sweeteners, and milk, the lower the acid content than straight brews.

According to a doctor at Stanford University, chocolate is a safe option for those who experience acid reflux. Since the high-fat content in whole cow’s milk can cause hyperacidity, it’s best to ask for non-fat milk, skim milk, or plant-based milk that’s low in fat to stay on the safe side and avoid any flares.

If you’re craving a mocha flavor, this is a go-to drink to order at Starbucks.

9.      Cascara Cold Foam Cold Brew

Rounding off the list of best low-acid caffeinated drinks at Starbucks is the Cascara Cold Foam Cold Brew. Calm your digestive system with this cold brew that also has a cold foamy topping. Low in acid and safe for acid reflux, use non-fat milk to lower fat content or a plant-based, lactose-free option to reduce further reduce any acid-forming results.  

What Happens if You Drink Acidic Coffee? 

When we drink acidic coffee, it can upset the delicate pH balance in our bodies. Normally, our bodies contain a pH of 7.4 which is a neutral average. Regular tap water, which is filtered at Starbucks, typically contains pH levels of 6.5-8.5 which also puts it in the neutral range.

Most coffee falls at a pH of 4.3 to 5, which makes it slightly acidic.

When a beverage has higher acid levels than our body’s pH, it throws off our system’s chemistry. This can trigger digestive issues such as inflammation, stomach discomfort, and GERD which can cause unpleasant side effects such as heartburn and acid reflux.

That’s why it’s a good idea to choose a dark roast over a light roast since these have reported lower acid levels. You can also reduce coffee’s acidity by choosing a cold brew over espresso, using non-fat or plant-based milk, and skipping any added processed sugar.

Is There Low-Acid Coffee at Starbucks?

While Starbucks doesn’t market its coffee as low acid, there are a few ways to ensure that you can order a low-acid coffee beverage at Starbucks.

Starbucks uses lower-acid Arabica beans, but you can also choose several specific roasts that have even lower levels. Whether you’re ordering a cup to sit and sip, a cup to go, or a blend to brew at home, pick a drink with a Decaf Pike Place Roast, a Blonde Roast, or the Iced Passion Tango Tea which doesn’t have coffee at all.

Does Starbucks Have Low or High Acid Coffee?

Compared to some other coffee shops, Starbucks coffee is already lower in acid. If you’re worried about coffee acidity, keep in mind that Starbucks (and other coffee places) roast their beans before they brew them. This process goes a long way toward slashing acid levels in brewed coffee.

Experts measure coffee acidity on a pH scale. A neutral pH is around 7, while anything less than that is mildly acidic to highly acidic. At Starbucks, coffee acidity varies based on what type of coffee bean is used, whether it’s a light roast or a dark roast, and how the coffee is brewed. 

For example, if you choose a dark roasted Arabica cold brew coffee with a generous splash of sweetener, milk, and ice, you will have a low-acid coffee compared to a light roast made with Robusta beans (which Starbucks doesn’t use anyway), and a single or double espresso shot. 

Since many people add milk, sweeteners, ice, syrups, and other flavors to their Starbucks drinks, this lightens the acid tone and makes the beverages easier on the digestive tract.

What Kinds of Starbucks Coffee Are the Least Acidic? 

As we’ve noted, it’s smart to stick to cold brews made with medium to dark roasts or dilute an espresso drink with milk when ordering at Starbucks.

Choose a blend such as Pike’s Place for a popular low-acid coffee option at Starbucks. This medium roast balances out the toasted beans’ flavor with hints of cocoa.

If you prefer a stronger coffee that’s still low in acid, try the Sumatra Dark Roast. Made from 100% high-quality Arabica coffee beans, this ground coffee achieves a satisfying, intense flavor without the burn-triggering acid. Since it’s also a dark roast, you can enjoy the delicious, rich flavor without worrying about any stomach issues.

Top 5 Low-Acid Coffees at Starbucks

1.     Starbucks VIA Medium Roast Instant Coffee

With a rich and balanced flavor, the VIA medium roast coffee is an instant success. It features a light body with low acid levels that combine with strong, smoky notes to make this roast a Starbucks favorite.

2.     Starbucks Pike Place Medium Roast

A harmonious medium coffee roast with low natural acidity, the Starbucks Pike Place K-Cup gives you both chocolatey and nutty notes from the pure Arabica beans harvested from Latin America. Grab a fully caffeinated but low acid option or select a decaf variety to get the coveted taste with less intense caffeine.

3.      Starbucks Dark Roast 

Known for their low acidity levels, a dark roast at Starbucks is the thing to choose for a cup of coffee that’s low in acid.

If you want a smooth, earthy, and full-bodied cup of coffee that has zero acid notes, then check out the Sumatra Dark roast on your next Starbucks order.

4.      Starbucks Espresso Dark Roast

Dark, smooth, and intense, Starbucks’ dark espresso roast has a creamy richness that’s also low in acid compared to lighter types of roasts.

While you can add milk or cream to enhance its flavor and dilute any lingering acid notes further, a cup of dark roast espresso is easy enough on the stomach to drink black in most cases if you aren’t someone who likes a lot of milk or sugar in their coffee.

5.      Starbucks Sumatra Dark Roast K-Cups

Since K-cups have a different brewing method, they are usually lower in acidity than drip coffee or coffee that’s brewed in an espresso machine. If you experience acid reflux, check out Starbucks’ dark Sumatra Roast K-cups for a flavorful option that shouldn’t trigger an acid flare.

Is Starbucks Coffee Acidic Compared to Regular Coffee?

Coffee can become acidic due both due to type of bean and due to the roasting process. Most regular coffee uses Robusta beans or a mix of Arabica and Robusta beans, which can make regular coffee more acidic. Starbucks only uses Arabica beans which are linked to lower acid levels.  

At the same time, most Starbucks’ coffee is considered higher on the acidic scale because they use higher temperatures than normal roasters to roast a large amount of beans faster.

This high-heat roasting process can turn lower-acid Arabica beans into more acidic coffee. If you choose a dark roast that has had a lower roasting temperature, this is less likely to cause any acid reflux problems.

Acidity Levels in Starbucks Coffee 

Compared to regular coffee and normal coffee with creamer, several Starbucks coffee beverages rank lower on the acid pH scale.

Neutral pH7.0
Coffee + Coffee Mate Creamer6.75
Starbucks Caramel Latte6.30
Starbucks White Mocha with whole milk6.30
Starbucks White Mocha with skim milk 
Regular Black Coffee5.70
Starbucks Black Coffee4.85

The Top 3 Low-Acid Coffee Drinks to Order at Starbucks

1.    Starbucks White Mocha with Whole Milk

A marriage of white chocolate sauce drizzled among steamed whole milk and topped off with sweet whipping cream, the White Mocha drink is one of the best coffee beverages to order at Starbucks if you’re sensitive to acid in coffee.

2.    Starbucks White Mocha with Skim Milk

Choose skim milk to lower that fat content while still diluting the acid levels in the coffee with this whipped cream and white chocolate favorite.

3.    Starbucks Caramel Latte

This iced latte is less acidic since it’s made with cold brew that’s exposed to low heat levels. The milk, vanilla syrup, caramel syrup, and ice also help dilute the drink to make it easier to digest.

The Top 3 Starbucks Low-Acid, Non-Coffee Specialty Drinks

If you’re not a coffee drinker or looking for a healthier specialty drink that won’t ignite a fire in your stomach, Starbucks has you covered with the 3 best non-coffee specialty drinks to try.

Starbucks Chai Latte 

This mild, sweet chai tea latte is infused with black tea, milk, sugar and honey, and natural flavors that include cardamon, cloves, ginger, and cinnamon spices.

Starbucks Pink Drink

Crisp and dreamy with passion fruit notes whipped with creamy coconut milk, Starbucks’ Strawberry Açaí Refreshers® drink offers an energizing taste of spring.

Starbucks Shaken Iced Tea

Sweet without acidic notes, Starbucks’ iced tea is a lovely blend of flavors where green tea notes win out over the peach flavor. The whole shaken beverage is low in acid to help reduce acid reflux symptoms. Next time you head to Starbucks, you can order in confidence now that you know which coffee and specialty drinks are low in acid and less likely to cause any sensitive stomach symptoms. 

Does Low Acid Coffee Cause Less Acid Reflux

This video explains whether or not low acid coffees are helpful in reducing acid reflux. If you struggle with that then this is a great watch.

Christopher Mize

4 thoughts on “Does Starbucks Have Low Acid Coffee? Say No To Belly Aches!”

  1. I have GERD really bad and suffering now badly from it I need a coffee so bad what can I have that wort make it worse I was just at ER for this

    1. Christopher Mize

      Hey there – I am really sorry to hear that. I can’t give medical advice and I hope that your Dr has been able to help sort that out. Everyone is different, but If I have coffee on an empty stomach, I can get feeling a little funky. So I make sure I’ve had something to eat. Especially something starchy (that’s what works for me). I know others though, who can’t do bread/starches together with coffee. I’d def check with my dr to see if there is something I could do about it. I would struggle through the day if I wasn’t able to have coffee myself =/

    1. Hey there Trudi. Decaf has about as much acid as regular coffee. Maybe a bit less, but they aren’t too far off. But there are some things you can try.
      1. Ask for a decaf mocha made with a shot of one of their dark roasts (try a different bean than what you usually get)
      2. Try using one less shot
      3. Try a mocha latte made with decaf cold brew (if you are looking for a cold drink)

      I’ve found that different coffee roasts have different effects on the acidity outside of their claimed PH levels. Maybe this is a bit of a placebo for me! But give that a try.

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