Some beverage drinkers prefer tea over coffee because according to them it contains less caffeine and does not have any adverse effects for those with sensitive stomachs. Tea is an aromatic beverage made by pouring hot or boiling water over fresh or cured Camellia sinensis leaves, an evergreen shrub that usually grows in most parts of China and East Asia. In this article, let us get to know more about the wonders of tea and if it is a healthier alternative to coffee.
Is tea less acidic than coffee?
Yes, tea tends to be less acidic than coffee. However, it depends on what type of tea it is, since certain types are very acidic. Green tea and black tea are less acidic than coffee but rosehip and fruit teas including bottled iced teas are more acidic than coffee.
Certain factors should also be considered when comparing the acidity levels of tea and coffee. These include the sources and types, soil nutrients and if tea and coffee were grown organically or treated with chemicals.
Which Teas Are The Most Acidic?
While coffee has a consistent acidity or pH level, it is not the same for tea. Tea comes in many types and varieties and is sourced from various countries around the world. Some types of teas are very acidic while others are less acidic than coffee.
On the pH scale, the numbers range from zero to 14. The pH level seven is neutral while those less than seven are acidic while those greater than seven are alkaline or basic.
These are the types of teas and their corresponding pH levels:
- Green tea – between eight and nine pH
- Chamomile/ mint tea – seven or neutral
- Black tea – five
- Iced tea – between three and four
- Rosehip tea – two
As mentioned above, the pH scale ranges from zero which is very acidic to 14 which is very basic or alkaline. Water has a pH of seven which is considered neutral. Bottled iced tea is strongly acidic and herbal teas that are not fruit-based are less acidic. Opt for a hot cup of chamomile if you want to indulge in a relaxing evening beverage that is gentle to your stomach and teeth.
How to lower the acidity of your tea?
Here are the steps on how to lower the acidity of your tea:
- Make sure to cut down the brewing time.
- Mix or dilute brewed tea with water, cream or milk.
- Opt for green tea, chamomile or mint tea that has a higher pH level.
- Avoid adding lemon or other citrus flavorings to your tea.
How to lower the acidity of your coffee?
When it comes to coffee, here are some things that you can do to lower its acidity:
- Choose coffee beans that are grown at low elevation areas.
- Opt for dark roast coffee beans.
- Drink a cold brew instead of a hot brew.
- Add salt to your cup of coffee.
- Brew your coffee with some eggshells.
How do acidic tea and coffee affect acid reflux?
People who tend to suffer from acid reflux avoid tea and coffee because they are acidic and they have the notion that these beverages can aggravate their condition. However, this should not be the case. Tea can be consumed by heartburn and acid reflux sufferers although it has caffeine and has acidity compared to coffee.
Coffee causes issues but it is not mainly due to acid levels or even caffeine. It is because it is a type of muscle relaxer. A certain muscle between the stomach and esophagus, when it relaxes, enables the stomach acids to move back up to the esophagus and causes heartburn. Caffeine nevertheless relaxes smooth muscle through actin depolymerization.
Types of tea
These are the common types of tea:
White tea is the least processed form of the tea plant and provides a delicate flavor and less caffeine than black tea. Its leaves are harvested when they are covered with silvery-white hairs.
Its fresh leaves are steamed which preserves the polyphenols, phytochemicals with strong antioxidants. Most polyphenols are flavonoids that have heart health benefits. Green tea contains a small amount of caffeine, more or less 25 to 35 mg per cup.
Matcha is green tea powder but it is different from brewed green tea since its leaves are covered before harvest, resulting in a concentrated flavor, higher caffeine and more antioxidants.
Oolong tea is derived from partially fermented tea leaves and has the same amount of caffeine just like white and green tea. It also has many benefits just like with green tea.
Black tea is the most processed among the tea types and contains more caffeine than any other tea. Its caffeine content has shown benefits regarding obesity prevention and treatment compared to other tea types.
Benefits of tea
These are some of the benefits of tea:
- It increases metabolism.
- It is anti-inflammatory.
- It reduces the risk of chronic diseases.
- It could improve insulin sensitivity.
- It could help prevent cancer.
- It can boost fertility.
- It is hydrating.
- It is good for the brain.
Beverage drinkers may opt to drink tea instead of coffee since they assume that it is less acidic and healthier than coffee. However, not all types of tea are less acidic than coffee. Green tea and chamomile tea are less acidic but rosehip tea and fruit tea are more acidic than coffee.
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