How do I brew a good cup of coffee with lower acidity? I want to continue drinking coffee, but the acidity is getting to me. Is their any way to brew coffee so that it isn't so acidic?
There are at least three ways to reduce acidity.
One way is to roast the beans more, to a dark level. I think that is the main way if you want to stick with your beans. This is inline with MT San's comment and related answer.
A second way is to play with the speed of dripping. The idea is to find a speed of water flowing through the coffee ground that gives better results (depending on your goal---here lower acidity). A slower water flow will keep the ground longer, so extract or destruct more compounds---thus a different flavour. In my limited experiments here, faster flow brings more acidity. But I am not confident on the generality of this result.
An alternative, when you are fine with changing beans, is to get a variety or a blend that results in lower acidity. This is not as efficient as a dark roast, but you can get more flavours and variations. Roasting artisans should be able to offer good candidates.
There may be other ways, but I have no other experience.
Thanks to @Chris_in_AK, I have recalled another alternative: Cold-brew. The question refers to "drip-brew", so cold-brew is border-line, but it is technically a drip, with cold water, so here it is.
Cold brew allows to extract very different flavour profiles. The slow, soft process takes ages (8 to 12 hours), for often surprising results. And warming up the result leads to yet again different flavours.
In my experience, drinks are less acid with coffee brew. I do not use a wide range of beans, so please keep in mind that this claim may depend on the species. Also, the roast level leads to different results---exactly as a hot-water drip does.
Cold brew emphasizes "green" or "herbal" notes, though. It is, I believe, worth a try as acidity is different, but it is yet different from "usual coffee drinks". Well, production is hard too.
1You may also consider purchasing dry process coffee. They generally have less acidity than other process methods. A darker roasted dry process coffee will be lower yet. Apr 10, 2016 at 17:47
Thanks, @Chris_in_AK. Would you mind to expand on an answer? That would give the thread "more body". Also, I am curious to know more. I realize now that I intended---and forgot---to write about cold-brew technique as well. It is not strictly in the drip-brew tag (or is it?), but it does change acidity for me. Well, perhaps it can be seen as a special case of the speed of dripping way. Apr 10, 2016 at 22:28
2The question is non-specific about brew method, so I would also opt for adding in cold-brew (if it does reduces acidity, I have no desire or experience there). coffeeresearch.org/agriculture/flavor.htm That link expands a bit on the idea. But what many people don't realize is that acidity correlates with the "brightness" and many of the fruit notes of coffees. Those things are fairly desired in the market right now, so many of the modern processing (and roasting) methods are designed to enhance those flavor profiles (and thus acidity). Apr 11, 2016 at 17:05
Great points. That could be an entirely different question (why is acidity desired)! Apr 12, 2016 at 0:24
BTW, Chris, an extra answer on dry-process would be great too. Apr 12, 2016 at 0:34
If you are simply looking for less acidic beans (rather than changing your brew method), you may check into finding coffee that was dry processed and then dark roasted. Darker roasts will have less acidity than a lighter roast (a fairly well established truism). However, processing method is a huge factor in affecting the flavor of coffee. Wet and pulp methods are aimed at increasing the "brightness" and high notes in coffee, which generally means more acidity. Dry process tends to enhance the body of coffee at the expense of brightness (less acidity). It is very hard to directly compare flavor profiles from process methods since they tend to be very distinct by region and it's hard to find coffees that are from the same areas, but processed differently. Dry process will not work well in a wet/humid region; it will actually produce sub standard coffee.
If you are willing to change your brew method, as suggested elsewhere, cold brew may also be a way to go.
1In case we mention species, I think without loss of generality it can be said that Arabica beans' acidity are lower than Robustas'. This can be added as an option to Chris' remarks.– MTSanApr 12, 2016 at 15:37