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Last Updated on August 11, 2022 by Scott
Have you ever been curious about whether tea is an acid? Some people need to be cautious about consuming acidic foods and drinks, and that might leave you questioning tea.
Most tea is considered mildly acidic, but not majorly acidic. With 7.0 being neutral on the pH scale, a lot of tea falls around the 6.0 mark, which means it is slightly acidic. Some kinds of tea will be more acidic than others.
It’s important to recognize that highly acidic drinks can cause tooth damage and stomach problems – so with that in mind, let’s explore how acidic tea is.
Is Tea Acidic?
Black tea, the most commonly consumed kind, is mildly acidic. Its pH value will vary depending on where it was sourced and how it has been grown, but most black tea will be above 6.0 pH, and some kinds will be closer to 6.5. This is not considered very acidic. Some black tea is around 5.5.
For a drink to be considered acidic enough to damage or stain your teeth, it needs to be below 5.5 – so most tea will be fine. Coffee is more acidic, so be aware of this if you drink a lot of coffee. This often ranks at about 5.35, but still shouldn’t do any noticeable damage to your teeth unless you drink it excessively. These are the things to consider, especially if you are wondering what kind of teas are good for acid reflux.
Of course, black tea isn’t the only kind of tea out there, so you might be wondering about the other sorts, and how acidic they are. You may find the below information useful:
|TYPE OF TEA||pH LEVEL|
|Blackberry Tea||2.0 – 3.0|
|Earl Grey Tea||4.5|
|Chamomile Tea||6.0 – 7.0|
|Mint Tea||6.0 – 7.0|
Of course, the acidity will vary depending on the manufacturer, but these guidelines should help you to figure out the likely pH value of your tea. You should note that herbal teas, such as fennel, mint, chamomile, lavender, etc., tend to be neutral or close to neutral, and some may be slightly alkaline. Fruit teas, however, are far more acidic.
Why Is Tea Acidic?
Tea is made acidic by the oxidization process. This means that as your tea matures and gets processed, it gets more acidic. Young tea leaves and green, unprocessed leaves tend to be neutral or even alkaline, while processed leaves and older leaves are generally more acidic.
You will also find that steeping your tea for longer periods increases its acidity. If you want to reduce how acidic your tea is, you will need to steep it for shorter amounts of time. The more acidic your tea is, the greater the effect of steeping will be. For milder and less bitter tea, remove the teabag or loose leaf tea sooner.
Does Tea Cause Acid Reflux?
Unfortunately, acid reflux can be a somewhat complicated problem, with different people having different triggers. Although teas are acidic, many do not cause acid reflux – and some herbal teas may even be able to reduce acid reflux in certain situations.
However, you might find that some kinds of tea cause acid reflux or other stomach problems, especially if you tend to brew your tea until it is very strong. You should pay attention if tea seems to be causing any digestive discomfort, and either drink a less brewed version, or opt for a different drink entirely.
Some people find that mint tea is particularly likely to cause acid reflux, which is frustrating because mint tea helps to settle some stomach complaints, and can reduce nausea. If you’re going to drink mint tea before bed, check that it doesn’t trigger acid reflux first.
Is Tea Healthy?
This depends on how you drink your tea, but many people find that tea is a healthier option than soda, sugary drinks, coffee, and many other beverage options. Tea is mostly made using water, so consuming tea should be a reasonably healthy option in most cases.
However, if you add a lot of sugar to your drink, you won’t be improving your health. Equally, if you drink highly acidic fruit teas all the time, you may find that these cause acid reflux or stomach discomfort, or they may damage your teeth.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Does adding milk make tea more acidic?
A: Adding milk shouldn’t make your tea more acidic, because milk is generally between 6.5 and 7.0 pH. Unless your tea was already neutral or alkaline, the milk will not decrease the pH value. You therefore don’t generally need to worry about making your tea more acidic by including milk in it.
Indeed, if the tea is strongly acidic, adding milk would make it more neutral. Most people don’t put milk in herbal teas, but doing so could help to balance the pH value.
Q: Does sugar make tea more acidic?
A: Sugar has a neutral or very slightly acidic pH value, so it does not generally make tea more acidic. However, sugar does produce acidity in your mouth, because the bacteria in your mouth will feed on the sugar and produce lactic acid – unsurprisingly, this is acidic.
This isn’t thought to have any noticeable effect on your body and should not be a problem in terms of acid reflux. Sugar can be bad for your teeth, however, so bear this in mind before adding it to your drinks.
Q: What tea is not acidic?
A: Some teas are considered neutral, like several of the herbal teas, and green tea. Choose one of these if you are trying to drink less acidic beverages. They may be slightly acidic, but they will be close to neutral, if not actually neutral.
Tea is generally an acid, although its pH value will heavily depend on what kind of tea you choose to drink. The more processed and matured the tea is, the more acidic it will be – so if you’re worried about acidity, choose a green tea that has not been processed much. Avoid fruit teas, which can be extremely acidic.
Scott is the founder of TeaMinded. He enjoys tasting and discovering teas from across the globe, with green teas and ceremonial matcha from Japan being among his favorites. He’s grateful to be immersed in the tea community, always learning and sharing along the journey.