Some teas are acidic, while others are alkaline. But what does it mean when your tea is acidic or alkaline? The acidity or alkalinity of a substance is measured according to its pH.
A pH of greater than 7 is considered alkaline, whereas a pH lesser than 7 is deemed to be acidic. Most avid tea lovers would be familiar with the pH levels of all common teas, but many fail to understand the importance of high or low pH.
This article will guide you on the basics of pH in Green tea, how you can increase or decrease it, and why acidic pHs are harmful.
How acidic is Green tea?
Green tea, like Black tea, is considered to be more alkaline than acidic. It has a pH between 6.9 and 9.7, which is way lesser than what you would find in coffee. Certain brews of Green tea are definitely more acidic than the plain version. The variety includes green tea with blackberry or jasmine.
The pH level of Green tea
There are several factors that contribute to the pH level of Green tea. Without testing, most drinkers would not know if their tea is acidic or alkaline in nature. A simple rule of thumb that can help evaluate whether your tea is acidic is the presence of a sour taste.
If your tea tastes sourer, the likely chance of the tea being acidic is high. The sour taste comes from ingredients like citrus or lemon, both of which are acidic. Hence the more of such tea you use, the more acidic your cup of tea will become.
The quantity of tea you use while brewing yourself a cup will tremendously affect the pH level of your tea. Since the pH level of your cup of tea is an average of the water used (pH 7) and the tea leaves used.
Therefore, if your Green tea leaves blend is acidic, the more you add, the lesser the pH. On the other hand, if your Green tea leaves blend is alkaline, the more you add, the greater the pH.
Secondly, the acidic nature of your Green tea will also depend on whether you are using a tea bag or loose leaf tea. Since teabags contain crushed tea leaves, they release flavor more rapidly. Whereas loose leaf tea will contain whole leaves and buds, which release flavor slowly.
Hence your tea will become acidic more quickly if you use teabag/crushed tea leaves instead of loose leaf tea.
The temperature you brew your tea for and how long you steep it will also affect the acidity of your Green tea blend. Assuming you are brewing a more acidic blend of Green tea, the hotter the water, and the longer you steep it, the lower the pH of your tea will be.
Note that pre-brewed Green tea that comes in cans or bottles is more acidic in nature than the tea you brew at home. Therefore, it is best to avoid prepackaged flavored green tea.
Here’s why green tea is not considered acidic
Since Green tea leaves are harvested young from the plant Camellia Sinensis, dried and packaged during their prime.
Hence they are not oxidized. Oxidation tends to increase the acidity of tea. Therefore, green tea isn’t acidic.
The harms of consuming acidic tea
Acidic food of all kinds, be it tea or fruit, needs to be consumed in moderation. Acidic tea can affect many systems in the human body, from the tooth to the stomach.
Acidic tea can aggravate symptoms of GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), otherwise also known as acid reflux. This condition is caused by the acidic stomach content flowing back into the food pipe, causing pain and discomfort.
Reducing the intake of acidic tea or consuming tea that is alkaline in nature can improve the symptoms dramatically.
Our teeth can also become sensitive to acidic foods and drinks. If you experience toothache when consuming acidic tea, it is a sure sign that the acidic nature of your drink is the culprit.
Moreover, acidic tea is known to stain teeth. If you suspect your teeth discoloration is due to tea consumption, you might be consuming too much acidic tea.
How to reduce the acidic nature of your tea
Since we have already discussed which factors can affect the acidity of your tea, the solutions to reduce it as also simple. The most common method of reducing the acidity of your tea is to add something to it.
You can either brew your tea in more water to increase its pH. Alternatively, you can avoid adding certain things into your tea which can contribute to the decrease in pH.
While most people believe milk to help with acidity, when added to tea, it can make it even more acidic in nature. Therefore, milk should not be added to acidic teas. Moreover, you should avoid adding lemon, sugar, or mint into your tea as well.
Try to brew tea at lower temperatures where possible and steep it for a lesser amount of time. You can also reduce the acidic nature by swapping out your tea bags for loose leaf tea. Not only will this reduce the acidic nature but also provide a more crisp flavor and aroma to your cup of tea.
Frequently asked questions about how acidic is Green tea
How much acidity is safe in tea?
The best level of acidity in tea is considered to have a pH of 7, which is neutral to consume.
Does Green tea help with acid reflux?
Acid reflux occurs when your stomach content regurgitates into your esophagus. Since pure Green tea is alkaline in nature and contains Methylxanthines, which helps relieve GERD (acid reflux).
What happens if you consume too much Green tea?
Although Green tea isn’t acidic, consuming too much of it can still cause harm. Green tea contains a substance known as tannins. This substance can alter the absorption of folic acid, which is an essential nutrient in red blood cell production.
Moreover, when taken in excess, the caffeine content in green tea can lead to anxiousness, restlessness, and sleepless night, hence reducing the overall quality of life.