Low Acid Tea

A Complete Guide to Low Acid Tea

What is Low Acid Tea and what teas are the highest in alkalinity? In this article we dive deep into everything related to tea acidity and alkaline levels.

Low Acid Tea refers to tea with a pH value either near or greater than 7. The least acidic tea is green tea followed by various herbal teas such as chamomile and licorice root.

Below is a chart featuring the different types of tea and their pH level. The higher the level, the least acidic the tea.

Tea Type pH Level
Green Tea 7
Chamomile 6 – 7
Mint (Peppermint/Spearmint) 6 – 7
Ginger 6 – 7
Fennel 6 – 7
Licorice Root 6 – 7
Dandelion Root 6 – 7
Nettle 6 – 7
Lemon Balm 6 – 7
Linden (Lime Blossom) 6 – 7
Rooibos 4.5 – 5.5
Oolong Tea 5.5 – 7
Black Tea 4.9 – 5.5
Pu-erh Tea 4 – 7
Dark Tea 4 – 7

What Tea is the Least Acidic?

The tea with the least amount of acidity is green tea. In general, low acidic tea is correlated with no oxidization or fermentation, which is the case for green tea. Varieties such as Biluochun from Taiwan are known for the highest pH levels due to their high mountain growing environments. Green teas are not subject to oxidization or fermentation.

Following green tea is Oolong tea. The least acidic Oolong teas are varieties that have undergone light oxidization followed by medium to heavy Oolongs. The more oxidization as well as firing and roasting, the more acidic a tea becomes. In general, the least acidic Oolongs are high mountain lightly oxidized Oolongs from Taiwan.

Amongst Dark Teas, Raw Puerh is the least acidic followed by small leaf ripe varieties and then larger leaf ones. Puerh is known for aiding in digestion and may feel acidic on an empty stomach.

Meanwhile, High Mountain Black Tea from Wuyishan is low in acidity due to the high alkaline soil composition in the area. With the exception of that variety, most black teas would not be considered low acidic since they are fully oxidized.

Why Teas Have Acidity

Teas become acidic due to a variety of reasons, including:

  1. Level of oxidization.
  2. Fermented vs. Non Fermented teas.
  3. How long a tea is brewed.
  4. Water temperature.
  5. Tea growing environments.

How Oxidization Influences Tea Acidity

According to a study on black tea leaf processing, during oxidation polyphenols in tea leaves typically transform into various other compounds, including theaflavins and thearubigins. These changes affect the tea’s composition in regard to acidity level.


When teas like Puerh and Post Fermented Dark varieties undergo their fermentation process, microbial activity can produce additional organic acids. This is more common in ripe varieties of Puerh tea.

Brewing Times and Steeping

Steeping a tea for too long causes a tea to become more acidic. If the tea soup becomes overly bitter and strong during a steep, this is also an indication that acidity in the tea has increased. This also causes caffeine levels to rise.

Water Temperature

The higher the water temperature the higher the acidic release in tea. Green tea requires the lowest temperatures for brewing in order to bring out a full aroma and taste. Contrarily, black tea requires a full boil.

Tea Growing Environments

There are certain tea growing areas known for having high alkaline soil. The most famous place is Wuyishan, China, where rock tea is grown. Teas from this region, including Oolongs and Black tea varieties, are known for having some of the highest pH levels in the tea growing world. This is due to the natural mountain areas surrounding tea fields that are rich in mineral red clay.

The Impact of Tea Quality on Acidity

Generally speaking, low acid tea is higher grade quality. This is due to reserving premium teas for the most pristine environments, which include better soil, water sources and lower pollution. It is rare for big brands to use such environments for their mass consumption products due to costs. By comparison, the acidity in such big box teas are higher than specialized gourmet tea brands.

FAQ: What Tea is the Most Alkaline?

The highest alkaline tea is green tea followed by herbal teas such as chamomile. Rock Teas and lightly oxidized Oolongs are also higher in alkalinity.