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Thread: Abdominal discomfort after coffee

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    Abdominal discomfort after coffee

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    HI all,

    My dear wife, who really started me on the coffee trail, has a problem which now threatens further progress.

    She finds that some coffees give her abdominal discomfort. About 13 years ago we met up with Serge Siboni now of http://www.gobarista.com.au/ and he came up with a blend/roast which she could tolerate and indeed enjoyed, migrating from filter to espresso (Saeco, then the Sunbeam 6910). Since then she has done well, with beans of various provenance until I began home roasting about December 2009.

    She is now threatening to go back to drinking tea, so I wondered if any of you have seen this reaction and have any advice about roasting or bean selection which could help mitigate, or preferably eliminate the problem?

    Most recently Ive used Honduras Los Bancos from Bean Bay, roasted to early second crack about CS8. I found roasting to rolling second crack tended to lead to a bitter finish in the cup. We drink exclusively milk coffees, normally two per day.

    I have 10 Kg of beans just waiting to be opened (ordered because Andy was going to be away!) - Ethiopian Gambella, Sumatra Lintong Paringinan, Zambia Munali and PNG Wahgi Peaberry.

    Any and all advice gratefully received.

    Otherwise there may be a KKTO coming on the market and well have to go back to commercial beans. I cant really justify roasting for myself only.

    Thanks for reading

    Russell

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    Re: Abdominal discomfort after coffee

    Any idea what is causing this reaction?

    Coffee only? Any other foods cause this?
    Could it be the acid?
    Caffeine? Is your wife ok with decaf?

    Did Serge work out what was doing it or was it trial and error?

    Have your wife tried cold brew/press? This extraction has lower acid and can be "softer" on some people.



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    Re: Abdominal discomfort after coffee

    Thanks bassway

    It seems to be exclusively coffee. She manages instant coffee when we are out OK. Seemed to be OK when we used the Aeropress when caravaning, so process may be relevant, and that included some home roasted beans. Aeropress is off-site in the van, so not readily checked with the current beans.

    I wouldnt have regarded my current roast as excessively acid, and havent tried espresso decaf, having only a single grinder.

    Serge responded to my wifes complaint that he "knew" just what was happening. Ive sent him an email referencing this thread, so it will be interesting if he makes any comments, though he may regard it as "commercial in confidence" of course.

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    Re: Abdominal discomfort after coffee

    Milk? Different types? Lactose intolerance?

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    Re: Abdominal discomfort after coffee

    Dear Friends, Dear Russell
    Thank you for your email, effectively the problem for the abdominal discomfort come from the roasting, the overt heat reaction to the beans will activate a coffee chemical like acidity who directly will affect your abdominal. Unfortunately you wont notice the acidity :-[ dont mix-up with the normal acidity from the coffee like the one from Kenya ::) this is nothing to do with the acidity from the chemical reaction that you suffered from.
    Did you know that coffee can create over 400 different chemicals after roast! :D so depend on how you will do your roast you will reduce some of them by creating the one I call " The happy beans"

    Have a nice day,

    Serge

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    Re: Abdominal discomfort after coffee

    Thanks Serge

    I suspect that slowing the roast would be the route to bean happiness?

    Sorry that geography prevents me taking up your "COFFEE ROASTING COACHING "

    Russell

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    Re: Abdominal discomfort after coffee

    @WSully
    No Warren, no milk intolerance, and no change in the type or quantity of milk, either.

    Thanks for the thought.

    Russell


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    Re: Abdominal discomfort after coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by 143C611132213A202732530 link=1271729314/4#4 date=1271734892
    Did you know that coffee can create over 400 different chemicals after roast! *:D so depend on how you will do your roast you will reduce some of them by creating the one I call " The happy beans"
    I didnt know about the 400 chemicals. Interesting.

    So what type of roasting produces these happy beans? Care to share?

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    Re: Abdominal discomfort after coffee

    FWIW the problem has abated with a new roast of the Ethiopian Gambella sundried. I ran the turbo oven on "Thaw" for about 5 minutes before really starting the roast, then I ran the temperature about 100 lower than previously both before and after first crack. Unfortunately my profiling is not the best, but the beans settled after 5 days to be very pleasant in the cup, and Ive done another 500 gram roast similarly, so Ill give feedback on that in a week or two.


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    Re: Abdominal discomfort after coffee

    Somewhere, sometime - I read about the chemical reactions that happen when you roast. What youve done is dry the beans a bit before commencing the ramp to first crack. From the depths of my forgettary (the memory having long since departed...) - this means more of the chlorogenic acid is converted, so you end up with a slightly less acidic cup.

    If only you knew what the actual problem is, there is information out there to futz about with the chemistry!

    /Kevin

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    Re: Abdominal discomfort after coffee

    Thanks Kevin

    If Serge is right and there are 400+ compounds (and somewhere I saw a suggestion of the order of 800) I doubt we are going to be able to identify an individual component, or even a group of likely candidates. Apart from which I doubt that my potential test subject is likely to submit willingly if I say, "Here, dear, just try this, I think it may have been what is upsetting your tummy"

    From my (and more importantly - her) viewpoint, if I can produce coffee which we both enjoy and it doesnt upset her, weve both won.

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    Re: Abdominal discomfort after coffee

    A fellow I met at work complained of the the same problem.

    Hed heard about me (the crazy coffee guy) and introduced himself.
    He said it was extremely upsetting for him that he couldnt drink coffee because it was a big cultural thing in his family.

    I told him my theory was that it was the coffee preparation that was possibly the problem and he volunteered to be a guinea pig and try some of my home roasted coffee that I would make for him.

    All went well and NO abdominal discomfort for the the first time.

    I hadnt thought that the roasting may have come into the equation; Ive always thought it was just badly made coffee.
    But I dont doubt the roasting can have something to do with it; especially if Serge says so.

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    Re: Abdominal discomfort after coffee

    AM has a similar problem
    Acidic coffee is his least favourite drink

    Good to hear from a roaster/sponsor explaining the process

    Also good to hear that Russell is getting positive results with a little experimenting

    Some beans are also acidic by nature and this is dependant on the growing region & processing method

    KK

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    Re: Abdominal discomfort after coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by 3A3D3B3B2D24242A480 link=1271729314/8#8 date=1272529721
    FWIW the problem has abated with a new roast of the Ethiopian Gambella sundried. I ran the turbo oven on "Thaw" for about 5 minutes before really starting the roast
    Thats the way I tend to roast...

    Quote Originally Posted by 1C203D262C2D3A2F272C480 link=1271729314/11#11 date=1272670622
    All went well and NO abdominal discomfort for the the first time.
    So TG how did you do it ???

    Quote Originally Posted by 3A3D3B3B2D24242A480 link=1271729314/10#10 date=1272627820
    if I can produce coffee which we both enjoy and it doesnt upset her, weve both won
    Have you had a positive outcome ?


    I also have teh same issue with some tomatoes. Unless well cooked and or a slight sprinkle of sugar while cooking.. Raw one can make me feel quite ill in the guts.


    Some have said... But you eat Italian... Arh the issue is that they cook them and often add sugar and or other stuff when making the sauces and bases..

    I have been told it is the acid in them that can upset some.

    My home grown ones are OK... but very sweet.

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    Re: Abdominal discomfort after coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by 0D222B293E012D222D2B29212922384C0 link=1271729314/13#13 date=1272676468
    Quote Originally Posted by 1C203D262C2D3A2F272C480 link=1271729314/11#11 date=1272670622
    All went well and NO abdominal discomfort for the the first time.
    So TG how did you do it ???
    Well at first I figured it was just well extracted coffee.
    But after the discussions in this thread Ill add to that, that my home roast might also be a factor.

    Mostly I get newbs to try my Kimel roasted to just before second crack.

    Maybe Ill add some to the 69xx bits parcel.

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    Re: Abdominal discomfort after coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by 7C405D464C4D5A4F474C280 link=1271729314/14#14 date=1272694117
    Mostly I get newbs to try my Kimel roasted to just before second crack.

    Maybe Ill add some to the 69xx bits parcel.
    That would be interesting...

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    Re: Abdominal discomfort after coffee

    Just a comment regarding "acid" and abdominal symptoms.

    The stomach is capable of secreting hydrochloric acid in considerable volume in most people, such that a pH below 2 is often achieved. (You will remember from high school chemistry that decreasing values of pH represent increasing "acidity.")

    One reference I looked up suggested that vinegar has a pH of about 3.2 and "infused" coffee (I dont know what that means, but probably filter) a pH of about 5.

    In other words, any effect of "acid" in food/drink is very unlikely to be due to its acidity or hydrogen ion content/production. Its much more likely a reaction to some organic substance, possibly including the acids, of course, but not dependent on their H+ contribution.

    A good reference at http://www.coffeeresearch.org/science/sourmain.htm

    From that it would seem that acetic, malic and citric acids are the main contributors and present in light roasts.

    Unfortunately, there is a tendency to think that because the stomach is known to produce acid, and if we regurgitate stomach content, it tastes sour, then "acid" is involved in abdominal symptoms. While organic acids could cause problems, it would be a mistake to attribute these to "acidity" per se.

    This is not intended to diminish KJMs comment that chlorogenic acids are reduced in the roasting process.

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    Re: Abdominal discomfort after coffee

    The comment on acidity is slightly generic russelb - sharp tastes are usually described as acid tastes. The deeper the roast, the more conversion of the acids takes place and you get a higher pH (so the acid is actually converted) along with lots of other changes like longer chain sugars, Id assume.

    The generic thing that lighter roasts tend to be "acidic" is true, I believe. And the lighter roasts tend to be those that cause people to be affected! Although, I have a colleague who only drinks coffee in northern italy, and they tend to have lighter roasts.... so there is clearly no 100% straight line in this!

    /Kevin

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    Re: Abdominal discomfort after coffee

    Sorry, Kevin if you thought I was "having a go" at you. I was more commenting on the general tendency to blame "acid" in foods for digestive upsets.

    As it happens, I had done a batch of Ethiopian Gambella to a rather darker roast, Gave it my wife over the weekend and she had a very rapid onset of nausea. Im not convinced it was a direct reaction, and I have given the beans to another family member, so cant really comment on whether it is more "acid" than the earlier batch.

    Anyway, were exploring other possibilities, so well see what happens.

    Russell

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    Re: Abdominal discomfort after coffee

    There are as suggested a bucket load of chemicals present in roasted coffee, well more than 1,000 from memory. Lots of them in trace amounts are nasty substances in and of themselves. Then again there are a few that are good for you. Its this ying yang mix of nasty stuff and good stuff that must make it taste so damn good.

    Near half of the chemicals found in roasted coffee have been rodent tested as carcinogens, mice should perhaps steer clear of espresso. :P You can perhaps put some of that down to herbacides/pestasides/fertiliser exposure?

    At the same time you have those polyphenol compounds in it getting praise for its anti-cancer properties and getting bashed at the same time for depleting your iron.

    As somone has suggested caffeine is a pretty good culprit for upset tummy. The metabolisim of caffeine is taken care of by the livers emzymatic system and basically your tollerance is governed by how healthy your livers emzymatic system is. As you get older the system is less effective. The metabolites formed that give the buzz can also cause thier own issues. Bashing the liver with wine does you no favours in this regard.

    To top off the good/bad health facts about coffee...the average kilo of coffee measures about 1,000 Bq (Bequerel = 1 atomic decay per second) of radiation. Far higher will be the amount if you are taking coffee from sources with higher levels of natural isotopes, which if you want to equate it to Uranium ore which is about 500,000 Bq. The key difference is exposure of the radiation to the internal organs.

    On the other hand a study of mice exposed to 7.5 grays of gamma radiation found that 70% of those given doses of caffeine were still alive after day 25 whereas all mice without caffeine died. Its not the cockroaches that will survive, it will be the home roasting coffee snobs who have an aeropress who will emerge from the ruins of world war 3. ;D

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    Re: Abdominal discomfort after coffee

    lighter roast of the same beans have more caffeine than the darker. And extraction methods determine the levels too. I reckon try the decaf and go from there.

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    Re: Abdominal discomfort after coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by 33343232242D2D23410 link=1271729314/18#18 date=1272886909
    Sorry, Kevin if you thought I was "having a go" at *you. I was more commenting on the general tendency to blame "acid" in foods for digestive upsets.

    Russell
    Hey - I didnt think that!! Was just trying to clarify the terminology a bit. I think rev210s summary is pretty spot-on though - you just never know what single chemical it could be, or what combination and in what context.

    I think the best you can do it experiment. I take it you have appropriate ethics clearance to proceed in this regard on your spousal-unit ::)

    Darn pity about the Ethiopian beans. I guess you wont be wanting those now.... ;)

    /Kevin

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    Re: Abdominal discomfort after coffee

    OK, thanks, Kevin

    If you read the first post it is obvious that caffeine is a non-starter.

    Im afraid my gas chromatograph/mass spectrometer are broken [smiley=happy.gif] , so its not going to be possible to identify specific substances.

    Weve agreed to get a blend Ive roasted before, and she can use that while I experiment with the other SO beans.

    Russell

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    Re: Abdominal discomfort after coffee

    Interesting topic.

    I am on my own journey; trying to work out why some coffee drinks cause bloating and stomach cramps. I never have any problem with my local cafe (which serves excellent coffee). At home, i sometimes get problems with my coffees.

    I think it is partly the way the milk is frothed, and partly whether I have the coffee on an empty stomach. I tend to fair better on weekends when I can have my morning coffee much later and given my stomach time to digest breakfast. I also think it might be related to the way I steam the milk. Ive even taking microwaving the milk and pouring the espresso shot into it - very flat milk - but less stomach problems.

    I am also working my way through Andys roasts to find which ones are better for me...

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    Re: Abdominal discomfort after coffee

    What a fascinating talk, i found that all really interesting. Im pretty lucky though, as I dont get any side effects from coffee AT ALL...... unless I dont have cup or two in 36 hours, THEN I start getting nasty problems.. hah. :D

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    Re: Abdominal discomfort after coffee

    As in all these types of things, as noted above it can be difficult to find the real culprit due to complexity of foods eaten at similar time or even within last few hours.
    But always fresh is best. Many years ago, I used to have some problems with instant coffee, when I made the change to grinding my own beans I immediately noticed a significant change, and since I have bean roasting my own I know Im healthier.

    Im sure in the case of the original post that coffee has some direct bearing on the wifes problem, but I wonder what, if any, other foods are also affecting the problem, as it has been claimed that not all coffees cause the problem, it would seem possible that the particular bean type, roast level and interactions with other foods may be the final answer.
    Unfortunately this requires some detailed note taking of what was eaten, how much and when, along with things like significant emotional states at the times.
    Water quality is another variable, most of us have water full of chemicals coming out of our taps, Brita filter jugs help but dont remove flouride.
    Despite the claim that milk is not part of the problem, I would be interested to hear how the wife went after a few weeks of no liquid dairy products and only very limited yoghurt or cheese intake.
    Also white bread and other similar yeast filled products can cause bloating and discomfort, which when combined with another food product that potentially caused problems may be enough to tip ones system over the edge so to speak.

    Good luck on your journey, dont give up...

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    Re: Abdominal discomfort after coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by 5F40425D42424B320 link=1271729314/23#23 date=1273114447
    Interesting topic.
    Quote Originally Posted by 1A2724242D31480 link=1271729314/24#24 date=1273711633
    What a fascinating talk, i found that all really interesting. *
    Yes, this is a great discussion. *Im very interested in this as I too occasionally get upset stomach when drinking coffee out (espresso shots). *At home, Ive been drinking Aeropress extractions exclusively for over a year

    Quote Originally Posted by 40474141575E5E50320 link=1271729314/18#18 date=1272886909
    As it happens, I had done a batch of Ethiopian Gambella to a rather darker roast, Gave it my wife over the weekend and she had a very rapid onset of nausea. *
    How did you prepare this shot? *Extracted on your Espresso Machine?

    I note that you also have an Aeropress, *has you wife ever experienced the same issues with an Aeropress extraction? *I wonder if Paper filtering the coffee would make a difference? *This reminds me of Alan Adlers (Aeropress Inventor) comments on CoffeeGeek threads:


    QUOTE: *The University in Wageningen - The Nethelands reported in 1995 that a serving of gold filtered drip had 2.5mg of cafestol. *They reported that single espressos taken from Italian coffee houses averaged 1.5mg of cafestol. *It might appear that cake filtration is of some benefit, but the Italian espresso has short brew time, lower temperature and different coffee grounds than the gold filtered drip.

    French press brewing has some cake filtration too, yet they reported 3.5mg of cafestol for that. *The higher level might appear due to the long soak in boiling water, but they reported 3.0mg for Scandinavian boiled coffee which had an even longer hot soak.

    Paper drip in that report was 0.1mg and AeroPress brew in my link above was 0.122mg. *We dont know that AeroPress was actually higher because all data was rounded of to the nearest 0.1mg in the 1995 report.

    Check out the "French Press and Cholesterol" thread on Coffegeek for more.

    He also said:
    paper filtering virtually eliminates the harmful lipids *Could these lipids (Cafestol and Kahweol) also be responsible for upset stomachs?

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    Re: Abdominal discomfort after coffee

    Thanks au_d2, thats an interesting idea.

    As I recall we were drinking filter coffee when we first met up with Serge Siboni (about 1998), so she must have been having some problems then. Just going to espresso brewing didnt cause the problem

    No recent troubles with the Aeropress, which we use when caravanning, and when the 6910 is U/S. Seems to have become a problem again since I started home roasting late last year.

    I have no way of determining what component(s) may be the guilty party(ies), but it seems to be bean/roast related.

    Ive just roasted a batch of Skybury blend. We used this after a trip up the Atherton Tablelands a coupe of years ago. Their roast was tolerated, and I roasted some in January this year which was apparently OK. At least the response to this will hopefully give me some clues.

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    Re: Abdominal discomfort after coffee

    I suggest trying each bean you have as a single origin, as i found this happened to me once, but it was only one particular bean that did it for me, maybe its simmilar for your wife, if you can work out which bean it is, then you can remove or replace it from your blend.

    hope it all goes well and you find the culprit soon!!
    cheers,
    Kotaro.

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    Re: Abdominal discomfort after coffee

    Behmor Coffee Roaster
    I dont know much about the relationship between *different coffee beans and abdominal problems, but I have found that, in general, when my coffee drinking increases so do the problems I have with my stomach. *In particular, I noticed I was getting heartburn each day after lunch. *Although Im a little embarrassed to admit it, the solution I found was to take Inner Health Plus pills ( *;D YAAAAAYYYY! ) for a few days. *Since then Ive had very few problems and for a couple weeks after taking the pills I had no problems at all. *
    Im not saying it will work for everyone, and I probably wouldnt have even tried it if I wasnt given half a bottle from my mother-in-law, but it worked for me...and Ill probably buy another bottle when I finish this one.



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