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Coffee Tips

How Much Salt to Add to Coffee?

Coffee is so dominating. What most coffee lovers love about coffee is that you can drink it black or with milk or a bit of both, sometimes with a little touch of cream. Some even add salt. Because no matter what you add, coffee will have its intense and robust flavor.

barista adding salt to coffee.

Many people don’t try to get too creative with coffee. They are well aware of the trends, but have you heard of adding salt to the coffee?

I mean you should always try new things.

You might think we are crazy for doing this. But trust us, people usually add salt to their cup of brew to counteract the bitterness and also adding salt rounds up the basic coffee flavor.


The Bitterness in The Coffee

So, the truth is caffeine does not make your coffee bitter. Scientists of the Technical University of Munich in Germany say that only 15% of coffee bitterness comes from caffeine. Other 85% comes from two major compounds, which are Phenylindanes and Chlorogenic Acid Lactones.

Both of these compounds are formed in the roasted process, which means you cannot find them in green or raw beans. Lighter roast contains Chlorogenic acid lactones, and Phenylindanes are a part of chlorogenic acid lactones which are formed in darker roast beans.

This means the more you roast the coffee beans, the more bitter and stronger the taste you might get.


Brewing Affects the Bitterness

How you brew matters, brewing for too long and letting your coffee steep for a long time also affects the bitterness. Also, using boiling hot water could be the reason behind the bitterness.

Some other reasons for this bitterness could be using bad quality coffee, using dirty brewing machines, using way too fine grind coffee grounds, or using too much coffee compared to water/milk. So how does salt help us to solve this bitterness?


How Does Salt Fight the Bitterness?

This all depends on the tongue. Our tongue has thousands of taste buds that help us recognize tastes like sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and umami. When the food touches our tongue, a chemical reaction is transferred to the brain. And that is how you sense taste. Salt amplifies other tastes, and that’s why we use salt in most of the food.

Bitterness works a little differently than other tastes, when the bitter food touches our tongue, a calcium ion is transferred to the brain as a “bitter” signal.


How to Add Salt to Your Coffee?

A cookbook author, Alton Brown says adding a quarter teaspoon of salt to a cup of coffee having 6 tablespoons of coffee grounds helps to neutralize the bitterness and acidity. Adding salt also improves the sweetness of the brew according to him.

This means you don’t have to follow any rules and recipes while using salt in your coffee.

You can add the salt prior to brewing, or you can add a touch of salt to a well-prepared brew. Do not use this magic trick every time only use it when you think the drink is bitter or of poor quality to boost up the flavors.


This Trend is Old

In Turkey, Siberia, and Northern Scandinavia have a long and old tradition of adding salt to their coffees. Coastal regions mostly which meet sea uses Brackish water for their coffees.

Brackish water is a little salty than usual water but less salty than seawater. Adding brackish water gives the coffee a foaminess and intensified taste.


Health benefits of Coffee

Coffee has many health benefits and has many antioxidants and nutrients like Magnesium and Potassium. Coffee could also help you to lower some diseases like Dementia, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s.

Drinking coffee increases your energy, boosts your adrenaline, and helps you to burn body fat. But when components like sugar, syrups, and creams are added to coffee, the health benefits that we discuss could be eliminated.

So if you are trying to make your coffee tastier, try adding salt instead of adding calorie-filled substitutes to keep your diet safe and to enjoy the cup of brew you crave so much for.

Another good reason to add salt is that salt can help regain the sodium that your body loses when you consume coffee.

Some studies have shown that drinking 4 cups of regular coffee could cause a loss of about 1200 mg of sodium (which is recommended daily intake for your body). So, adding some salt might actually help to save some of that sodium.


Can Salt Help Acid Reflux?

If you suffer from acid reflux after consumption of coffee, try looking into the quality and roast type of your coffee. Coffee beans roasted from light to medium tend to have more acidic levels compared to dark roasted coffee. So, you can try switching to darkly roasted beans to solve this acid reflux issue.

But if you want to finish that big pack of poor-quality coffee before purchasing a high-quality bean, adding salt will definitely help a bit to reduce acid reflux.


Do You Need Sugar or Milk While Adding Salt?

Not actually, good quality coffee that is roasted and brewed well tastes great no matter what. Every coffee is a bit bitter but it will help to enhance the real taste and flavor of the coffee. You don’t need sugar or milk to make it tastier.

But adding salt or not to coffee is a personal preference. Salt will help to tone down the bitterness and acids while enhancing the smooth flavors. Just make sure you know the limit. You can try experimenting to know the best flavor for yourself.


Also Read:

How Much Sodium Is In Coffee?