Salt & Coffee


If you get upset when people add creamer and sugar to their coffee, just wait. We recently mined something that some people have been adding to their coffee that is really going to make you salty.

We’ve been seeing all sorts of things trending that aren’t even close to the accepted additions like sugar and cream to achieve a subjective tasty brew. For some, adding salt to coffee is nothing new and is rooted in tradition. Adding a pinch of salt is customary in places such as Northern Scandinavia, Siberia, Turkey and Hungary where brackish water is used to brew coffee. 

According to Little Coffee Place, “salt counteracts some of the bitterness in coffee and rounds out its flavour.”

According to Alton Brown, a very popular cookbook author, adding a quarter teaspoon of kosher salt to 6 tablespoons of coffee grounds neutralizes the bitterness and acidity in coffee and enhances its inherent sweetness. You can then choose your preferred method of brewing this salted coffee.”

They article goes on to explain that “the surface of the tongue is lined with thousands of taste buds each capable of identifying the 5 basic tastes - sweet, salty, bitter, sourness and umami. Food on the tongue sets off a chemical reaction that is then transmitted to the brain. That’s how you identify taste.

Research shows that the biological mechanism of producing sweet, salty, sour and umami flavours are similar. Salt, while being a taste itself, works to amplify these other flavours.

Bitterness, on the other hand, operates differently. Instead of the normal reaction, the taste buds release a calcium ion that send a ‘bitter’ signal to the brain. Salt, for reasons not yet demystified, overrides this reaction on the tastebuds thereby masking the bitter sensation.”

We’re not sure which is harder to some to swallow – those who prefer to add salt to their coffee or that their preference on adding it isn’t anything new. Brew for you, coffee lover.