Putting Salt In Coffee: A Trick That Should Exist Under Any Coffee Lover’s Sleeve

There is no right or wrong to putting salt in coffee; as it depends on personal preference. Some people like their coffee with a small amount of salt, while others think it tastes terrible. Experiment until you find the perfect ratio for you.

People like to add cream or a little bit of sugar to their cup of coffee first thing in the morning. But you would be surprised to know that there are people who have been adding salt to coffee instead. In this article, we will discuss why you should try putting some salt in your coffee.

Recently salted coffee has become a trend again. Many people are wondering if it has benefitted coffee in any way. Well, as it turns out, salted coffee indeed has some positives.

The Alton Brown Trick

The famous cookbook author and food science expert, Alton Brown, suggested in an episode of his show in 2009, that putting a pinch of salt to your cup of coffee can neutralize its bitterness. He argued that for each cup of water that you use to make coffee, you should add 2 spoons of ground coffee and half a spoon of salt (he used kosher salt).

Brown also further explained his method in detail. He explained that not only does salt cut down the bitterness, but it also smoothens out the stale taste of tank-stored water. And research has approved that salt is truly better at neutralizing bitterness than sugar.

Most of the mainstream media gobbled this formula up, naming it the “Alton Brown coffee trick.” Putting salt in coffee has instigated the curiosity of coffee fanatics around the globe as a result. Unfortunately, Alton was not the first person who put salt into a cup of coffee.

History Of Salted Coffee

It is a bit of a guessing game to pinpoint when adding salt to coffee began. It’s much easier to connect the popularity of such practice among coastal populations to the availability of brackish waters.

Brackish water has a higher rate of salt content than freshwater. But still lower in amount than seawater. The dynamic between coffee and salt would not be uncommon knowledge for anyone living in such regions.

There are a lot of records of various cultures salting their coffee. This practice is a crucial part of the coffee-making tradition of Scandinavian countries, Hungary, Turkey, Siberia, etc.

There are some coastal regions where salty seawater is mixed up with fresh water from the nearby rivers. In such geographical locations, it was casual for people to use somewhat salty water for making their coffee.

There are also various stories about people in the military adding salt to their coffee. It helped them to make bitter, low-quality coffee taste better.

Salt became easier and cheaper over time, as well as easier to obtain as a pre-packaged seasoning. It was only a matter of time once coffee was in each and every home cook’s kitchen. That is when people would find experimental uses for coffee. This is how the approval of adding salt to coffee took root in different places around the world.

Pairing sweet and savory flavors is now regarded as much of a trend as it was once a tradition. Slow-extracted, savory cold brews or hot salt-sprinkled mochas are now the common coffee shop favorite choices.

The Benefits Of Putting Salt In Coffee

There are some ways how you are adding salt to your coffee can upgrade your drinking experience as well as benefit your health.

Reduces Bitterness

It is a scientific fact that a major component of salt, sodium, neutralizes bitterness. The reason it happens is our taste buds will react to a salty tang instead of bitterness. So, sodium might even be more logical in hiding the bitterness of coffee than sugar. Sugar can only mask a little bit of bitterness. On the other hand, salt completely neutralizes it. Also, adding honey instead of sugar has some amazing benefits.

Clare Thornton-Wood, an expert pediatric dietitian has explained this in an academic article for the Royal Society of Chemistry. He said salt tastes good as it takes up by receptors on the tongue. It blocks sour and bitter flavors. That is why it’s often added to foods, in general, to make them more palatable. Ultimately, it is just a simple effective trick (of a few) to tone down the bitterness of coffee fast.

Enhances The Flavor And Replaces Sugar

Adding salt to coffee will certainly amplify the taste of the coffee. Salt enhancing the flavors that are already there is the best thing about it. Again, if you want to limit your sugar consumption but also the bitterness of the coffee is too high, salt can work to be an ideal replacement.

Improves Stale Water

Salt will also make your water better. As Alton Brown already said that the water that remains in your coffee maker for a long period of time can become banal. And since the coffee can only be as good as the water, brewing it with stale water will definitely bring down the quality. If you add salt, it may refine water quality. It will also make the coffee water denser. Which will make your coffee texture a bit thicker.

How Salt Changes Brewed Coffee


We all know the familiar and comforting scent of freshly brewed coffee. Put a dash of salt to your coffee grounds before they brew to help out the scent of coffee to match its flavor.


Unbalanced or bitter coffee can leave your mouth feeling soured or dry. A little bit of salt in your coffee can really enhance the genuine sweetness of the coffee. This may shut down the unpleasant form of bitter coffee.


Some coffees are more acidic than other types. Those that have a citrusy and fresh quality are the most favored for their acidic components. Adding salt to coffee can alleviate any acid-induced bitterness but at the same time reveal the cleaner taste of those bright notes.


All of the common descriptions of coffee’s flavor include nutty and fruity. The fruity flavors may convey a hint of cherries or berries, while the nuttier notes draw the comparison to toast or chocolate. Salt can increase the depth and nuance of these flavors in your coffee.

How Is Coffee Affecting Your Health

Coffee itself already has a lot of positives since it carries some important nutrients like magnesium along with a lot of antioxidants to boot. On top of that, drinking coffee helps to battle some brain-related diseases, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Regular coffee will amp up your energy and adrenaline, as well as help you burn down some fat.

However, if you heavily add your coffee with syrups, sweeteners, and cream, you will negate many of those benefits. You may gain some weight and experience further complicated health conditions at the same time as a result of high sugar consumption. Salt in your coffee can substitute all of these additives. Yes, it will not make your coffee taste sweet, but it will help cut down the bitterness and keep your health in check.

Researchers have also found that drinking an imprudent amount of coffee causes a body to lose sodium. Nutrition expert and doctor of pharmacy, James Di Nicolantonio have stated that the original bar on sodium intake set back in 1977 by their Dietary Goals was only about 1,200 mg each day. No one has ever warned people that they could lose that much sodium by just consuming four cups of coffee

If you, however, add a bit of salt to your coffee grounds, it will cease you from losing sodium at all.

Ways To Make Your Coffee Less Acidic

Cold Brewing

This is the type of coffee brewing process preferred by many people who are suffering from acid reflux or other digestive system diseases.

The acidity is nullified with cold brewing. Since the water used to extract flavor from the coffee beans is cold. You can make your coffee in advance and it will provide you with a cup of joe that tastes sweet. Before brewing, you have to soak ground coffee beans for at least 24 hours in cold water. This way you will enjoy coffee with 70% less acid.

The only problem with cold brewing is that it is not an efficient method for people in a hurry. But you can soak the coffee in advance. So that by the time you want to brew coffee, the cold water has already done extracting the flavor.

Brewing With Low-Acid Coffee Beans

There are plenty of low-acid coffee beans available. Some of the coffee beans are organically grown. This minimizes the acid content in them. The other coffee brands treat their coffee beans in a certain way that makes them less acidic but also has ample flavor. Extending your roasting time can also lessen the acidity amount in the beans. This process has one drawback. It affects the aroma, making the coffee less aromatic.

The Hotness Of The Water

The hotter the water you use, the more of the oils will release acids which turns coffee more acidic. To avoid this over-extraction of flavor, avoid heating up the water to willy-nilly extreme temperatures. In this way, you will enjoy sipping a cup of coffee that is less acidic but at the same time full of flavor.

Health Downsides Of Salted Coffee

When it comes to your health, there are not any vital downsides to drinking salted coffee. All the cons are akin to those of using regular salt. As an example of this case, you should not drink salt in your coffee or any other way if you are sensitive to sodium.

Adding salt will also enhance your overall sodium intake. It means that certain conditions such as the appearance of the stomach lining caused by inflammation can happen. Also, eating salt in medium amounts is good for the heart but eating or using it in larger quantities may lead to heart-related diseases.

Wrapping Up

Coffee is a beverage that can provide nourishment to your body as well as the energy you require to get started on your day. Most people prefer adding some cream or milk to tone down the acidic levels. If you have experienced heartburn after drinking coffee or you do not like the acidity anyway, our specific topic-based explanations will help you to make your daily coffee experience less acidic and more enjoyable overall.

Enjoy Your Coffee!

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