Why Do So Many People Add Salt to Cheap Coffee?

By The Captain August 10, 2020

Wellness Captain How to Add Salt to Cheap Coffee

Who would’ve thought that adding salt to a cup of cheap coffee can make it tastier?

Certainly not me.

However, more and more coffee lovers agree that this hack can magically turn a cheap java into a great tasting experience.


Why adding salt works

The five basic tastes we feel are:

  • Salty
  • Sour
  • Sweet
  • Bitter
  • Umami

Each of these tastes can amplify (or inhibit) one another depending on how you use them. Coffee expert James Hoffman explains that saltiness can amplify sweetness and mitigate bitterness at the same time.

One of the biggest problems with cheap coffee lays in its bitterness. This unpleasant flavor appears when coffee is extracted incorrectly or created from a cheap ground. You probably know the taste of a coffee that remains bitter no matter how much sugar you add, right? That’s because sugar can’t mitigate bitterness – while salt can.

“We should consider salt to be an addition, like milk or cream or sugar,” Hoffmann says. “It might make the drink more palatable.”

See the expert’s full review here:


How to add salt to cheap coffee:

  1. Make a solution of 20% table salt and 80% water.
  2. Gradually add tiny amounts of solution and keep tasting the coffee until you find the perfect balance. Note the amount of solution you used to know which quantities you need in the future.


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Don’t make a routine out of it

While the hack of adding salt to coffee is good to know, you should not make it a daily habit. As Hoffman explains, bitterness is part of the charm in a cup of high-quality coffee.

“One of the pleasures of coffee is that when it’s good, it has the right kind of bitterness, much like beer or chocolate,” Hoffmann says. “Some bitterness is very pleasant when it’s balanced out properly by sweetness and some acidity. Overall, it’s a complex and enjoyable thing.”

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