Zoomed in shot of a wooden bowl full of coarse grain salt

Why Do Some People Add Salt to Coffee?


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Adding salt to coffee is a practice that has been around for centuries. People believe that adding salt to coffee helps bring out the flavor of the roasted beans, while others say it masks the sourness of over-brewed coffee or gives it a new dimension of flavor. Adding salt to coffee has been around for at least the last century. Some of the reasons why people add salt to coffee are:

To Balance the Flavor Profile

This is not an attempt to make the coffee taste salty but to create balance. The bitter notes in a dark roast are usually more pronounced and need something to help bring out sweetness or balance the profile. Salt is one way to help even out the sharpness of a dark roast while adding a slight saltiness. Some prefer a small amount because it is easier to balance with other ingredients, but more significant amounts of salt can work too.

To Reduce the Bitterness of A Dark Roast

Adding salt to coffee has been shown to reduce the bitterness of dark roasts. French press brewing is best, but drip brewing will also benefit from adding a little salt to your extract brew. Adding salt to coffee can be a positive way to help your palate adjust to a dark roast. You can experiment with adding different amounts of salt or not adding any at all.

To Mask the Sourness of Over-brewed Coffee

Adding salt to over-brewed coffee helps mask the sourness and bitterness. While some studies suggest that adding a small amount of salt may mask the sourness, most people find that adding just a teaspoon or two is enough. The taste difference varies by person, but a tiny pinch of salt will make little difference in the overall taste. Salt can be helpful as an occasional remedy for over brewed coffee, but it can also mask its flavor if used often enough. It should only affect the taste when used sparingly and at the proper doses.

To Add a New Dimension of Flavor

Adding a bit of salt to coffee can bring out the sweetness and kick up the overall flavor. A little bit of salt can add dimension to your coffee, creating a varied taste that is addictive and different from your ordinary cup. Adding sugar or honey helps to enhance the flavors, too, and gives you a sweeter taste. Try adding spices such as cinnamon if you like sweet and flavorful coffee. If you’re not yet sure about what works for you, experiment with different flavors and see which combinations you like best.

What’s the Best Way to Add Salt to Coffee?

The best way to add salt to coffee is to use a small amount of coarse salt. This gives you the most control over how much you’re counting, and you can better taste the effects of just a little salt. You can also use fancy salts if you prefer, but what type of salt you use is less important. Experiment with adding less to begin with, because a little goes a long way. It’s relatively easy to add more if you want. You can sprinkle salt on the grounds before brewing or add it directly to your cup or mug of coffee. You’ll be able to taste how saltiness alters the flavor of your coffee and adjust accordingly.

Key Takeaway

Adding salt to coffee can be a fun and delicious way to experiment with your beverage. It’s common to add it to coffee. The basic technique is the same whether you prefer drip brewing or using a French press or pour-over method: Sprinkle salt into your cup before pouring the hot water. You’ll be able to taste the difference, so you can use this method and adjust the amount depending on your preference.

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