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Salt In Coffee: Adding Salt To Coffee Pros & Cons

salt in coffee

Most folks are accustomed to seeing cream and sugar being added to coffee. Some people add those to their own freshly brewed cup of joe. There are entire countertops full of additives for coffee at most every coffee shop and convenience store that you stop to grab a freshly brewed cup of coffee.

You can find everything from syrups to creamer machines with nearly every flavor of cream you can think of in these coffee bars.

Yet, many people are just hearing of the trick involving adding salt to your coffee grounds and brewed cups of coffee. But if you think about all of the things in your life that you add salt to, and why you add salt, this should be of no surprise at all to the average coffee drinker.

Let’s break down some of the reasons that salt is added to coffee, and how it can improve the taste of your delicious home brews.

1. Salt Improves Water Quality

There is a reason that salt is added to water softener systems. The fact is that salt improves overall water quality in your everyday facets of life, and the water that you use to brew your coffee is no different.

If you use a Keurig coffee machine with a reservoir, and your water sits overnight in the water tank, you may notice that your coffee just doesn’t taste as ‘fresh’ as other days. That’s because your water will begin to taste stale when it is left to sit for periods of time, and you do not imagine the stale taste to your cup of joe.

By adding a tiny bit of salt to your coffee grounds, you can combat that stale taste when your water has been sitting in the coffee machine’s reservoir. It can also happen when using traditional coffee pots that have timers on them.

Most people set the coffee pots timer and fill the grounds and water the night prior so that they can wake up to their freshly brewed pot of coffee. Of course, this can result in coffee that tastes a little stale because it is brewed with water that sits in the coffee pot reservoir overnight.

By adding a teaspoon of kosher salt to six tablespoons of coffee grounds, your coffee will still taste just as fresh as if you woke up and poured fresh water into the coffee machine immediately before brewing your coffee. Salt takes away the “stale” quality of water sitting around, waiting for it to be time to brew your morning cup.

2. Salt Naturally Enhances Other Flavors

When salting your food, you know that you’re doing so to bring out the natural tastes and flavors of the food you’re cooking or eating. Well, salt in your coffee is doing exactly the same thing. When you add kosher salt to your coffee grounds or your freshly brewed cup of coffee, you bring out the naturally delicious flavors of your coffee.

Coffee has many different flavors and undertones of flavor, and it can vary by beans and by roasts. Why shouldn’t you bring out those natural, delicious flavors in your coffee?

In addition to enhancing flavors that are sweet, sour, or other enticing hues of taste, salt actually fights bitter tastes. Salt actually overrides the reaction that your taste buds have to bitter flavors, for reasons that aren’t still fully understood.

So, while your taste buds on your tongue are picking up some of the sweet and mellow nuances of your coffee, the salt that you add to your coffee is also working on those same taste buds to combat the bitter flavors that are also associated with that same cup of coffee.

salt in coffee grounds before brewing
Hands of barista adding salt in black coffee

3. Salt Can Help To Keep Your Calories Down

Everyone knows that when you pour creamers and sugars, or sugary syrups, into your coffee, you’re basically just introducing empty calories into your otherwise healthy and fit cup of coffee. If you are making an effort to work on your waistline, adding salt to your coffee can genuinely help you to do exactly that.

By toning down the bitterness of the coffee, and by helping to bring out the natural sweet undertones of your coffee, adding salt can help you by making it less necessary to add all of those empty calories to your coffee.

If you don’t enjoy black coffee because you find that it is too strong or bitter for you, try adding Va teaspoon of kosher salt to your six tablespoons of coffee grounds and see if doing so makes black coffee palatable for you, or you can even add ateaspoon of kosher salt to your already brewed cup of coffee, and taste it to decide if it will enable you to cut back on the sugar and cream calories that you are adding to your coffee.

4. Salt In Coffee Is No Fad

Although salting coffee is making a fresh set of rounds with coffee drinkers and mainstream coffee shops, this is nothing new. In places like Scandinavia. Turkey. Hungary, and Siberia, salting coffee has been occurring for hundreds of years. Most coastal regions have been using brackish water to brew their coffee for hundreds of years as well. That is because brackish water, although not as salty as ocean water, has a higher natural salt content than freshwater has.

There are stories going back hundreds of years of military companies putting salt in their notoriously cheap and bitter coffee grounds to improve the taste and make it a pleasurable morning regimen. Sometimes, you forget to properly store your coffee and end up with an entire bag of stale grounds. Instead of tossing them out, it may be much more sensible to see if you can salvage the coffee by adding a little salt to those coffee grounds versus tossing them due to the flavor being a little stale or off.

5. Acid Reflux Can Be Eased By Adding Salt

If you’re one of the unfortunate people that loves a great cup of coffee but ends up with terrible heartburn or acid reflux by enjoying a cup, try a little salt in your coffee to see if that helps to ease the acid reflux that the coffee is causing you. Salt naturally lowers the acidity in your coffee grounds, and this will reduce the amount of acid reflux that you typically feel after having your morning cup of coffee.

You may not experience full heartburn after drinking coffee. Still, if the bitterness from coffee makes you feel like you may get acid reflux in your near future, the chances are that adding some salt to your coffee grounds or a brewed coffee cup may help ease this feeling. Try adding Va teaspoon of salt to six tablespoons of coffee grounds before you brew, or just add a little salt to your brewed cup of coffee. It may very well help to ease the feeling of heartburn or acid reflux, feeling that you get from drinking coffee.

6. Don’t Deny Yourself The Antioxidants.

Coffee is considered a great source of antioxidants for your daily diet. When coffee is consumed black, it has very few calories and can help you feel energized and ready to take on your day. Two specific antioxidants in coffee can cause bitterness, however, and they are chlorogenic acid lactones and phenylindanes.

Chlorogenic acid lactones are usually prevalent in lighter bean roasts, while phenylindanes are found in the darker bean roasts. Interestingly, there are none found in green coffee beans.

You certainly want to get the antioxidants that drinking coffee provides for you, but the bitterness that they bring about may not be so great for you. This is where salt can be the secret ingredient when it comes to getting those healthy antioxidants that coffee provides. If you try adding Va teaspoon of salt to your six teaspoons of coffee grounds before you brew, it can take the bitterness of your coffee down to a much more mellow and tolerable level.

Or you can simply mix a little salt into your brewed cup of coffee and let it take the bitter edge off of your cup of joe. This will help you enjoy the healthy benefits of drinking coffee without the bitterness that sometimes turns people away from drinking coffee.

7. Give Your Body Some Of Its Sodium Back

When you drink coffee, especially if you drink more than a cup or two daily, it can cause you to have lower sodium levels in your body. This is because the caffeine in your coffee zaps your sodium supply in your body. However, if you add a little salt to your coffee grounds or to your brewed coffee, it can help to return some of those sodium levels to the necessary amount for your health.

When you drink coffee, especially if you drink more than a cup or two daily, it can cause you to have lower sodium levels in your body. This is because the caffeine in your coffee zaps your sodium supply in your body. However, if you add a little salt to your coffee grounds or to your brewed coffee, it can help to return some of those sodium levels to the necessary amount for your health.

Of course, if you are on a low sodium diet or on any other sort of sodium-restricted diet, you want to check with your physician prior to making any changes to your daily sodium intake. Generally speaking; however, the amount of salt added to coffee in order to reduce the bitterness and acidic nature isn’t enough to have a huge effect on the sodium levels in your body. If you happen to be a healthy adult with no dietary restrictions, adding a little salt to your coffee won’t have any health risks, and you should be fine to replenish a little of your sodium by adding a little bit of salt to your coffee.

8. Are You Causing Your Coffee To Taste Bad?

Any coffee lover will tell you the tricks that they have to combat their coffee tasting bad are tips that they have picked up along their coffee drinking journey. Most of these are well-known, such as storing coffee in an airtight container so that it doesn’t taste stale.

Other tips are from more refined coffee drinkers, such as home roasting coffee beans, in order to achieve the perfect blend for your coffee flavor preference. But. are you doing the very basics to ensure that you are getting the best tasting coffee available?

To start with, are you using old water that has been sitting for longer than overnight in your reservoir? If you are seriously jeopardizing the flavor of your coffee. Allowing your water to sit for longer than a 12 to 14-hour overnight period and then brewing your coffee with it is going to lead to coffee that doesn’t taste as fresh and delicious as coffee brewed with fresh from the tap water is going to taste. Change out the water in your reservoir before you brew your next cup of coffee and taste the difference.

How is the water at your home? Do you have hard water or well water? This can really make a huge difference in the flavor of your coffee. If you are on well water, you may want to consider buying bottled water to make your coffee or boiling the water on the stovetop and allowing it to cool prior to pouring it into your coffee pot.

Well, water can taste very metallic and not at all refreshing to drink, and that will also spill over into your coffee if you use that poor tasting water. Hard water can cause calcium deposits both in your coffee maker and in your coffee pot itself. These deposits can also result in coffee that doesn’t taste fresh and can lend to the bitterness that makes some people find coffee unpalatable.

If you draw a cup of water from your tap and you don’t enjoy the taste of it. You shouldn’t make your coffee with it. It is going to change the flavor of your coffee drastically. In addition, water that doesn’t taste ‘right’ may have pH levels that could make your coffee taste much more acidic and bitter than good, freshwater will taste like.

If you have any doubts about the quality of your water, try brewing your coffee with bottled water and taste the difference in the coffee before you add any of the condiments that you use. The difference in the quality of water can be really surprising.

How About Your Beans?

The quality of your coffee beans is going to be the most key element in a good cup of coffee. If you go with subpar coffee, you’re going to get a subpar flavor, and that is just a fact. The quality of the ground coffee or coffee beans that you choose is the reason that your coffee tastes either great or terrible.

First, are you using the cheapest, the most bottom of the barrel coffee that you can find on sale somewhere? That is probably going to be the reason that you aren’t enjoying the flavor of your coffee.

When using a lower quality coffee ground or coffee bean, adding salt to your coffee can certainly help to combat the bitterness that is often associated with lower quality coffee. However, there are some coffee grounds and beans that even salt isn’t going to help much with the flavor.

If you have added salt to your coffee and you now have the bitterness to a manageable amount, but you still aren’t happy with the flavor of the coffee, try adding a little bit of ground cinnamon to the coffee grounds prior to brewing. The cinnamon will take most of the stale or not as fresh taste from the coffee, and it will add just enough flavor to make even stale coffee taste palatable.

Try to up the quality of your coffee in a cost feasible manner if that is a concern. A lot of coffee drinkers will buy green coffee beans, then roast and grind them at home in order to achieve the taste of some of the more upscale and costly coffee grounds that are found in the supermarket or specialty stores.

Also, by roasting your coffee beans at home, you can find the blend that is exactly right for your taste buds, and the amount of bitterness that is just right for you. Most of the time, you won’t be able to get that “just the right” amount of bitterness flavor in a commercial roast, but you’ll be able to fine-tune it to your tastes by roasting and grinding your own coffee at home.

does salt cut the acid in coffee

How Are You Storing Things?

First and foremost, if you are simply opening a bag of coffee, scooping from it, then refolding the flap and leaving it on your counter, that is going to be the majority of your problem. The moment that you crack the seal on a new bag of coffee grounds, you need to have an airtight container ready to put your grounds into. By not storing your coffee immediately inside an airtight container, you are allowing your grounds to go stale, and that will affect the flavor of your coffee greatly in just a short amount of time.

Store your coffee in a cabinet that doesn’t allow any light to reach your grounds. Exposure to light is going to affect the flavor of your coffee negatively, and will also cause your coffee to taste stale and increase the bitterness in the flavor. Put your airtight container of coffee in a cabinet that doesn’t get opened and exposed to light very often, and if possible, use a dark-colored container that will block most of the exterior light from reaching your coffee. Don’t leave the container open for any longer than absolutely necessary. Don’t leave the container out in the light for any longer than absolutely necessary.

Are You Doing Your Own Roasting?

If you aren’t roasting your own coffee beans at home, you should really give it a try. There are a number of benefits to roasting your own coffee beans, but the biggest benefit is that you can control your coffee flavor and acidity by roasting to your own level of perfection. A lot of people are under the impression that it is quite expensive to roast your own coffee at home, but that is simply untrue.

There are many different options to roasting coffee beans at home, and you don’t need to purchase a coffee roaster just to do so. You can easily roast coffee beans at home in your oven, on the stovetop, on the grill, or even in a popcorn popping machine. Many of the air roasters that are used to roast coffee beans can be found second hand for very little money if you look on sites such as eBay, OfferUp, or 5Miles. You don’t need to spend a lot’s of money in order to be able to roast your own coffee beans.

By roasting coffee at home, you can master the flavor that your coffee delivers. If you don’t achieve the perfect level of acidity and bitterness, though, try adding salt to your ground beans, and hopefully, you can salvage the batch.

You will more than likely need to have a few trial roasts before you really perfect the coffee bean roasting process, but a general guide to coffee bean color after roasting is:

A light brown coffee bean isn’t generally good for making coffee. It will typically have a sour and acidic taste when ground and brewed. A light, the medium brown coffee bean is commonly used in the eastern United States, and you’ll find it produces a full-bodied coffee with a mild sweetness to the flavor. Light brews, half brews, and cinnamon brews usually are made of coffee beans that are roasted to a light, medium brown.

A full medium brown coffee bean is commonly used in the western United States, and it produces a coffee with a full-body, strong aroma, and a mildly sweet flavor. American roasts and breakfast blends are typically produced from full medium brown coffee beans. A medium-dark brown coffee bean is often used to produce a French or Viennese roast coffee. They usually will have a full, strong, and sweet flavor to the coffee.

A dark brown coffee bean is usually used in making Espresso or French roast coffee grounds. You’ll find that a dark brown coffee bean produces a full body, medium aroma yet fully sweet coffee. A nearly black roasted coffee bean is used for dark French roast or Spanish coffees. These types of roasts usually have a weak body, mild aroma, and a low level of sweetness to the coffee. We also have guides on what to do with old coffee beans, and how to sweeten coffee without sugar!

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About David Dewitt

Hi, my name is David and I come from Columbus, Ohio. I am a amateur photographer, and a coffee lover. I love to write, and don't mind me a cup of joe!