Most people are used to some of the most popular additions to coffee, such as milk, cream, and sugar. In fact, the majority of coffee drinkers will often add one or more of these to their cup of coffee. You will find countertops full of flavorings to be added to coffee at any coffee shop that you visit, along with options available in supermarkets, and pretty much anywhere that you can buy a freshly brewed cup of coffee or the supplies that you need to make your own. When it comes to adding flavor to your coffee, there is a huge range of syrups, creamers, and more to choose from with every flavor that you can think of.
However, one simple addition to your coffee that you may not have heard of is salt. You heard it right – people are using a trick that involves adding salt to coffee grounds or freshly brewed cups of coffee, which might not be surprising to some coffee drinkers.
Improve the Water Quality
One of the main reasons that salt is typically added to water softening systems is that the salt will improve the overall water quality, and the water that you use to brew your coffee will be no different. If you are using a coffee machine that has a water reservoir, for example, and the water is sitting overnight in the water tank, you might notice that your coffee no longer tastes as fresh compared to when the reservoir is newly filled since the water will start to taste stale after being left to sit for some time. Adding some salt to the coffee grounds allows you to combat the stale taste of the water without wasting it. You can also get the same effect if you use a coffee pot timer and fill the pot with water and grounds the night before so that once you wake up your freshly brewed coffee is ready for you. While this might be a convenient way to make your coffee in the morning, the downside is that the coffee can sometimes taste stale as it’s been sitting overnight.
To combat this issue, add 1tsb of kosher salt to 6tbsp coffee grounds. By doing this, no matter how long your water has been sitting in the reservoir for, your coffee will be as fresh as if you had poured fresh water into the coffee machine straight before brewing.
Enhance Other Flavors Naturally
We often add salt to food during cooking or to taste when eating in order to bring out the natural flavors and tastes of the food that you are preparing or about to eat. Adding salt to your coffee will have exactly the same effect and bring out more of the naturally delicious flavors in the cup. Depending on the type of coffee that you are drinking, there are many different flavors and notes to enjoy, varying by different coffee beans and different roast levels, and salt is the best way to enhance these flavors so that you can enjoy them more.
Why put salt in coffee? Along with enhancing any flavors that are sour, sweet, or otherwise tasty, adding salt to your coffee can also combat any bitterness as the salt will override the reaction of your taste buds to the flavor.
Reduce Your Calorie Intake
While coffee itself is quite low in calories and has virtually none, for most people, it’s the addition of milk, cream, creamers, sugary syrups, and other sweet flavorings into their coffee that introduces empty calories and can have an impact on their waistline over time. If you are trying to reduce the number of calories that you consume, want to lose weight, or are simply trying to stick to a healthier diet overall, adding salt to your coffee can be an ideal way to achieve this.
Salt in coffee will tone down the bitter taste of the coffee and naturally bring out the sweet undertones in the coffee, meaning that you will not feel as much of a need to add as many sweet flavorings to your brew. If you are not usually a huge fan of black coffee due to its strong and bitter taste, a teaspoon of kosher salt in six tablespoons of coffee grounds might be just what you need to make the coffee more palatable. Alternatively, you can try adding a teaspoon of kosher salt to your freshly brewed coffee.
Ease Acid Reflux
Along with helping with weight management, another health benefit that you can enjoy from adding salt to your coffee is that it can ease acid reflux. If you’re unfortunate enough to love coffee but always end up with acid reflux or heartburn as a consequence of enjoying a cup, you may want to consider trying adding a small amount of salt in your next cup of coffee to see if it will be useful in easing the acid reflux that occurs as a result of drinking coffee. It can do this by naturally reducing the acidity levels in your coffee grounds, which in turn, reduces the amount of acid reflux that you feel after drinking a cup of coffee.
While you may not experience terrible heartburn after drinking coffee, it’s worth adding some salt to your coffee grounds or your fresh brew if the bitterness from coffee leaves you feeling like it might cause acid reflux in the near future.
Get More Antioxidants in Your Diet
Coffee is considered to be one of the best sources of antioxidants in your daily diet. Consuming coffee black is the best way to get all of the health benefits of this drink since black coffee has next to no calories and will help you get energized and feel ready to start your day. However, two antioxidants in coffee, phenylindanes and chlorogenic acid lactones, contribute to the bitterness of the coffee. Lighter bean roasts tend to be higher in chlorogenic acid lactones, while darker bean roasts tend to have higher levels of phenylindanes.
While you may want to try and get as many antioxidants as possible from your coffee, the bitterness that they cause in the coffee might put you off drinking it in the healthiest way. Salt can be used here as a secret ingredient to make it easier for you to get the healthy antioxidants that are found in coffee, helping you bring the bitterness of your black coffee down and make it more mellow, which will usually be easier for you to drink.
History of Adding Salt to Coffee
While coffee and salt are coming back around in coffee drinks and popular coffee shops, this trend is not a new thing. In places such as Hungary, Turkey, Siberia, and Scandinavia, adding salt to coffee is a common practice that has been done for hundreds of years. Along with this, many coastal regions around the world have long been using brackish water to brew coffee – water that has a higher natural level of salt compared to freshwater but is not as salty as ocean water.
Going back hundreds of years, you can find stories about military companies that add salt to their cheap, bitter coffee grounds to improve the taste.
How to Make Better Tasting Coffee
There is no denying that adding salt to your coffee can help to tone down the bitter flavors and bring out more of the sweeter and acidic tastes, making for a more pleasant brew. In fact, you can even use salt if you have had coffee grounds sitting for a while and they have gone stale, as you may be able to use the salt to salvage them and make them taste better, rather than simply throwing them out.
Along with adding salt to coffee, there are several tips and tricks that you can use to make your coffee taste better. Some are very well-known strategies such as storing your coffee in an airtight or vacuum-sealed container to reduce the risk of it going stale. Using fresh, clean, and filtered water is another essential when making coffee that tastes great as old water is only going to lead to coffee that tastes dull and stale. Along with this, the type of water that you have at home, such as hard water or well water, can make a massive difference to how your coffee tastes. Buying bottled water might be a good option if you have well water or hard water. This is because well water can add a metallic taste to your coffee, while hard water can lead to more frequent calcium deposits in your Alton brown coffee maker, leading to coffee that is more bitter and not as fresh. As a general rule, if you don’t like the way that the water from your tap tastes, then you shouldn’t make coffee with it, as it can seriously change the flavor of the brew.
Salt in coffee can have a range of surprising benefits for both the taste of the coffee and your health as a coffee drinker.