Yes Really – It Turns Out We Should All Be Putting Salt In Our Coffee
As a Scottish person long slandered for putting salt in their porridge AS IS THE TRADITIONAL WAY, I’m actually delighted to be writing this (if, admittedly, slightly horrified at the idea of adding anything to my coffee).
The coffee-salt conversation all started when Twitter user @BirdRespecter jumped on the Twitter trend of ‘share your weirdest hear me out that’s about a food.’
A tiny pinch of salt in black coffee removes the bitterness almost entirely. I thought this was common knowledge until my coworker looked at me like I had horns for doing this the other day https://t.co/F2M64KC7OY
— The Artist Formerly Known as Steve Pretzel (@BirdRespecter) April 24, 2023
And as it turns out, according to the experts, we should actually be taking our morning cups of life juice with a pinch of salt.
TV chef Alton Brown adds a quarter teaspoon of kosher salt right in with his grounds before brewing, explaining that it eradicates the coffee’s bitterness.
Apparently, the tradition of adding salt to your coffee stretches all the way back to World War II, when those in the navy were suffering from undrinkable coffee and added salt to make it taste better.
We asked coffee expert and Roastery Manager at Cairngorm Coffee Kate Johnston her thoughts and, yup, yet more truth to the claim that coffee can taste better with a pinch of salt.
“When it comes to a particularly bitter cup of coffee salt is a better option than sugar and sweeteners; it highlights the sweet notes in your coffee, cancelling out a too-sharp flavour,” Kate explains.
“It can showcase the roast’s natural flavours rather than masking them like milk and sugar would, plus it could be a healthier option.
“Adding salt to almost anything enhances the perceived flavour, and I’ve even heard of people using a saline solution to help balance the flavour in iced coffee drinks,” she adds.
Although needing to add salt to your coffee can be avoided by choosing the correct roast of coffee for your palette, Kate says, there is a drink she’ll always reach for the saltshaker for.
“The only time I regularly turn to the saltshaker is when I’m making espresso martinis.
“A lot of the time, the espresso component is made in advance for use behind the bar, or an alternative ‘espresso style’ beverage is used at home (like Mr Black etc).
“A small pinch of salt brings the espresso back to life, and when shaken with the other ingredients plus ice, it’s just a balanced dream.”
Excuse us while we stash a sachet of salt in our bags for our next bar crawl.