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Use Salt to Remove the Bitterness in Coffee

Updated on May 20, 2009

If you're looking to remove the bitter taste of your coffee and a mellow out its flavor profile, then the best way to do that is by simply adding salt to your coffee. This is a method that has been used by certain restaurants, and although it may seem daunting to put salt in your cuppa Joe, it is actually quite effective. It is pretty obvious that when you're cooking, you can use salt to enhance the flavor of any dish. You may have also noticed that when you eat salty foods with your coffee, the flavor itself can have a more nutty taste. That is partially due to the salt on your palette when you are enjoying your coffee.

When you are looking to enjoy the best cup of coffee out there, there should be absolutely no bitterness in the flavor. Even when you are doing your best to brew an amazing Java specimen, there still may be times when it comes out with more bitterness than you're hoping for. All you have to do is add a pinch of salt to your cup of coffee, and it will neutralize the flavor of bitterness immediately. Another way to effectively make sure that you have no bitterness in your coffee is to brew your coffee grounds with about 1/8 of a teaspoon of salt per serving. You can then add your water and brew it through the filter as normal, and you will notice that there is absolutely no taste of salt or bitterness at all. If you do decide not to brew your coffee grounds with salt added, then all you have to do to remedy any bitter taste that may come out is to add salt directly to your mug. The salt will actually easily dissolve because of the heat of your drink and completely neutralized any edge within the flavor of your coffee.

Another thing that you may want to know is that if you are experiencing consistent bitterness in your coffee brewing, then you may need to clean and descale at your machine since the buildup of oils from the coffee grinds can make your final product very bitter. Also, if you are not using filtered or distilled water, then that is something that you need to change immediately because it will not only dramatically affect the taste of your Java, but it will also keep it from becoming bitter if your tap water has a high amount of chlorine in it. You may also want to try darker roast types if you are experiencing too much bitterness in your coffee brewing to see if the deeper textures and notes will give you the taste that you are looking for. Most of the time coffee bitterness does unexpectedly come from the grind of your coffee being too fine so that the water saturates the grounds for too long. You can try tweaking how you grind your coffee to a slightly coarser texture so that it will not have a bitter taste as a result. Regardless, if you ever happen to come upon a bitter cup of Joe at any time in your life, you can use the simple salt trick to neutralize and revitalize your delicious cup of coffee instantly!

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    • profile image

      mandrake 

      5 years ago

      I've heard about this. It's something Italians like to do. But i thought it was a certain or special kind of salt they put in their coffee? and not just ordinary table salt?

    • profile image

      bitsy08 

      6 years ago

      I don't know where I read it but I looked this up once before. I found an article that said to use luke-warm water instead of cold. It works. Now every cup I make is really good. No more bitterness.

    • profile image

      Dustie 

      6 years ago

      I never thought of putting salt in coffee I used just a pinch in my cup of coffee and what a difference it make thanks much for that tip

    • profile image

      peter 

      6 years ago

      This works great with grapefruit as well. Cuts down on my suger intake.

    • profile image

      tomie 

      6 years ago

      An age old tip, have used it for years.

    • profile image

      Ms Bebo 

      6 years ago

      Wow I bought a cheap coffee due to low funds and it was very fine and bitter! This really works, it tastes great and I don't have to throw out the package. Thanks

    • profile image

      puerto 

      6 years ago

      er, i like the bitterness - surely that's the point of coffee?

    • profile image

      holden 

      7 years ago

      can I do the same when my tea tastes bitter?

    • profile image

      mycoffemylife 

      7 years ago

      I always use a french press. I found that even "good" coffee's would sometime come out with a bitter twinge. Just tried the salt trick in the grounds before adding hot water.....VOILA!!! I AM HAPPY!!! :)

    • profile image

      Dweeb 

      7 years ago

      @kym jones

      We are not talking about drinking a cup of sea water here... When they say a "pinch" it means you aren't putting more salt in a cup than you can fit between your thumb and index finger. That is so insignificant. I think a few saltine crackers would have more sadly than a pinch. No one should worry about the health risks off an amount so insignificant.

    • profile image

      southern bell 

      7 years ago

      the trick to the salt technic is a pinch not a whole teaspoon. that amount of salt would not hurt anyone.

    • stars439 profile image

      stars439 

      7 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      Great tip. God Bless You

    • profile image

      Kym Jones 

      7 years ago

      I have high blood pressure and cholesterol troubles

      I'm not to add salt to any of my diet, is there

      Any other suggestions???

    • profile image

      Cheryl Anne 

      7 years ago

      If you are on a tight budget like I am, and need to use store brand coffee, then this is a great idea.

    • profile image

      Justin 

      7 years ago

      My dad taught me this remedy a number of years ago and it works great! All it takes is a few granules of it - not even 1/8 tsp goes into my mug; one shake usually does it for me.

    • profile image

      Jozpa 

      7 years ago

      First time I did this, I added WAY too much.. And almost puked it. Second time around it worked, and yes, it was very good indeed. Thanks for the tip.

    • Chuggin McCoffee profile imageAUTHOR

      Chuggin McCoffee 

      7 years ago from San Antonio

      @Lily

      Salt can be used to counteract very acidic coffee, although it would be best to try a different roast first! This can be used in emergency situations where you don't have another choice in the coffee that you are drinking. :-)

    • profile image

      drg 

      7 years ago

      WTF... why would you try to remove bitterness from coffee? is like getting the sweetness out from ice-cream...

    • profile image

      Lily Sujiati anekacoffee 

      8 years ago

      I have tried for ground coffee,I would like to know what the chemical reaction arise with bitterness coffee when added salt.

    • profile image

      Waltz#2 

      8 years ago

      Yeah, it really only takes a small amount, otherwise you wind up with salty coffee which is worse than bitter coffee.

    • Chuggin McCoffee profile imageAUTHOR

      Chuggin McCoffee 

      8 years ago from San Antonio

      @ty Good call, be careful how much you add!

      Thank you all :)

    • profile image

      Mike Chronos 

      8 years ago

      That is a good tip. Sometimes you have to experiment to find the way to get the perfect coffee for your tastebuds!

    • profile image

      ty 

      8 years ago

      note: DO NOT add to much salt, not good idea.

    • profile image

      Bonnie 

      8 years ago

      Just made a pot of terrific coffee thanks to the salt AND thanks, so much, for the tip!

    • Chuggin McCoffee profile imageAUTHOR

      Chuggin McCoffee 

      8 years ago from San Antonio

      Agreed! Try it if you are served crappy coffee anywhere :)

    • profile image

      no donuts 4 me 

      8 years ago

      greaT FOR BITTER CHEAP shit ground coffee blends

    • Chuggin McCoffee profile imageAUTHOR

      Chuggin McCoffee 

      8 years ago from San Antonio

      Thanks, blackjava! That's very helpful and informative. :)

    • blackjava profile image

      blackjava 

      8 years ago from Canada

      Not many people are aware that the salt binds to the oil which is where the bitterness comes from.

      http://www.single-cup-coffee.com

    • Chuggin McCoffee profile imageAUTHOR

      Chuggin McCoffee 

      8 years ago from San Antonio

      Glad to help :)

    • pinkhawk profile image

      pinkhawk 

      8 years ago from Pearl of the Orient

      ....i learn something new about salt! thank you very much... :).. this is cool! :)

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 

      8 years ago from the short journey

      Thanks!

    • Chuggin McCoffee profile imageAUTHOR

      Chuggin McCoffee 

      9 years ago from San Antonio

      What I think they mean to say is to use filtered water, not distilled, as distilled water lacks many of the minerals that contribute to water taste. But hey, if you like distilled water best, then don't change for nobody :)

    • profile image

      Kristina 

      9 years ago

      Thanks for the tip. Most places on the internet say not to use distilled water because it makes the coffee taste flat, but I've been drinking distilled water all my life and it doesn't seem like I would notice a big difference. I guess it just depends on what you're used to. I can't stand unpurified water.

    • adrienne2 profile image

      Adrienne F Manson 

      9 years ago from Atlanta

      Interesting, never heard this tip before will have to try it in the morning when I brew my coffee. Thanks!

    • TamCor profile image

      Tammy Cornett 

      9 years ago from Ohio

      I'll have to try this, thanks for the idea! We love strong coffee, but it's really hard to keep the bitterness away...

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