Category • Blog articles

Why are people putting salt in coffee?

Ollie | February 7, 2024

What do you add to your coffee? For most: a teaspoon of sugar, oat milk dash or coffee syrup splash does the trick. For others: salt in coffee is proving a revolutionary recipe.

Still with us? Before you gasp in horror, you’ll want to discover the sweet science behind the salt coffee craze.


Salt in coffee – why does it work?

‘Saltiness can amplify sweetness, and can also mitigate or reduce bitterness’ (Barista and coffee connoisseur, James Hoffman – The Magic of Salt in Coffee).

Bitter coffee – what are your thoughts? It’s a natural result of coffee roasting; a simplified story is the darker the roast; the more bitter the coffee. Some coffee drinkers gravitate towards more bitter blends, whereas others side-step bitterness with sweetness. Enter: sugar and syrups.

Saying this, adding heaps of sugars to our coffees can damage our health and suffocate the tastes of quality coffee beans. In contrast, the ‘synergistic effects’ of salt in coffee teases out the natural sweetness of the coffee bean. Elevating your experience.

YouTube comment for salt in coffee video

Image Credit: The Magic of Salt in Coffee (YouTube)

Ever wondered why your salted-rim margarita tastes so spectacular? Softening the acidity and bitterness of the drink with salt makes the perfect cocktail.


Find salt in coffee cultures around the world

Vietnam farmers harvesting coffee

While the thought of adding salt in coffee may horrify a UK reader (until you try it), salt in coffee features in cultures across the world. For example, salty coffee with condensed milk makes a sweet favourite in Vietnam. And a short hop away in Taiwan, many locals won’t take their morning cup without salted milk foam.

Meanwhile on European soil – Scandinavians enjoy salt in coffee (and salty food pairings). And Italian nonnas sprinkle a touch of salt in coffees for their younger family members to soften the bitterness.

Comment on salt in coffee video

Image Credit: The Magic of Salt in Coffee (YouTube)

And there’s more: salt coffee is also a premarital Turkish tradition. Legend does that an engaged woman prepares a salt coffee for her future husband when his family visits. If the husband drinks the coffee, it’s taken as a strong symbol of their love.

Discover More: Coffee Glossary – The Complete A-Z Guide


A new office hit?

Tweet about salt in coffee

Image Credit: @BirdRespector (X)

Reading this at your desk? You’re probably due a coffee. Watch office ridicule quickly turn into admiration add a pinch of salt to your coffee. Who knows – perhaps you’re more cultured than everyone else?


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