Bitter Coffee beans? Try this

This coffee hack has been around for years, included in lists with ‘coffee hacks that change your life’. But I never tried it (how many people do?): sprinkle some salt into your coffee to improve the taste (i.e. make it less bitter).

I guess I always thought: yeah, whatever. Just get yourself a Brikka moka pot, a decent coffee grinder and good beans. Right? But now I got this bag of pretty dark roasted coffee beans and… well, they’re not tasting that great. I figured I might as well give the salt a try as I didn’t want to throw the beans in the bin.

Taste enhancer

Sometimes you gotta try something different, so instead of buying my favorite organic medium roast supermarket coffee beans, I tried a dark roast. I was looking forward to a coffee with more kick, a more intense aroma. But it just tasted too bitter for my taste. Of course I was using my regular grind size and a Brikka moka pot to make my moka espresso. Those dark beans have been sitting in my closet for a week now when this salt hack popped into my memory.
Salt is generally used as a taste enhancer. But in your coffee? It’s not as strange as it sounds. In Scandinavia, Siberia, Turkey and Hungary there’s a long tradition of adding salt to coffee. Salt isn’t as much as a taste enhancer but more of a ‘bitterness suppressor’, according to this research. Hm, how would a little bit of salt taste in my coffee?

A tiny pinch

This morning I tried it: a tiny amount of salt sprinkled over the beans (not directly into the coffee as some suggest). The first attempt was too salty, but with the second cup I used even less and that did the trick. The salt removes the bitterness although there’s still some salty taste in the background. I also tried it with a cappuccino, but there also: still some salty aftertaste. But the taste is much better this way. When I’ve finished the bag of dark roast, it’s back to my favorite beans. Obviously.