Should I Put Salt in Coffee?

By Robert Parsons April 22, 2021

We have yet another coffee question for you that you may or may not have wanted to be answered. To some, putting salt in coffee may sound absurd, but to others, this might have been a question you have asked before whether it be from someone else talking about it or reading it in an article once. Whether this was on your mind or not, we think everything is worth looking into, and we have done just that. We have researched and found all the pros and cons of this unique coffee addition and can’t wait to share with you.

Where did this come from? 

So where did this idea even start? Alton Brown, an author and cook is credited for this. He started preaching this to his following, swearing that it was an easy fix for not so great coffee. It became so closely associated with him that the media got a hold of it and was known by many as the “Alton Brown Trick”. He claimed that adding a pinch of salt to your coffee will take away the bitterness of the coffee and allow for the true flavor of the coffee to stand on its own. He also claimed that the salt removed the stale taste of water that sometimes comes from tap or tank water. 

Alton Brown is not the only one to come up with this and most definitely not the first. Different cultures, including Hungaria, Siberia, and Turkey, have been adding salt to their coffee with the same belief. 

How Much Do I Add?

So you are ready to give it a try? The formula Alton Brown gave is for every cup of water, there should be two spoons of ground coffee and half a spoon of salt. Simple enough. 

Benefits of Salt in Coffee

There are quite a few pros to adding salt into your coffee, but here is our quick list: 

  • – Reduces bitterness: As we have already gone over a bit, the largest benefit of adding salt to coffee is removing the bitter taste. This is extremely helpful in places with less access to coffee options, and one of the reasons the military is known for using this trick with their coffee. 
  • – Reduced stale taste from water: Another point we spoke on, whether you prefer to use tap water, or simply don’t have access to fresh water at all times, adding some salt can get rid of this dilemma and make your coffee taste fresh as ever. 
  • – Replaces creamers or sugar: Another large benefit of salt in coffee is the replacement of creamers and sugar that are not healthy and can be a big cause of weight gain or health complications. While large amounts of salt are not good for you, replacing a large spoon of sugar or syrup with a pinch of salt is a great replacement that can help make your coffee a guilt-free drink whether you are looking to lose weight or make healthier life choices. 
  • – Replenish Sodium: Another issue for those of us that drink coffee maybe a little too much is that coffee can cause your body to lose sodium. So if this becomes an issue, adding salt in coffee can be an issue fix to keep your coffee addiction alive and well while still staying on top of your health.

Drawbacks of Adding Salt in Coffee 

Now that we’ve gone over the good things about adding salt to your coffee, let’s talk about the reasons why this might not be a good option:

  • – More sodium: While contrasting our earlier point, most people in today’s society have no issue getting their daily sodium intake from fried foods, junk food, and the worldwide love for salt. So for those with a surplus of sodium in their daily diet, this might not be a good option for your health. 
  • – Salt sensitivity: Some people have a salt sensitivity, and since coffee already can have a harsh impact on your stomach, risking adding salt into the equation would not be a good idea for anyone in this circumstance. 
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If these two categories sound like something you would fit in, it might be a good idea to try cold brew coffee which is known to be lighter on your stomach or a healthy sweetener would be a good option. At the end of the day any additive is going to be an unhealthy option if used too much or unwisely, so be conscientious of what you are putting into your body. 


So now we know where this phenomenon originated from, why people would want to do it, and why people wouldn’t. The choice is yours. Do you think you adding salt into your coffee will be a new practice of yours? Here at Le French Press, we will try anything once. We hope you have learned a new trick if you’re in a pinch. Simply grab a pinch of salt! Happy Brewing!