Coffee is “the best part of waking up”, and the best after-dinner drink to pair with a decadent chocolate dessert. But for many, coffee has a dark side. In many cases, the culprit is the acid level of the coffee. Acidity is defined as the characteristic of coffee that gives it a tart or bright taste. Generally, dark roasted beans have less acidity. The amount of acidity in a coffee bean can also be influenced by growing conditions. For example,
Low-acid coffees are a growing segment of the coffee market. But what’s a discerning gourmet to do when they crave their favorite coffee, but literally can’t stomach the acidity? The answer may surprise you: just add a single spoonful of salt.
To be specific, the gourmet variety of salt known as Aguni salt. Collected near the Aguni Islands in Japan, this type of salt is unique because it can significantly lower the acidity of a cup of coffee. Used at a number of high end restaurants, “salted coffee” is perhaps best known from the menu at Salt in SoHo. You don’t need to add a lot of salt to each cup, just a small spoonful or even less will do.
Salted coffee has also enjoyed a brief period in vogue among discerning coffee addicts in Asia. Last year, a Thai coffee chain made headlines in the US media when it began serving a salted specialty coffee. The coffee, sold by chain “85°C”, consists of a sweetened iced coffee, topped with a layer of creamy, salted foam.
So where can you get your own stash of this special type of imported gourmet salt? Well, if you have a well-stocked gourmet cooking store or restaurant supply company in your area, that’s a good place to start. Another great resource is (no surprise here) internet retailers. You may find it’s cheaper to buy in bulk, but use a shopping comparison tool like Google Shopping to compare prices between several online salt retailers. The salt comes in various grades, from fine to rough/coarse.
So the next time you’re feeling adventurous, why not skip the sugar and try some salt in your coffee instead? It’ll be easier on your stomach, but keep in mind that if you have hypertension, you probably want to avoid the added salt in your diet.