I have seen people claim that putting salt in coffee enhances the flavour or removes bitterness. Example.

Does this really work? If it does, how does it work? Is there something chemical going on, or is it just a trick of the taste-buds?

  • I have also heard that a pinch of baking soda can remove the "bitterness" or acidity from tea that has steeped for too long...it softens the tannis.
    – Jenn
    Nov 20, 2010 at 17:05
  • You can also look at this question for more options. cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/7511/…
    – Martha F.
    Nov 23, 2010 at 14:00

1 Answer 1


In a Good eats episode from the 13th season (The Ballad of Salty and Sweet), Alton Brown explains how salt (specifically the sodium) blocks your tongue's taste buds from sensing bitterness. Sweetness however is not blocked. It also is known to enhance other flavours. Salt on chocolate is awesome for example. Salt also has the ability to still taste salty while doing all the rest.

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