Thursday, August 4, 2011

Pondering Your Morning Coffee

Coffee is one of those components of food and beverage that I've always had a passion for.  By "passion" I mean, I own Auto-drips, French Presses, Vietnamese Coffee Makers, Stovetop Expresso Makers, and 2 types of grinders.  I would be one of those coffee snobs that complain about Starbucks in a way that make most regular drinkers roll their eyes.  I even have two dedicated roasters that I exclusively buy from.  One is in San Francisco (Wrecking Ball Roasters) and the other is Bayview Farms in Kealakekua, HI (I physically go there once a month for my stash).

With this in mind, I am always looking for new ways to improve my drinking experience.  Today's experiment involves adding a dash of salt to my grounds prior to brewing.  While this sounds weird, it utilizes the same chemical phenomenon that you get when you add salt to underripe fruit.  The salt will mellow out the edgy tones of the coffee and make it feel more full-bodied on the tongue. 

I first read about this technique on, which is a gastronomy website that takes food in different directions and promotes the idea of molecular gastronomy.  Utilizing the procedure mentioned in an old article on this website (, I added 16 grains of Hawaiian salt to my Kona grounds which will hopefully yield 3.5 cups of enhanced coffee.

If I got the ratio wrong, then I'll just try again tomorrow.

In the meantime, I leave you with this tidbit of information.  If you want to know the difference between gourmet coffee beans and supermarket beans, take a look at this picture:

The coffee on the left are the pre-roasted beans that you find in a gourmet store.  Every bean is picked to be uniform in size, color, and weight.  The beans on the right are whatever beans are left to sell to general wholesalers and is only measured out in weight per roasting batch.  End of the day, if you don't care about these things, then no matter.  For me, I like tasting the difference. 

Thanks for reading!!


  1. I tried your trick, but with just regular table salt and tried to approximate the amount. I must admit, it definitely smoothed out the edges. I normally use cream to smooth it out, but I think the salt smoothed it out enough that I could do without it. I am brewing a Costa Rican bean: Tres Rios Valdivia by CafeBritt.

  2. Great! Next time try it with kosher salt. I don't like the iodine in table salt and is much harsher on the tongue than kosher.