Ah, coffee. For most of us, having a nice cup of morning joe gives us the fuel we need to pack lunches, find lost shoes, and get to work — all before 8:30 a.m. But there’s nothing worse than taking a sip of freshly brewed coffee to find that it tastes bitter.
Which is why I made it my mission to discover a foolproof way to make any coffee less bitter. In fact, the awesome mom-on-the-run solution that worked best can be used with home brew or a cup from your coffee shop. Here’s the deal:
How to make coffee less bitter: Add a pinch of salt!
I know that it sounds bizarre, but it works! Salt is known to neutralize bitterness without leaving a salty taste behind (if you’re not a coffee drinker, you can test this by salting your grapefruit). Just be sure to use it sparingly: A teeny bit sprinkled over your cup will do the job of giving you smooth coffee flavor.
If you want to take it a step further, Alton Brown suggests adding salt to your water before brewing regular coffee. While he provides ratios, that requires too much morning brainpower for me. For now, I’m sticking with my personally tested and approved method of adding a dash of salt to my cup before drinking.
How to make coffee less bitter: A few other tips.
- Don’t over-extract! That’s coffee snob talk for over-processing the coffee grounds, which is when you either brew with too much water or let the grounds sit too long (as in a French press). Using more water than necessary will not give you weaker or diluted coffee — just that awful bitter flavor.
- Don’t use boiling water. This will scald the beans, leaving them with a bitter taste.
- Clean your machine, especially the removable parts where the coffee grounds can build up. It may seem obvious, but I know I’m guilty of forgetting this important step!