A pinch of salt

salt coffee400  Liz Clayton

Chris nudged me a bit early this Sunday morning. I didn’t want to get up at five. It’s January 14, 2018, and fifty degrees outside… and it’s still dark.

However, he is persistent and so I accepted my time in bed is over. It takes a bit for me to get started. It includes standing up without falling over. It’s been a long time since I could bounce out of bed and walk straight.

These days, I have to wind myself up. Slowly I brace both arms on the side of the bed and make sure both feet reach the floor. When I stand, I have both arms extended like airplane wings.

I know, it sounds silly but I’ve learned the gyroscope in my head hasn’t quite activated if I make any sudden movement.

Properly focused, I walk-dance a few steps to check my balance. I do all this before I even attempt to get dressed.

Once physically and mentally adjusted, I proceed to get dressed. Chris, tail wagging and dancing around, anxiously watches me. Bernie feigns being asleep. He’s in his crate.  

Both dogs are going to be disappointed. I don’t take them out until the sun is up. That won’t happen for another two hours.

Today I will continue preparing for my trip to Quartzsite. Although it’s still two weeks away, I’m impatient. I’ve been waiting since July to meet the folks who will travel there.

More than sixty people, and it could easily be more than a hundred, will be in fiberglass travel trailers. Many trailers will be the Casita brand. I want to meet the owners and see what modifications they made to personalize their little homes.

Because it’s going to be cold, I’ve decided to bring my perk-coffeepot. Katie, the former Casita owner, had left it for me.

It is on the front porch, along with other camping stuff. I go out and take it out of its original carton. When I open the coffeepot hinged top and take out its guts, I find Katie never emptied the coffee grounds.

I suspect those grounds have been there for more than three or four years.

White stuff covers the top of the grounds. Could that be salt?

I’ve heard that some people put salt on coffee grounds to dampen the coffee’s bitter taste.

A quick bit of research tells the tale.

Liz Clayton explains in her article, “The thinking behind salting coffee is that salt acts as a bitterness reducer, somehow either blocking or tricking our brain and tongue into receiving all of that bitter taste. Now, for some, the dimension of bitterness—such as in grapefruit, bitter melon, radicchio, cocoa, etc.—is an appealing part of flavor.”

Taste wise, using salt will enhance flavors, improve water and cut the bitterness.

When it comes to coffee, it has many health benefits. It is loaded with antioxidants and contains quite a few important nutrients such as Potassium and Magnesium.

Coffee may also lower your risk of certain diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

Coffee improves your energy levels, gives you an adrenalin boost and helps you burn fat. 

Contrary to popular opinion Caffeine does not make coffee bitter. Only about 15% of the bitterness in coffee comes from caffeine. The bulk of the bitterness in coffee comes from two classes of compounds – Chlorogenic Acid Lactones and Phenylindanes.

Both these compounds are antioxidants found in roasted coffee beans and not the raw, green beans.

Although reading articles about adding salt to coffee was interesting, I found comments from readers most enlightening. This one made my day.

“it threw the coffee out of balance. It brought out the kinds of qualities wine people call “barnyard flavors.”

If you want to counter the ‘barnyard flavor,’ adding a pinch of kosher salt (1/4 tsp or less) for about six tablespoons of grounds should do the trick.

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