There are lots of ways to make coffee taste less bitter. You can add sugar or milk or you can add an egg. Yes, an EGG. It sounds weird, but science says it works.
When you pour boiling water over an egg and coffee grounds, the protein in the egg binds to the part of the grounds that cause bitterness. Just be sure to strain the mixture, otherwise, you’ll be left with scrambled egg-like clumps in your cup of joe.
There’s also another trick that uses a grain of salt to make any cup of coffee taste less bitter and more delightful. A study published in 1997 had participants taste and rate solutions of salt and bitter, sweet and bitter, and salt mixed with sweet and bitter. Surprisingly, they found that salt was much more effective in decreasing the awareness of the bitter compound than the sweet sugar solution. Salt also enhanced the perception of overall sweetness in the salt.
While adding a little salt to your food instantly makes it taste better, the trick works with coffee as well. Aside from blocking bitter flavours, it also amplifies the flavour of your coffee in general. Food scientists and chefs around the world know that salt is a key ingredient in creating delicious foods. The perfect level of salt can elevate any food from just okay to something truly delicious. It also has a powerful effect to enhance good flavours and reduce bad ones. It’s interesting that this can carry over to coffee.
When you’re using salt in your coffee to block out the bitterness, the key is finding the right balance for your palate. Start by adding a little salt into your cup, stirring it, then tasting. If the bitterness isn’t quite gone, continue the process until it fades.