Why Does My Coffee Taste Salty? – 5 Simple Reasons

As a coffee lover, you would have tried many flavors of coffee. But when your coffee tastes salty, that is not something you take lightly. It spoils your palate and stings your taste buds that something isn’t quite right about that cup of coffee.

Why does your coffee taste salty? There are many reasons for salty coffee but the most common one is the under extraction process which imparts saltiness to your coffee. Certain flavors of coffee are naturally salty depending on where they come from. The water you use and the way you store your coffee can also bring a salty taste to your coffee.

Why Does My Coffee Taste Salty? – A Deep Dive

We gave you a short answer on why your coffee might taste salty. Let’s discuss the topic in more detail.

There are 5 solid reasons why you might feel a hit of salt when you sip your cup of joe.

Under Extraction

When brewing coffee, it is important to pay attention during extraction.

It is this process that gives us the brown liquid when water extracts the components from the coffee grounds.

The process takes place in 3 stages. During the first stage, water extracts the sugars and acids in your coffee grounds. In stage 2, water brings out the oils and dissolved solids. In stage 3, you get the bitter flavor that coffee is known for.

When the extraction is balanced, the coffee you get is just perfect. All the flavors are just the right amount, and you’ll love the coffee more than ever.

But when you mess up the extraction process and under extract your coffee, you will get a salty taste in it. This is not the same thing as adding salt to your coffee, but it can be worse or better depending on your taste tolerance.

The amount of saltiness in your coffee depends on how under you’ve extracted your coffee. The earlier your finish the process, the more saltiness you might get. In some cases, you might get a slightly salty taste that you may not even notice without nitpicking.

Let’s see some of the reasons for Under Extraction

Extraction Time

This is probably the most straightforward reason there is.

If you don’t give water enough time to pull all the ingredients from the ground coffee, then you will end up with a brown liquid that has a strong salty taste.

If you can add more minutes to your brewing process, you might end up with a balanced extraction that tastes great.

Grind size

If your grind is coarse, it can take more time to get a balanced extraction. Once you’re aware of the grind size, then you can adjust the extraction time to avoid getting the salty taste in your coffee.

Water Temperature

When the water you’re using for extraction is not hot enough, it can take you more time to complete the process. For optimum extraction, a temperature of around 195 Fahrenheit is preferred. 

If water hasn’t reached this temperature for the most part of the extraction process, you will end up with an under extracted product that has a strong salty taste.

Amount of Water

There should be enough water during the extraction process.

The normal ratio of coffee to water is either 1:15 or 1:18. Both these ratios work well and result in balanced extraction when done for the right time with the right temperature.

If you don’t have enough water, then you might run out of water which can end the extraction process a lot sooner. Thanks to under extraction, you can now devour salty coffee.

Natural Coffee Taste

Whether you are using Arabica or Robusta coffee beans, the place you get them from will give them their taste.

Arabica comes with a smoother taste and is a bit more expensive when compared with the sharper taste of the Robusta beans. The soil type, altitude, and planting methods surely affect the final taste.

If you have done a proper extraction, you might want to check where your coffee is from. If your coffee has a natural salty taste to it, then you might want to get something different next time. Or you could try getting used to the taste. 


The salty taste of your coffee can also be credited to its storage.

Some things you should not compromise when it comes to storing coffee are

  1. Cool place
  2. Dry place
  3. Free air movement outside
  4. Airtight storage container

If your coffee is frozen for daily use, then you expect some moisture in the storage device which can make them taste a bit salty. This will not have a huge impact on the taste but still something to be aware of.

If you have beans and would like to roast them, make sure you take small parts of them and roast them and grind them in separate batches to avoid the above-mentioned issues.


There are three levels when it comes to roasting coffee beans. 

Light, medium, and dark.

The more you roast your coffee bean, the less caffeine level you will have. A lighter roast will get you more caffeine in your coffee and it preferred by quite a lot of people.

The medium roast is the most popular one and you will find it to be the favorite in most places. 

The dark roast has a more bitter taste and the least caffeine. This roast is not that famous as it is very bitter. Sometimes, you can get a salty taste in the dark roast if you can’t find any other reason for that sour taste. 


The water you use for your coffee can also alter its taste to some extent.

If you’re using soft water that has more sodium ions in it, then it might be the reason why you’re getting that sharp saltiness in your coffee.

The reason is quite obvious. The lack of magnesium (which helps elevate coffee taste) brings about this change. In hard water, there is enough magnesium and other minerals to balance the taste of your coffee.

This is not something you can control, but we would not recommend soft water to make coffee. Just use local water if you’re not sure.

We hope this post did a good job in answering why coffee tasted salty.

If you found the answer you were searching for, do pass this resource to a friend with the same question.

Do let us know if you have any other questions.

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