If you’re among the 62% of Americans who drink coffee every day, you might not think your morning cup of Joe can surprise you anymore.
But it turns out that adding a simple pantry staple — salt — to black coffee just might elevate your experience, as the ingredient eliminates the drink’s bitterness, HuffPost reported.
Related: Science Says When to Stop Drinking Coffee to Ensure a Good Night’s Sleep
It may sound strange, but it’s true: Not only does salt reduce the taste of the “bitter” flavor you might dislike, but it also amplifies the other flavors you do enjoy, according to Mashed.
The practice can be traced back to World War II Navy veterans, who added salt to their coffee to make it more palatable, and it was more recently introduced to the mainstream thanks to celebrity chef Alton Brown, who adds a bit of salt directly to the coffee grounds, per the outlet.
And though it might come as a surprise, salt is even better than sugar at masking those unwanted notes.
“When it comes to a particularly bitter cup of coffee, salt is a better option than sugar and sweeteners; it highlights the sweet notes in your coffee, canceling out a too-sharp flavor,” Kate Johnston, roastery manager at Cairngorm Coffee, told HuffPost.
Related: Why You Should Embrace Coffee Culture in the Workplace
Salt doesn’t cover up the roast’s natural flavors like milk and sugar can, and it’s a healthier alternative too, Johnston says.