ROTI by Golden Bowl – Should You Put Salt in Your Coffee?
I drink a morning coffee of Kopi O for years and never thought anyone would put hot water AND salt in your coffee – except for a prank!
And to coffee drinkers – a decidedly bad cup of brew.
I cut my sugar intake to have desserts and cakes.
It’s a fair trade for a few bitter caffeine brews.
Many people like to add a little bit of sugar or milk to their coffee.
In Malaysia, we like evaporated milk or condensed milk.
How many types of coffee in Malaysia?
Kopi O – Coffee with sugar only, which is “black coffee” in layman’s terms.
Kopi O Kosong – Coffee without sugar or milk.
Kopi O Kosong Kaw – Strong brewed coffee without sugar or milk.
Kopi – Coffee with condensed milk.
Kopi Kaw – Strong brewed coffee with condensed milk. “Kaw” means “rich” in Hokkien.
Kopi Poh – Weak brewed coffee with condensed milk. The “Poh” means “diluted” in Hokkien.
Kopi C – Coffee with evaporated milk and sugar.
Kopi C -Kosong – Coffee with evaporated milk but no sugar. The “-Kosong” means “nothing” in Malay.
Kopi Peng – Coffee with milk, sugar, and ice.
What is Kiam Kopi – Should You Put Salt in Your Coffee?
Kiam Kopi – Coffee with milk, sugar, and SALT!
Salted Coffee is trending.
As it turns out, Coffee with Salted Caramel is not Kiam Kopi.
I’ve tried this version and love the creamy, salty caramel taste.
I’ve heard of tea plantation workers putting a small bit of salt for boiled black tea – a habit that they continued to this day, drinking copious cups of salted tea.
Should You Put Salt in Your Coffee?
So, does salted coffee have any benefits?
How much SALT should you add – a quarter teaspoon or more?
I did some reading up on why you should put salt in your morning cup of coffee.
According to famous cookbook author and food science expert, Alton Brown for every cup of water you use to make coffee, you should mix two spoons of ground coffee with half a spoon of kosher salt.
Apparently, by doing so, not only does salt cut the bitterness, it smooths out the “stale” taste of tank-stored water.
Research has proven that salt is better at neutralizing bitterness than sugar.
In 2009, the mainstream media picked this up, calling it the “Alton Brown coffee trick.”
As a result, putting salt in coffee has sparked the curiosity of coffee lovers around the world.
So, that got me thinking, where else would you find other instances of Salted Coffee.
Brides use Salt in Your Coffee In Turkey.
Here is an interesting anecdote –
In Turkish tradition, a way of determining the future groom’s manhood is to put salt in his coffee.
The amount of salt the potential bride uses signals her feelings for her future husband.
If the potential candidate drinks the whole cup of salty coffee, he proves his manhood and willingness to marry the girl.
The Benefits Of Putting Salt in Your Coffee
While many cultures are salting their coffee to improve your drinking experience.
You can try the coffee-making tradition of Hungary, Scandinavian countries, Siberia, Turkey when you can travel abroad.
Come to think of it, I have tried the salted black coffee in Turkey and forgot all about it.
I love Turkish tea sold at the local weekly markets. It has a fruity taste that appeals to two tourists rather than the local Turks.
The coffee, I have not gotten used to the taste.
While the flavor is bold, Turkish coffee has a robust bittersweet flavor and needs quite a lot of sugar to make it palatable for me.
Traditionally it is served with the uber-sweet toe-curling Turkish Delight!
I end up with a charming syrupy coffee mixture full of gritty, powdery taste.
Adding salt to it may improve the bitter flavor but doesn’t enhance my taste buds.
There are stories about soldiers in the army adding salt to their coffee to make low-quality, bitter coffee better.
The Health Benefits Of Putting Salt in Your Coffee
While it is a scientific fact that sodium (found in salt) is more efficient in covering up the bitterness by sodium, which works better than sugar.
If you use high-quality coffee, the taste is very different and smooth, rounded with a signature golden layer of crema.
Sugar can only mask the bitter taste slightly, whereas salt neutralizes the bitterness in coffee completely.
It is a simple and effective way to reduce bitter coffee fast.
It heightens the taste of coffee and makes the drink smoother.
Improves Stale Water
Using fresh spring water improves the taste of the coffee.
Brewing coffee with stale water for water storage tanks
turns coffee bitter.
The bitterness in coffee made with stale water will reduce the quality and taste.
By adding salt, you can improve water quality make the water denser, giving your coffee a thicker texture.
Salt will make the water taste better.
Why You Should Be Adding Salt to Your Coffee
I drink coffee every day, and that’s why I love it as a morning pick me up and as a teatime treat.
Coffee is so versatile.
I drink it black, with a dash of milk, full milk, but never with non-dairy creamer.
Sometimes I add sugar; most of the time, I don’t.
Though I don’t experiment too much with my daily cuppa at home, which I drink instant coffee black.
My younger friend often offers suggestions to keep me abreast with the latest trends in coffee drinking.
Kiam Kopi – Add Salt to My Coffee?
Yes, you heard right, Dory!
Why would I do that to my precious cup of coffee, Penelope?
It makes it smoother, tastier and rounds off the flavor of the coffee.
Penelope told me she tried it before deciding to bring me along to ROTI.
“It’s backed by science.”
For me, when Penelope (the person and science too) talks, I tend to be agreeable and listen with a pinch of salt.
Over brewing coffee make it bitter PP.
No one used the 90s coffee electric percolator anymore.
Penelope’s Favorite Kiam Kopi At ROTI by Golden Bowl
We headed to ROTI by Golden Bowl, a small eatery near Pasar Batu Lanchang, which serves a Western breakfast, noodle dishes, and drinks.
The one drink that we wanted to try was the Kiam Kopi, recommended by PP.
It’s probably coffee powder and not beans as in Coffee Bean.
I wanted to see how much if they put salt to Coffee or you get to add it yourself.
The breakfast joint is located in a Kopitiam in Kampung Batu Lanchang opposite the Central Park Condominium.
However, Google Map took us on a roundabout way to reach the place.
For a breakfast place under the tree, this eatery has a simple menu – a few.
- Instant Noodle dishes
- Roti Toasts and Half Boiled/Soft Boiled Egg combination
- Pocket Toasts
- Breakfast Platter
- French Toast
- Ice Blended Drinks
There were ten types of instant noodle dishes with Add On sides available at ROTI.
If you want Maggie Noodles, that’s an extra RM1 for the Add-In.
PP and I are not huge fans of instant noodles.
The last time I ordered HK-style Instant Noodles with Ham and Egg, she looked and balked.
We’re not going to order something with basic tastes that we can rustle up at home.
Besides, I just wanted to drink salted coffee.
What we ordered at ROTI by Golden Bowl
And since we were at a new Kopitiam, I thought it is nice to try one of ROTI’S specialties.
The Add Ons looked tempting to me.
I wanted to try the Cheesy Wedges and Fried Luncheon Meat.
Well, the Spam Fries @ Naughty Nuri’s called Asian Luncheon Fries, to be precise.
Bak Kua Toast RM8.90
Don’t expect the Bee Cheng Hiang type of premium pork slice Bakkwa, but the offering is decent.
The sweet Bak Kua is wrapped in a fried egg with two slices of thick toasted bread.
Instead, we ordered copious cups of coffee – our main intent on coming here.
Kiam Kopi Hot (Salted Coffee) RM1.90
I ordered the hot cuppa and lived to regret it.
After our meal at noon, I went home and was still thirty until past 9 pm.
Kiam Kopi Iced (Salted Coffee) RM2.30
PP loved this and had two big glasses. Sipped through the foamy layer, the coffee’s saltiness is diluted by the ice.
Too bad I ordered the Kiam Kopi Hot and had a full blast, which felt like a teaspoon of salt in my coffee!
I’m hoping it’s healthy sea salt and not table salt!
For tea lovers, you can try the Salted Cream Cheese Black Tea for RM5.90.
Would I try it? Probably not since the drinks were tasty. However, it was just too salty.
Some of my senior friends have remarked that the extra sodium in my daily intake will cause their blood pressure to shoot up!
Still, I believe there is no bad coffee. Every brew boils down to the barista’s taste adjustment.
In case you are wondering, there is no Salted Cold Brew available here.
Hor Ka Sai RM2.30
The first time I had this drink was in Taiping.
Hor Ka Sai is not only a perplexing name for a beverage.
A Hokkien phrase loosely translates it, “Hor Ka Sai,” which means Tiger Bite Lion.
This Malaysian Cham (Mixed) drink has an interesting mocha of Kopi O and Milo.
Review of ROTI by Golden Bowl
The café style food at ROTI by Golden Bowl is very affordable compared to pricier café outlets food.
You may like the taste of Kiam Kopi like PP.
I must say it has a certain appeal.
After my experience, I might not be tempted to try another cuppa.
Aunty and Uncles, in case you want to try, do be careful of the sodium levels no matter how tempted you are to try a lively coffee.
I’m an Aunty reviewer.
The coffee taste is good overall, not too acidic, and doesn’t cause acid reflux.
Do take this review with a big pinch of salt.
If you’ve tried or will try, do let me know what you think of the Salted Coffee?
ROTI by Golden Bowl (Non-Halal)
Address: 9, Medan Penaga, Kampung Batu Lanchang, 11600 Jelutong, Penang.
Contact: 012-458 4854
Business hours: 7:30 am-2:30 pm, Closed on Tuesdays.
Website: Roti by Golden Bowl
Coordinates: 5.38941 N, 100.30770 E
Directions: ROTI by Golden Bowl is located at the junction of Lebuhraya Jelutong and Medan Penaga.
Parking: Street parking is challenging. There are two places you can park.
- By the road (not proper car park) in front of Central Park
- MBPP car park at Pasar Batu Lanchang and walk.