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Thursday, January 1, 2009

Taiwan goes crazy for 'salt coffee'

Since Dec 11, the 85 Degree Bakery Cafe, Taiwan's largest coffee chain launched salt coffee has changed coffee drinkers' habits and customers are increasingly savouring it rather than black or sugared coffee.

Cathy Chung, spokeswoman for 85 Degree Bakery Cafe, says her company hit upon the idea of launching salt coffee because the trend of using sea-salt as a health ingredient in food or as cosmetics is sweeping Taiwan. "Sea salt, which is also called ocean salt, is not refined and has more minerals than table salt.

Taiwanese traditionally rub salt into fruits to make them taste sweeter and this may explain the latest craving for salt coffee.

The 85 Degree Bakery Cafe adds a small amount of sea salt to the creamy foam and chilled cream to a cup of steaming coffee. Many customers screamed with delight when they tried their first cup of salt coffee. "It gives you three tastes. First, you get the slightly salty taste from the cold cream foam, second, the mixed taste of the salty cream foam and hot coffee, third, the aroma of coffee," It is salty and sweet and is more fragrant then sugared coffee.

Founded in 2004, 85 Degree Bakery Cafe beat Starbucks to become Taiwan's largest coffee chain in 2005. It now has 55 outlets in China, four in Australia and one in the United States.

Try to sprinkle a pinch of salt fizzling in your coca cola!! Soft drinks contain carbon dioxide gas (making it bubbly). The gas escape if you drop anything into some soft drink, just watch how quickly bubbles form on the surface. If you put salt in there, it foams up like anything, as lots and lots of bubbles form on each salt crystal. When a bottle is opened the pressure inside decreases. Bubbles appear as the carbon dioxide dissolved in the liquid turns into gas. A soft drink contains dissolved carbon dioxide. The space above the soft drink is filled with carbon dioxide at more than twice the atmospheric pressure. The hissing sound results from the escape of the gas into air.

"Consuming too much salt, or sodium, can lead to serious health problems including high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, stroke, osteoporosis and stomach cancer. There is also some evidence that it adds to the severity of asthma symptoms."
Salt causes water retention, which is bad for people with high blood pressure. But, to my knowledge, there is zero evidence that salt causes any of these ailments.
Diets high in salt are correlated to these things because junk food is full of salt and fresh food isn't. But there is no known mechanism for the salt to cause any of it. Too many "nutritionists" don't understand the distinction.


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