Match Heads In Coffee: 3 Crazy Reasons Why People Do It

Match heads in coffee Why People Do It & Drink It

Coffee is one of the most, if not the most, popular drinks consumed worldwide, and it is available in many forms and designs.

One of the most peculiar practices I have come across is people adding match heads in coffee.

It seemed strange and potentially dangerous to me at first, but it turned out to be beneficial for you in various ways. So, why do people do it and drink it?

Match head usually contains potassium chloride, an alternative to salt. It can dramatically enhance the flavor of nasty-tasting coffee.

Whereas other components in the match heads may help ease oversensitive teeth, etc.  It’s entirely acceptable for an adult to eat a few match heads at a time; however, drinking more could be highly harmful to your health.

Match head usually contains potassium chloride, an alternative to salt. It can dramatically enhance the flavor of nasty-tasting coffee.

Here is what you need to be aware of about match heads in coffee and why some people use them.

Why do people put match heads in coffee?

Well, one of the most prevalent uses of match heads is that it improves the bitter taste of your coffee drastically. All the more, coffee lovers can use it as a substitute for salt because they contain potassium chloride.

I have done some more legwork for you; here is an explanation of why people put match heads in coffee and drink it.

It helps protect oversensitive teeth

In certain situations, placing match heads into your coffee could help when you’re suffering from oversensitive teeth.

Consuming cold or hot coffee could be problematic for those with this problem, so you may require something to lessen the tooth sensitivity.

match heads

Specific matches utilize KNO3 (potassium Nitrate) in place of potassium chlorate to aid in match ignition.

Potassium nitrate is a substance that can be utilized to ease teeth discomfort. Thus, adding several match heads in your coffee will help reduce the pain you may experience when drinking cold or hot drinks.

It enhances the flavor of bad coffee

Ever walked into the office and had your coffee, which has been sitting in the coffee maker for a few minutes? I have! It tasted like garbage.

It’s a good thing you have a matchbox in your bag. You can improve the taste. Just a couple of ground match heads mixed into the coffee can dramatically enhance the flavor.

It can be used as a substitute for salt. Salt is a common practice among coffee drinkers to increase the flavor of coffee while also reducing bitterness.

While it improves the flavor of your coffee, it could ruin it if you take it excessively. It’s better to be cautious in this instance, and you shouldn’t practice it frequently.

It’s unnecessary only to use it on bad coffee. It can be an exceptional addition to any coffee. I have tried it in my salted caramel macchiato, adding an entirely new taste.

It helps protect from bug bites

In wartime, soldiers who stayed for months in deep forests and jungles would use match heads to shield themselves from bug bites that could cause serious harm.

Pests like mosquitoes and other bugs could cause severe illness. Therefore, each day, the soldiers consumed a few match heads to prevent that.

It helps protect from bug bites

When they sweated, the ingested chemicals from the match heads began to expel out of their pores, repelling insects and preventing bites.

I will admit that I am not utterly sure whether this is real or a scam. I have heard of this military trick, and it makes sense.

But, as with the majority of these tricks, you don’t know whether they work or if they are an old-fashioned folk tale.

What are the dangers of ingesting a Match Head?

With all the toxic chemicals and reactive elements match heads are made of, one must ask, is it safe to add them to your coffee? It’s not if you don’t consume too much.

 In small quantities, it could be beneficial. If you ingest a couple of matches, they won’t cause any issues; however, small amounts could cause mild irritation.

Other symptoms include dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, and more.

It’s hazardous for infants and small children. This is because a lesser quantity is needed to trigger more severe problems.

Due to the chemical compounds present in the match, consuming a large number of match heads can result in more grave consequences and even death.

The chemicals in the match head consumed in high quantities can result in hemolysis or even the breakdown of red blood cells.

Since red blood cells transport oxygen throughout your body, and if you don’t have the red blood cells, vital organs won’t function properly.

This eventually leads to liver and kidney damage as well as respiratory failure. Heart attacks or strokes could also occur in extreme cases, leading to a fatal result.

But, these instances are extremely uncommon. It would take about 80 match heads for that result.

The average person puts one or two of them in their coffee; therefore, it’s very little.

If you’re tempted to take a risk and consume several match heads, the most frequent symptoms you could experience are vomiting or diarrhea.

If the condition becomes severe, be on the lookout for dehydration since it’s one of the most severe issues that could arise from a couple of match heads.

Alternatives to Match Heads in Coffee

While small amounts aren’t a danger, however, I would not recommend placing match heads in your coffee frequently due to the damage they could cause.

It’s better to be safe than sorry. There are also better alternatives that are healthier, safer, and give a similar aroma/fragrance.

Suppose you are not sure how a pinch of salt could enhance the flavor of coffee much better. Try substituting it for match heads.

If you are not an avid fan of salt, try salted caramel. It adds an entirely new perspective to the coffee, and I consume it as often as possible.

If you would like to reduce the acidity of coffee without using sugars, consider adding lemon or lime.

I am not a fan of squeezing the juice into my coffee; however, letting the lemon peel soak in hot water for just a few minutes will change the flavor.

Many people make use of cardamom and honey to substitute sugar. It’s healthy and delicious.

A cup of Joe


Can you eat matches?

Intentionally swallowing some match tips is not a risk, but it will likely cause minor irritations to the stomach and mouth.

Ingestion of a significant amount of match heads can have severe effects, including destroying red blood cells and organs like the liver and kidney.

What happens if you eat match heads?

Matches aren’t a food item and could cause side effects on your health. The major thing that happens is that you will experience a horrible taste when you consume matches.

If you consume matches, you’ll get a sulfur phosphorus flavor in your mouth. The taste will be similar to rotten eggs.

The effects of eating match heads could cause abdominal pain, a reason why matches can be poisonous, particularly for children.

What happens if you eat match heads?

What are match heads made of?

The match heads are made from an oxidizing agent, such as potassium chlorate. It is combined with fillers, sulfur, and glass powder.


If you didn’t know about putting match heads in coffee and now understand why people do it and its dangers. You can choose to experiment as you like.

Coffee drinking is a personal experience, and it depends on your preferences what you like or don’t like.

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