Arm Yourself With Bulletproof Coffee

the buzz on butter-fortified beans

Diana Peterson

Bulletproof coffee is all over social media. Some people say it allows you to be creative and super focused. To others, it’s a lot of hype about nothing. Or maybe it’s dangerous because it prevents consuming necessary nutrients that we need in the morning. What is the actual story about this buzzworthy breakfast brew? Here’s a primer for everything you need to evaluate bulletproof coffee for yourself. 

Bulletproof coffee has been part of our culture for a decade or so. In 2009, Dave Asprey was trekking in the Himalayas and was served yak butter tea, which helped him focus and acclimate to his surroundings. When he returned home, he experimented with readily available Western ingredients to make something similar, and the result was dubbed bulletproof coffee. The explosion of the keto lifestyle has propelled this brew to the forefront of breakfast again.

This caffeinated quick-start is composed of three ingredients: coffee, butter, and some type of medium-chain triglycerides. That said, there is some debate about each of these ingredients. 

1. Coffee:

Choose the best quality of coffee you can afford. 

2. Butter:

Grass-fed butter has some advantages over regular butter. Another option is ghee, especially if you are trying to avoid, or lower, dairy intake.

3. Medium Chain Triglycerides:

You can purchase a bottle of MCT oil, which is a liquid and easy to use, but you have no control over its processing. Coconut oil also works well and is antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory. 

While these three ingredients are the must-haves for bulletproof brew, other items can be added for some variety. Most recipes call for one cup of coffee, one tablespoon of butter, and one teaspoon of oil. Popular additions include collagen protein, cinnamon, and turmeric. 

Whichever ingredients you end up choosing, you can put them in a blender or use an immersion blender to mix it up. Just stirring the ingredients into your coffee results in an oily, unpleasant texture.

So, now that you know how to make the elixir, what benefits can you expect? Asprey and keto enthusiasts cite weight loss, an increase in energy levels, a boost in metabolism, and anti-inflammatory benefits. Because coffee is increasingly being boasted as a tool against heart disease, most fans include this benefit as well.

So, what’s not to love about the morning ritual? While coffee lowers risk of heart disease, adding all that butter might negate the benefit. Some medical professionals criticize the drink because it is high in saturated fats, high in calories (up to 440), and it’s a breakfast lacking necessary nutrients.

Obviously, you can make bulletproof coffee at home, but sometimes that isn’t convenient. You could make it at work, but then you have to tote along a blender, MCT or coconut oil, and butter – which isn’t convenient either. 

The butter-infused bulletproof coffee is not to be confused with Cold Brew Bulletproof coffee, a ground coffee that is sourced from estates in Guatemala, hand-harvested, and carefully processed. Both Whole Foods and Amazon sell Bulletproof Coffee.

While it does not appear any local coffee shops carry the energizing concoction, Jen Rust Anderson, owner of the Valley’s newest coffee shop, Nostalgic Bean in Altoona said they stock the ingredients necessary to make it. If they start getting requests, they might add it to the menu.