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Why would anyone want to put a chunk of fatty butter inside their coffee? I know, right. I thought the same thing until I gave this coffee concoction a try out of boredom, and I’m glad I did. Even though this butter coffee seems to be a new fad that’s doing the rounds, it has, in fact, been consumed for centuries by coffee drinkers in the Himalayas, Nepal, Ethiopia, Singapore, and Vietnam, but only recently has it started to gain traction in the Western part of the world.
You’ve got to thank entrepreneur Dave Aspey (1) for the recent surge in popularity of butter in coffee which he has taken, tweaked, and now likes to call “Bulletproof Coffee,” but is it the same as merely adding a chunk of butter to your morning cup of coffee? Not quite.
Whoa, Hold On, Why Put Butter In Coffee?
Adding butter to your coffee turns your bland black coffee into a drink that’s bursting with flavor. It’s satisfying and filling, so much so that I often find myself skipping lunch when I’ve had a full cup of this buttery infusion for breakfast. Obviously, there are some other benefits too which I’ve listed further down this page.
This coffee brew is perfect for the beginner home barista since it requires no special tools or expensive coffee machines. As long as you have the means to brew strong black coffee (I use a V60 or an Aeropress) and a blender (don’t have a blender? I recommend the Nutri Ninja personal blender), you’re good to go.
Butter Coffee vs. Bulletproof Coffee
So is butter coffee the same as bulletproof coffee?
No, but it’s pretty close.
Dave Aspey’s Bulletproof Coffee is his brand that uses his own high-end coffee beans, only grass-fed unsalted butter is used, and it also includes MCT oil (which is similar to coconut oil).
His product is marketed heavily, and being a self-proclaimed entrepreneur and businessman, that’s most probably why. But is it all just a marketing gimmick to make Aspey’s wallet fatter and your bank balance slimmer?
I’ll leave that thought with you.
Now I’m a strong believer when it comes to the “ole fashioned” butter in the coffee recipe, without the added extras. All of the centuries of butter coffee drinkers from around the globe can’t be wrong, can they?
Since I gave this butter coffee infusion a try, I have had to restrain myself and limit my consumption to only one or two cups a week; it does taste great and is incredibly moreish, so be careful. Some say that drinking it daily is good for you, but I’m not so sure?
Benefits Of Butter In Coffee
Here are six reasons why you should jump on the butter in coffee bandwagon, so you can feed your caffeine-fueled curiosity and also, it’s another thing to tick off your bucket list!
1. Keeps You Full for Longer
Drinking plain black coffee isn’t going to keep you full. However, when you add butter to coffee amazing things happen because you are increasing the caloric and fat value of your brew, and you’ll feel fuller for longer. As I mentioned before, I often find that I skip lunch entirely if I’ve put butter in my coffee at breakfast.
The best time of the day to consume fats is first thing in the morning. Just like a hearty breakfast that provides a concentrated source of energy, adding butter to your cup of Joe will do the same thing, ensuring that you’re ready to tackle the day ahead.
2. Increases Metabolism
Not only with this awesome infusion keep you full well past lunchtime you’ll also benefit from an increased metabolism. The sneaky ingredient in butter coffee that aids in this is coconut oil.
What’s so special about Coconut oil? Are you sitting comfortably because I’m going to get all geek on you now! Sorry.
Coconut oil is a member of a group of fatty acid chains called Medium-chain Triglycerides (MCTs). Certain studies have shown that MCTs are metabolized at an increased rate, unlike Long-chain Triglycerides such as soybean oil.
It’s this faster metabolism that raises the temperature in the body as it works to break down the fats, absorbs the nutrients, and delivers them to the body. The faster your body processes, the higher your metabolism rises.
A recent study (2) between MCTs and LCTs in patients found that MCTs showed a better insulin response in the body compared to those given LCTs. In layman’s terms, this means that the body was able to absorb more glucose into the bloodstream and then put it to good use, rather than leaving it sitting in the bloodstream to then cause possible health problems.
Now to paint a clearer picture for those of you reading this. If you were to drink one of those hideous Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccinos (3) that was, very briefly, the newest and latest creation by Starbucks, you wouldn’t get any health benefits, none, zilch nada!
Instead, you’re being served a cup of preservatives, artificial flavors, and coloring’s with over 55 grams of sugar, as well as a generous sprinkling of “blue fairy powders,” whatever the hell those are!
No thanks! I’ll take my coffee with natural and REAL ingredients and reap the health benefits. You get the picture, right?
3. Butter is a Better Alternative to Sugar and Whipped Cream
Adding butter in coffee gives it an almost creamy, latte texture which means that you can hold off adding the additional whipped cream and that spoon laden with sugar which you would normally add to get the same effect.
Also, if you’re making this buttery coffee concoction at home instead of grabbing a latte at your favorite coffee shop, you’ll be saving yourself from over 17 grams of sugar – wowsers!
I don’t want to put a damper on things, but consuming too much sugar can lead to some serious health problems, such as fatty liver, diabetes, tooth decay, and obesity, to name just a few I can remember off the top of my head.
Adding butter to your home-brewed coffee doesn’t sound too bad now, does it!
4. Reduces Caffeine Sensitivity and the Acidic Effects of Coffee
There’s nothing worse than getting the caffeine jitters; it can leave you feeling queasy and unsettled. This often happens when you drink a cup of coffee on an empty stomach, and the coffee is simply too acidic for you first thing in the morning.
By adding a chunk of good quality butter to your cup of Joe, you can reduce these effects because the fat in the butter lines the stomach and acts as a barrier. In most cases, those that are susceptible to the caffeine jitters never go back to a regular brew after discovering the benefits of butter in coffee.
5. Increase Energy Levels and Mental Clarity
We are all accustomed to the quick energy boost we get from a good cup of coffee, but this is typically short-lived. The saturated fat in butter helps to slow down the absorption of caffeine, which feeds you with an abundance of energy for most of the day rather than a caffeine spike and, ultimately, a big crash (not cool!).
According to Dave Aspey from Bulletproof Coffee, you’ll have better mental clarity by adding butter to your coffee.
Brain Octane rapidly converts to ketones, a type of molecule that your brain uses more efficiently than carbs or sugar. Pair ketones with the slowly releasing caffeine and you can literally feel your brain turning on. (4)
Simply put, if you want to go dancing around the Matrix-like Neo, add a chunk of butter to your coffee! ..you can thank me later.
6. Tastes Absolutely Amazing!
I think you’ve got the idea by now that I love adding butter to my coffee. Not only does this creamy, buttery, caffeinated drink taste out of this world, but It also contains no sugar or other unwanted flavorings or artificial sweeteners; to be honest, it doesn’t need any. It tastes better than it sounds; just trust me – you gotta give it a try!
Butter Coffee Recipe: It Doesn’t Get Any Simpler Than This!
The ingredients to a basic butter coffee recipe are really simple, even your kid sister can knock one out!
- 1 cup of good quality brewed coffee (V60 pour-over, French Press, AeroPress)
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil (or more to taste)
- 1 tablespoon organic grass-fed unsalted butter
I have found that some of these items tend to be pricey in my local brick-and-mortar stores, but I have found that buying most of the ingredients online saves me some money. I have even found an all-inclusive Coffee Booster which contains everything you need in one jar! …Who’d a thought it!
- Blender: Add your coffee, butter, and coconut oil into the blender and blitz for 30 seconds until it becomes foamy. I told you it was easy!
- Pourover: I prefer to use my Hario V60 when I make butter coffee. You simply brew with a V60 in the same way you normally would but add in your butter and coconut oil into your cup before you add your coffee and then froth with a handheld milk frother.
The video below explains this method extremely well.
Once you’ve mastered the basic butter coffee recipe (which, let’s be honest, shouldn’t take long at all), you can bring out your inner Gordon Ramsey and add a dash of this and a dash of that, with a sprinkling of a few F-bombs for good measure. There’s no end to the concoctions you can make using this basic butter coffee recipe as your starting point.
When you’re feeling festive, you can even add a splash of peppermint extract and cocoa powder for a homemade peppermint mocha.
Want a bit of extra protein packed into your morning brew, try adding a raw egg, but be warned, this isn’t for everyone. Adding egg to coffee is actually a “thing,” don’t believe me take a look at these coffee egg recipes.
For a classic vanilla latte-style butter coffee, simply add a smidgen of vanilla extract to your base recipe.
Mistakes Newbies Often Make!
As simple as this recipe seems, it is possible to make a few rookie mistakes when you’re first venturing into
the Matrix, I mean the world of great-tasting butter coffee. Here are a few of the most common errors.
1. Adding Too Much Oil or Butter
More isn’t always better, especially when you’re adding oil or butter to your coffee. Start with a small amount and increase when you feel the time is right. A lot of people find that adding too much fat can lead to an upset stomach, especially if your body isn’t accustomed to the health benefits of coconut oil; it might take some time for your body to fully adjust from munching on those upsize McDonald’s meals!
2. Using Low-Quality Butter (A BIG No-No!)
The whole idea of adding butter to your cup of coffee is to reap some added health benefits if you go adding in a spoon full of no-brand margarine, you’ll quickly find a new friend – your toilet bowl!
Always try and use high-quality unsalted butter; grass-fed butter is your best bet, like Kerrygold butter or similar.
Using high-quality grass-fed butter infuses the coffee with Omega-3 to Omega-6 fatty acids (5), which not only gives you some healthy fats that your body craves but will also break down in a much healthier way than other oils and fats.
3. Shaking Rather Than Blending
Using a blender or a handheld milk frother is the key element to a successful butter coffee as it helps to emulsify the fats with the water-based coffee. This blending process fully combines the fats with the coffee and prevents the fats from separating and floating on top of your coffee (Yuk, trust me, not nice!).
For heaven’s sake, don’t try and make this recipe in a protein shaker bottle. It doesn’t work; take it from someone who thought he could cut a few corners!