I have been telling patients for the last couple of years how I use butter in my coffee, instead of milk.
How did I end up mixing grassfed butter, like Kerrygold butter, into my morning cup(s) of coffee?
It all began with the concept called Bulletproof® Coffee.
Today’s post, is my review on this new type of health coffee that is taking off in the paleo diet and CrossFit scene.
I’ll explain my personal story of how I got started, what I learnt going down this rabbit hole, and the kind of results I have seen since drinking a high fat paleo coffee, nearly every morning for the last two years.
Why I Started Drinking Bulletproof Coffee
It all started with a tweet. Yes, this tweet from Laree Draper to be exact:
— Laree Draper (@lareedraper) July 5, 2012
I follow Laree on Twitter, as she shares loads of good info relating to my profession. She share info on how to optimise your body, mainly through exercise and functional exercise. Reading the “super coffee” bit caught my attention and that was it, I entered the world of Dave Asprey, The Bulletproof Exec.
How Dave Asprey Discovered Bulletproof Coffee
The website link in the tweet takes you to the page on Dave’s blog, where he shares how he developed his special coffee.
Basically, he was inspired by the Tibetan drink yak butter tea in the Himalayan mountains. After enjoying the energy boost from butter tea, when he got back home from his travels, he tested butter in coffee. From there, he refined the process further by: adding a refined coconut oil called, MCT oil or medium chain triglyceride oil, into the coffee. He then went investigating about what are the coffee farming and roasting methods that make the best coffee beans.
Dave shares research on how a large amount of commercial coffee might have undesirable levels of mycotoxins. Mycotoxins come from mold growing on the coffee beans. The mold can start at the coffee farm depending on how the beans are harvested. This is when he was looking at the different coffee processing methods, for example, natural pulped & wet processed. Then there is how they are stored. Mold can grow on them in a warehouse or on a container ship, on their way to their destination country to be roasted.
The Bulletproof Coffee Recipe
There is a precise science to brewing the perfect cup of “super coffee”.
Here are 7 steps to getting Bulletproof® Coffee right the first time:
- Use clean water. Using a water filter helps improve the taste of coffee.
- Boil the water to about 91°C (195-196°F). The Bonavita variable temperature digital electric kettle is what I use.
- Measure the coffee and water. Use a digital kitchen scale to measure 35 grams of freshly ground coffee beans per 500 ml of water (2 rounded tablespoons of ground coffee per 6 oz. of water).
- Add grassfed butter or ghee. Use 1-2 tablespoons of unsalted, grass fed butter or grass fed ghee (Up to 6 Tbsp, 80g or 88 ml)
- Add MCT Oil. Next add 1-2 tablespoons of Brain Octane Oil or Upgraded™ MCT oil (15-30 ml)
- Brew your coffee. Dave recommends using a non-paper filter method. The French Press method which is a boiled coffee method & is the preferred brewing technique. Other ways to make it are using an Aerobie AeroPress Coffee Maker with a stainless steel filter, stove top espresso or pourover coffee like a Hario V60.
- Blend it all together. A high speed food and beverage blender is really recommended, like a Blendtec, Vitamix or I use a Magimix.
I’ll say it again, the blending step is super important. In the video below, you’ll see my initial attempts, when I didn’t use a blender. End result was tasty, but not as tasty as it could be and definitely not pretty.
Three extra bonus tips I would suggest, are:
- Add hot water to pre-heat your coffee cup, french press and blender so to not lose heat in the process
- Try a bodum pavina glass or cup with its double wall it really does keep the heat and is not hot to hold
- Add real vanilla, cacao butter or coco powder, for flavoured variations on the original recipe
The Suggested Benefits and My Results
The main reason I was willing to try melting butter in my coffee, was to help add fat into my diet. I had been reading how children with epilepsy, on a high fat diet (ketogenic diet) had lower risk of seizures, and how Alzheimer patients could benefit from coconut oil. The beneficial link between these two types of patients, is something called ketones. Nutritional ketosis is trying to get energy from fat. This is compared to glucose, which is energy from carbohydrates and protein.
Butter gives you fat soluble vitamins A,D,E, K & Butyrate for healing your gut & reducing inflammation. MCT oil provides quick access to ketones for energy. Coffee provides caffeine and anti-oxidants.
I read how Dave suggested that two of the main benefits of Bulletproof® Coffee would be:
- Improved cognitive function and,
- Managed weight loss.
The improved memory and brain function is what I was gunning for, so that week I got some butter and started the journey.
I had to get over the initial fat phobia I had. Since I was a teenager, I have been on a low fat diet, just because I thought it was bad for you. I had never put butter or margarine on my toast or sandwiches. A little bit of olive oil was about as far as I went towards some healthy oil. I didn’t eat deserts normally and avoided fried foods.
Following the Bulletproof diet infographic guide you can see there are bad fats and healthy fats. The vegetable oil fried food and sugary deserts are in the red zone. However, butter and ghee are well in the green zone.
Making the coffee the wrong way I don’t know how I managed to keep the course. Seeing a yellow layer of melted butter fat floating on top of my coffee was not visually appealing at all. I then mixed in normal virgin coconut oil to get an even thicker oil slick on top of my coffee. Somehow I managed to keep this down when drinking it.
What Happened to Me
- Coffee doesn’t have to taste bitter. A fatty coffee makes coffee taste nice and soft on the tongue
- No more coffee lows. I noticed how I stopped experiencing any possible post-coffee jitters
- I stopped using sugar in my coffee. Sugar is a poison to some, including Dave, so glad I stopped it
- I enjoyed making coffee. There is an art and science to making coffee. I awoke the inner Barista in me
- I started losing weight. My body weight came down slowly and then my waist circumference started getting smaller
- I felt good. Can’t put my finger on it but I did feel good after each cup
My Weight Loss Surprise
As I said before, my goal was to enhance my brain, not to lose weight.
I am 192cm (6′ 3″) tall and have always had a lean, muscular physique. I weighed 94 kg at the start and had been stable around the 89-94 kg mark for some years. Saying that, I was feeling the heaviest I had ever been and not because I had been doing weights at gym.
Over a 8-month period, I went from 94kg to 79kg. That’s a 15kg weight loss. My trouser size went from a comfortable 36 inch waist to an easy 34 inch size. I did no gym workout during this entire time.
I must admit I was using Dave’s Bulletproof diet food along with John Keifer’s “The Carb Nite® Solution” protocol and then naturally ended up with intermittent fasting. It was when I lowered my protein intake, and upped my fat intake that I could easily go for 12-24 hours without feeling hungry or needing to eat. This was also the time I hit 79kg and felt I had lost too much weight.
Since then, I have added more safe carbohydrates, like white rice and sweet potato into my diet to gain my optimal weight around 88kg.
At the end of day I learnt the food you eat affects your hormones like insulin. Hormones have a massive impact on what your body weight is without exercise. I also learnt about the power of post-prandial blood testing for glucose response.
Is Bulletproof Coffee a Scam & Should I Do It?
No & Yes.
NO is the answer if I think Dave is scamming us biohackers.
I feel after listening from episode 1 of his many Bulletproof Radio podcasts, watching him on Creative Live TV for 3 days, buying his Upgraded™ Self products and trying them on myself that what Dave says, has merit.
There are many medical doctors now promoting the low carb high fat diet lifestyle for longevity and reduction in lifestyle diseases like metabolic syndrome, diabetes, obesity and even cardiovascular disease.
I like how Dave thinks about how to optimise current thinking even further. Questions like:
- Should you have gluten on the Carb Nite® Solution or Tim Ferriss Four Hour Body cheat day?
- How is the food you are eating is processed
- How can you source the highest quality, natural foods like grass-fed dairy products or nutritious vegetables?
Dave does like his gadgets. It is because of him I started using an emWave2 from HeartMath for testing and training my heart rate variability.
This all falls into my health philosophy of getting your mind, body and gut right, to achieve better results in life.
YES is the answer to “Should you try Bulletproof® Coffee?”, because who knows what positive things might happen, once you change the way you drink coffee.
Cheers Dave for what you have taught me, it has been a major event in my life and I look forward to staying Bulletproof 🙂
How to Buy Bulletproof Coffee in the UK
There is just one official Bulletproof online store.
If you live in the UK you can buy all of Dave’s Bulletproof products directly from his website and have them posted to your UK address. You will need to to pay customs duty when shipped to you.