I Tried It: Bulletproof-Style Buttered Coffee

I like butter. I like coffee. Why not?

I thought Bulletproof coffee — you know, the new-ish superfood breakfast that entails dumping a chunk of butter, among other stuff, into your morning cup o’ joe in order to feel more energized and burn more fat throughout the day — was one of those health fads that everyone would talk about for a few days and then never talk about again. Because, well, it’s kind of gross. But since we last wrote about the trend back in March of last year, it’s stayed on people’s tongues, in more ways than one. So, I figured we had to try it for ourselves. 

Yesterday morning, I swallowed my fear and tried a Bulletproof coffee recipe I found — where else? — on the Internet. But I did my research beforehand. You see, the Bulletproof coffee trend started with Dave Asprey who created the website Bulletproof Executive, along with a brand of coffee, Upgraded Coffee, that he says is optimal for reaping the benefits — mainly increased energy and burned fat — of Bulletproof coffee. And you can’t just go dumping any ol’ butter in your mug.

His recipe requires a cup of his Upgraded Coffee (a five-pound bag will run you $80) brewed in a French press, one to two tablespoons of grass-fed butter like Kerrygold, and MCT oil which is an oil extracted from coconut oil to isolate the fatty acids. Then you blend it all up so it’s nice and frothy and drink up.

Now, I’m all for no coffee-induced crash and a bump in my body’s fat-burning capabilities, but there was no way I was about to spend $80 on a bag of coffee. And turns out, I’m not alone. Tons of folks, from budget-smart bloggers to nutritionists, have created their own recipes for Bulletproof-style coffee that are supposed to give the same fat-burning and energy-boosting benefits without the punch to your wallet. Many of them use regular coffee, coconut oil instead of MCT, and grass-fed butter.

I tried Stupid Easy Paleo’s recipe: One cup of coffee, which I brewed in a French press, one tablespoon of grass-fed butter like Kerrygold (you have to use grass-fed butter because it’s high in conjugated linoleic acid, which is what helps with all the fat burning) and one tablespoon of virgin coconut oil. I blended it with an immersion blender — not an easy thing to do with hot coffee, I might add — and took my first sip. And it was, surprisingly, not bad. It just tasted like a really, really rich cup of coffee, and it was the same creamy brown color of coffee with a dash of milk.

But over the next 15 minutes, as I continued to drink it, the oils started to separate and each sip got a little bit more unpleasant. Toward the bottom of the cup, I threw in the towel. A few minutes later, I noticed my stomach didn’t feel so great, which I’d already read would probably happen. Just think about it: A cup of coffee mixed with a bunch of oil first thing in the morning isn’t exactly easy on the digestive system. But apparently, your stomach gets accustomed to it.

Of course, after trying it just once, I can’t attest to its fat-burning powers, but I can say, I didn’t really notice a change in my energy levels one way or the other compared to the days I drink regular coffee. That said, I drank it on a Sunday when my energy levels mattered a lot less than, say, a Monday morning.

I don’t think I’ll be trying it out again, mostly because it’s such a hassle to make. But I wouldn’t warn against trying it out for yourself: It truly didn’t taste terrible, and if the bazillion online commenters can be trusted (who really knows?), it really does work wonders for evening out energy levels and warding off caffeine crashes. So if you’re brave enough to put a tablespoon of butter in your coffee, let us know what you think afterward!

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