Move over, almond milk. The next big thing in niche coffee preparations is butter.
Stay with me.
According to my sources (Google), blending coffee with butter has been around for a long time in many parts of the world. Its alleged benefits include increased energy, mental clarity, and weight loss. Apparently its been used in Tibet for centuries as a tool to stay nourished and alert in harsh climates.
It seems counterintuitive that anything involving butter and non-plant-based saturated fat would catch on as a health or diet trend, but the science behind it is compelling. According to research, filling up on saturated fat first thing in the morning helps your body avoid starvation mode, aka hunger, throughout the rest of the day. Think of it as an investment for your appetite: pay now, enjoy dividends later. Taking this metaphor a step too far, that would make Tasti D-lite a junk bond.
After reading about this miracle beverage that recent health-media outlets have dubbed as “Bulletproof Coffee,” I decided to try it for myself. I cross-referenced a few recipes, and settled on the following formula:
1 cup coffee
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 teaspoon ghee (aka clarified butter: when butter is rendered down, the fat and milk solids separate so ghee doesn’t have lactose)
Note: For those who avoid all dairy, only using coconut oil is also a viable alternative.
Blend the ingredients together. (I use a Vitamix.)
My first sip of bulletproof coffee was not pleasant. The buttery taste of ghee was overwhelmingly rich, and when I added Stevia into the mix (using sugar or Splenda seemed counterproductive to this wellness exercise), the result felt like a mouthful of cupcake frosting. Not in the good way. I couldn’t finish the cup.
The next day, I used only 1 teaspoon of ghee instead of the recommended 2 and ended up pleasantly surprised — it felt a lot like drinking a latte. I worked my way up each day to the original formula, and by the following week I found myself experiencing a lot of the promised benefits: my endurance during morning workouts was off the charts, and I remained full until midday. Granted, all of this could have been a placebo effect.
Since my initial trial I’ve tinkered with the original recipe a bit. I don’t measure out the ghee and coconut oil amounts exactly, and instead estimate the proper amounts based on how hungry I wake up or if I’m heading to the gym. If my appetite is particularly low, I’ll use only a small amount of coconut oil and no butter.
All in all, I recommend trying bulletproof coffee, if for no other reason than to realize you hate it, and thus saving the $7 that your local pretentious coffee shop is going to charge per cup when it hits their menu.
Or, you know, so you can really take ownership of this song:
— Sophie Milrom; Illustration by Charlotte Fassler