Have you tried Bulletproof Coffee (also known as butter coffee), the brainchild of Bulletproof Executive Dave Asprey? I was reluctant to try it, conjuring images of fermented yak butter forming an oily slick on weak tea. I not only loved it right away, I now recommend it to patients for a variety of reasons, and in various forms.
Asprey's original recipe calls for 1-2 cups black coffee* blended with 1-2 Tbsp unsalted butter and 1-2 Tbsp of MCT oil. I have modified the original recipe at times by substituting tea for coffee (chocolate puerh worked best for my palate), or ghee for butter, and they’re all good. One of our local naturopaths, Dr. Bonnie Nedrow, makes something she calls Turbo Tea by combining green tea or a flavor with cinnamon in the blender with 1 Tbsp each coconut oil and hazelnut butter, flavored with vanilla, cocoa powder, or almond extract as desired. Whatever your ingredients, they are best if blended well. I use a blender on medium then high speed for about 15 seconds.
Now, why would anyone want to put all those ingredients in a perfectly good cup of coffee?
- You used to like the little buzz you got from caffeine, but now it’s too much so you avoid caffeine. Sometimes, though, you would like a little buzz. The MCT oil is such good brain food that you effectively get a little “buzz” from it, but not one that would keep you awake. You might find that both mental and physical performance are improved.
- You want to feed your brain. Whether you actually have some challenges in your central nervous system (epilepsy, Parkinson’s, dementia, etc.), or want to prevent some of the degeneration that comes from age or a bad dietary history, again – MCT oil is great brain food, as a readily usable form of ketones. You can make your own ketones internally by going on a very very low carb and high fat diet, or you can pour them into your coffee. Different total body benefits, but your brain is indiscriminate, it just likes the ketones.
- If you are on a ketogenic diet, it can be challenging to find enough fat sources. Bulletproof coffee is a great one. Plus, the MCT oil boosts blood ketones handily.
- If you make it with ghee, it’s a great treat for those allergic to dairy, or avoiding dairy proteins (Whole30, anyone?) for any reason. Ghee, or clarified butter, retains the oil portion of the butter and all the fat-soluble vitamins that swim in that oil.
- When it's a long haul to lunch, finish off your breakfast with a cup of bulletproof coffee: you'll make it effortlessly to the lunch hour.
- It really is delicious plus if you drink it near a die-hard black coffee drinker, you can watch their eyes bug out.
*I should say something about the coffee beans used to make your morning brew. The coffee industry has two serious problems: poor agricultural practices and mold contamination of the beans. At their worst, coffee plantations use pesticides, excessive amounts of water, deplete the land and exploit child labor. At their best, they are labeled “fair trade” and/or “organic” and the plantations are long-term investments in quality land and the workers on the land. The mold in coffee is potentially a problem for the toxins that are made from mold. (You may have heard of aflatoxin B, a toxin made from the mold Aspergillus that commonly lives on stored peanuts: considered highly toxic and carcinogenic by mushroom specialists.) European coffee is more highly scrutinized at the dock than American coffee. Dave Asprey, mentioned above, sells mold-free coffee on his website: very tasty, a bit more expensive, and guaranteed free of mold and mold toxins. I alternate between his coffee and that of a local roaster who knows his growers.