Look, I’m just going to be upfront with you: I’m super against fad and trendy diets. I think they come with a lot of health risks and can be really disappointing for everyone except the company raking in the dough. Here’s where I cave a little, though: I’m all for incorporating some of these elements into diets in moderation.
No one likes to hear it, but the only way to lose weight and keep it off in a healthy way is to be more active and eat less junk. We all know it. Don’t act so surprised or hurt. Deep down, we know the horrible truth about our sentient lifestyles, okay?
I have to give that little disclaimer before I start talking about Bulletproof Coffee. I feel obligated because I think that Dave Asprey, the creator of Bulletproof Coffee, sounds more like an infomercial at 3 am than a legit “Executive.” I also found that a simple Google search revealed how much of a crock his “scientific claims” are.
You don’t know what Bulletproof Coffee is and have no idea why I’m going on like this? Oh. My bad. Well. Here’s how to make Bulletproof Coffee, including the best recipes and tips. And, ya know, what it actually is. Again, sorry about that.
Chances are you’ve heard of it, just under another name: butter coffee. There was a whole thing about it around a year ago and then it kind of petered off, at least social media wise. Bulletproof Coffee is a thing that’s still alive and kicking, though.
While it is a delicious caffeinated beverage, it’s heavily marketed as a tool to use for dieting.
It’s a simple 3-part recipe: coffee, unsalted butter, and MCT (which Asprey calls “Brain Octane Oil). The most dubious ingredient is, obviously, the MCT. Before we delve deeper into the elements here, let’s talk a little bit about why these cups of saturated fat became popular.
We’re all always trying to find a way that’s easy to be healthy, or at least healthier. I mean, who can blame us? I sure as shit don’t. If there’s a no-nonsense simple way to drop ten pounds that won’t negatively impact my overall well-being, I’m down for giving it a shot.
Bulletproof Coffee (BPC) is supposed to be one of those. The theory is this: you combine these three ingredients using a blender and sip this creamy concoction every morning, sans solid food. No breakfast. Nada.
Next, it’s supposed to keep you full for a solid 4 hours, meaning you’re not eating until lunch. No mid-morning snacks, no running to the office kitchen when that email about donuts gets sent out, none of that.
You’re supposed to feel aware and full the entire time. Remember, this is a type of intermittent fasting, which can be 12 hours or more, depending on when you last nommed on some food the night before.
Asprey came across this concept in Nepal, where he tried yak-butter tea and then moseyed on back to Silicon Valley and adapted it to our caffeine obsession here in the states: coffee. He has a website where people bicker back and forth about the validity of it and whether adding a raw egg or protein is better for nipping cravings in the bud. Some of it’s funny, but mostly it’s just expensive.
I am not a doctor. I am not a health professional. What I am, however, is a writer with two Master degrees and access to the internet. What that comes down to is this: I’m really good at researching and compiling information.
Asprey claims that Bulletproof coffee results in a sharper brain, increased fat loss, and a happier outlook on life. I mean, I believe in magic beans as much as the next coffee aficionado, but that seems like a lot to ask for from a mug containing 400 calories of liquid in the morning. How does this sorcery work?
Do I even need to go over this part? Coffee is delicious and comes with a number of health benefits; we’re pretty much all converted believers here. For those of you that may still be sitting on the fence, though, it’s pretty well-documented that scientists are discovering the multiple benefits of coffee. Coffee can reduce the risk of stroke, provide antioxidants to help reduce the risk of cancer, and quite a bit more!
Now, Asprey claims that all of this coffee we drink is covered in mold. I rolled my eyes, and I hope that you did, too. He touts that his “mold-free coffee process” (which is super-duper top secret) eliminates this pervasive mold problem.
Coffee pickers and roasters have long since known about this coffee/mold thing for, I dunno, hundreds of years, and it’s why most roasters use a wetting process, which rids the beans of mold. Just saying.
BPC coffee specifically requires unsalted butter from grass-fed cows. It’s higher in essential nutrients, like omega-3 fatty acids. This claim is pretty true. It also has Vitamin K in it which helps keep arteries clear, preventing heart attacks. I’m not saying you should start slathering it on everything, but it’s not the evil it’s always made out to be.
Alright. I’m ready. I’ve been prepping to write this section since I began the article and we’re here now, so let’s do this. MCT, or Medium-Chain Triglycerides, are composed of a glycerol and 3 fatty acids, and they’re predominantly in palm and coconut oils.
Why do they matter? Well, a lot of what we consume ends up containing long-chain triglycerides, which take longer to convert from fat to energy. You’ve probably caught the drift here, but, to say it plainly, medium-chain versions take a shorter amount of time to go from fatty acids to usable energy.
You’ll see recipes for BPC that swap out MCT for coconut oil. As per precedent set, Asprey claims that his Brain Octane Oil is better than all of the other MCTs out there.
He explains that his MCT is the most pure, has the best quality, and is tasteless, unlike all of the other options out there. It apparently suppresses hunger, makes you shed weight, provides quick energy, and fuels workouts. Next thing you know, it’ll be driving my car to the gym and running on the elliptical for me.
But like… I’ve learned something in my 26 years of living on this sphere we call Earth: if something sounds too good to be true, it’s not what it says it is.
Can you tell I’m a skeptic?
Just because I think Asprey’s a phony doesn’t mean he didn’t stumble onto something that may work for you on your adventure to attaining a healthy life that fits into your schedule. Maybe I’m also just a sucker for the magical effects of coffea (yes, that’s the real scientific name for coffee) (you really copped out on that one, science nerds).
After all, remember, Asprey took this from some dude in Nepal. I should more rightly say, that dude in Nepal got something right.
Here’s what I’ve compiled.
There are a number of studies that say fasting can help your heart, protect your brain, and reduce the risk for diabetes. It’s pretty easy information to find. Back in the stone ages, our bodies were really great at fasting for long periods of time, largely because they had to. There are arguments that it’s a throwback to those times.
It’s possible that fasting can also fight cancer and lower the risk of heart disease. One of the largest perks is that fasting hasn’t been linked to any actual problems — which is more than can be said about most diet pills or other methods of losing weight [read: trend or fad diets].
Fasting isn’t for everyone. Check with your doctor. Just listen to all of that super fast talk on the background of an idyllic scene in an advertisement for a some medication or other.
I mean, the title kind of states it, right? I also already gave you the “higher in essential nutrients” bit and the nifty factoid about Vitamin K…. hm. That pretty much covers it.
Unsalted Butter from Grass-Fed Cows: the pure fat you don’t have to feel totally bad about eating!
I kind of gave you the low-down on MCT earlier, so I’m just going to tell you which ones you should invest in. They should be high in C8s, which will mean more to you when you start looking at the ingredients.
If you just kind of cursed me out because I’ve spent a lot of this post purely dumping on BPC… you are well within your rights. Listen, I’m more mad about Asprey and his bogus marketing/money-making scheme. BPC’s a cool idea and it’s delicious. I want you to try it, just from anywhere but that snake oil site.
Before we go there, though, I have one huge warning for you: start slow on the MCTs. Do not exceed the recommended dosage — even cut it more than recommended to begin with. It can cause serious diarrhea. I’m not joking, I may be smiling, but I’m not kidding. This isn’t the “I just lost ten pounds after that sh*t!” kind of funny dump, this is the not-fun-kind where you may end up with skid marks on your undies in the middle of a work meeting.
These are real comments that I’ve screenshot from reviews. Keep in mind, I literally had to take a ten minute break in writing this because I was laughing so hard that I started crying and couldn’t see.
It’s moments like this that I realize that I am not an adult.
Alright, you’ve been warned.
Here’s what I recommend:
Do you feel informed? I feel informed! Let’s talk about the best recipes to really get the most out your Bulletproof Coffee, starting with the standard!
You need exactly four things: high-quality coffee, an MCT oil, unsalted butter from grass-fed cows, and a blender. It’s typically best to use a Chemex or other pour-over method when brewing this coffee, keep in mind.
So, make your 8-oz cup of brew however you'd like. We have a few recommendations on coffee for you here, as well instructions on how to use a Chemex or other pour-over methods. I could harp on using whole bean coffee and a conical burr grinder, but you'll read all about it in those few articles, so have at it.
Dump that coffee into the blender.
Now, the recipe calls for 1-2 tablespoons of MCT oil. Like I said (and showed) earlier, start with less. Let your gut ease its way into this. Add this to the blender as well.
Finally, add 1-2 tablespoons of butter and blend!
That’s it. You now have your very own cup of BPC to help avoid the mid-morning munchies.
What’s kind of cool about BPC is that you can add other things to it to make it even healthier. Always top on the list of things to do, right? I like this recipe for a number of reasons, though, including the fact that it’s identical to the one before, you just add 1-2 tablespoons of Great Lakes Collagen to it.
This also has the bonus of containing protein, which will really help keep hunger pangs at bay. It’s also said that the Great Lakes Collagen has a number of other benefits, including reducing joint pain.
Easy peasy lemon squeezy, especially since some of these people out there are making….
I mean, if you have nothing better to do, I guess go for it? All I can say is that making ice cream never works out on Chopped or Top Chef or the junior versions of those shows, so….
Heat the coffee, butter, and MCT oil on low until creamy. Blend in all of the other ingredients, minus water or ice. Once that’s reached a nice consistency, add the water or ice. Now dump it into your ice cream maker!
What? You don’t have one? Probably better that way. Like I said, never works for the professionals. Just dump it in a bowl and put it in the freezer. Set a timer for 30 minutes, stir, set a timer for 30 minutes, stir, repeat until creamy.
Diet ice cream!
I’m a woman who enjoys simple pleasures, like easy recipes. I also like holiday flavors a lot, so I’m all about this gingerbread option.
This is also a good recipe to use to ease your way into Bulletproof Coffee—it starts on the low-end of MCT oil and butter doses, letting your digestive tract acquaint itself with this new high-in-saturated-fat diet.
Judge your little butts off, I don’t care. I love pumpkins. I love the seeds, the carving, and now I love Pumpkin Spice BPC. #BasicAndProud
Despite the increase in ingredients, this recipe is equally simple in terms of execution: dump it all in the blender and let the blades do all of the work. You reap the rewards.
I know that we’re all about coffee here, but tea every now and again can shake things up, making you miss your black brew. You just don’t know how good it is until it’s gone!
Again, execution is super simple. Dump it all in the blender and mix. Nothing fussy about this one.
Did you know that there’s no coffee in a ‘bucks Matcha Latte? I find that irritating. I found a recipe for BPC, but, again, no actual coffee, so I made my own version. Enjoy!
This has my own personal twist on it. In Japan, you can get matcha mixed with coffee if you look hard enough. Stateside, it’s impossible. If you want it, you have to make it at home. The perks of mixing matcha and coffee are two-fold: it’s delicious and it provides both long- and short-term caffeination. It’s a match made in heaven.
P.S. Use honey to sweeten. Those other ideas are not good ones.
I hate getting out of bed earlier than I absolute must, which is why I offer up this: the pre-making method.
It’s Sunday. You have ice cube trays and the following list of ingredients:
Combine the ingredients, dump into the ice cube trays, and let them freeze. In the morning, you just blend it with your typical cup of black coffee and you’re on the go! You can likely use this freezing method on any of recipes listed (I haven’t tried, but you should, and then let me know. Thanks).
Give this idea a go, especially if you love coffee and are always trying to find ways to be healthier. This could be the thing you’re looking for, or it might not be. For me, it’s just something I occasionally make when I get the urge to try and overhaul my life. It lasts for all of 24 hours, but, hey, effort was put into making this BPC.
And it tastes so, so good.
Enjoy licking the butter off your lips and looking like you have some super shiny lip gloss on, circa the 90s. Mm!
Hi! My name is Rachel Bean and I love coffee. Despite what it may seem like, my last name and deep love for a cup of black brew is a total coincidence. While I was informed at the wee age of 18 that majoring in coffee wasn't really an option (at least not the way I wanted to major in coffee) (i.e. drinking it day in and day out), I do have an MA and an MFA in Writing. I type words day in and day out, for both work as well as fun, and coffee is the magic bean juice that lets me do that. And that's pretty much me. Writing and coffee. Oh, and rescue dogs. Writing, coffee, and dogs. You get me.
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