All you need to know about the ever-growing butter coffee trend

Kevin Farrell

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Nestlé is lending its big brand expertise to ketogenic creamer brand Know Brainer to help bring butter coffee to market in a big way. The partnership grew out of the Terra Food + Ag Tech Accelerator program, and while Nestlé hasn’t made a financial investment in the company, the food giant is said to be lending critical support to help bring new butter coffee products to market.


OK great, but what on earth is butter coffee?

Butter coffee, or Bulletproof coffee, is two parts exactly as it sounds and one part twist. A basic butter coffee recipe calls for a tablespoon of grass-fed butter to be added to a cup of black coffee, along with one tablespoon of medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil. Specialty MCT oil brands have sprung up around the butter coffee diet trend, but since coconut oil is largely MCT in composition, most people just use a tablespoon of high quality coconut oil in their butter coffee triumvirate.

Why are people drinking this?

Butter coffee is said to slow the spike in energy levels associated with normal coffee-drinking, and to make drinkers feel full for as long as six hours. Fans of the drink claim it’s a brain food, improving mental acuity and focus. It supposedly curbs appetites, assists in weight loss, and can even improve skin tone and complexion. Nestlé – not exactly known for its health products –considers it to be a “functional food,” something consumers already drink and enjoy with an added halo of health and wellness benefits.

Wait, how does drinking butter every morning help people lose weight?

It reportedly has something to do with the role of your liver in digestion. The butter and MCT oil kick your liver into gear, where it gets to work slowly breaking down those medium-chain triglycerides.

Because it takes your body longer to process the coffee in your system, the caffeine gives you a longer, smoother lift. Butter coffee drinkers say their feeling of fullness is uncanny – no hunger creeping up on you until lunch time. Because of this, butter coffee drinkers say they desire to eat smaller meals later in the day. The habit of consuming two tablespoons of fat for breakfast apparently forces people to be more aware of the fats and oils they ingest throughout the rest of the day. Plus, coconut oil supports your body’s production of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) – the so-called good cholesterol.

So what does it taste like?

If you blend it instead of stirring (which you should), it’s like drinking a rich, frothy latte. But even butter coffee fanatics warn not to look down into the mug once you’ve sipped all of the froth off the top. Butter coffee is not meant to be tasted first with your eyes. If you do look, try not to be put off by all those tiny droplets of fat floating throughout your mug. They’re called micelles. Blending the coffee, butter and oil together at high speeds creates them, allowing your body to digest the rich beverage more easily.

Do I know anyone drinking it?

If you have to ask, then probably not. Butter coffee is the beverage world’s Burning Man and Crossfit wrapped up into one. If your friends or coworkers are drinking butter coffee before work, trust me, they’ll let you know.

How do I get started?

When you’re already walking this fine of a line in the name of better health, you want to make sure you’re only using the best ingredients. Kerrygold unsalted butter is the gold standard in the butter coffee community, both because of the grass-fed cows that produce it, and for its high butterfat content. As for the coffee itself, there’s an actual Bulletproof brand now. If you don’t want to shell out for specialty beans just to get your toes wet with this food trend, any premium, low-mycotoxin brand at your local coffee shop ought to do. If cardiovascular health is an issue for you, you’ll likely want to check with your doctor beforehand to get a baseline measurement of your cholesterol levels. After that, get blending. Cheers!


Kevin Farrell

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