Why Do People Put Butter in Their Coffee?

by Peter Taylor | Last Updated: 13 June 2020

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Why Do People Put Butter in Their Coffee?

Coffee with creamer, coffee with milk, even coffee with almond milk – these are all things we’re used to. We’ve probably all made coffee in those ways ourselves. But coffee with butter – is that crazy? Actually, it’s not totally unheard of. People have been mixing butter and coffee for a while.

So, why do people put butter in their coffee? Generally, people add butter to their coffee in an effort to gain unique nutritional benefits from the high-fat content of butter. Some claim that this slows the rate at which your body process caffeine, thus staving off a caffeine crash. It may also help with weight loss and general well-being.

Before you write off butter in coffee as a weird way to enjoy your caffeine, it’s essential that you understand the backstory behind it and the benefits it offers. We’ll dive into that below.

The Backstory

While this beverage has only recently been thrust into the modern health conversation, it actually has a long history. Tibetans have long been enjoying a traditional tea drink saturated with Yak butter – and it’s this idea which spawned the American health craze known as “Bulletproof Coffee.”

After spending time in the Himalayas, an American businessman named Dave Asprey decided to market this concoction as a commercial health product. Asprey took the important components from this Tibetan drink and produced a very specific product. Technically, only Asprey’s drink is “Bullet-Coffee,” but this phrase has since grown to encompass other similar types of beverages.

Here’s a little bit more about the difference.

Is Butter in Coffee Also Called Bulletproof?

Simply plopping a part of your go-to butter into your morning cup is not actually enough to make Bulletproof coffee – but it may still be beneficial.

The crucial ingredients in Bulletproof coffee are as follows:

  • Coffee Beans: These should be artisanal beans, very high in MCT oils. Without these oils, your coffee will not have quite the same effect on your metabolism.
  • Butter: This should be organic grass-fed unsalted butter. Though this may seem finicky, there’s a reason behind all this. It’s important the butter be made with milk from grass-fed cows because otherwise, your coffee will not have the right oils. And it’s important that your butter not be salted – nobody wants salty coffee!
  • Oil Additives: Asprey’s version makes use of the company’s specially marketed “brain octane,” but once again, the important thing is to just be sure that you’re somehow adding the right kind of oils to your coffee. You can also use high-quality coconut oil.

As you can see, the core tenets of Bulletproof coffee can still be replicated at home. You can add some high-quality butter to your coffee, toss in some coconut oil, and feel good about that.

But there is a notable difference between homemade butter-in-your-coffee and true Bulletproof coffee. If it’s important for you to try the real thing, then it’s worth looking into Asprey’s product.

Is Butter in Coffee Keto?

Yes, butter in coffee is keto!

For those unfamiliar with this particular diet trend, Keto refers to a practice of eating a high-fat diet – all in an effort to evoke “ketosis.” This is a metabolic phase during which your body burns stored fat and not carbs.

Many people believe that this has health benefits. They believe that skipping carbs and burning fat can actually be a more efficient way of gaining energy, as well as an attractive weight-loss scheme.

In some ways, butter in coffee is the most keto meal choice possible. Many proponents choose this morning beverage because it can help them to avoid eating carbs at breakfast. For some, it may be fine to skip the croissant and to power through the morning with nothing but caffeine and fat.

Why Do People Put Butter in Their Coffee?

However, this is worth some very careful consideration. There are many well-documented risks associated with the keto diet, including low blood pressure, nutritional deficiencies, constipation, kidney stones, and a higher risk of heart disease. Understand that adding butter to coffee and skipping a typical breakfast will leave you susceptible to some of these health risks.

What are the Benefits of Putting Butter in Your Coffee?

Although the keto diet does come with some health risks, putting butter in your coffee can provide some essential health benefits as well:

  • Vitamins – Coffee contains some important vitamins, but typically it may be difficult for your body to process them. For example, vitamin A is particularly good for your skin, but because it is fat-soluble, it is not always properly absorbed. Adding some butter to your coffee will help you to make the most out of vitamins like this.
  • Plenty of Saturated Fat – You may be familiar with talk of “the good kind of fat.” This often refers to saturated fats like butter. In fact, these fats are totally useful to your body, and they can be a great source of energy (see the above info about ketosis)
  • Caffeine – Because of the high-fat content of this drink, your metabolism will actually slow slightly. This is important because this will limit how quickly your body processes the caffeine in your coffee. Proponents of butter in coffee will be quick to argue that this effect will avert a caffeine crash later on in the day.

Do You Have to Blend Butter Coffee?

If you’re looking for a real treat, I’d definitely recommend making this drink in a blender – but don’t worry if you don’t want to go quite that far.

The benefit of the blender is that you’ll be able to get a beautifully frothy consistency (think about the best latte you’ve ever had), but there are some alternate methods to achieve the same goal.

Here’s an overview of some good options.

How to Make Butter Coffee with a Blender

This is the most standard option:

  1. Brew your coffee using a french press
  2. Pour a single serving of coffee into your blender
  3. Add a heaping spoonful of unsalted, grass-fed, high-fat butter
  4. Add a dash of coconut oil or the Bullet Coffee “brain octane”
  5. Blend it all up until your drink reaches the proper consistency. Feel free to experiment with this step – blend it longer someday and see how you like it.

How to Make Butter Coffee with a Whisk

This option is easy for anyone with limited kitchen equipment. If you have a whisk, you’re good to go.

  1. Brew your coffee using a French Press
  2. Pour a single serving of coffee into a large bowl – aim for a salad bowl or something else comically large
  3. Add a heaping spoonful of softened butter. While it’s less important that your butter is soft while using a blender in this instance, soft butter is crucial.
  4. Add a dash of coconut oil or the Bullet Coffee “brain octane”
  5. Start whisking slowly and gently
  6. Use broad strokes in order to break up your butter. Push it along the side of your bowl.
  7. Gradually whisk faster and faster. Incorporate more air as you go.
  8. Whisk until your coffee has reached the desired consistency, or until your butter is mixed into your liking.

How to Make Butter Coffee with a French Press

You may have noticed that all of these guides make sure to mention the use of a French press.

This is because this particular brewing method will leave the most oils in your finished product.

A traditional paper filter is an easy brewing method, but it actually does remove some oils from your coffee – and in this instance, oils are the name of the game.

If you’d rather not transfer your coffee out of your french press – and if you’d rather avoid dirtying any more dishes – than this method may be a good option.

  1. Brew a single serving of coffee in your French Press
  2. Pour your coffee into a mug and set aside
  3. Empty the grounds out the bottom of your French Press
  4. Rinse your French Press if you’d like – but this isn’t strictly necessary. If you don’t mind having maybe a couple of coffee grounds mixed into your buttery concoction, then you can skip this step.
  5. Pour your coffee back into the French Press
  6. Add a heft dollop of softened butter
  7. Add coconut oil or “brain octane”
  8. Place the mesh screen and plunger apparatus back onto your French Press
  9. Press the screen down slowly at first, but move the screen up and down faster and faster. Be careful not to cause big splashes.
  10. Froth your coffee by moving the screen up and down until you’ve reached the desired consistency

In Conclusion

While it may seem wacky at first, not only is butter in coffee totally a thing, but there are actually some good reasons to give this drink a try. If you’re looking for a tasty way to be happier during the day, lose some weight, and build a healthier diet, you should consider putting butter in your coffee.


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