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Photo by Echo Chen

Photo by Echo Chen

Bulletproof Coffee: The Ultimate Armor?

Bulletproof coffee may not make you invincible, but it purportedly has a myriad of body and mind-boosting benefits. Coffee is basically a superfood in its own right. For those who drink coffee on a regular basis, it is a key source of antioxidants and can reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer. When mixed with the fats from butter and medium-chain triglyceride oil (derived from coconut oil), it becomes bulletproof coffee — a concoction that delays hunger, gives an extra energy kick and promotes weight loss.

A Silicon Valley entrepreneur named Dave Asprey created the drink after he experienced the rejuvenating benefits of yak butter tea on a hike in Tibet. He then researched the science behind the energy-boosting and healthful qualities of the tea and created his own recipe centered around high-quality coffee beans, grass-fed butter and MCT oil (or what Asprey calls Brain Octane Oil). It gets its title from Asprey’s company, Bulletproof, which has developed its own diet and sells a variety of sustainably sourced food, beverages and supplements to encourage a healthy lifestyle.

Bulletproof coffee is intended to be a substitute for breakfast, since the butter and oil make it quite filling. The butter and oil may increase the drink’s caloric value, but the fats they contain keep you full longer and boost your metabolism, aiding in weight loss. Unlike carbohydrates, healthy fats keep blood sugar levels in balance, ensuring that your caffeinated energy boost doesn’t crash an hour later.

The drink should taste smooth, without the bitterness of a traditional cup of joe. The fats help cut the acidity, without adding much flavor.

There are several coffee shops in New York City serving their own iterations of bulletproof coffee. Greecologies, a coffee and greek yogurt shop in SoHo, serves both traditional and flavored grass-fed butter coffee using homemade grass-fed butter made from yogurt, MCT oil and single-origin organic coffee. According to Cyndrick Tiu, a barista at Greecologies, the MCT oil is the most important ingredient.

“MCT oil is medium-chain triglyceride which is a fatty chain acid from coconut oil, but doesn’t have the strong taste and aroma of coconut oil,” Tiu said. “So what the MCT oil does for your body is absorb the caffeine better and boosts the energy from the butter.”

Tiu said that bulletproof coffee is a popular choice among customers, but he has noticed that it’s a beverage that people either like or they don’t.

If you don’t want to pay $6.50 for a small cup of bulletproof coffee from Greecologies or PureGreen, it’s easy to make at home. Simply add one teaspoon to two tablespoons each of melted grass-fed butter and MCT oil to a hot cup of coffee. Put it in a blender or use a milk frother to blend the ingredients. The butter and oil should be incorporated into the coffee, rather than sitting atop the liquid. Feel free to add milk or sugar to taste, but keep in mind that those are the ingredients that usually zap coffee of its healthful properties.

Next time you reach for your morning coffee, try making it bulletproof.

Email Sophie Shaw at [email protected]

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