What's the Deal with Bulletproof Coffee?!
I was heartbroken when I had to give up coffee. After the ulcerative colitis diagnosis in 2011, I started working on my diet, and realized coffee was really bothering me. Of all the things I had to give up, this one was probably the worst. I would smell it or drive by a coffeehouse and my mouth would just water, and this went on for at least 2 years. After awhile I got used to it, but I never quite got over it.
About a year into my paleo diet, I read about Bulletproof Coffee. I was kind of excited about it when I first learned about it, because some people who had issues like mine were reporting that they could drink it without a problem. I learned that part of the reason coffee can be difficult to tolerate is because it can have molds and other contaminants. The brand, Bulletproof, founded by Dave Asprey, is meticulously sourced and processed, then tested, to ensure there are no molds, mycotoxins, pesticides, etc.
However, when I went to the website, I found it difficult to spend nearly $18 on 12 oz of coffee beans, plus shipping, not knowing if I would be able to tolerate it. So I never did order it, and just drank tea instead (boy was I missing out!).
While I liked tea pretty well, and actually I still do, it wasn’t ever the same as coffee. Plus I didn’t really notice much of an energy boost with tea. I have somewhat struggled with energy levels on an ongoing basis. So recently when I was at my favorite local grocery store (New Seasons, which is a wonderful Portland, OR grocery chain), they were sampling Bulletproof Coffee with all the Bulletproof brand ingredients. Their version also contained Bulletproof Collagen Protein. I tried it and it was SO good. I had literally gone about 4 years without drinking coffee, and it pretty much made me giddy to drink that cute little sample and feel good afterward! Then, at this really amazing gluten free bakeshop, Kyra’s, I ordered a coconut milk latte. Again, it went down super smooth and I was beyond happy.
Hello Again, Coffee!
I have my own espresso machine, so I decided to buy some coffee to make lattes at home. More about the espresso machine in a bit. I started with a good quality organic coffee, and it was pretty good. I have read that organic coffee helps to ensure no molds or pesticides, and is typically well tolerated. I did seem to tolerate it well myself. I experimented with different kinds of dairy free milk, as well as adding Bulletproof ingredients. I tried the Bulletproof brand Brain Octane Oil, collagen, and ghee, since I can’t eat butter every day. It was OK, but the ghee was way too strong for me, personally. Then I found Bulletproof brand coffee at New Seasons, so I picked that up.
OK you guys, first off, let me tell you, I am not being paid by Bulletproof to write this (I wish I was!). I did contact them to make sure it was OK that I write all about them, and they said it was. But otherwise, I am getting no benefit from promoting them. Now that that is out of the way, let me just say! Since starting my own tweaked version of a Bulletproof coffee about 3 months ago, my energy levels have significantly improved!! It is to the point that I have come to count on these coffees every morning. I will even get up early to make them, and in my world, that is a huge deal. I love my sleep, and I love sleeping until the last possible minute in the mornings.
Taking Coffee to a Whole New Level
So what’s the deal? Why does it increase my energy so much? And why is it OK to have so much fat? Well, there are some great resources on this subject. But, in a nutshell, everything we were told about fat growing up was wrong. At least those of us that grew up in the 80’s and 90’s. Fat, including saturated fat, is ESSENTIAL for the health of your body, including your brain. But they must be healthy fats, like coconut oil, avocado oil, good quality olive oil (not heated too much), grassfed butter/ghee. It turns out, these fats produce ketones when processed by the liver. Ketones produce MUCH CLEANER energy than glucose (which is what the body burns when eating a high carbohydrate diet). Ketones provide satiety, lasting energy, and boost brain power. This is no joke-Dave Asprey increased his IQ by 20 points when shifting his source of energy to quality fats!
And what about the collagen peptides? I could go on and on, but the key points are that collagen protein is essential for EVERY piece of connective tissue in our body, including our skin. It is also paramount to gut health and healing. As you age, levels of collagen significantly decrease, so taking in extra collagen can make a huge difference in your overall health, your skin, and your energy levels.
And as for the coffee, we all know that this can provide an excellent energy boost, and has more antioxidants than even great tea! Bulletproof coffee is some of the highest quality you can get, so you’re getting all the benefits without the drawbacks that were previously mentioned. The fats and the collagen protein then provide energy that lasts throughout the day. I don’t get that crash that can happen when the caffeine wears off.
Do It Yourself
Back to the espresso machine. I spent about $400 on it about 10 years ago. It’s a Breville from Williams Sonoma (also no benefit from Breville or Williams Sonoma-just trying to help you out in case you want one! Note-it looks like the price has increased to $499. I guess that's what happens 10 years later). Yes, that’s a lot of money. Want to know how much money I’ve saved over the years by NOT buying a latte every day? Well, $4.50 a day for a 16 oz latte (minimum) comes out to more than $1600 per year! If every month I go through a bag of Bulletproof Coffee, a bag of collagen peptides, and a bottle of Brain Octane Oil, plus my dairy free milk, we’re looking at just over $800 per year (holy smokes, that’s still a lot!). But even with my high quality ingredients, this espresso machine saves me HALF the amount. Yep, that adds up. My husband is super happy about this. (However, now that I also love kombucha so much, I’m probably offsetting my savings… oops. But that’s a whole other story). Plus, now that I’m so addicted to the Bulletproof coffees, I have no interest in buying coffees anywhere. If I do, I literally plan ahead by bringing collagen protein and Brain Octane Oil. Yes, I get strange looks, and no, I don’t care.
OK. Finally. Drum roll. Here is what I do and what I am going on and on about:
Bulletproof Latte: Jenny’s version
2 tbsp Bulletproof Coffee beans or organic medium roast coffee, freshly ground for espresso machine
1 cup unsweetened almond, coconut, or cashew milk
2 scoops Bulletproof Collagen Peptides (note-needs to be collagen peptides, not gelatin)
1 tbsp Bulletproof Brain Octane Oil (Dave Asprey recommends starting with a teaspoon and working your way up!)
Honey or stevia to taste
Prepare your ground coffee and pack into the espresso attachment in your espresso machine (don’t have one?-many people don’t, I get that-there’s an alternate recipe below). Brew 2-3 ounces using espresso shot glasses. Steam the milk.
Pour the espresso into your mug, then add about half the milk. Stir in the scoops of collagen protein, one at a time. Then stir in the Brain Octane oil. Add your honey or stevia, to taste. Pour the remaining milk into the cup, scraping the foam on last. Sip and enjoy!
But wait, you say! That’s not the REAL Bulletproof Coffee! Yes, you are right. It’s not. It’s just my version that I enjoy. The thing is, I try to keep my life in balance. I do this paleo diet thing pretty much 100%. I still want to enjoy my food (which I truly do), and honestly, I just plain love lattes. I just do. And I love the above latte even more with a little honey. I still get the benefits of sustained energy without a crash, too! So, this is what I do. It works well for me. Everyone is different, so do what works for you! If you use stevia instead of honey, this version will truly be super low carb. If you don’t have an espresso machine, or if you are more hard-core than me, then below is the REAL Bulletproof Coffee recipe.
Official Bulletproof Coffee Recipe (Taken from Bulletproof Blog)
1 cup of freshly brewed coffee using filtered water and 2 ½ heaping tablespoons of freshly ground Bulletproof Coffee Beans. Use a French Press for ease of use and to preserve beneficial coffee oils that paper filters keep out.
1 teaspoon-2 tablespoons of Brain Octane Oil. According to Bulletproof: keep in mind that this stuff is powerful. Start with 1 teaspoon per cup and work your way up to 1-2 tablespoons over several days.
Add 1-2 tablespoons of grass-fed, unsalted butter or grass-fed ghee
Optional: 1-2 scoops of collagen protein
Mix it all in a blender for 20-30 seconds until it looks like a foamy latte. Enjoy the taste, and enjoy the sustained energy and brain power it provides!