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What Is Bulletproof Coffee? Everything You Need To Know

I like spending time with healthy people whose brains are turned on – Dave Asprey 

Bulletproof coffee was invented with one purpose in mind, and that was to kick start your day the right way.

So what is bulletproof coffee? Read on as we explain the origins, recipe and benefits of bulletproof coffee.

Bulletproof coffee in white ceramic cup blended with butter, coconut oil and coffee beans. paleo, ketogenic drink.

What is Bulletproof Coffee?

Invented by American author Dave Asprey, bulletproof coffee is part of the Bulletproof Diet.

Asprey created the diet to help people to lose weight, feel healthier, and “bulletproof” their bodies and minds against the expectations that society places on the individual in an increasingly frantic modern world. 

Popular with devotees of kinetic eating plans and low-carb diet fans, bulletproof coffee is a high-calorie drink that was designed to replace breakfast and act as a “meal in a mug”.

Also known as butter coffee or bullet coffee, bulletproof coffee found fame among Crossfit disciples and runners before it entered the mainstream caffeine lexicon. They swear by the same ideas and philosophy as Asprey. 

Even though Dave Asprey didn’t train to be a dietician and didn’t go to medical or culinary school, he designed bulletproof coffee to help people feel satiated, alert and focused.

This is thought to help them concentrate on the things that mattered most to them on a daily basis.

While there aren’t any approved studies that back or validate Asprey’s claims, bulletproof coffee’s ever-expanding fan base would tend to suggest that regardless of what the medical evidence says, it’s helped to improve the lives of a lot of coffee drinkers. 

How Do You Make Bulletproof Coffee?

One of the most popular urban myths about bulletproof coffee is that it’s just coffee made with butter in it.

But this isn’t correct. It’s actually based on a scientific principle that’s a little more complicated than “a coffee with butter diet”. 

Making bulletproof coffee the right way is a fine, precise, and delicate art that takes patience and time to master and perfect. 

Bulletproof coffee ingredients

Asprey’s original recipe specifies the ingredients in bulletproof coffee are:

If we’re honest, Dave had our full attention as soon as he stressed how important the quality of the coffee beans should be.

The Bulletproof company sell high quality clean whole bean and ground coffee to make bulletproof coffee (you can see it here).

But you can use any good quality coffee beans (see our favorite coffee beans here).

Bulletproof coffee steps

Wondering how to make bulletproof coffee at home? It has 4 easy steps.

  1. The first step is to put a pot of coffee on and brew it the same way that you always do.
  1. When your coffee is ready, pour it into a blender, add two tablespoons of grass-fed unsalted butter and one tablespoon of MCT oil for each cup of coffee.
  1. Turn the blender on and mix the ingredients until they’re fully blended together.
  1. Finally pour the contents of the blender into a mug and it’s ready to drink.

Creamy with a layer of frothy goodness on top, bulletproof coffee really is that simple and straightforward to make. 

Woman blending bulletproof coffee in blender

What Are The Effects Of Bulletproof Coffee?

While it’s been hailed as a revolutionary approach to dieting without any of the usual side-effects, like almost everything in life, bulletproof coffee has its own unique set of advantages and disadvantages.

Bulletproof coffee’s high-calorie content is thought to help stave off hunger and reduce the urge to snack throughout the day, which can aid weight loss. This is due to the combination of unsalted butter and MCT oil which are high in saturated fat.

There is also medical evidence that a low-carb diet, one that bulletproof coffee is an essential part of, can help to prevent the onset of, and reduce the risk of diabetes.

So there are some health benefits and potentially major reasons to include bulletproof coffee in your diet.

However, a single cup of bulletproof coffee in the morning exceeds the AHA’s (American Heart Association) recommended daily level of safe saturated fats.

The level of saturated fat combined with the calorie content of bulletproof coffee has led some nutritionists to state that it can increase the risk of heart disease and a single, or multiple cardiac events if it’s consumed in excessive quantity. 

And whether or not it actually has a measured impact on concentration and the ability to focus is still open for debate.

What Is Special About Bulletproof Coffee?

The simple answer is the ingredients and ideology behind its creation.

Where most people saw coffee as nothing more than early morning pick-me-up, Dave Asprey saw it as a way to help to supercharge someone’s day.

His idea that coffee could in fact help to improve every facet of daily life was originally viewed as subversive and contrary to established coffee tradition.

But in the decade since it first appeared, bulletproof coffee has proved its creator’s point.

That as long as you think outside of the box and refuse to bow to the convention, coffee can be more than a regular beverage. 

The ingredients and the recipe are crucial, and they’re responsible for making bulletproof coffee really special.

And while there are a thousand imitators, if you want to discover what makes bulletproof coffee exceptional, the only way to really do that is by heading straight to the source and making it the Bulletproof way.

It might be controversial, and the jury may still be largely undecided about how beneficial it really is, but the only way you can decide which category you think it falls into, is by trying it yourself. 

Composition with ingredients for bulletproof coffee on table

Does Starbucks Make Bulletproof Coffee?

In an ideal world, every coffee shop would make bulletproof coffee and it would be at the top of their menu boards.

However, as we know, the world is far perfect and we could probably count the number of coffee shops that actually make it on one hand.

Unfortunately, Starbucks does not sell bulletproof coffee. Whether their decision not to make it is based on:

  • Corporate policy
  • The methodology used to make bulletproof coffee
  • The fact that they couldn’t come to terms on a licensing agreement with Dave Asprey
  • Or some other unknown factor doesn’t actually change the fact that Starbucks doesn’t make Bulletproof coffee. 

Starbucks might not serve bulletproof coffee, but they have a number of tasty keto and low-carb friendly alternatives on their menu.

If you can’t find bulletproof coffee and you need your keto fix, you could always try ordering:

  • An unsweetened iced coffee that uses heavy cream instead of milk (also known as the ‘Faux Frap’)
  • The Strawberry Acai Refresher
  • An unsweetened skinny cappuccino made with heavy cream instead of milk.

Just because Starbucks doesn’t make bulletproof coffee, doesn’t mean they don’t have something on their menu that can serve as a Keto replacement. 

Is It Okay To Drink Bulletproof Coffee Every Day?

Drinking coffee in moderation has been medically proven to have numerous health benefits and can help to prevent heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, liver disease, and type 2 diabetes.

It can also help to ward off and lower the chances of developing a number of different cancers.

But coffee isn’t the same as bulletproof coffee, and while the former can be good for you, too much of the latter could have a detrimental effect on your health. 

The problem with bulletproof coffee is the amount of saturated fats that it contains when it’s made according to the Bulletproof recipe.

The levels exceed the recommended daily intake and pushing the bulletproof envelope and drinking it every single day, you may increase the risk of developing heart disease and escalate the chances of a heart attack.

Drinking bulletproof coffee two or three times a week is probably fine but if you have concerns you should always check with your doctor. Too much of a good thing really can be bad for you. 

bulletproof coffee, blended with organic grass fed butter and MCT coconut oil, ketogenic food.

Why Is It Called Bulletproof Coffee?

There are a number of widely differing accounts about why bulletproof coffee is called bulletproof coffee and each one is slightly more ridiculous than the one that precedes it.

The truth about where its name came from is far less exciting and doesn’t involve anything to do with bullets being fired at it or anyone who drinks it. 

When Dave Asprey first developed his dietary plan, he named the book dedicated to it and all of the products in the range “Bulletproof”.

The products are designed to “bulletproof” (i.e. protect) anyone following the diet from the mental and physical stresses, strains, and expectations of modern life.

As the coffee is an essential part of the dietary plan that Asprey created it became known as bulletproof coffee. 

Can You Make Bulletproof Coffee Without A Blender?

Yes, you absolutely can make bulletproof coffee if you don’t have a blender. We’re certain that Dave Asprey wouldn’t approve of us telling you how to make it, but we’re going to anyway.

All you need to make bulletproof coffee without a blender, even though it’ll take slightly longer, is a handheld milk frother like this one.

As we’ve always believed that the best path to take in life is the one of least resistance, we’re going to tell you the easiest way to make bulletproof coffee with a milk frother.

  1. Simply brew your coffee as you normally would.
  2. When it’s ready, remove the pot with the coffee from the coffee maker
  3. Add two tablespoons of unsalted butter and one tablespoon of MCT oil to the coffee pot.
  4. Put the frother, the business end down, in the coffee pot and switch it on.

When all of the ingredients are mixed together (it should take less than 1-2 minutes), your pot full of bulletproof coffee will be ready to drink.

Woman pouring coffee with butter into mug, closeup.

Can You Use Salted Butter In Bulletproof Coffee?

Again, as it deviates from his recipe, if he found out that we were sharing all of these secrets with you, Dave Asprey would probably send a crack squad of highly trained bulletproof commandos to track us down and silence us for good.

But we’re not afraid of Dave, so we’re going to tell you. Can you use salted butter in bulletproof coffee? Of course, you can.

The main reasons why the original recipe doesn’t use salted butter, are twofold.

  1. The first is because unsalted butter reduces the amount of sodium in your diet
  2. The second is all to do with taste.

If you’re not bothered about reducing the amount of salt in your diet, and you don’t mind the taste of salty coffee, then, by all means, feel free to use salted instead of unsalted butter in your bulletproof coffee. 

Does Bulletproof Coffee Cause Diarrhoea?

Unfortunately, in some people it does. One of bulletproof coffee’s main ingredients, MCT oil has a number of well-known side effects, primarily stomach cramps, and sudden-onset diarrhoea.

It’s a vital keto component and invaluable to the recipe, but as we’ve already said, it can cause diarrhoea. 

But MCT oil isn’t the only ingredient in bulletproof coffee that can cause diarrhoea.

The high level of fat in one of the other ingredients, unsalted butter can also be a source of dietary distress and diarrhoea.

And when they’re coupled together, the chances of developing diarrhoea after drinking bulletproof coffee are exponentially increased.  

That doesn’t mean that drinking bulletproof coffee will cause diarrhoea, it just means that it can.

If you’re more susceptible to dietary problems and have stomach issues, then the likelihood of it happening may be higher.  

If you find it affects you, try reducing the amount of butter and oil you add to your coffee.

tasty butter coffee on wooden table.

How Many Carbs Are In Bulletproof Coffee? 

This is one of the areas in which bulletproof coffee comes into its own, and why keto devotees and low-carb diet disciples adore it. 

As bulletproof coffee is designed to be a breakfast replacement it has a relatively high-calorie count.

Made according to the Bulletproof recipe, an 8 oz cup of coffee should contain around 230 calories.

This helps keep hunger at bay and stave off the snack cravings, and it does so with almost zero carbs. 

If you asked the CrossFit athletes who originally helped to put bulletproof coffee on the map, they’d happily tell you that one of the main reasons was its low carb count.

In a perfect bulletproof coffee carbs are between 0 and 0.8 grams of total carbohydrate.  

Can I Put Creamer In Bulletproof Coffee?

You can, but why would you want to? Adding regular creamer to bulletproof coffee eliminates the point of drinking bulletproof coffee in the first place.

Creamer contains sweeteners and unsaturated fats. Adding them to your bulletproof coffee just helps to wipe out all of the benefits and the reasons for making and drinking bulletproof coffee in the first place. 

Having said that, it’s your coffee and you can add whatever you want to it in order to make it taste the way you want to, but as we’ve said, it defeats the purpose.

Also, the butter and MCT oil make bulletproof coffee creamy and rich. So you shouldn’t really need to add creamer to give your coffee a creamy consistency.

If you really can’t go without creamer, you need to use a keto creamer if you are following a keto diet.

Trust us, bulletproof coffee is creamy enough without creamer.

Where Can I Purchase Bulletproof Coffee?

You can actually buy bulletproof coffee in almost any store that sells coffee.

From Walmart to Holland & Barret, if a store sells health-conscious products or coffee, there’s a good chance that they’ll have bulletproof coffee.

Trying to find bulletproof coffee in a coffee shop is a different matter though.

Most baristas don’t want, or don’t know how to make bulletproof coffee so the chances of finding it on the menu of your local one-stop caffeine shop are slim to zero.

If you do want to make your own bulletproof coffee, the best way to satisfy your curiosity is by heading straight to the source of the original keto coffee, the Bulletproof company.

As well as providing you with all of the coffee you could want or need, their site is a veritable goldmine of information, tips, ideas, and resources.

Failing that, you could just head straight to Amazon to order your bulletproof coffee.

From whole bean to ground coffee, MCT oil and other supplements, you can find them all on Amazon.

Can I Add Stevia To Bulletproof Coffee? 

It’s all a matter of taste, and if you want to sweeten your bulletproof coffee with a little natural flavor, then by all means add it.

It won’t harm its keto or carb value, and sometimes you just need to treat yourself and make life taste a little sweeter. 

And truthfully, if you do, you won’t be the only person who does.

We know a lot of bulletproof coffee fanatics, and while they are adamant about sticking to the original recipe and following Dave’s guidelines to the letter, they’ve all got a sweet tooth, and like a little extra zip in their keto joe. 

If you are going to add a little stevia, we’d recommend that you put it in before blending your bulletproof coffee, as it just makes the final brew taste a little bit better.

After all, that’s what life is all about, isn’t it? Great tasting coffee. 

Ready to make great coffee? See our top picks for the best coffee beans here or hop over to all our brew guides for more brewing ideas.

More coffee brewing articles

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About Rachel R

Founder of Creators of Coffee, Rachel is a passionate coffee lover, SCA member and former barista, who also loves to research and share practical tips on everything to do with coffee. Favorite way to make coffee: With an Espresso Machine

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