y4pcT1JaIwGptQJPO6l_mZmgv34 tiffin unboxed: Getting the Most Out of Your Morning Coffee

Getting the Most Out of Your Morning Coffee

Does that look like a tasty, creamy, frothy cup of coffee? It is....and isn't.

Bulletproof Coffee Apr13_i cup
I've been more of a tea drinker than coffee drinker. The smell of coffee definitely draws me in although nobody can accuse me of being a coffee purist.

It's like what they say about pizza - even the bad stuff is kind of good to me.That is because with both black tea and coffee I add cream and sugar - it's a cultural thing my family passed down to me.

About a year ago, I read that adding cream and sugar takes away some of the health benefits of coffee, particularly it's fat-burning capabilities. More importantly, I decided to give up dairy, at least most of the time, which made me give up my beloved lattes and capuccinos cold turkey.

It sounded like it was worth a try to go all the way and drink black coffee. However, the office-provided coffee did not call out to me. My rationale was that if the quality of coffee was good enough, the taste would improve and nothing would need to be added.

For some time I'd considered adopting a Paleo diet Through some type of serendipity, many Paleo web forums repeatedly referred to Intermittent Fasting and Bulletproof Coffee.You know how you hear of something new then notice it everywhere? While playing a business podcast in my car, the very credible host, mentioned that he drinks Bulletproof Coffee daily. I decided to give it a try too.

Bulletproof Coffee Apr13_a setup
my elaborate Bulletproof Coffee setup - on a tray for easy removal from counter
I won't bore you with the scientific details behind it, but you can read it straight from the source here if interested. In a nutshell, coffee that is single origin, organic, mycotoxin-free coffee is better.

Luckily I had most of the tools and ingredients at home, but also spent quite a bit of time and money locating the missing pieces. I thought "this better dazzle me". It did.

So the "basic" setup above, from left going clockwise, includes:

1. coffee brewer of choice. For me a French Press. Many use K-Cups.
2. insulated thermos
3. coffee grinder
3. electric teapot, or you can heat up the water on your stovetop
4. hand blender
5. MCT oil (or coconut oil), MCT = medium chain triglycerides
6. Bulletproof® Upgraded™ Coffee (or other brands that fit the same pureness criteria)
7. milk frother ($2 at Ikea!)
8. coffee scoop
9. Kerry Gold unsalted butter from grass fed cows (other brands okay as long as they are organic and from grass fed cows)
10.kitchen timer (optional)

Still with me? Here is the original recipe. The first time I made it, it took 15-20 minutes. Now I have it down to 5 minutes, including clean up. In most cases I take it in a flask to work.

Here is my process:

1. Chop up 2 tbsp. of the butter and throw into beaker. Add 1 tbsp. MCT oil or 2 tbsp. organic coconut oil. Put 2-2 1/2 scoops coffee into grinder.

Bulletproof Coffee Apr13_b butter oil whole beans 

2. grind. The smell is intoxicating, even more so than most coffee beans. During this time, microwave the beaker for 30-40 seconds if the butter is still cold. Heat up 4 cups of water.

Bulletproof Coffee Apr13_c ground beans

3. Add coffee grounds to French press. Add half the water into the press and put on lid. Set timer for 5 minutes. Add rest of the water into the thermos to heat it up.

Bulletproof Coffee Apr13_d coffee press

4. After 5 minutes, add coffee to beaker and blend with immersion blender until frothy, about 1 minute. Of course you can use a regular blender, but be careful about blending hot liquids.

Bulletproof Coffee Apr13_e blending

It should look like this afterward. A rich, golden color with milk-like foam. 

Bulletproof Coffee Apr13_f blending

Bulletproof Coffee Apr13_g blended

Bulletproof Coffee Apr13_h blended

Once you get past the weirdness of putting butter in your coffee, you will understand.The butter makes the cup of coffee look and taste like it has cream in it, but it does not take away the benefits of the black coffee. Since sugar affects the benefits, I don't add any. Some people add alternative sweeteners if they must have sweetness. I don't miss the sugar in this brew at all. It tastes very rich and creamy.

5. Drink immediately or empty water from thermos and pour coffee in. It should stay warm at least until lunch time with the lid shut. But you will be drinking it before then.

Bulletproof Coffee Apr13_i cup

Bulletproof Coffee Apr13_k flask

You can froth it up again later with the small frother, but it tastes just as delicious as is. You may find a bit of an oil slick in the cup, which is why it may be more palatable to froth again.

Bulletproof Coffee Apr13_j cup

Bulletproof Coffee Apr13_l ghee
If you opt to make it with ghee, which I did by mistake once when I was reaching for the coconut oil, it doesn't taste as good but gives a similar texture. Color is darker as you can see below. You are getting too much of a buttery taste and it's a bit harder on the tummy.

Coconut oil tastes great if you like coconut and adds the semblance of sweetness if you are leaving out the stevia. MCT oil has no taste or odor, so you are tasting more of the butter. This type of shorter chain fat gives you a burst of energy because your body burns it right away, rather than stores it. MCT oil is stronger than coconut oil but they both do the same thing.

Bulletproof Coffee Apr13_m jug

This concoction keeps me full until 1:00-2:00 p.m. so I do the intermittent fasting, but not to an extreme. People react to it in different ways. Keep in mind if you do drink this butter laden coffee and eat "normally", you are adding a lot of extra calories and fat to your diet. If you have this for breakfast, skip other foods until lunch.

Also it takes some getting used to to suddenly digest all these healthy fats, so gradually work up to the level you want to add. I took probiotoics to ease the transition. Most people naturally build a tolerance quickly. Your body does enjoy these healthy fats.

This stuff has a cult following, which is off-putting to me. In my humble opinion, good, pure coffee exists and I've heard of Tibetan butter tea. Why reinvent the wheel? 

The creator of this Bulletproof brand, Dave Asprey, aka The Bulletproof Executive, touts strong claims of higher levels of cognition, bounding energy, increased fat burning, among other benefits. To his credit he does not insist it works only with his products, but he does have them conveniently available for sale, at quite a premium + shipping.

I am not completely sold on all the claims, nor on the lifestyle. However, I cannot deny that after trying this golden elixir, I was highly focused, way more energetic, had no afternoon crashes, slept better - and loved the taste, most importantly. I recall telling people on the first few days that I felt like the Bradley Cooper character in Limitless.

My doctor checkup 3 months later showed slight improvements in vitals (lower blood sugar/blood pressure/cholesterol, weight loss, etc.). Still, I don't completely chalk that up to only the coffee since I've been making other lifestyle changes to support my health. What it does demonstrate is consuming more fat which made me feel more satisfied did not have adverse effects so far.

The effects waned a bit since then, and I do get hungy faster, but it is a good tool to boost your functioning without drinking coffee all day long. 

So the jury is still out, albeit the experiment was worth it. Just to test it out further I may experiment with different brands and combinations of ingredients. In fact, my coworker, Christine, began adding coconut oil to her black coffee and loves it. It's a simpler way to go if you don't want to invest in the whole elaborate process.

Alex 6thbday May13_n Vietnamese coffee

On a related note, my brother somehow came to his own coffee revelation at about the same time. At their house he (with help from my adorable nephew) made me a cup of Vietnamese iced coffee with chicory coffee and condensed milk, using an AeroPress. It was a lovely weekend pick-me-up and treat. During the week I go back to my buttered coffee.

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