Coffee lovers and nutritionists have recently converged over the diet hack craze called Bulletproof Coffee.
This surprisingly simple coffee beverage is often presented as a breakfast alternative with a variety of potential health and wellness benefits.
Known in those circles as Bulletproof coffee or more simply, butter coffee, the easy-to-make take on coffee-for-breakfast is getting a lot of air time amongst lifestyle gurus, influencers, diet experts and coffee aficionados alike.
So what’s the deal? And more importantly, can we brew a perfect cup of AeroPress Bulletproof Coffee?
- What is Bulletproof (or Butter) Coffee?
- Where Did 'Bulletproof' Come From?
- Can You Make Bulletproof Coffee in an AeroPress Coffee Maker?
- How to Make AeroPress Bulletproof Coffee: Step By Step
- Is Bulletproof Coffee Good For You?
- Other Ways to Brew Bulletproof Coffee At Home
- Wrap-Up: Brewing Coffee—Bulletproof Style—in An AeroPress
What is Bulletproof (or Butter) Coffee?
Bulletproof is simply a branded version of what’s otherwise commonly known as butter coffee.
The coffee beverage—by whatever name you choose to call it—is a simple blend of hot coffee, butter and most commonly coconut oil, though there’s some flex in this third ingredient.
The key concept behind the drink is combining the many known benefits of a delicious morning coffee—complete with the benefits of coffee’s natural oils—with the “quality” fats found in butter and what’s known as ‘Medium Chain Triglyceride’ (or MCT) oils like coconut oil.
Where Did ‘Bulletproof’ Come From?
The Bulletproof branding is part of the Bulletproof Diet, created and marketed by Dave Asprey.
Asprey is an American author and businessman, who sells the 3 ingredients required for butter coffee in a cohesively-branded set under his Bulletproof label.
To be clear, you definitely do not need to buy the “original” brand of coffee beans, butter, or MCT oil in order to enjoy a flavorful cup of high-quality coffee equivalent to what you’ll get with Bulletproof directly.
Can You Make Bulletproof Coffee in an AeroPress Coffee Maker?
The AeroPress is far from one of the oldest coffee brewing methods around, but because of its brilliant design, it’s exceptionally capable when it comes to making a wide variety of coffee-based drinks.
In this case, it’s no different. Whether you want to use simple black coffee or cold brew—which is also a great way to use your AeroPress—the AeroPress can handle it. Just be sure to use medium-finely ground beans.
How to Make AeroPress Bulletproof Coffee: Step By Step
Butter coffee is a wonderfully simple drink, but you do need a couple of ingredients that go beyond what you might have on hand for a simple drip coffee.
Ingredients for Bulletproof (Butter) Coffee
High-quality coffee beans or coffee grounds, if you prefer not to grind yourself
Hot water (you can use cold brew, but the drink is traditionally made hot)
1-2 tbsp. grass fed butter (unsalted) or an equal amount of ghee
1 tsp. MCT or coconut oil
You’ll also need a blender and of course, your AeroPress
If using whole coffee beans, grind them with a burr grinder to a medium-fine grind
Bring hot water to a temperature of around 176º F (or just below boiling temperature)
Add your coffee grounds into your AeroPress
Pour your hot water over your ground coffee, fully saturating it
Stir for between 10-30 seconds
Press your AeroPress plunger down to brew your coffee into your cup
Combine 1 cup of coffee, your oil and your butter/ghee into a blender
Blend for 15-30 seconds
Your drink should resemble a slightly thicker latte
Pour and enjoy!
Is Bulletproof Coffee Good For You?
This is pretty hotly debated, but the medically-backed scales are currently leaning more toward no than yes.
The fact that a fatty, caffeinated cup of coffee is being presented as an effective, superior alternative to food for breakfast is definitely questionable.
Claimed Benefits of Drinking Bulletproof Coffee
The main thing drawing people to this trend is that it’s billed as a powerful way to cut down on eating. You’re actually meant to drink it as a meal replacement for breakfast.
The “secret” lies in the combination of caffeine and healthy compounds from oils and fats.
Appetite control and weight loss
This is undoubtedly the aspect most strongly contributing to Bulletproof coffee’s popularity, as everyone loves an easy “life hack” that reduces the hard work of cutting down on calories.
As most of us know, the caffeine in regular coffee has an appetite-reducing quality common among stimulants all on its own.
The extra calories and fat from the butter and oil add to this effect and supposedly help you lose weight by eating less, but the reality isn’t as straightforward.
Mental clarity and sharpness
Again, coffee all on its own gives most people a nice boost in focus and mental energy from the caffeine.
It’s claimed, however, that butter coffee adds to this effect as a result of the brainpower-boosting fatty acids it packs.
Carb and sugar intake reduction
Because you’re assumedly skipping breakfast in favor of Bulletproof coffee, it’s said to help specifically in sugar and carbohydrate intake reduction, because breakfast is traditionally rather carb-heavy.
Carbs get converted into sugars and therefore breakfast adds a lot of sugar to our diets, or so the story goes.
Potential Downsides of Bulletproof Coffee
The claims of health benefits are widely disputed by professionals from doctors to licensed nutritionists, and there’s a significant gap in supportive research to back up many of the claims behind Bulletproof’s benefits.
In reality, it also introduces some risks that are worth considering.
High Saturated Fat Content
The butter and oil you’re adding to your coffee in order to make Bulletproof coffee are high in saturated fat.
The amount the recipe calls for actually exceeds the recommended daily intake of saturated fats issued by the American Heart Association.
So while you may avoid some of the sugar that tends to come with big, hearty breakfasts, you’re likely to offset any substantial health benefits with this significant increase in your saturated fat intake.
The other thing to note is that Bulletproof coffee is actually quite high in calories. It clocks in at between 250-35o calories depending on how much butter you use.
That’s an enormous amount of calories for any beverage—especially one claiming to be beneficial for calorie reduction.
For context, a single egg has around 70 calories, and a cup of plain old black coffee carries just 2.4.
So if weight loss is really your goal, and you’re willing to work for it to the extent you skip breakfast, the smarter strategy would be to just have a cup of black coffee.
Or, as a middle ground, a simple 2-egg scramble alongside it will add literally half the calories of a cup of Bulletproof coffee to your daily total.
Limited Proof of Actual Health Benefits
As for the other benefits, like actual mental acuity gain beyond the effects of caffeine, there are few to no studies backing up the claims behind Bulletproof coffee.
That’s concerning, and for us, highlights the potential downsides well ahead of the potential gains.
Other Ways to Brew Bulletproof Coffee At Home
Nevertheless, if you’re interested in making the yummy drink simply to enjoy it, there’s no reason not to, and it’s remarkably easy to do.
Since butter coffee is such a simple mix of brewed coffee, butter, and either MCT or coconut oil, it’s super easy to make using pretty much any coffee maker you can think of.
Depending on your tastes and preferences for your base black coffee, you can use any of the below :
Drip coffee maker or manual drip coffee maker
Wrap-Up: Brewing Coffee—Bulletproof Style—in An AeroPress
All-in-all, we’d recommend enjoying bulletproof coffee as an occasional treat, and definitely not relying on it as a nutritional supplement or health-boosting meal replacement.
Also see: How to make Vietnamese Aeropress coffee