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How to Get a Bulletproof Coffee-Level Buzz With the Stuff in Your Fridge

Aileen Perilla/The Penny Hoarder


You’ve probably heard about Paleo and ketogenic diets.

These fad diets restrict all the joys in life, including the sugar or cream in your morning coffee.

Thus, the Bulletproof brand was born. The diet company trademarked a butter-infused coffee concoction to satisfy those dieting caffeine addicts nationwide.

Many copycats and dieters skip the Bulletproof-branded coffee and make homemade versions, because the popular pick-me-up gets expensive.

So, I explored what the buzz (and cost) is all about.

What Is Bulletproof Coffee?

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When I heard the term “bulletproof coffee,” I expected a high-octane espresso that lifted me straight to the heavens.

While it did give me bonkers energy, it wasn’t the enchanted espresso I’d imagined.

Traditionally, bulletproof coffee is black coffee blended with grass-fed butter and MCT oil (medium-chain triglyceride), a fatty acid found in coconut and palm oils.

Once you combine the unusual ingredients, you’ve created a “bulletproof” magic potion that the official Bulletproof coffee maker claims will spike your metabolism, keep you alert, help you lose weight, aid digestion and keep you full longer,

But not everyone buys into the Bulletproof hype and there’s skepticism among Bulletproof’s beneficial claims.

Regardless of whether you buy into the hype, bulletproof coffee can become an expensive habit, especially if you buy all the branded products.

The Real Cost of Bulletproof Coffee

The official Bulletproof manufacturer offers a slew of products from coffee beans and starter kits to premade cartons.

This is what it cost to make the base, Bulletproof-branded coffee recipe:

 

  • Whole bean or ground coffee: 12 ounces for $14.99
  • Brain Octane Oil: 16 ounces for $23
  • Grass-fed Ghee: 13.5 ounces for $22.95

 

Total: $60.94

The Bulletproof coffee, Brain Octane Oil and Ghee all-in-one kit is only $1 cheaper at $59.94.

The premade 12-pack of cold brew Bulletproof coffee is $58.95, or $4.91 per bottle.

The Basic DIY Bulletproof Coffee Recipe

Aileen Perilla/The Penny Hoarder

You’ll find a wide array of Bulletproof-type products on the market. You’ll also find an equal amount of opinions and forums devoted to how it should be made.

Bulletproof coffee purists stick to its original recipe of grinding organic beans, brewing with a French press and combining the core ingredients in a blender.

Other enthusiasts spice up bulletproof coffee with all sorts of yummy extras.

Find what works for you by adding and subtracting ingredients.

The basic recipe is:

  • One 8-ounce cup of coffee, brewed, instant or herbal
  • 1 tablespoon of fat, MCT oil, coconut oil or heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon of butter, grass-fed, unsalted or ghee

Combine the ingredients in a blender for the best result.

Hand-mixing doesn’t quite do the trick because it’s a water-meets-oil-type situation. You want to get that froth action at the top like you’d find in a well-crafted latte.

If you pick up a bulletproof habit, you might want to invest in a cheap milk frother or find an easy-clean blender to give you that early morning assist.

I Tried Bulletproof Coffee, and Here’s What Happened

Aileen Perilla/The Penny Hoarder

With all this talk of bulletproof coffee, I had to try it.

My co-worker, Colleen Rice, volunteered to make me my first one. She blended black coffee from the office machine with MCT powder and ghee using an electric milk frother.

While it tasted different from a standard Americano, surprisingly, it wasn’t awful — butter and all.

The thought of butter in coffee seems gross, but somehow it worked. It gave the coffee a creamy texture, and because it’s loaded with nutrients, it kept me feeling full well through lunch.

It turns out, Tibetans have been putting yak butter in their tea for centuries, so I guess butter in coffee isn’t that strange after all.

For her homemade version of bulletproof coffee, Rice adds collagen, protein powder and MCT oil powder.

As an iced-coffee conioisseur, she found the powder form of MCT oil worked better for her than the oil itself. It’s cheaper than liquid MCT oil, has less fat and it eliminates the oil-slick-on-top-of-your-coffee effect.

Other bulletproof friends shared that they use ingredients like cinnamon, sea salt and vanilla in their personal recipes.

My friend, Leigh Anne Ely, has been drinking bulletproof coffee as part of the keto diet for almost a year. She uses instant coffee and one to two tablespoons of coconut oil in a blender.

“You don’t really need any products,” she said. “They actually do it an injustice.”

Her rendition of the drink does the trick for her and is cheaper than all the branded products.

In fact, all my bulletproof friends preferred their knock-off versions to the original.

The unanimous verdict is simply do it yourself.

Use what you like; whether it’s Folgers or frou-frou coffee or inexpensive coconut oil, just stick to healthy fats and grass-fed butter, and you’re good.

By skipping the Bulletproof coffee price tag, you can get the same result for less money, and most likely less calories.

Remember when they said butter was bad for you?

Stephanie Bolling is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. Move over, “jumbo shrimp.” “Healthy fat” is her new favorite oxymoron.

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