When a tall, willowy beauty tells you she’ll spill the secret behind her svelte bod, high energy levels, and glowing skin, well, you get ready to take notes. Then, when she tells you that it all started when she began drinking coffee made with grass-fed butter, you stop and say… Huh?! (at least if you’re me.) That’s what happened the first time I met the lovely Anne Marie Speck for a business meeting, and before long, we found ourselves (completely off-topic) talking about our shared love of all things health-related. I couldn’t believe she stumped me with a nutrition trend I hadn’t heard of yet, but once she started singing the praises of Butter Coffee and how it’s improved her overall health (we’re talking cholesterol, weight maintenance, heart, skin… the works), I had to learn more. I invited Anne Marie to stop by our studio one morning last week so she could walk us through making Butter Coffee the right way…mainly so that I could taste this concoction for myself. Keep reading for the results, weigh in with comments, and remember: don’t knock it ’til you try it!
First, a little about Anne Marie. She’s an interior designer and currently building a career in health coaching. And, she’s a Butter Coffee evangelist. Since she started drinking it, she’s slimmed down, lowered her cholesterol, even seen the side effects of a previous heart condition disappear. She says that Butter Coffee is the only regular dietary change she’s made… and that she’s never been healthier. Keep clicking for Anne Marie’s step-by-step instructions…
Start with high-quality, mostly organic ingredients. Making butter coffee takes a little more time than your average cup of jo, but most enthusiasts drink it as their breakfast, so it’s no big deal when you think of it in that context. The high fat content keeps you full until lunchtime (if not longer) which may be one of the keys to why it can result in weight loss. Another theory is that, when you drastically cut back on carbs, your body turns to your fat stores for fuel. The result is you burn body fat, releasing a by-product called ketones that you’ll use for energy.
Step 1: Make the coffee.
Make sure to use high-quality beans: organic or roasted locally to ensure freshness is ideal. We used Cuvée Coffee beans made in Austin, and brewed it in a Chemex, though you could also use a french press or any other coffeemaker. Here’s a simple demo on the pour over method in a Chemex. For a yummy iced version, Anne Marie loves to use Chameleon Cold Brew.
Step 2: Add 1 – 2 tablespoons of grass-fed butter (or ghee) to a glass or directly into the blender.
Use ghee if you’re sensitive to dairy (the milk solids have been removed), or grass-fed butter if you’re not (it’s yummier.) Anne Marie totally schooled me on the benefits of grass-fed butter over conventional butter. They include:
- 3 – 5 times the CLA (a fatty acid linked to superior heart health and reduced belly fat) than butter from grain-fed cattle.
- More Vitamin A, Vitamin K2, and carotene than conventional butter (which explains its deeper yellow color.)
- Balanced ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. (an interesting article on why this balance is important.)
Step 3: Add 1 teaspoon of MCT oil.
This was another new one for me. Anne Marie told me that MCT oil converts into energy faster than other oils — giving you a performance boost instead of being stored as fat. You could also sub in coconut oil here, which has its own set of health claims. If using MCT oil, start with 1 teaspoon, and gradually increase the amount to up to 1 tablespoon so your digestive system can adjust.
Step 4: Add 1/2 tablespoon cacao butter.
This is what gives the Butter Coffee its delicious mocha flavor. It can be a bit tricky to find, but check your local health food stores, and it’s also available online. Just make sure it’s food-safe (and not meant for slathering on your body.)
Step 5: Add 1 teaspoon of cacao powder.
More healthy, antioxidant-rich chocolate-y goodness. You could leave it out, but… why? You can also add a dash of maple syrup or stevia here, if you like a little sweetness in your java.
Step 6: Pour the brewed coffee over the ingredients.
Step 7: Blend it all together!
This is what gives Butter Coffee its rich, frothy consistency; like a foamy, creamy-but-not-really cappuccino.
Step 8: Pour into a mug and drink up.
Anne Marie said that 5 days a week is the recommended frequency to start the day with Butter Coffee. And if you want to give it a try without the commitment of buying all these ingredients, there are spots that make Butter Coffee using the Bulletproof method and products. She often picks up a cup on-the-go at Picnik in Austin.
For starters, it was delicious. I drank every last drop of my mug with relish and felt completely satisfied afterwards. Also, I stayed full until my 12:30 lunch meeting, even though I didn’t have anything else for breakfast. And I had loads of energy! Maybe it was the extra dose of caffeine or maybe it was the MCT oil boost, but I had a pleasant buzz of hyperactivity that helped me blow through a crazy morning to-do list.
Drinking butter coffee does require a paradigm shift regarding how we view fat and calories, and while I’m not sure that I’m ready to start downing a daily cup, it does seem to have some health benefits worth investigating further. In any case, it tastes really good and has definitely made me rethink the “fat is evil” argument that many of us have adopted for years.
So what do you guys think? Would you give Butter Coffee a whirl?