Butter Coffee: Miracle Drink or Crazy Health Fad?

By Camille Styles
Butter Coffee Recipe | Camille Styles

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.

The verdict?

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?

Comments (33)

  1. dorrit90 says:

    sounds definetly interesting. Need to look around where I can find these ingredients here in Germany. Thanks for that 🙂

  2. Kelly Jo says:

    I would definately try it! I have never been one to think that all fat is evil and there are so many different ways people like to enjoy the health foods that are best for their body and lifestyle. I really appreciate when people can step out of the box and try something new, thanks Camille!

  3. laurel walter says:

    I tried it, i guess i forgot to not eat……

  4. Jill says:

    Great post! I am definitely hesitant to try this but you’ve inspired me to learn more about it. Thanks!

  5. Krystha (@krystha_tweets) says:

    What brand is that pink blender, it’s so cute!

  6. Nicole says:

    I’ve seen this around the blogosphere and didn’t know it was a recent trend (thought it was some traditional java thing I had missed out on). Really looking to try it – hopefully there’s a place here in Chicago I can get a cup without committing to all the ingredients. Thanks for the share!

  7. Traci says:

    I’ve heard of people doing this and have thought it was a bit crazy, but after reading this it seems to make a bit more sense…

  8. Y says:

    this sounds delicious

  9. Ash says:

    LOL, key word here being “trend”. Eating dollops of butter for breakfast isn’t healthy. Good fats are things like avocado, not butter! Grass fed or not. Can we all just try to eat clean, whole foods, instead of drinking caffeine spiked with saturated fat as a terrible morning jolt to the system? So awful. This is definitely one of those trends people will look back on and say to themselves, “What was I thinking?!”

    1. Anne Marie says:

      You’re right, it very well could be one of those “What was I thinking?” looking back moments! However, after experiencing the health benefits first hand from consuming more than 40% of my daily calories from saturated fat compared to my previously fat free diet, I think its worth that risk 🙂

      You should look at the article posted recently in the Wall Street Journal featuring what new research is showing on saturated fats. It may make you reconsider!

    2. Jenna says:

      Many are starting to discover that the myth that saturated fat is bad for you and is one of the major causes of heart disease and many other diseases that have sky rocketed in the last thirty or so years is actually what is CAUSING all of these health issues. Which is not surprising since that goes right in line with the rise in popularity of a low-fat, vegetarian, and soy based diet that we have been told is “healthy”.

      In this article, David Perlumetter MD, the author of “Grain Brain” states:

      “Saturated fat is a fundamental building block for brain cells. It’s certainly interesting to consider that one of the richest sources of saturated fat in nature is human breast milk.

      Similarly, cholesterol is vital for a well functioning brain. Cholesterol functions as a brain protective antioxidant. It is the raw material from which our bodies make vitamin D, a fundamental player in preserving brain function.”

      Yes we should be eating clean, whole foods that also include high quality, grass-fed meat, pasture raised pork, eggs and butter. This fear of fat needs to be debunked if we are going to improve our countries rising rates of heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s, just to name a few.

      You can check out the book “It Starts with Food”. It breaks down these myths and explains why what we have been taught as “healthy” is in fact killing us, in a very easy to understand manner.

  10. Lauren says:

    Does it have the same benefits if you use decaf coffee?

    1. Anne Marie says:

      Yes, it will have many of the same benefits. Tea works as well!

  11. Astami says:

    It’s so yummy! I love drinking coffee this way!

  12. Rachel says:

    If making the iced version, how much of the coffee concentrate does she use? Thanks!

    1. Anne Marie says:

      Rachel, I use 12-16 ounces of coffee regardless of the iced or hot version. Cold brews are concentrated so you usually will add water to the concentrate in a 1 to 1 ratio. So I use 6-8 ounces cold brew and 6-8 ounces of water. If you try Chameleon Cold Brew brand, I recommend the mocha flavor! SO GOOD.

      A tip: warm the cold brew slightly on the stove the night before and blend the warm coffee with the butter and MCT oil. Chill overnight and ice in the morning, or make in the morning for an afternoon treat. Blending it warm ensures that the coffee combines well with the butter and stays well blended.

  13. Alessandra says:

    I’ve seen this “Bulletproof Coffee” thing all over the interwebs and have a great friend who swears by it. Loved this post and glad to hear a woman’s perspective on it since the only die-hard fans I know were men (and we all know their results are quite different than women). Made this version this morning and really loving it!

  14. sarah says:

    Do i have to add cacao powder and cacao butter because i can’t find a shop that sells them and i don’t want to buy online. I was thinking of doing coffee beans, coconut oil, kerrygold butter and cocoa powder would this work?

    1. Anne Marie says:

      You don’t have to add the cacao ingredients for regular butter coffee, only for the mocha flavor. I have the recipe for regular on my blog here.

  15. Natalie says:

    The new craze is Bullet-Proof Coffee with, guess what, BUTTER! All of the reports I’ve read lately, state, that fat-free is not as healthy as once thought. When adding butter to your coffee, it’s important to remember that the butter used is very important, Kerrygold butter is what was recommended. It sounds a little bizarre, but I’m going to give it a try.

  16. Jim says:

    I’ve been enjoying the Bullet Proof Exec diet for ~1 year now. It’s no fad and coffee with butter is truly amazing. I maintain a weight that is 50lbs less than a year ago, have dropped 2 sizes and have great energy and no brain fog. Several of my friends are now doing it and also experiencing great results. -Jim

  17. @KetoRich says:

    I’m a national Ketogenic wellness coach and highly recommend this especially for those trying to get into Ketosis on their own without the quick aid of our exogenous ketone drink KetonX. I love the energy, satiety, clarity of mind and overall sense of well-being. My clients thank me for introducing them to this amazing butter coffee. Thank you for the great article and sharing this with everyone!!

    Sincerely, @KetoRich

  18. Ellis Dunbar says:

    Good Morning
    My name is Ellis and I work with Ninja Goat Nutritionals. Once I read your article, I found great interest in some of your ingredients and knowledge about butter coffee. I love how you use Chameleon Cold Brew when you make iced coffee. I would love to tell you about my business and how I make butter coffee.  

    Ninja Goat Nutritionals makes a product called fatCoffee, which is a quick and easy way to make butter coffee anywhere, anytime- and it’s made with 100% grass fed-butter and organic coconut oil. 
    Would you be willing to try fatCoffee and let me know what you think about it? I’d be happy to provide a sample, if you can send me your mailing address.
    Thanks for your time and hope to hear from you soon.

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