You put WHAT in your coffee??!!
You put WHAT in your coffee??!! People have been drinking coffee since the 1500’s so it I guess it’s no wonder that at some point since then we’ve become bored with basic black. In fact, my anecdotal coffee house research tells me that the vast majority of coffee drinkers put something in their daily dose. Whether it be cream, sugar, half & half, steamed milk, foam, coffee whitener, flavoured syrups, flavoured creams, almond milk, soy beverage, coconut milk, maple syrup, artificial sweetener, stevia, or cinnamon… everyone has their own personal combination that they proudly wear like a badge. You’ve seen it at the counter when someone orders a double shot, decaf, half-sweet, sugar-free, hazelnut, almond milk, extra foam, extra hot latte with a sprinkle of cinnamon. (By the way, THAT label says “High maintenance. Do NOT date.”) But recently a customer told me about a growing trend that in my opinion may have just crossed some kind of line. Apparently the latest thing is to put butter in your coffee. BUTTER! To which my immediate response was, “Ewww,” followed quickly by, “Why?!” With an image of thick, greasy salted fat floating in my mind, I decided to investigate the why. It’s not that I’m a blind trend follower but as a part-time coffee professional, I like to be in the know. Turns out this one has its roots in the fitness and weight loss community and more specifically among the followers of the paleo lifestyle, which advocates a large percentage high quality fat in order to sustain energy throughout the day. Hmmm. Now I’m interested. I’ve tried every diet and fitness fad known to man over the years and this is the first one to combine, not eliminate, both coffee and butter. I found a lot of online testimonials from drinkers of the so-called Bulletproof-style Coffee that claimed mental clarity, increased energy, and a reduction in body fat. But surprisingly, none of them mentioned the taste. It must suck, right? Well, they say that when starting any new healthy eating regime, it is best to do it with friends so I called up two of my best friends, Jackie and Sarah, and invited them for coffee. No mention of the butter. Turns out that the true Paleo recipe is to combine 8 oz. of hot coffee with 1 tablespoon of unsalted, grassfed organic butter or ghee and 1 tablespoon of organic coconut oil and then blend it to emulsify the oils and eliminate the greasy fat layer that would otherwise float on top of the coffee. As I pulled out the ingredients, I told Jackie and Sarah of my plan. At first they both looked slightly disgusted but then Jackie said, “Hmmm. Well, basically butter is just cream so I think it’ll be ok.” Jackie spent a year living in France so in my opinion that makes her an expert on both coffee AND butter. I brewed a pot of Balinese Blue Krishna from Be’ato Coffee Company in my French press and added the recommended fats. From what I’ve read the butter is for creaminess and satisfaction and the medium chain fatty acids in the coconut oil have a host of health benefits including better skin, improved digestion, and better endurance. But I’m pretty sure the health benefits were not on the top of Sarah’s mind when I presented her with her first cup of Bulletproof-style coffee. Her look said it all. Tredpidation. Hesitant sniffing. Wrinkly nose. Tiniest sip. Then, ambivalence. “It’s not bad.” She never did finish her cup. But Jackie and I honestly enjoyed it. I think the secret to success is in the blending. I used a magic-bullet blender and the result was a perfectly emulsified cup that even had a latte-style foam top layer. The taste was creamy and delicious with the slightest coconut flavor that added just the right amount of sweetness. To our surprise it also did not separate or change in consistency as the coffee cooled. So, it turns out, it’s not gross. It did not suck. As for whether butter and coconut oil will replace milk in my morning coffee, I haven’t quite decided. At about 275 calories for the fat-filled beverage it would become a breakfast replacement rather than an accompaniment and everything else I think I know about healthy eating tells me I shouldn’t do that. But, the promise of mental clarity and extra energy sure sounds good too. What about you? Will you be asking for a ‘Paleo Fatte’ at your local coffee house any time soon? Comment below and let me know what you think or if there are any other crazy things I should try in my coffee.