High-Fat Coffee: How to Make It and Why?
By Kate Daugherty, MS, Functional Nutritionist
You're probably familiar with the Bulletproof Coffee trend started by Dave Asprey in 2009. The official bulletproof coffee recipes entails black coffee, grass-fed butter, and MCT oil. When blended at high-speed, the butter emulsifies creating a creamy, frothy drink.
High-fat coffee provides long-lasting energy without causing a blood sugar crash. The fat slows down digestion, so the caffeine is absorbed more slowly reducing the “jittery” caffeine-high and provides longer-lasting energy.
Some version of High-fat coffee is often used in the mornings during intermittent fasting. Indeed, this can be a helpful tool to extend your fast without affecting your blood sugar (not sure? Do a blood sugar test!). High-fat coffee is a great fuel source to ensure you’re consuming enough calories when on-the-go.
When you’re following the ketogenic diet, it is a high-fat, moderate-protein breakfast that provides energy, reduces appetite, and fosters ketosis. Even outside of the confines of keto, it is a great alternative to the standard American high-carbohydrate sugar-laden breakfast.
Particularly for women who are attempting an intermittent fasting approach, high-fat coffee with a small amount of protein (collagen, hemp seeds, or whey protein powder) tells the body, “hey, it’s ok, we’ve got fuel.” The balance of fat and protein influences leptin, making sure our brain knows we are satiated. From a female sex hormone perspective, it’s important to continue to consume adequate calories even while following a time-restricted eating window.
Some people try high-fat coffee once, and it becomes a staple in their routine. It can be used on a daily basis to prolong a fast, during a transition to a ketogenic diet, or intermittently as a satiating substitute for breakfast.
MCT stands for “medium-chain triglycerides.” These fats are derived from coconut oil, but MCT or XCT consist of caprylic acid (C8), which is metabolized faster than the blend in ordinary coconut oil. While coconut oil can be a stand-in, you’ll notice quicker mental energy using MCT oil.
Not just any butter, but grass-fed butter. Grass-fed butter boasts a great nutrient profile including vitamins A, D, E, and K, Beta-carotene, omega-3 fatty acids, conjugated linoleic acid, and butyrate. The butyrate is helpful for microbiome health, and the CLA helps prevent heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
Does fat make you fat?
High-fat coffee is free of refined carbohydrates and sugar, and loaded with healthy fats. This keeps insulin low and increases metabolic ketosis, promoting fat burning. This combination only works in the absence of carbohydrates (!!) so carefully consider when in your routine you are including high-fat coffee.
Coffee can be a powerful antioxidant and cognitive-supporting beverage. However, for many people, coffee causes negative side effects like jitters, anxiety, headache, and stomachache. While some of these side effects may be attributed to the quality of beans you’re using, it may also be how you are preparing your coffee. Adding fat and protein helps balance the punch of caffeine (due to slowed down digestion and absorption). If you’re sensitive to coffee, try a high-fat coffee blend. If you’re still getting antsy, consider using caffeine-free tea, matcha, or a swiss-water purified decaf.
Kate's Upgraded High Fat Coffee Recipe
Print Protein and fat together make this a satiating, sustainable morning start.
PREP TIME: 5 minutes Ingredients
2 cups hot brewed coffee
1 tablespoon MCT Oil or Coconut Oil
1 tablespoon Grass-fed Butter, Ghee, or Cacao Butter
Pinch of Himalayan Sea Salt
1 tablespoon hulled hemp seeds
1 teaspoon maca
1 teaspoon cacao powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
2 to 4 drops of liquid stevia
Place hot coffee, oils/fats, and upgrades of choice in a high-powered blender. Blend on high speed for 1 minute, or until the fats are emulsified and frothy.
During the last 10 seconds, add the collagen/protein and continue to blend.
Transfer to a mug, sprinkle with cinnamon/ginger/cayenne/cacao, and enjoy.
Recipe Notes Store it: Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days
Reheat it: Pour into a saucepan and heat over medium, stirring often, until it comes to a light simmer.
Prep ahead: Make bulletproof fat molds that you can throw into the blender
Some of my favorite variations on High-Fat Coffee
High-Fat Mocha: 2 cups brewed coffee + 1 tablespoon cacao butter + 1 tablespoon MCT oil + 1 tablespoon chia seeds + 1 tablespoon cacao powder + 2-4 drops liquid stevia + 1 tablespoon collagen peptides
High-Fat Matcha Latte: 2 cups hot water + 2 tablespoons full-fat canned coconut milk + 1 tablespoons MCT + 2 teaspoons matcha powder + 1 tablespoon cashew butter + 2 to 4 drops liquid stevia + 1 tablespoon collagen peptides
High-Fat Chai Tea Latte: 2 cups brewed chai tea + 2 tablespoons full-fat canned coconut milk + 1 tablespoon MCT + 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon + 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg + 2 to 4 drops liquid stevia + 1 tablespoon collagen peptides