It is Thanksgiving week and I thought I would take a break from some general coffee topics and do something that is fun, trending, and well… possibly unhealthy. Butter is something that is a Thanksgiving staple at most feasts and, with the recent trend of people adding it to their coffee, I thought it was time to give it a taste test.
A major cause of the recent popularity of butter in coffee is the founder of the website Bulletproof Executive, David Asprey. While traveling in Tibet, David was invigorated by a cup of tea with yak butter in it. From that experience, he came up with a recipe for Bulletproof coffee which contains, among other things, 1-2 tablespoons of grass-fed, unsalted butter.
Butter in coffee is supposably giving people a quick and easy breakfast alternative that provides six hours of energy. It does not sound like a good idea to consistently consume 2 extra tablespoons of butter for breakfast every morning and I personally will not be doing this. There is a good article on Authority Nutrition that discusses some reasons why putting butter in your coffee may be a bad idea.
But what does it taste like? I am a believer in the old adage that everything tastes better with butter. How could coffee be the exception? I drink my coffee black, but the prospect of putting butter in a cup of coffee was too intriguing to pass up.
The Bulletproof recipe for butter in coffee is:
- 12 oz coffee
- 1-2 tablespoons of grass-fed, unsalted butter (like Kerrygold)
- 1-2 tablespoons of MCT oil
- Place the ingredients in a blender and blend for 30 seconds and it is ready to drink.
I decided to ditch the MCT oil and simply try butter in coffee. Here is my recipe:
- 23 grams of Trader Joe’s Papua New Guinea coffee. (They had an interesting looking three can sampler on display when I went to Trader Joe’s to find some fancy grass-fed butter)
- 375 grams of water
- 2 Tablespoons of room temperature Kerrygold unsalted pure Irish butter
- I made a manual pour over with my PNG coffee, combined the brewed coffee with the butter in my blender, and whipped the drink up for 30 seconds.
I purchased a three can sampler of single origin coffees, from Trader Joe’s while I was there buying butter. I think the sampler is part of a Christmas seasonal roll out for the store. The fun packaging and the prospect of trying three coffees at once made it an appealing addition to this little experiment.
I will have to say that, overall, I was not very impressed with these coffees. I tried them all separately before I did the butter in coffee tasting. The medium roast Uganda coffee seemed to be more of a dark roast, and the dark roast Papua New Guinea was a really, really dark roast. I liked the Peru light roast coffee the best, but I did not find it overly impressive either. If you do like dark roasted coffees you may want to give this a try and let me know what you think. I typically enjoy lighter roasted coffees and lately have been loving Central and South American coffees.
Butter in coffee is… not that bad.
I chose to use the Papua New Guinea coffee for the butter in coffee taste test because I wasn’t very fond of the coffee to begin with. I was curious if the sweet and creamy butter would turn this bitter bummer into something enjoyable. In retrospect, I think this was a mistake.
When I finished snapping a few pictures of my steaming and creamy mug of butter coffee, I eagerly took a sip of the concoction. What I tasted was the bitter PNG coffee with an added element of creamy deliciousness. I don’t know why I thought the butter would magically transform the actual taste of this coffee into something different.
Did butter make this coffee better?
I’m not sure it was better, it was definitely different.
For me I do not necessarily think I enjoyed my butter coffee as much as I do plain ol’ black coffee. I am pretty much a coffee purist when it comes to adding things to coffee so I am not surprised. It was not unpleasant by any means. I did enjoy the creaminess that butter brought to the drink and I plan to try this again with a coffee I enjoy more.
I see this as a way to occasionally enhance a delicious cup of manually brewed coffee. It is worth a try if you drink your coffee with cream or you enjoy some of the milk based coffee drinks out there. If you do not enjoy the particular coffee to start out with, do not expect butter to work miracles (Like it does for cooking). For me, I will stick with having my coffee black and putting butter on my mashed potatoes this Thanksgiving.
I hope you all have a safe and fun Thanksgiving. We have so much to be thankful for. I am thankful for my warm house and a hot cup of coffee on a cold day as well as my wonderfully fun and awesome family. What are you thankful for?