15 Easy Bulletproof Coffee Recipes To Make At Home

It’s pretty hard to ignore anything called “bulletproof”.

Whether it’s because of someone at the gym who swears by the physical energy boost, a friend who has recently been giving tips on fasting, a coworker who is suddenly more productive in the morning, or just a casual search for new coffee recipes, there’s way more than meets the eye with this coffee based elixir.

By the end of this article, through the studies and mixed reviews we’ve sifted through for you, I hope we set your expectations and take you through all considerations before delving spoon-first and blender-second into this oddly-addictive butter coffee. 

The 14 additional variations of the original recipe are a bonus for you to try out as you learn to make bulletproof coffee at home. Enjoy!

Bulletproof Coffee Origins

To fully understand and appreciate bulletproof coffee, we have to go back to its origins before we discuss the ingredients and their health benefits.

It was created by Dave Asprey, after being inspired by a Tibetan tea that was made with Yak Butter. He initially found the texture to be delightful even without milk. What he noticed next was how the simple beverage made him feel GREAT.

From here, he saw the potential to create something that could tide people over during those challenging intermittent fasting windows while making them feel GOOD, using coffee instead of tea as a base. He stuck with the use of butter for texture and flavor, and a derivative of coconut oil (or palm oil) for his desired health effects to build his coffee recipe.

If your goal is just to TRY it, you don’t need to purchase a bottle of MCT oil straightaway (explanation later on) or scour your local grocery stores for unsalted, GRASS-FED, butter. 

The butter is mainly for taste and later on strategically used within a diet. The coconut oil is for a more controlled absorption of the vitamins, fatty acids (among other healthy fats), also adding to the burst of energy you get from caffeine as you go through your food-less window. 

What you will need though, is a bit more reading and a blender.

Only after examining the health considerations, and deciding on how much you like the taste, should you, in my opinion, decide on investing in brain octane oil, and grass-fed butter, to stay truest to Bulletproof’s original recipe, the company built on Dave Asprey’s “butter coffee” of the same name. 

It’s easy to find optimal ingredients for this concoction when you choose to include it in your routine.

As a coffee lover, I would classify this as a fun, functional coffee. The word Bulletproof is specific to when it comes to the hyped-up energy-related benefits.

How does Keto Coffee taste?

Not bad at all.

As I type this article I am sipping on a freshly made cup of butter coffee. This recipe is made of one cup black coffee, with a tablespoon of salted butter (this isn’t meant to replace my Ethiopia Guji pour-over anyway), and a teaspoon of MCT oil. A blender was on standby for full effect.

The texture is creamy (although you will see that you can add butter according to the recipes that will be outlined later on). It’s a pretty heavy coffee. Butter is the culprit.

MCT oil is imperceptible with my current serving of the ingredient relative to the butter. The oil comes out more in the body.

Finally, there’s an element of the coffee taste that is altered by the coating of butterfat. As a coffee drink, even your usual coffee beans will have an interesting new flavor to them once you make bulletproof coffee recipes with them.

Why is butter coffee so popular?

The perceived health benefits of keto coffee have skyrocketed it into the mainstream. 

The actual benefits you feel from this coffee will depend on lifestyle factors, recipe, and state of health.

With that said, it was created to delay cravings, increase body and brain energy (even in a fasted state), and maintain ketosis–a metabolic state where our body is in a low carb, “SURVIVAL MODE“, and therefore more alert physically and mentally.

Given that it was made to be supplementary to intermittent fasting (which, in itself, has been a hot topic) part of why bulletproof gained popularity was because of how much people who drank it, talked about it. 

They immediately felt the sustained energy throughout the day and somehow fell in love with the taste even as it deviated from the norm. With the ingredients within reach in most households and offices, it became an easy recipe to share as well.

Mixing butter into your coffee was peculiar, but it definitely didn’t sound too bad. Then you have all these satisfied customers who were partially influenced by celebrities, athletes, and CEO’s who swore by it.

Before we knew what hit us, bulletproof coffee had already benefited greatly from an affiliate marketing program brought heightened by social media. You can say that the creator, Dave Asprey, was a marketing genius of sorts to use the names (brain octane, bulletproof) and ingredients that he used for his creation.

Is MCT coffee good for you?

Brewed Coffee is the first and most familiar component.

Easily known as a good way to caffeinate, it is also the biggest source of antioxidants, among other good things, in the modern diet (sorry vegetables, we just don’t usually eat enough of you).

It’s an easy base to build off of since coffee drinkers like us already presumably have a need for the extra energy. We are also inherently open to trying new recipes in the coffee realm, (also subtly adding to the affiliate marketing program that Bulletproof has thrived on) and “adding butter” or hearing “butter coffee” really aren’t the worst things to hear when it comes to exploring food and drink.

Unsalted, grass-fed butter is the next building-block of bulletproof coffee. Why unsalted? Why grass-fed? It all boils down to taste and calorie count.

Unsalted, just because “salty” isn’t a good thing in coffee. Butter, instead of milk, because the fat coats our tongue and gives food and drink a thick, creamy, pleasant texture.

Grass-fed because as a supposed meal-replacement during a fast, the lesser chemical-intake makes a healthier cow, who then makes healthier butter

Grass-fed butter has higher Vitamin A, unsaturated fatty acids, Omega-3 fatty acids, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), and vitamin K2 content. These help with organ health, immune system, good cholesterol, managing blood pressure, metabolism, weight loss, and retaining muscle mass in the proper doses. 

So consumed within a fast, it’s a way to support ketosis by delivering calories with healthy fats without the carbs and protein. All while maintaining a low glycemic index.

The caveat? 

While an upgrade over normal butter for your coffee, the nutrients aren’t sufficient as a meal replacement–only the calories. If your goal isn’t to maintain ketosis, this is a huge consideration right away in the realm of nutritional needs. If you have meal plans, simply account for the calories in your bulletproof coffee and adjust your intake.

If you’d like to read up more on healthy fats from grass-fed butter, you can check out this study from the US National Library of Medicine.

Perfect fat levels in food and coffee ENHANCE delightful flavors and the memories tied with them (this is why ice cream usually picks our moods up, or afternoon lattes calm us down), and too much can block undesirable tasting notes as well.

The last of the three foundational ingredients of bulletproof coffee is MCT oil.

Medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil or brain octane oil is coconut oil (or palm kernel oil) that goes through a special process that makes it easier to be digested in our bodies. It aids in the delivery-and-subsequent absorption of nutrients, and in itself doesn’t get stored as additional fat, theoretically letting our bodies focus on burning already-existent blubber, wherever those problem areas may be.

This is quite possibly the most controversial ingredient, and here is a review of 24 scientific papers, and 5 claims about MCT oils (also known as brain octane oil) if you want the low-down on the most controversial of butter coffee’s ingredients.

While it generally seems like it doesn’t hurt at all to use it, studies show that the health claims around brain octane oil are inconclusive at best, and therefore, for bulletproof coffee recipe purposes, is highly interchangeable. 

This just means that there’s no need to feel disappointed that you’re not experiencing the FULL bulletproof coffee experience by not having MCT oil specifically.

Again, is it good for you?

The answer isn’t a simple “yes” or “no”. It will all differ from person-to-person, and on lifestyle factors. 

There’s no harm in trying out a bulletproof coffee recipe for yourself, but incorporating it into your lifestyle requires preparation and planning. Best practice would be to get bloodwork done and inform your doctor about your intention to get into bulletproof coffee.

With this kind of energy boost from the coffee and the MCT oil, it would be good to be familiar with your body’s response to what you’re putting in.

Why drink Keto coffee

Why not!? Especially if you’re on a keto diet.

In terms of taste, bulletproof coffee, aka keto coffee, can be an interesting break from your normal routine. As for the health benefits, as mentioned in the study above, while they are inconclusive, the best results come out when not taken too regularly (every day).

Intermittent fasting is usually a context in which keto coffee is brought up often. “One cup of black coffee” over x number of hours sounds exactly how it feels: daunting. 

But “bulletproof coffee” over x number of hours sounds way more doable, especially in terms of calorie count, after you hear about the 3 accessible ingredients. The name makes it seem like fun, reckless advice that probably works.

While you may need to adjust your calorie distribution as your eating window opens up, it’s well worth the more sustained energy release (that so many athletes and celebrities swear by), the increased brain function and physical alertness, and also being able to stave off hunger a few hours longer.

The side-effects of these simple, obvious reasons to drink keto coffee will depend on you. Will you use the increased energy to exercise? Will the feeling of being full make you eat fewer cheat snacks? Can you stay true to your fasting because of bulletproof coffee? 

All these positives that may lead to weight loss, for example, will be direct results of what you do AFTER deciding to drink bulletproof.

What you need to make bulletproof coffee

3 ingredients for the base recipe:

  • unsalted, grass-fed butter
  • MCT oil/coconut oil
  • brewed coffee

As aforementioned, unsalted butter is for texture and taste, as well as non-carbohydrate or protein sourced calories. The grass-fed aspect of it is reaching for the extra nutrients when used in the context of a specific diet or fast.

MCT oil, also known as brain octane oil, is for the absorption and steady release of caffeine and nutrients. It delivers extra healthy fats, and augments the mental and physical kick you get from the main ingredient which is,

Coffee itself. The main component of bulletproof for the caffeine, antioxidants, and of course, dominant flavor we all LOVE.

For this kind of coffee, you will need a single piece of equipment outside of your coffee maker: a blender.

You will soon find out that using a spoon to mix ingredients could result in a lipgloss flat white. The oil and butter tend to stay on the surface of your coffee, so unless you incorporate everything well via a blender, you will get two drinks in one: all unsalted butter at the start, and when that’s almost done, your tongue will be coated so thickly in a slimy film that your coffee will just taste like a warm dark ghost of what it once was.

At the end of the day it’s all up to you. Using a blender will mix in the ingredients better, allowing your coffee to stay together longer, and make each sip what it was intended to be. 

However, if you live an active lifestyle, chugging down your bulletproof coffee will render the purpose of the blender useless. It’s all up to you and your requirements!

15 Easy bulletproof coffee recipes

Let’s get right to it. Below are 15 bulletproof coffee recipes for you to try out starting with the:

1. Original bulletproof receipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup brewed coffee (8-12 ounces)
  • 1-2 tbsp Brain Octane Oil
  • 1-2 tbsp grass-fed, unsalted butter

Prepare, measure, and blend ingredients.

This is what built Bulletproof as a company, and is the base of all the coffee recipes of the same name after it. It’s a good starting point to determine if the taste and overall effect on you are worthwhile.

For all the following recipes prepare, measure, and blend–unless stated otherwise. 

Cheers!

butter coffee

2. Sweetened bulletproof coffee

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup brewed coffee (8-12 ounces)
  • 1-2 tbsp Brain Octane Oil
  • 1-2 tbsp grass-fed, unsalted butter
  • 1-2 sachets stevia

A sweetened version of the original with a lower glycemic index than using sugar.

3. Vegan bulletproof coffee

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup brewed coffee
  • 2 tbsp alt-milk (almond, soy, coconut)
  • 1 tbsp organic raw extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1 sachet stevia (optional)
  • cinnamon sprinkle (optional)

Cinnamon may be blended or sprinkled on to finish.

A vegan option for bulletproof coffee, using an alternative to MCT oil.

4. Italian bulletproof coffee

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup brewed coffee
  • 2 tbsp whipped cream
  • 1 tbsp MCT oil
  • cocoa powder sprinkle
  • 1-2 sachets stevia (optional)

Let the coffee cool down slightly after brewing, add oil (coconut, palm, or MCT), the put-in cream last, then blend. Finish with cocoa powder sprinkles.

The Italians drink cappuccino’s in the morning because of the effects of dairy on the digestive system. Sometimes they sprinkle it with cocoa powder. 

This is our bulletproof version of the cappuccino, with the cream mixed by the blender.

5. bulletproof coffee double power

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups brewed coffee
  • 2 tbsp grass-fed butter, unsalted
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 organic, fresh egg

One of the best pre-workout drinks within reach is coffee. Bulletproof takes it to the next level. The added egg (check if your stomach can handle it, make sure they’re fresh) is a welcome protein boost for added benefits.

6. Coco almond bulletproof coffee

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup brewed coffee
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp almond milk

Almond goes well with the scent of coconut oil and is a non-dairy substitute for butter. Add (1/4) banana as an ingredient too if you wish as it also goes well with the coconut flavor.

7. Bulletproof & ying yang

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup brewed coffee
  • 1/2 cup black tea
  • 2 tbsp MCT oil
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter

A popular milky tea-and-coffee drink from Hong Kong (shout out to our HK readers) with a bulletproof spin on things.

8. bulletproof cubes

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tbsp cinnamon

Prepare, measure, blend, then store in the ice tray.

Once the need to make your drinks arises, add a cube to a hot cup of coffee to make it bulletproof!

9. Honey im bulletproof

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups brewed coffee
  • 1-2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1-2 tbsp coconut oil or MCT
  • 2 tbsp honey

Have the energy to do extra chores with this sweetened version. Honey keeps forever and is widely considered to be a healthy sweetener.

10. the bulletproof cold brew

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup of cold brew coffee
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter (pre-melted)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

This is the cold brew version of the classic recipe! For the extra caffeine kick. It has roughly double the amount of caffeine of the original!

Never made cold brew? Check out the best cold brew recipe!

11. the iced bulletproof coffee

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup coffee brewed at greater strength (1/3 less water than usual)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 ice cubes

Compare this will the cold brew version and you will discover some subtle differences!

12. canadian bulletproof coffee

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup brewed coffee
  • 1 tbsp MCT oil
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1-2 tbsp maple syrup

A refreshing take using a sweetener with more depth in terms of flavor.

13. The bulletproof hulk

  • 1 cup of green tea made with 2 green tea bags or 5 grams loose green tea leaves
  • 2 tbsp MCT oil
  • 2 tbsp grass-fed butter
  • 1 tsp whipping cream or a splash of milk (optional)

The green tea version for when you need a change. One less excuse not to try bulletproof!

14. Bulletproof cold brew + green tea

  • 12 hour brewed green tea
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp grass-fed butter
  • 1 tsp whipping cream or a splash of milk (optional)

Cold tea version, and for a bit of fun, try alongside the hot brewed tea version in the recipe above.

15. peppered bulletprooof tea

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup brewed black tea (made with 1-2 black tea bags)
  • 1 tbsp MCT oil or coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter, grass-fed
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 sachets stevia

For added spices, try adding vanilla essence or immerse a bay leaf while steeping the black tea. 

Take out the leaf before blending the rest of the ingredients together. Finish with freshly ground black pepper. Take notice of how it brings out the clarity of the other flavors.

Bulletproof coffee hacks

When it comes to hacks for this particular type of coffee, taste and function will have totally different recommendations.

In terms of function as an energy and brain booster, check out the following hacks:

  • For taste, while you can interchange the coffee beans you use, it’s best to stick with good quality, properly processed, and nicely roasted beans.
  • MCT oil can be substituted with coconut or palm kernel oil, as long as you get a decently processed variant that is as near-tasteless.
  • The butter has no “hacks” because we’re trying to stay away from the salt, to better-appreciate the good coffee beans used.
  • Take your bulletproof coffee at the beginning of your day, so that you’re productive early, and your energy tapers off towards the end of the day. 

The first few hours after drinking are the best in terms of staving off hunger, so try not to shoot your bullet too early as well. Don’t be too dependent on this drink as well–not taking in MCT oil too regularly has also proven to be more beneficial. 

Lastly, do NOT rely on this coffee as a meal replacement. You will lose weight for sure, but risk weakening your immune system due to malnutrition. Remember that the goal of healthy lifestyle choices is long-term, satisfactory, repeatable habits. Not abs in 30 days!

Summary

After presenting to you the origin, the ingredients, the facts (even the issues), the benefits, some cautions, and more than a few recipes on bulletproof coffee, it’s time for you to try and decide if it’s something you can get into!

It’s a functional coffee, with an interesting flavor, and undeniable energy boosts physically and mentally.

The good news is, after your first cup, you can make a decision on taste in the short-term with just the help of your blender.

As for the long-term health considerations, it’s definitely worthwhile to learn more about yourself in the process of adopting this coffee recipe into your daily routine. If done right, it can add hours, days, and results consistently.

If you can get that out of your coffee, imagine what you can get out of life?

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make bulletproof coffee without MCT oil?

Yes you can! 
There are variants of coconut and palm kernel oil that have similar properties, which aren’t processed as MCT.

In terms of function, while studies show that the health benefits of MCT oil are still inconclusive, yes, bulletproof coffees can be made with coconut and palm kernel oils not necessarily processed to be MCT.

It seems like the benefits of MCT oil come out best when used intermittently, as opposed to daily.

Can I use regular butter with bulletproof coffee?

If you are fine with the salty taste, then yes.

Although it has to be mentioned that regular has fewer nutrients than grass-fed. If you are a casual coffee drinker, eating a normal diet, it’s completely okay.

If you are on a strict diet or require specific vitamin and mineral intakes, then it’s still best to consult a professional and stick with grass-fed options so you can maximize the health benefits.

Can you use any coffee for bulletproof?

Yes.

Although as with any coffee option, it is ideal to use properly farmed, processed, roasted (and fairly traded) beans.

Do keep in mind that there are ingredients in this recipe that tend to mask certain flavors of our favorite beans.

Can I use bulletproof coffee as a meal replacement to fast-track weight loss?

It’s always best to consult a medical professional who is aware of your bloodwork and medical history before regularly making this coffee part of your routine.

On its own, it cannot deliver the minimum nutritional requirements of any meal. However, since it is measured, there are ways to adjust your diet to prepare your body to take in bulletproof.

As mentioned in the article above, health goals are best achieved with proper habits and mindsets, not rushed by crash diets, deprivation, and the like. Long-term health should be realistic and, therefore, sustainable.

Miguel Papa

Miguel Papa

Barista and coffee writer

Miguel Papa is a coffee fanatic with a passion for brewing. During the weekdays, you can find him experimenting with different drinks while he works as a barista. Otherwise, he’s likely writing here for Sip Coffee or enjoying the outdoors.

*Disclaimer: Nothing in this article or on this website constitutes to medical advice and it is strictly informational. For medical advice please talk to your physician. 

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