How to make bulletproof coffee: the secret to butter coffee

Bulletproof coffee, also known as 'butter coffee' is a caffeinated, high-energy drink to help focus and fullness. I asked baristas for the very best recipes.

How to make bulletproof coffee: coconut oil, butter, cinnamon and a moka pot around a cup of bulletproof coffee
(Image credit: GettyImages)

How to make bulletproof coffee

If you’re not sure how to make bulletproof coffee, or you’re looking to perfect your technique, look no further. Also known as ‘butter coffee’, this is a popular drink for those following the Keto diet: it’s an energy dense staple that many people use to kick-start their days.

The tastiest bulletproofs are made with the best coffee makers. If you want it to taste incredible, you need quality coffee and the perfect brewing method. It’s also important to use high-grade butter and fat sources, especially focussing on those with low-additives. The blend of top-tier coffee and premium fats is a great way to nourish your body, delivering better focus and more energy throughout the day.

I spoke with baristas, nutritionists, and health experts to determine the best way to make the most nourishing cup of bulletproof coffee. The recipe might have been created by Dave Asprey’s Bulletproof diet, but there are ways to elevate it.

What is bulletproof coffee?

The components of bulletproof coffee scattered around a cup of black coffee: a teaspoon of butter, half a coconut, coffee beans and a cup

(Image credit: GettyImages)

In 2011, Dave Asprey, founder of the Bulletproof diet, gave this butter coffee recipe its namesake. On the Bulletproof website, the drink is described as ‘a blend of coffee, MCT oil and grass-fed butter.’ It’s simple, but that covers it. The drink prioritizes fats and proteins, over sugar, to deliver an energy-dense drink that most people use to start their day. I spoke with a number of nutritionists who recommend it to clients, especially those who follow a Keto lifestyle. Generally, people have bulletproof coffee in the mornings, as a breakfast. Brenda Peralta, registered dietician and medical expert, recommends bulletproof coffee as ‘a great way to boost energy levels first thing in the morning’.

Although the ingredients are simple, it’s important that you choose the right ones. You’ll need freshly brewed, high quality coffee; grass-fed butter; and a medium-chain triglyceride oil or coconut oil. Using a blender is one of the simplest ways to make a smooth brew, but you can also whisk it if you need to be quiet in the mornings. 

How do you make bulletproof coffee?

A cup of coffee with two spoons of butter melting into it, there's a spoon of butter on the side too

(Image credit: GettyImages)

Given that this is a coffee, I wanted to speak to the experts. Lukas Van Vyve, founder of Emergent Brew, is a coffee expert. He has a recipe for Bulletproof coffee, so was ready to get into the finer details.

‘You start by brewing a fresh pot of coffee using your preferred method. Ensure the coffee grounds and water ratios are well-balanced for a robust flavor.’ In other words, make the kind of coffee that will get you out of bed in the morning. This can be anything from French press coffee to one from your espresso machine. My top tip would be to make sure that your coffee is good quality and that you use your coffee grinder to get the freshest results. You’ll taste more of the variety of flavor notes and you'll have more caffeine, which is always welcome in the morning.

Next, you add butter and MCT oil - like this MCT Oil at Amazon - to your warm coffee. The warm coffee will melt the butter and oils for you, making your coffee much more appetizing. Lukas recommends using one tablespoon of butter per eight ounces of coffee, followed by one tablespoon of MCT oil or powder. These are the high-energy components that will give your coffee that creamy texture, as well as keeping you full. Lukas says ‘powder can make all the difference if you suffer from digestive problems’. The simple swap from oil to powder doesn’t affect the taste at all.

Once your ingredients are together, pour them into a blender or hand whisk them. Most people recommend a blender. The oils separate easily, so using a hand whisk will use more energy than the coffee will give you. 

Founder of Emergent Brew
Lukas Van Vyve in front of a stone wall
Founder of Emergent Brew
Lukas Van Vyve

Lukas founded Emergent Brew because of his love of coffee and learning languages. He brings together experts to research home barista beans and brewing techniques. As an expert on coffee, he's an encyclopaedia of knowledge and the best recipes and coffee combinations. 

Expert tips and tricks

A cup of bulletproof coffee with coffee beans, cubes of butter, and coconut oil around a cup of coffee with a wooden board and a teaspoon

(Image credit: GettyImages)

If you want something sweeter, Lukas has some extra tips. You can add vanilla extract, cinnamon, or natural; sweeteners like monk-fruit, erythritol, and stevia for a sweeter, low-carb flavor. ‘If you want to take it up a notch, you can add some keto-friendly protein powder or mix in some collagen powder’. Sweet, high-protein, skin-brightening: you can adjust your bulletproof coffee to work for you.

Casey Allen, CEO of Barista Warrior, is a regular bulletproof coffee drinker who suggests switching MCT oil for organic coconut milk with cream. These products have natural MCT oil contents. For Casey ‘straight MCT oil made me feel too jittery’. He also recommends using salted, grass fed butter instead of unsalted. ‘The salt actually cuts the bitterness of the coffee and balances the subtle sweetness from the coconut milk’. I’m a big advocate for salt in coffee, only a little bit though. It makes all the difference.

If you don’t like butter, Brenda Peralta, medical expert and registered dietician, recommends ghee over butter. She says this clarified butter has ‘a creamier texture and makes more intense beverages’. You can find it in the Asian sections of Walmart or Trader Joes, or a local Asian supermarket. It provides all the same benefits, but make sure you melt the ghee. 

CEO of Barista Warrior
Casey Allen
CEO of Barista Warrior
Casey Allen

Casey Allen is the CEO of Barista Warrior, an e-Commerce company selling coffee products, such as French presses, pour-over kits, coffee scales, and coffee filters. He's a regular bulletproof coffee drinker and has all the equipment needed to make the perfect one.

Our verdict

A cup of bulletproof coffee with a spoon of butter over the top on a simple, monochrome background

(Image credit: GettyImages)

Bulletproof coffee comes with a lot of opportunities for versatility, health boosts, and energy highs. Adding alternative milks, cocoa powder, and collagen powder are all great ways to mix up your morning coffee. If want to try one variation, combine coffee with collagen. Nutritionists at Health Keeda recommend collagen supplements ‘for better skin health and joint support’. At the same time, your coffee gives an extra antioxidant boost. Made right, your coffee can do wonders.


What is the point of bulletproof coffee?

Brenda Peralta, registered dietician and health coach, says that 'bulletproof coffee can be a great way to boost energy levels first thing in the morning'. The combination of healthy fats and caffeine helps to energize you and prepare you for the day, whilst keeping you fuller for longer.

What is the downside of bulletproof coffee?

Lisa Richards, a nutritionist and creator of the Candida Diet had some insights on where to be careful. She told me 'depending on the type of fat your are using in your bulletproof coffee recipe, you risk increasing your cholesterol levels. Ingredients high in saturated fat, like coconut oil and most butters, may increase your overall cholesterol. This isn't always an issue, as some people process cholesterol differently, but if you are already prone to having issues in this area, it is best to not consume bulletproof coffee'.

Does bulletproof coffee help you burn fat?

Nutritionist and creator of the Candida Diet, Lisa Richards, recommends bulletproof coffee as a quick and easy way to get in some extra fat to help you reach your weight loss goals. It doesn't burn fat in itself, but the caffeine can give you more energy, whilst the fats will fill you up, helping to curb any morning hunger cravings and slumps.

What is the best coffee maker for bulletproof coffee?

Our experts have tested a range of the best coffee makers on the market. Any of the appliances on our list would make brilliant bulletproof coffee, especially paired with our coffee recommendation. I would always choose an espresso machine for quality coffee, but if you're short on space, a French press is a great alternative.

Should I use a blender for bulletproof coffee?

Ideally, yes. If you don't want to make noise in the mornings, there are plenty of quiet blenders on the market. To get your oils to emulsify, it's best to give your bulletproof coffee a thorough blend. You can use a hand whisk, but it will fatigue your arm and take much longer.

Laura Honey
eCommerce Editor

Laura is our eCommerce editor. Before Homes & Gardens she studied English at Oxford University. Alongside her studies, she qualified as a barista and trained as a master perfumer. This makes her our certified expert for all things coffee, candles, and fragrance. She has passed our five-step tests to become a certified Customer Advisor, making her our resident expert. Laura has worked for luxury retail brands, reinforcing the importance of quality and style over quantity and fads. She looks for products which have been designed with thoughtful finishes.