What is bulletproof coffee? And how can you make it at home

Here's everything you need to know to make better butter coffee

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

Bulletproof coffee sounds impressive. It sounds punchy, powerful, and strong, but what is bulletproof coffee? Is it the same as butter coffee? and how do you make it?

If you haven't heard of bulletproof coffee (where have you been?), you'll have heard of the Keto diet. This drink, also known as butter coffee, is an offshoot of the Ketogenic diet: it's an energy-dense staple that lots of people use to kick-start their days. To make a good bulletproof coffee, you'll need one of the best coffee maker, quality coffee, high-grade butter, and premium fats. It's a great way to nourish your body and we've got expert tips on how to make it.

I spoke with baristas, nutritionists, and health experts to get their tips and tricks for better butter 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.


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 you 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.

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.

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.

Laura Honey
eCommerce Editor

Laura is our eCommerce editor. As a fully qualified barista, she's our expert in all things coffee and has tested over thirty of the best coffee makers on the market. She has also interviewed Q-Graders and world-leading experts in the coffee industry, so has an intimate knowledge of all things coffee. Before joining Homes & Gardens, she studied English at Oxford University. Whilst studying, she trained as a master perfumer and worked in the luxury fragrance industry for five years. Her collection of home fragrance is extensive and she's met and interviewed five of the world's finest perfumers (also known as 'noses'). As a result of this expansive fragrance knowledge, she always puts quality and style over quantity and fads. Laura looks for products which have been designed simply and with thoughtful finishes.