Like me, you’ve probably seen them: all the articles touting buttered coffee and – less frequently – tea for both health benefit and heavenly flavor.
The idea of buttered tea wasn’t new to me, but …
I’d read about the Tibetan custom of drinking black tea with salt and yak butter, often with tsampa (roasted barley flour) as well. Nonetheless, the thought of drinking buttered coffee or tea held no appeal until it became clear that I had to up the fats in my diet and eliminate fast carbs (sugars, grains and starches) in order to transition my brain from running on glucose to running on ketones and my body from carb burning to fat burning. This meant focusing primarily on healthy fats (organic extra-virgin cold-press olive oil, organic coconut oil, grass-fed butter, medium-chain-triglycerides [MCT oil]), moderate vegetables, tidbits of berries, a modicum of seeds and nuts, and adequate protein from grass-fed and pasture-raised animals.
Such transitions also involve intermittent fasting. I have a six-hour window for “feeding” and don’t eat for eighteen hours. This allows the body to rest and regenerate. It controls insulin production and inflammation and – nice bonus – it facilitates clear mind, physical energy and weight loss. I lost eighteen pounds in two months. Buttered coffee or tea makes fasting easy. It’s delicious and satisfying and, since there’s no insulin spike, it doesn’t break the fast. I find I never feel deprived.
Buttered coffee drinks were popularized as “Bulletproof Coffee™” by Dave Asprey, an entrepreneur self-described as a bio-hacker, someone who hacks his/her body for the sake of good health, high energy and peak physical and mental performance. Hacking is tech-speak for gaining access to a system, so bio-hackers experiment with their body-systems to target the best ways to eat, sleep, exercise, and supplement.
Because I’m a writer, I think of it more as reframing, as in reframing a scene or a story line, or as a sort-of physical version of cognitive reframing. Instead of reframing the irrational and maladaptive, we reframe neurodegenerative disease and dysfunctional metabolism.
There are three caveats for the switch to high fat:
- Go slowly. If your body is used to a low-fat diet a sudden increase in fats will result in uncomfortable and embarrassing gastrointestinal issues.
- A high-fat diet MUST be combined with low carbs. High fat and high carbs will put the pounds on and damage your lipid profile, putting your health at risk.
- Consult with your doctor.
Since I’m not a medical professional, that’s enough said by me. If you’re interested research: Low-carb High-fat (LCHF), Ketogenic, Whole 30, Paleo, and Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) diets.
Meanwhile, to the point of this site: here’s how to make delicious frothy buttered coffee. I promise you, it’s addictive.
- using filtered water brew eight-to-ten ounces of coffee
- use two heaping teaspoons of your favorite beans, freshly ground – NO instant coffee
- over a few weeks work up to two tablespoons of MCT oil (start slowly and start when you have a few days off from work)
- one tablespoon unsalted butter from grass-fed cows
One or more possible additions depending on your taste preferences:
- one tablespoon organic heavy whipping cream (grass-fed if you can find it)
- alcohol and gluten-free vanilla or almond flavoring
- one teaspoon organic cocoa powder
- quarter teaspoon organic turmeric
- xylitol made from birch to taste.
I actually like my morning coffee with just a pinch of nutmeg or cardamom. To make buttered tea just substitute your preferred morning tea for the coffee.
Lastly, be sure to whip up your blend in a personal blender or Bullet.
And with that, here’s todays poem:
Over His Morning Coffee
Over his morning coffee he sat,
dreaming of yesterday’s spring
and the hill country of his youth,
remembering summers of peace
and autumn days when he thought
life a forever thing. The world lay before
him then, a ripe field awaiting harvest.
Now beside this sad cup, a winter hand,
so withered and so gray, an old man’s
hand he barely recognized as his own.
Then his gaze found her playful smile.
In the hazel warmth of her eyes he
felt like spring again, the rich loam of
her love yielding a gentle harvest of joy
– Jamie Dedes
© 2015, poem and post, Jamie Dedes; Bowl of Tibetan Buttered Tea courtesy of