Spoiler alert: not tea
I’ve been fascinated with Bulletproof Coffee for a few years, ever since I heard Shailene Woodley rave about it in Bon Appetit. It's a mixture of coffee, grass-fed butter, and oil—typically coconut oil (don't tell that Harvard professor!), sometimes MCT, sometimes both—blended until creamy. The idea is that this oily brew will give you energy, fewer hunger cravings in between meals, and a mental boost, among other benefits. Bulletproof founder Dave Asprey took the generic concept of butter coffee and ran with it, turning it into a brand. He swears by the stuff, naturally. As a breakfast journalist, I'm fascinated. This guy has probably stopped eating breakfasts all together. I had to talk to him about it. I interviewed Asprey over email to find out if he really does have Bulletproof coffee every day, if he still likes solid food, and his thoughts on what some health experts say about butter and coconut oil.
Extra Crispy: What did you have for breakfast today?
Dave Asprey: For breakfast, I start the day as I do every morning with Bulletproof Coffee, which is no surprise. I blend upgraded mold-free Bulletproof Coffee Beans with Brain Octane Oil and unsalted grass-fed butter. This combination kills hunger and food craving for hours and gives me serious focus and energy all day long.
Is this a typical meal for you?
Yes—I drink Bulletproof Coffee every day! For the rest of the day, I make sure to keep my diet full of healthy fats, organic vegetables, and grass-fed meats, and free of sugar, grains and processed foods. Living the Bulletproof lifestyle is all about feeling like your strongest, sharpest self.
If you weren't having Bulletproof Coffee, what would you have for breakfast?
If I weren't having Bulletproof Coffee, I would have a meal focused around protein, veggies, and fat. Protein gives steady energy and brain power while keeping you full for hours; low starch vegetables like avocado, broccoli, and cauliflower offer fiber and micronutrients like magnesium, iron, and folate; and fat from grass-fed ghee will help your body absorb critical micronutrients from your food. One of my favorite recipes is [a] Buddha Bowl, which mixes poached pastured eggs, lamb sausage, cauliflower rice, grass-fed ghee for cooking, avocado, cucumber, and a handful of leafy greens.
The American Heart Association says the saturated fat in butter and coconut oil pose cardiovascular risks and should be consumed in small amounts. What are your thoughts on this?
There's a misconception that all fats are bad. For saturated fat specifically, it has never been proven to cause heart disease—trans fat and polyunsaturated fat do. The saturated and healthy fats found in grass-fed butter are packed with nutrients. Grass-fed butter is high in vitamins (A, K, D, and E), minerals, antioxidants, and omega 3s. The fat-soluble vitamins in butter actually protect against heart disease, atherosclerosis, osteoporosis, and degenerative disease.
So you created Bulletproof Coffee the brand. Where did that idea come from—butter coffee has kind of a long history, right?
In the mid-2000s, I traveled to Mount Kailash in Tibet, considered one of the most sacred places on Earth. I stumbled into a one-bedroom hut where a Tibetan woman offered me a cup of tea blended with yak butter. The butter-infused drink was so rejuvenating that I spent the next few years working to develop Bulletproof Coffee with grass-fed butter and Brain Octane oil to provide people with the same energizing effects.
Who do you think would benefit the most from incorporating Bulletproof Coffee into their routine? Athletes? Students?
Though everybody is different, I think Bulletproof Coffee has the potential to benefit anyone. The mix of high-quality coffee with healthy, undamaged fats creates a satisfying drink that can provide mental clarity for students, help with weight loss and muscle building for athletes, and increase overall focus and performance. You get steady, clean energy without the jittery effects of caffeine and sugar crashes, making it a great choice to help kick-off the day.
What's next for Bulletproof Coffee?
We just closed our Series C funding with investments from CAVU Venture Partners whose founders were behind Bai, Vitaminwater, and other iconic consumer good-for-you brands, and Trinity Ventures, an early investor in Starbucks and Jamba Juice. This brings our total investment to-date to $68 million. With this extra capital in hand and rocket-ship like growth, we’re expanding across all sales channels and product categories. Right now we’re selling products through Bulletproof.com, Amazon, Bulletproof Cafes, and more than 3000 retail outlets like Whole Foods, Wegmans and Sprouts. We’re also promoting the brain-and-body-fueling Bulletproof lifestyle through multiple media channels—the blog, Bulletproof Radio podcast, our events, and my New York Times bestselling books—with a new book called Game Changers on the way this December!