These days, someone is more likely to ask you to pass the butter than the sugar when it comes to add-ins for a cup of joe—at least within plugged-in wellness circles. The trend, popularized by biohacker Dave Asprey, is so popular that he’s opening a Bulletproof cafe later this year in Manhattan, after the successes of his outposts on the West Coast.
But making your own butter-boosted brew isn’t exactly easy. Besides grass-fed, unsalted butter or ghee—which needs to be blended with the coffee, making the operation a two-appliance job—the official recipe calls for MCT oil (though coconut oil can work in a pinch). And while more MCT oil brands keep popping up—there’s even a cheapie 365 brand at Whole Foods—one forward-thinking food company is making the process even easier by offering everything in one bottle ready to go and in fancy latte form.
It’s essentially breakfast and coffee, all in one.
Austin-based Picnik has crafted bottled dirty chai, mocha, and cappuccino flavored butter coffee. Pretty convenient, right? But now the big question: How do they taste?
I held a tasting at the Well+Good offices to get staffers’ thoughts on the new bottled beverage—from Bulletproof lovers to people who had never tried butter-boosted coffee before. Usually an almond milk latte drinker, I reached for the cappuccino flavor, which blessedly only has 1 gram of sugar. (Also inside is whey protein, for an extra boost.)
As a food editor, I’m a dedicated label reader, and this one looked good: 10 grams of protein, 210 calories, 4 grams of carbs, and 160 milligrams of caffeine. (To compare, a regular cup of coffee has 95.) It’s essentially breakfast and coffee, all in one. I loved it from the first sip: It was creamy and had the perfect amount of sweetness. And a couple other W+G staffers had the same reaction. But not everyone…
“It’s 60 percent of your daily saturated fats in one bottle, which scared me. But the dirty chai is delicious. It’s like crack.”
“In the beginning, it tasted a little off,” one butter coffee virgin commented. “But it became an acquired taste. I never came around to the smell, though.” Another staffer reached for the dirty chai flavor and was put off by the fat content. “Seventeen grams?!” she exclaimed, even after I told her that fat is good for you. “What about the 21 grams of sugar?” she countered. Er, okay—she got me there. The mocha flavor was similarly high in sugar. In both flavors, it’s sourced from maple syrup.
“It’s 60 percent of your daily saturated fats in one bottle, which scared me,” one of W+G’s video editors commented. “But the dirty chai is delicious. It’s like crack.” Curious to try it yourself? The Bulletproof-style lattes are available at Whole Foods. Right past the (growing) shelf of MCT oils. Will you like the taste? If our team is any indication, it’s a toss-up. But one thing’s for sure: You won’t need to bust out your blender and coffee maker, so the cleanup can’t be beat.
If you want to know once and for all if coffee is healthy of not, read up on an expert’s opinion. Plus, here’s a recipe for a coffee and avocado smoothie, for a whole other way to get a caffeine boost with healthy fats.