Thursday, October 30, 2014

Trends: Butter Coffee

Butter and coffee are two of the greatest food discoveries of all time. The smell of coffee brewing will stop you in your tracks at the office and force you to wait in the break room; cup in hand. A warm, buttery croissant will make you fall off of that diet wagon two hours after you have committed to eating healthier. So what happens when you combine the two? What happens when you put butter in your coffee?

Balk if you will, but putting butter in coffee is a new paradigm only to the Western world. In Tibet, Monks have been adding butter to tea and the occasional coffee for thousands of years and Nomads are known to drink 40 cups of this calorie rich drink a day. Men meet in Moroccan cafes and smoke hookahs while sipping on salted butter coffee and discussing the politics of the day. In Sweden, a tradition called fika invites people to take a coffee break with friends or family; some people adding a knob of butter to their afternoon pick-me-up, often as much as 1/5 a stick of butter to a 12-14oz cup of coffee. 

Most people are turned off by the idea of butter in coffee even though butter is made solely from cream (salt optional). The important thing to keep in mind is the type of butter that is being used in the preparation of the beverage. Western butter coffee drinkers urge the importance of using grass-fed butter, the easiest to find in Lafayette being Kerrygold Irish Butter and Oraganic Valley's Pasture Butter.

Only grass-fed butter has the right fats that regulate cholesterol, not add to it. Grass-fed butter has the best ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce body fat. It is a good source of vitamin K which, according to some studies, reduces the risk of heart disease. Drinking it each morning supposedly puts your body in the routine to burn fat all day, helping you trim down overall. 

“Bulletproof Coffee”, as it is known in America, claims to give you energy as well as increase cognitive function. Mixed with more healthy fats from coconut oil, this amped up drink will help produce ketones, which are created when your body creates energy from fat rather than carbohydrates. Proponents even say you can literally feel when it kicks in; a caffeine buzz lasting for about six hours and subsiding without the crash. 

Two tablespoons of butter in your coffee is all you need to replace a breakfast meal altogether. The butter provides your body with essential fats and calories and is a higher performance blend than a carb source making this a quick alternative for people on the go.

Why is something that’s been around so long just now trending in America? When will it show up in Lafayette? I don’t think we’ll see Bulletproof Coffee on the menu of any national chains just yet, but we may see it creep its way into local coffee shops that tend to be more adventurous and experimental. If your favorite cafe doesn’t want to add it to your drink, you may want to BYOB. Regardless of the health claims, people will jump on this trend just for novelty's sake. Look for the biggest population of Bulletproof drinkers to be college students and Cross-fitters looking for the extra edge.

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