You may have heard of Bulletproof Coffee. It even has its own listing on Wikipedia: Bulletproof Coffee! It’s a brand created by the man who blogs at Bulletproof Exec, who adds a proprietary “brain octane” medium-chain triglyceride oil to it.
The term is also used generically to refer to high-quality coffee blended with high-quality butter or ghee. The inspiration is butter tea, a traditional energy-giving drink in the Himalayan region that uses black tea, yak butter, hot water, and salt (using those pink Himalayan salt crystals, methinks).
I realized a few years ago that – after drinking coffee for my whole adult life – that I didn’t even enjoy the taste, always doctoring it with cream and sugar (waaaaay back before I went dairy- and sugar-free). I started drinking it for the stimulation of the caffeine when I was a young college student, and it became a habit.
Even freshly ground, organic coffee beans just didn’t and still don’t taste good to me. Too acidic and too much caffeine. Smells good, though.
Then I discovered green tea. I enjoy the taste, the lower level of caffeine, the health benefits, and the way my stomach feels. So it was natural to experiment and come up with my own version of “bulletproof tea”.
Have a mug with lid and a built-in infuser ready (or mug plus strainer, whatever you’ve got).
coconut oil or grass-fed ghee
very hot water
stevia to taste (optional)
salt to taste (optional)
- To the mug, I add 1 serving of green tea. Currently I’m using organic green tea bags, but I’ve used matcha powder and loose green tea before.
- I add a large pinch of pu-erh tea.
- I add a small pinch of yerba maté.
- Pour very hot water into the cup and let the teas steep for a few minutes.
- Add two tablespoons of coconut oil and/or grass-fed ghee.
- Add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of lemon juice to your taste.
- Add a pinch of pink Himalayan salt crystals or unprocessed sea salt to your taste.
- Add a few drops of stevia or raw honey to sweeten, if desired.
- Blend to emulsify the fat into the liquid.
- Add ice if you like ice tea when it’s hot (it’s a summer staple in Texas).
What makes it so darn healthy?
The green tea* benefits are numerous. It is high in anti-oxidants, protecting cells from damage and lowering cancer risk. The caffeine helps your brain’s neurons and neurotransmitters work better, although It has a lower level of caffeine than coffee or black tea, thus giving a milder buzz. Green tea contains L-theanine, which has anti-anxiety effects, further mellowing the caffeine buzz. Caffeine and L-theanine work synergistically to improve brain function, and they feel more balanced than caffeine alone.
The catechins in green tea are higher than in black tea and lower the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s and also kill bacteria and viruses, improving dental health. Green tea improves insulin sensitivity and stabilizes blood sugar, lowering the risk of Type 2 diabetes. It lowers total and LDL (bad) cholesterol. Green tea increases fat-burning and physical performance and may help you lose abdominal fat.
The pu-erh tea is an oxidized, fermented black tea that mellows and improves with age. It has the same anti-oxidant properties of green tea. There are fewer studies on it than on green tea, but it’s been shown to aggressively lower LDL and raise HDL (happy cholesterol), to lower triglycerides and blood pressure, and to produce a natural statin to lower the risk of heart disease. It’s believed that the microbial activity in the tea (from fermentation) provides unique probiotic health benefits, such as reducing arterial plaque as well as aiding in weight loss by reducing blood sugar levels and improving the body’s ability to metabolize fat.
The yerba maté is a traditional drink in Central and South America made from a plant (Flex paraguariensis) that is unrelated to the tea plant (Camellia sinensis). It shares many properties with green tea but has more anti-oxidants. It helps your body use carbohydrates efficiently, preserves bone mineral density, and can reduce the risk of colon cancer.
The coconut oil helps your body metabolize fat, helps you burn calories, and reduces appetite. It has anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial properties. It increases HDL cholesterol and helps your body absorb minerals. Its medium chain fatty acids are easily digested and go straight to the liver to provide instant energy. Coconut oil helps reduce yeast, fungus, and candida. It improves insulin sensitivity and thyroid function.
The grass-fed ghee is made from high quality butter with the milk solids removed; thus it can usually be tolerated by those who have difficulty with dairy. It is rich in Omega 3s, is loaded with vitamins, and helps the body absorb minerals. Its Vitamin K2 content helps your body metabolize calcium better, taking it out of your arteries and putting it into your bones, reducing the risk of heart disease and osteoporosis.
The lemon juice makes the anti-oxidants in the green tea more available for absorption and increases up to six-fold the amount of catechins your body extracts from the green tea, so if you’re really working on preventing neurodegenerative diseases, it’s important to add. Also, combining lemon juice with green tea allows more iron in your food to be absorbed.
I like to drink it in the morning when I know I’m going to have a long day and won’t have an opportunity to eat for hours – same thing as intermittent fasting, I suppose.
*Caution: Pregnant women and those wanting to conceive should not drink green tea as it can lower folate levels, increasing the risk of neural tube defects.