Butter coffee...what is it and what is all the hype about?

I agree that it sounds a little weird but contrary to what you might think it is actually quite delicious! Today we'll dig in to some frequently asked questions about butter coffee and hopefully by the end of the post you'll be intrigued enough to give it a shot for yourself!

First, let me take a step back and share how I first discovered butter coffee. Picnik, one of the great restaurants we visited during spring break in Austin, is a gluten-free and paleo friendly restaurant but is also widely known for their butter coffee. They have an entire butter coffee menu and you can even buy their drinks online! I figured, I was there, I might as well give this butter coffee thing a try. I ordered the House Chai and upon first sip I was immediately hooked. Initially I didn't know what, if any, benefit came from adding butter to my Chai but what I did know is that it tasted amazing and I had to have more (three more that trip to be exact). Truly, I'm not sure if it was the butter, maple syrup or some other ingredient that made it so magical, but it was definitely the best Chai I'd ever had in my life.

Butter coffee menu at Picnik Austin

So let's dig in....

What is butter coffee?

Butter coffee is actually just as described, grass-fed butter blended in your black coffee along with MCT oil. Depending on your diet and preference, you might sub the grass-fed butter with cocoa butter or ghee. Beyond the basics, you can find all kinds of recipes online that expand and elevate that original formula.

Who drinks butter coffee?

Butter coffee is hugely popular in the keto community and those who practice intermitent fasting (IF) but really anyone can enjoy a cup of butter coffee.

What are the benefits?

Butter coffee provides sustained energy levels beyond where the caffeine found in your coffee will take you. It is also known to "boost cognitive function, support fat burn, balance mood and hormone levels, and reduce hunger". If you follow IF, drinking a cup of butter coffee in the morning can help keep you going until you break your fast.

What is MCT oil?

MCT stands for medium chain triglycerides which is a type of fat found in coconut oil. Unlike other fats, MCT's do not need to be broken down so they are digested straight to your liver where they are immediately turned into fuel for your body. In the liver, the MCT's are converted to ketones which are the primary fuel for your brain and muscles. MCT has no taste so it won't add any coconut flavor to your coffee. It has health benefits of its own including weight control and energy production.

Will adding butter to my coffee make me gain weight?

As with any type of macronutrient, excess consumption will cause you to gain weight and fat does contain the most calories per gram at 9 versus 4 for carbs and protein. So before you start throwing back cups of butter coffee take a quick evaluation of your current diet and the foods you're eating. If you are eating highly processed and fatty foods, drinking butter coffee may cause an increase in weight. On the other hand, if your eating a largely healthy, clean diet that includes healthy fats, a cup of butter coffee is unlikely to cause you any harm.

Fat gets a bad rap and is considered unhealthy by many. True that while there are unhealthy fats that aren't great for you, there are also an entirely different group of fats that you should be eating. Stay away from highly processed fats including trans fats but consuming healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can actually help with weight control and decrease hunger levels.

How do I make my butter coffee?

While I haven't tried to replicate that delicious Picnik Butter Chai at home, I have been making my own butter coffee concoction that I love! I add Wild Foods Co. Wild Cocoa Butter and Wild MCT oil to my black coffee. I love the cocoa butter wafers because they blend super easy and I love that the cocoa butter serves as a lip moisterizer as I sip on my coffee. If you have tried it, you know what I mean!

On days that I want to kick my butter coffee up a notch, I'll also blend in Wild Foods Cocotropic Superfood Elixir which is made from cocoa powder, reishi mushroom extract, raw maca, chaga mushroom extract and tumeric powder. It adds extra delicious flavor to my coffee. Not to mention that those superfoods together are natural cognitive enhancers that help with concentration, mood improvement and relaxation.

My morning butter coffee with Wild Cocoa Butter, MCT oil and Cocotropic elixir.

I have grown to love my cup of butter coffee in the morning. More often than not, I drink decaf so I don't need the benefits that butter coffee provides when it comes to regulating the coffee jitters and caffeine crashes but I have noticed that it helps keep me fuller for longer periods of time. While it's undetermined how much butter coffee contributes to my energy levels as I'm an avid gym goer and I know that always boosts my energy, I have been feeling a little more energetic lately. Lastly, and honestly most important to me, it tastes amazing!

What do you think? Ready to give butter coffee a try? Subbing in butter and MCT oil provides more benefits than your traditional creamer or milk and if nothing else, it's a nice way to mix up your coffee every now and again!