What is Bulletproof Coffee?

Duncan Riach
4 min readFeb 6, 2017


Bulletproof coffee is just lab-tested coffee with grass-fed butter and 8-carbon, medium-chain triglycerides blended into it. That’s literally what it is, nothing more, nothing less. No magic, nothing hidden, no mystery.

I make it at home, and I call it delicious.

Bulletproof coffee is a part of the Bulletproof Diet. Bulletproof is just a trademark. Dave Asprey, the creator of the bulletproof brand, and the creator of bulletproof coffee holds no other intellectual property related to this, that I am aware of.

The purpose of bulletproof coffee is to stave-off hunger, and provide energy in the form of exogenous (externally provided) ketone bodies during the intermittent fasting period. The reason for doing that is to get the benefits of ketosis without the distraction of hunger. Ketosis is a state where your body uses ketone bodies for mitochondrial energy, rather than glucose. Ketosis provides constant energy all day long without the energy crashes and focus loss you get from running on carbohydrates, including sugar (glycolysis). That’s all it is. I can tell you that it works amazingly.

You are free to make bulletproof coffee and call it whatever you like. I make it at home, and I call it delicious.

I am grateful to Dave Asprey for developing bulletproof coffee and promoting a science-research-based nutrition approach that has added significant quality to my life. I am happy that he makes some profit on products and processes that he sells. He deserves his success.

How do I make it?

To make the most basic version, add a tablespoon of unsalted Kerrygold (grass-fed) butter into tall cup (leaving space to whisk it), add tablespoon of coconut oil, and fill up with freshly made coffee. Whisk it all together thoroughly using electric latte whisk (you can get one from Amazon). Use a half-tablespoon of coconut oil for a few days until your gut gets used to larger amounts of oil and fat. Your gall bladder needs to start producing more bile.

From here, you can enhance it further as follows. These enhancements are listed in order from smallest to largest improvement:

  1. Use MCT oil instead of coconut oil
  2. Use lab tested beans (bulletproof sells them; same cost as normal beans)
  3. Use XCT oil (bulletproof) instead of MCT oil
  4. Use Brain Octane (bulletproof) instead of XCT oil
  5. Use locally sourced, organic, grass-fed butter (can source via Good Eggs)

Can I make bulletproof tea?

You can use green tea, matcha green tea, black tea or herbal tea. Dave Asprey warns that black tea tends to contain a lot of mycotoxins, because of the way it is processed. Note that the caffeine in bulletproof coffee serves the purpose of reducing hunger during the intermittent fasting period. Caffeine also limits uptake or nutrients, that leads to a bounce-back effect during the non-fasting period, which results in increased nutrient uptake and utilization. You lose these benefits if the drink doesn’t have caffeine in it.

Can I use any coffee?

The coffee can be any type, but ideally is low-mycotoxin, lab-tested coffee. You can buy that kind of coffee from bulletproof, or anyone else who produces it. It’s not patented. Tips for getting uncertified low-mycotoxin coffee are:

  1. single source
  2. not bitter tasting
  3. doesn’t give you brain fog.

What are mycotoxins?

Mycotoxins as secondary metabolites of fungi. When mold grows on food, it leaves mycotoxins. Mycotoxins are harmful to health and wellbeing in many ways, and governments tend to regulate the amount of them that can be present in foods. Ingestion of mycotoxins leads to general lack of wellbeing, including mental fogginess. If you want to perform at your maximum potential, then it’s best to not ingest mycotoxins. The processing of some foods leads to particularly high amounts of mycotoxins; examples are coffee, wine, and cheese.

What is MCT Oil?

MCT oil is just the medium chain triglycerides from coconut or palm oil. It’s essentially a refined form of coconut oil. As you move down the following stack, you get more goodness and less gut irritation:

  • coconut oil
  • MCT oil (generic)
  • XCT oil (bulletproof brand)
  • Brain Octane (bulletproof brand)

I don’t know if you can get the last two yet in other brands. I assume it’s possible, but I like to give Dave Asprey the profit.

What is the difference between all these types of oil?

Coconut oil is just coconut oil. It’s good stuff, but if you eat enough of it, you will get diarrhea.

MCT oil is refracted coconut oil or palm oil, containing only the medium-chain triglycerides (which metabolize in your liver into ketone bodies). This oil is less irritating to the gut than coconut oil, for a given amount of ketone bodies. MCT oil contains triglycerides, versions with 6, 8, 10, and 12 carbon atoms.

XCT oil is a bulletproof branded oil that is only sourced from coconut oil, preventing the environmental destruction caused by palm oil manufacture. It also does not include the 12-carbon MCT, which is both the most abundant MCT and produces the least ketone bodies.

Brain Octane is a bulletproof branded oil that also only comes from coconut oil, and contains only the 8-carbon MCTs. The 8-carbon MCTs have the maximum ketone body yield of all the MCTs. Therefore Brain Octane provides the most ketone bodies for the least gut irritation.


Try the bulletproof diet for a few weeks, including bulletproof intermittent fasting and bulletproof coffee. You can read the book The Bulletproof Diet, and you can get started right away by downloading the bulletproof roadmap.

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Duncan Riach

Top Writer. Self-Revealing. Mental Health. Success. Fulfillment. Flow. MS Engineering/Technology. PhD Psychology.