Scoop of butter for your coffee? ‘Fat black’ fad is either ‘bio-hack’ or disgusting trend, but no one’s quite sure | National Post

Scoop of butter for your coffee? ‘Fat black’ fad is either ‘bio-hack’ or disgusting trend, but no one’s quite sure | National Post

Most coffee drinkers on the streets of London, England, rejected the notion that their cuppa would be better with butter.

— If you are reading this over breakfast and want to be a part of the
latest diet fad, then it’s quite simple: Take a tablespoon, lift the
butter dish and stir two great dollops of the yellow stuff into your
coffee. Add a dash of oil (medium-chain triglyceride, if you’ve got some
lurking next to the marmalade jar…), and hey presto: one steaming cup
of Bulletproof Coffee, otherwise known as the “fat black.”

Bonnie Stern: Recipes to send your hearts a-butter

Over the last few years, many foods we were once told were bad for us
have turned out to be good. Or at least not that bad. Avocados, nuts,
chocolate, eggs, coffee, salt, cheese and red meat are just a few. Now
it’s butter’s turn. Although no one is telling us to eat large
quantities of butter, compared to highly processed substitutes it may
not be so bad. And flavour wise, it can’t be beat. Moderation is always
the key. Here are a few ways to make a little butter go a long way.

Read more…

The heady brew, caramel-brown with an unhealthy oily sheen, if done
correctly, measures up to a whopping 500 calories per cup. It also
tastes like the bottom of an industrial butter churn. But this is the
new weight-loss craze that is sweeping the United States and now around
the world. All hail the “new power drink of Silicon Valley,” coming to a
café near you.

The coffee, whose lardy contents have left nutritionists shaking
their heads in dismay, has been developed by tech millionaire Dave
Asprey. The 41-year-old was once almost 300 pounds, but that was before
he discovered the “power of butter” at 18,000 feet during a hike near
Mount Kailash in Tibet.

‘I was literally rejuvenated by a creamy cup of yak butter tea’
“I staggered into a guest house from the minus-10 degree weather and
was literally rejuvenated by a creamy cup of yak butter tea,” Asprey’s
story goes. Now slim, and still talking with the giddiness of somebody
recovering from a bout of altitude sickness, he professes to be a
“bio-hacker”: a man who can manipulate his own biology to gain an unfair
advantage in business and life.

So far, so nonsensical, but the devotees to his Bulletproof Coffee
are growing. In London, several cafés now stock the beverage, including
Crussh, a branch of juice bars, which replaces milk with butter in its
so-called Smart Coffee. The drink is prepared with coffee beans, two
pats of butter from grass-fed cows and MCT oil (a coconut and palm
kernel oil derivative). The standard price is $5.35; or for pounds $6.60
you can add a dash of Bulletproof Brain Octane Oil.

This, Aga Mis, the manager of the Victoria branch tells me, is 15 times stronger than the regular brew.

“We started doing it about four or five months ago. It is getting a
lot more popular. It is the sort of drink that you develop a taste for.
We sell about 10 a day.”

Such concoctions, say the critics, encourage the worst in modern-day
narcissism and will no sooner help you lose weight than a bacon butty.
Incidentally, Asprey preaches an overall diet rich in saturated fat to
be enjoyed alongside his coffee.

‘I love butter. And I love coffee. But definitely not the two together’
“There is no science that would back this up as a weight-loss tool,”
says Dr. Sally Norton, an NHS surgeon and leading weight-loss consultant
in the U.K. “The problem is we have a huge obesity epidemic where two
thirds of us are overweight and one quarter obese. The more we try to
lose weight, the worse it is getting. People are just desperate and
don’t know where else to turn.”

Sian Porter, a spokeswoman for the British Dietetic Association, who
first heard about fat blacks a few weeks ago, is similarly skeptical.
“He has done one of the classic things that fad diets do by saying he
has looked at thousands of studies. But it is about quality not

As for the taste of a buttery coffee, and the claim that the drink
boosts “mental clarity,” who better to ask than the harried office
workers of London walking the streets during a week of Christmas

“All you can taste is the butter,” says Stuart Butcher, 40, who works
in acquisitions and marketing. “Normally, I would just go for an
Americano, maybe with a bit of cold milk.”

Craig Timmis, a 33-year-old lawyer, decided to have a sip on his way
back from lunch at a nearby Thai restaurant. “It tastes very weak, but
there is a greasy film that definitely stays with you.”

“I love butter, I put it on everything, and I love coffee as well,” says Helena Kilduff, 26, an account manager.

“But,” she says, regarding the droplets of oil formed on the surface, “definitely not the two together.”

Next year, Asprey plans to open his first Bulletproof café in Los
Angeles. Until then, viva the milk and two sugars, and save the butter
for your toast.