Buttered Coffee: Fad or Trend?

Author: Rob   Date Posted:9 July 2014 

“Would you like milk, sugar or butter in your coffee?” If the new offering at Sydney's Ruby's Diner catches on, it's a question coffee houses throughout Australia might be asking you in the future.


According to an article in goodfood.com.au, Butter in your coffee: Australia's next cafe trend? American entrepreneur Dave Asprey is counting on the fad becoming a trend in Australia. Reading between the lines, though, it hasn't even quite taken off as a fad in Australia. Ruby's Diner offers Asprey's Bulletproof Coffee at $8 a pop and Ed Devlin, the owner of Ruby's, sees sales slowly improving, so maybe it’s just a matter of time.
 
The idea for buttered coffee came to Dave Asprey when he was trekking in Tibet, where tea with added yak butter (ghee) is a traditional beverage. Asprey's blend is made from unsalted grass-fed butter and his own coconut fat derived product, Bulletproof Upgraded Brain Octane.
 
Buttered coffee's future may depend on the outcome of the health controversy surrounding it. Aficionados love the taste. They claim it helps prevent coffee jitters and spreads the caffeine "fix" out longer. Advocates of the paleo diet are all for adding butter to coffee, but other nutritionists are dubious. The article quotes Dr. Rosemary Stantion, who says, "Although butter is added to tea in places like Nepal and Tibet, these people have every opportunity to use up the kilojoules. Most sedentary Westerners don't."
 
Health benefits or risks aside, those who have tried buttered coffee like it and for most of us, that's the main concern. According to those who have tried it, the ghee gives the coffee a "nutty, chocolaty taste" and the fat makes the coffee less bitter tasting.
 
Australian producers of ghee are enjoying increased online sales, thanks to customers asking for "butter for coffee." If their increased sales figures are anything to go by, buttered coffee may indeed become a fad or even a long-term trend. Myrtleford Butter Factory’s director Naomi Ingleton says their butter for coffee is most popular with males between 30 and 50 years of age, but doesn’t speculate about why females order it less.
 
If you don't live in Sydney or don't want to experiment with an $8 coffee, you can try making buttered coffee at home. All you have to do is make a single shot of espresso in your Lavazza coffee machine, dilute it with 100ml of water and add 15 grams unsalted butter and 15 grams extra virgin olive oil. This is the recipe Melbourne barista Matt Perger recommends. Adding the water is important, Perger says, because "otherwise you'll end up with something akin to mayonnaise that has split." Unsalted butter and olive oil are easily available, but if you like the taste, you might want to buy some ghee and see if you like it better. If you're lactose intolerant, ghee may be a better choice because the milk solids are removed from butter to clarify the ghee. 


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