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Butter In Coffee – Benefits, Risks and Why People Drink It

Ryan Marshall
Last Updated: April 18th, 2023

Humans have been adding butter to their coffee since the seventh century, and while the combination was not popular in western countries for thousands of years, there has been a major resurgence in butter coffee over the past three decades.

In this article, we will take a deeper dive into the history and benefits of adding butter to coffee, and where and why people swear by this practice. We will also take a closer look at Bulletproof coffee, the industry leader in this space, as well as which other oils and fats can be added to coffee for health reasons.

History of Butter in Coffee

history of butter in coffee

The origins of people adding butter to their coffee date all the way back to the seventh century, when it was a common practice in Tibet to mix strong coffee with butter made from the milk of a Yak. The practice became commonplace for both health and taste reasons, and traditional Po Cha is still enjoyed in Tibet to this day.

Another region where coffee has been combined with butter for centuries is Ethiopia, where certain regions have been drinking butter coffee for centuries. The drink is called Kibbeh Coffee, and it is a very common drink in more rural areas of Ethiopia.

Outside of these areas, adding butter to coffee was not a very common practice for hundreds of years until the combination saw a major resurgence beginning in the 1990s. The health-conscious crowd began experimenting with the addition of butter and other oils to coffee for health benefits, and popular brands like Bulletproof coffee were born.

Today, the combination of butter and coffee is commonplace at upscale cafes across the world, and many coffee shops offer their own signature blend of buttered coffee with coconut and MCT oils, along with anti-inflammatory herbs and spices.

Health Benefits of Butter in Coffee

health benefits of butter in coffee

While some people question the health benefits associated with adding butter to coffee, there are others that swear by the practice and claim that their day does not feel complete without a cup of butter coffee in the morning.

Healthy Fats

High-quality grass-fed butter is full of healthy fats and omega 3s, both of which are staples in the diets of many health-conscious people. Butter in coffee is also ideal for those who practice a high-fat diet with low carbohydrates, as it offers a great fat boost each morning.

Appetite Control

Another health benefit of adding butter to coffee is the fact that it helps curb appetites by providing the body with an ample boost of calories while drinking. This helps many people make better choices when lunchtime rolls around, as they are less hungry and more prone to make healthier food choices.

Energy and Focus

Many people who drink butter with coffee every single morning claim that it provides them a boost of sustained energy that lasts much longer compared to drinking coffee alone. Others claim that the combination is essential for their focusing ability, and that buttered coffee keeps them “sharper” throughout the morning.

Added Nutrients

Butter contains important nutrients like vitamin A, and vitamin K, as well as butyric acid, which may provide additional gut-health benefits. Higher quality butter is significantly higher in these healthy vitamins and acids, making it important to stick with grass-fed and organic butter for coffee use.

Bulletproof Coffee

bulletproof coffee

In the year 2004, the founder of Bulletproof Coffee discovered the health benefits of combining butter with coffee while traveling in Tibet. Within five years, Dave Asprey was selling an early version of what he named “Bulletproof Coffee” on his popular online blog.

By the year 2015, the popularity of Bulletproof Coffee had gone mainstream, as many health-conscious circles and online influencers began touting its benefits. Asprey released a book highlighting the reported health benefits of his coffee mixture and developed a proprietary line of coffee beans and MCT oils for mixing.

While there are specifically branded lines of coffee beans and MCT oil from the Bulletproof Coffee company, the term “bulletproof coffee” often simply refers to coffee that is mixed with grass-fed butter and MCT oil for health benefits.

There are cafes and coffee shops all across the world that have formulated their own blends of coffee with high-quality butter and MCT oil, and the blend is often referred to as “brain coffee.”

Many shops also add anti-inflammatory spices like turmeric to the mix, adding to the overall health benefits.

Other Oils in Coffee

other oils in coffee

While butter is the first and most popular type of oil-based fat that is added to coffee worldwide, there are also other oils that lend themselves well to mixing with coffee. Coconut, MCT, and olive oil are all popular oils for combining with coffee, and each brings something slightly different to the table in terms of taste and benefits.

Coconut Oil

For many years, coconut oil has been associated with many health benefits including brain function as well as hair skin, and nail health. It also contains lauric acid, which has antimicrobial properties and can also promote gut health when consumed regularly with coffee.


MCT oil is one of the newest and most popular styles of oil in the health community today, and there are many people who consider it to be more important than butter when it comes to the health benefits of bulletproof coffee. It has been linked to everything from brain function to increased energy and ketone production within the body, making it a favorite “super food” of many.

Olive Oil

While the combination of olive oil and coffee is far less popular compared to other options like butter, coconut, and MCT oils, there are some who swear by the combination. In fact, coffee giant Starbucks recently added a drink called the Starbucks Oleato, which is made by blending olive oil and coffee together.

Butter In Coffee – Final Thoughts

While butter and coffee are two of the most popular staples in many different kitchens all around the world, there are many people who have never thought of mixing the two together.

The rise of health-conscious coffee drinks like Bulletproof Coffee over the past two decades has led to increased visibility when it comes to butter in coffee, and the combination is more popular today than it has ever been.

Feel free to leave a comment below if you have tried butter in coffee, and be sure to let other coffee enthusiasts know some of your favorite “buttered coffee” recipes!

About The Author

Ryan Marshall

Ryan is a full time freelance writer who can most often be found on the disc golf course or local coffee shop when not behind a keyboard. He is an avid traveler and lover of all things sports and outdoors. Ryan is also a certified level one sommelier, and is endlessly curious about the world of high end beverages. Writing about wine, coffee, and other specialty beverages has given him a chance to take a deeper dive into his research, and he loves helping people find the perfect drink for their palates and preferences!

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1 thought on “Butter In Coffee – Benefits, Risks and Why People Drink It”

  1. In Tibet we do a butter on black tea as “Phomar” so don’t confuse with butter tea… phomar is put inside of your bowl before you drink the tea… looks very same as photo of butter on coffee.


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