A Recipe for Buttered Coffee

bulletproof butter coffeeI spend a lot of time around caffeinated beverages now, thanks to my new job working for a Los Angeles-based organic coffee company. I have plenty of choices at arms reach: a brew of the day, a latte, or a perfect shot of espresso. Hand-made coffee gives me more than enough energy to get me through a long day.

The other day I overheard the owner/coffee buyer discussing his daily ritual of buttered coffee. “One cup of the stuff,” the owner said, “and I’ve got enough energy for the morning, I don’t have to eat until lunch time.”

I couldn’t help but blurt out, “Butter Coffee?”

Buttered Coffee?

I can’t say that putting a pat of butter in my coffee sounds all that appealing. But when a coffee professional suggests buttered coffee as a great source of sustainable energy and a cognitive enhancing beverage, I couldn’t help but get interested.

I had to try butter coffee for myself.

Buttered coffee may not be something I’ve ever heard of before, but Tibetans have been adding yak butter to their coffee for centuries. Thanks to people like Dave Asprey, a health conscious evangelist and author of The Bulletproof Exec, the beverage has become popular with people looking to maximize their energetic potential.

And the recipe for buttered coffee couldn’t be any simpler.  No need for gourmet shop ingredients and fancy techniques. All you need is a frother or a blender, coffee, and a high quality butter.

Taste Test: No Oil Slick. Just Frothy Goodness

Once the buttered melted a bit, I submerged my milk frother into the coffee. I was surprised at how quickly a thick foam formed at the top. The taste?  With just one tablespoon of a butter, my coffee had a velvety and silky mouthfeel that wasn’t a bit oily. I found that adding a tablespoon of coconut oil and agave made my beverage even more delicious and decadent.

Use Great Ingredients

If you’re going to make a buttered coffee, I suggest using the salt free Kerrygold butter. I’m in love with the stuff. I’ve been this way ever since I was awarded with a year’s supply of Kerrygold’s butter and cheese. I got lucky when my name was pulled from a hat at this year’s Big Traveling Potluck raffle! I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the high quality and nutritious butter from happy, grass fed cows from Ireland.

coffee frother for buttered coffee

Buttered Coffee

1 heaping tablespoon of Kerrygold Butter
2 cups of coffee
Optional: 1 tablespoon of agave
and/or 1 tablespoon of coconut oil*

Heat the container you are going to froth your coffee and butter in with hot boiling water. Dump the water.

Put the coffee and the butter into a hot mug or hot blender. Wait 10-15 seconds for the butter to butter melt. If adding sweetener, add it before blending the beverage. Froth the coffee (either with a hand held frother or a blender). Serve immediately.

*When you add the coconut oil and butter to your coffee, it’s called a Bulletproof Coffee


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Food Woolf Written by:

Brooke Burton is an Los Angeles-based restaurant professional and hospitality expert. She is a freelance food writer, speaker, and co-author of The Food Blog Code of Ethics.


  1. June 18

    This is a great write up, but I think Dave Asprey deserves more than a cursory *credit for his creation of this recipe (sans sugar).

    • Jordan
      April 2

      maybe not , seeing as Tibetans have traditionally been drinking ‘buttered coffee’ before Mr. Asprey had been conceived. he tweaked the recipe and gave it a sort of modern accessibility, but i can’t agree that it is his creation. 🙂

      • April 2

        Agreed! Thanks for the comment!

      • Dan
        April 9

        The Tibetans actually drink yak butter tea, not coffee.

  2. Linda Munoz
    June 21

    Makes sense…churned cream turns into butter. This I HAVE to try.

  3. Dan
    June 24

    Thanks for the updated attribution, Brooke!

    Oh! Try adding one or two square of dark chocolate to the coffee before frothing. It’s the best mocha in the world. I like the 90% dark Lindt.


  4. July 17

    I tried this for awhile and liked it, but got tired of cleaning up the blender. I think the stick frother is the answer–may have to get one of those.

    • Dan
      April 9

      I put all my ingredients in a thermos and just shake it. No blender to clean.

    • water and Joy dishwashing liquid in your blender turn it on for five seconds rinse it out it's clean just like it came from the store
      August 6

      Put water and Joy dishwashing liquid in your blender turn it on for five seconds rinse it out it’s clean just like it came from the store

  5. johanna
    July 23

    i’ve always used thick coconut cream-the real stuff; it really gives a creamy lovely taste and mouth feel. adding chocolate 99% squares and /or vanilla bean is nice too

  6. I don’t drink coffee but I’ve just spent the last 4 minutes reading this aloud to my husband in hopes he tries it – sounds so intriguing!

  7. September 9

    This sounds fabulous! I also love KerryGold. (Good comments, too)

  8. Elizabeth
    October 13

    I remember seeing Antonio Carlucci putting butter in his coffee in a programme he made on food in Northern Italy. Tried it and it is, unfortunately, very delicious.

  9. October 13

    So glad that I found this! I had recently read something about butter in coffee, but it didn’t have all the details that you have supplied. My family here in Texas refer to Kerrigold Butter as “licking butter” because it’s so good you could just lick it. We reserve it for use when we just want to taste the butter, with bread, noodles, rice…. and now, with our coffee.

  10. DrBob
    December 4

    On holiday in South America last year I encountered cheese served with cocoa with the expectation that you would put the cheese into the cocoa and stir before drinking. I met this in Ecuador but have since read that it may have travelled from Columbia. Butter coffee sounds like it would be more to my taste.

  11. Marietta Roby
    December 4

    The only other time I’ve heard of buttered coffee is when we were elk hunting. We met a party of guys – two middle aged and two very aged. The old guys put butter in their coffee, and everything else. Butter and brown sugar in their coffee, plus a little whiskey in the evenings. These guys were around 90 and still hunting from horseback. Who knows, maybe that had something to do with it.

  12. Laura H
    December 18

    Just bought an espresso machine with a milk frother/steamer. Do you think this would work if I made my espresso as normal, then added some butter and coconut oil to milk in frothing pitcher, then steamed the mixture?

    • Kay
      July 8

      Have you tried using the steam wand in lieu of the frothing stick/blender? Does it emulsify well? I am wondering if I could use my espresso machine exclusively: in coffee cup add oil and butter with few oz. hot water, then use steam wand to emulsify; next move cup (with froth) under espresso port to be added directly over the frothed fat? Sounds super simple and easy clean-up for one quick butter coffee, kind of a “butter coffee Americano” with the added water + fat + espresso shot(s). Have you tried this yet?

  13. TheoDusko
    July 16

    I’m curious how this would work with actual yak butter? I live in China and have easy access to yak butter where I live. If I substitute the grass-fed cow butter for some super rich grass-fed yak butter, would I still have to add the MCT/coconut oil? Or would the triglycerides from the yak butter offset the need?

  14. Lucelightful
    September 4

    Butter coffee is present in so many cultures. Ethiopia has a coffee ceremony which includes butter
    In Singapore
    In Sweden
    “the older generation sometimes add a knob of butter – adding about 1/5th of a stick of butter for a 12-14oz cup of coffee!”
    A friend in the UK told me that, when she visits her granny on their family farm in Croatia, the first thing that she does is have coffee with a spoon of very fresh butter in… and they have always done it she says.

  15. […] recipe coming Saturday!). Normally I drink my coffee straight up black, but I came across this buttered coffee recipe while I was doing some compound butter research and thought “what the heck, let’s do […]

  16. SR
    March 23

    I’ve been making this since I heard Dave Asprey describe it on a podcast. There are a number of youtube examples. I make coffee concentrate cold brewed that I always have in the fridge. Then in a blender container I add enough boiling water to make a three to one dilution. Before blending I add: Ghee 2 tbsp, MCT oil 2tbsp, Cinnamon 3-4 shakes, vanilla 1/2 tsp, Macha Green tea powder, and two tbsp of dark cocoa powder. No sugar. Blend it up, and presto. Never a coffee drinker before. Most days, this lasts me until lunch.

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