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Shake with Care: 5 Great Bottles for Making Butter Coffee on the Go

A recent customer mentioned that he’s had a hard time finding a good, high-quality bottle which he could use to shake up fatCoffee – and particularly one which traveled well. Since this is pretty darn important (it’s one of the things that makes fatCoffee travel-ready), and because it’s really important not to use a cheap, loosely sealed water bottle, here are 5 options you can pick that should do the trick.

First, a note of caution: if you are going to put a hot liquid into an enclosed space, and then shake that space up for 30-60 seconds, there are some things you can expect. First, you will create pressure inside that bottle. If the bottle isn’t sealed tightly, hot coffee/tea will sputter all over the place. Second, you need to open the bottle slowly. I can’t stress this enough. fatCoffee tastes much, much better when you are sipping it from a mug, rather than having it splattered all over your face.

Anyway, here are 5 6 good bottles that will seal tight, open slowly, and keep your fatCoffee hot.

Thermos Stainless King 16-Ounce Compact Bottle ($25)

This 16 oz double-walled bottle travels well, and has two caps: an inner cap that seals onto a threaded, stainless-steel neck, and a second outer lid that is double insulated and serves as a mug. For $25, you can’t do much better. It’s heavy, but it’ll keep your coffee or tea hot for 12 hours. I’ll load one of these up with 2 cups of coffee (about 14 oz,) and two packets of fatCoffee, and shake it up throughout the day when I’m at the office.

Buy it on Amazon



Klean Kanteen 12-Ounce Wide Insulated Stainless Steel Bottle With Loop Cap ($22)

AT 12oz, this is pretty much the perfect size to add a cup (8oz) of coffee, 1 packet of fatCoffee, and still have just the right amount of room to shake things up. Like the Kid’s Nalgene OTF Water Bottle, the loop cap and screw top keeps the hot coffee from squirting out when you shake it, PLUS this one is insulated.

Buy it on Amazon

Nalgene On The Fly Water Bottle ($11)

Though it isn’t insulated, this bottle has the advantage of a flip-top lid which can be locked closed with a metal clasp. This is one of our go-to water bottles when we make fatCoffee at home, but be warned that it doesn’t keep your coffee hot for very long. There is also a “kids” version which is just the right size for making a single cup of fatCoffee. This is, in fact, what you’ll see me using in the Shaker Method video. When you shake this up, and unclasp the metal lock, the lid will usually “pop” open. Satisfying, but do keep it pointed away from your face.

Buy it on Amazon

12oz WaterVault Double Wall Vacuum Insulated 18/8 Stainless Steel Water Bottle ($17)

The double-wall refers to the fact that there are two layers of steel, one inside the other, and a sealed-in pocket of air between them. This keeps the inside hot or cold, and the outside stays room-temperature. There is only a single, screw-on lid so you will need to make sure you seal it tight to keep the coffee from splattering. But the lid seals into and around the upper lip, so you should get a good seal.

Buy it on Amazon

Thermos Vacuum Insulated 16 Ounce Compact Stainless Steel Beverage Bottle ($26)

Vacuum Insulated and Double Walled are the same thing – this Thermos is functionally the same as the “Stainless King” at the top of the list, and similarly priced. This also as the twin lid of its larger cousin, with the inside lid threading into the neck of the bottle to form a tight seal. You also don’t have to unscrew the lid completely to pour, just half a turn or so (which is enough to let the steam built up inside escape, too.)

Buy it on Amazon


So there you have it! 5 high quality bottles you can use to shake up your fatCoffee.

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(Sub)urban Hunter Gatherer

With a few tricks up my sleeve, it’s a lot easier to stay primal when I’m traveling for business

By night, I’m Chief Ninja – I’m working on fatCoffee, testing out new recipes, filling orders (thank you!!!), and coming up with new ways to get the word out.

But I still have a day job – which is to say, something else that I love to do, and which I’ve had the good fortune of getting paid for. So I get to bootstrap Ninja Goat Nutritionals, while still keeping the lights on at home 🙂

(For anyone who’s wondering: I’ve been a UX researcher and software designer for the past 15 years or so, and I do a lot of testing and collaborative design. Chances are, if you’ve checked your bank account balance online or at an ATM in the past 10 years, you’ve seen something I worked on. Check out more about my agency here.)

Lately – for the last 6 months or so – that’s meant a lot of travel, mostly to Washington D.C. for 2-3 days at a time, every couple of weeks. Thankfully, I have an awesome family that keeps an eye on the Fortress of Creativity while I’m out of town.

My workdays on the road are long, non-stop and intense. Part of my job involves conducting research with potential customers for my clients, which often means I get to have the same hour-long conversation with 8 different people over the course of a day. And if I’m lucky, I get 20 minutes to grab something to eat around lunchtime.

The most challenging part: I work with folks who have a deeply entrenched “startup culture.” That means there’s a lot of:

  • Rapid prototyping and experimentation (fun!)
  • Coffee and Espresso (zing!)
  • Candy and pretzels (eeek!)
  • Beer (liquid eeeeek!)

Seriously. Along with 4-sided air-hockey tables and table-top shuffleboard for blowing off steam, the teams I work with are well-fed with sugary and carb-y snacks. I mean, we’re talking 3-foot high M&M dispensers strapped to the walls.

Funny side-story: Once upon a time, I did a bunch of web design work for M&M Mars. Which meant I got to visit their headquarters in Hackettstown NJ. There are three things I can tell you about Hackettstown NJ:

  • It takes about 2 hours to drive from Philadelphia to New York, and Hackettstown is half-way between them. And yet, Hackettstown is also 2 hours away from both Philadelphia AND New York. (Go ahead, look at a map. It shouldn’t be possible, geographically.)
  • The entire town smells like Peanut M&Ms.
  • Inside headquarters, there are dozens of candy-dispensing snack machines that don’t accept any money. You just walk up and hit a button, and out comes the candy. As much as you can carry.

Anyway, there’s always a lot of candy and snack foods around. Which is tough for a primal guy like me – I want grass-fed meat and veggies, and those don’t keep well in wall-mounted dispensers. So I’ve got to improvise.

Naturally, I start the morning in the hotel room with some fatCoffee and a good, solid double-walled sealed bottle.


And for the rest of the day, I keep steady by remembering to pack the essentials:

And to wrap the day up: a visit to my new favorite restaurant in the universe, Cava Mezze Grill (VA, DC, and MD now, but coming to LA soon too.)

This last trip, that was more than enough to keep me on track and primal, and keep the candy and chocolate-and-pretzel-coated-popcorn at bay. Still, maybe by the last day I was a bit piqued?

Have any tips for staying primal while you travel? Share them!

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Something I’ve noticed about the food I’m eating

Read that headline again, just in case you missed the magic word. Go ahead, it’s really in there. Something that I’ve realized is actually, really, honestly magical.

Catch it?

Noticed. As in, “made note of,” “perceived”, “became aware of.” When was the last time you can remember having this distinct, identifiable, in-the-moment experience with your food? Was it a particularly good meal? Something you’d waited for, worked for, or taken a while to prepare? A meal someone else cooked for you, maybe for a special occasion? Maybe it was something new, or something you had once a long time ago, and had just found again.

I think it’s easy to be in the moment, to be in the act of noticing, of attending to a meal when there’s something about the meal that’s inherently remarkable. Food can be tremendously evocative of long-forgotten memories or inspiring of new dreams. And I think it’s a fairly widely held experience, to revel occasionally in that feeling, when the moment is right.

But that’s not what I’m talking about.

I’m talking about the food we think is more mundane, less special, more routine. The things we snack on. The go-to meal when the hours are short, the workday has dragged on, and the kids are clamoring for food and more. How many of those occasions have you savored in the last week? How many did you revel in, and find yourself appreciating, examining, evaluating each morsel? How many can you remember, at all?

Don’t worry, this happens to all of us. And while I can rant on about the hectic pace of modern life, our always-on connected selves, or disconnection from the sources and lives of the food we eat and where it comes from – I’m not going to do that. Because I think it’s largely pointless. No one likes to be lectured about what they should be doing, especially with regard to something so essential and functional as the food we eat.

But I’ll submit that I don’t think it has to be this way – I don’t think that the “specialness” of a meal or snack needs to rely on its external circumstances. The act of noticing – of taking just a moment to actively and intentionally think about the thing we’re eating – can actually transform the mundane into the magical. That act of presence can be transformative, even if just for a moment.

And lest you think it’s all happy unicorns and giggling puppies, let me be blunt: this act of noticing will not always produce a pleasing, reassuring observation. Sometimes you will realize things like:

  • The way that granola bar gets bits of oats stuck in your back teeth, and you’ve no choice but to jam a fingernail back there and pry the little beast loose.
  • How patchy, sticky and dizzy you feel after finishing a bowl of ice cream outside, once the refreshing coolness has given way to the dank, insipid swelter of a summer afternoon.
  • The dull, sinusy ache of a meal eaten too quickly while driving and checking your text messages.

I’m not judging – these are experience I’ve had myself (of course, never the texting while driving. Never. Not even once, when I really needed to get the address of the building I was looking for.) But they’re the inevitable price we pay for taking the time to observe our present, to be truly in the moment.

And, I think, they’re the reason we often choose not to do that.

But – and here’s the magical part – the more frequently you do this, the better your chances of making a choice that you feel good about. When you notice the feeling – good or bad – that an otherwise automatic choice of what you eat means for your state of mind and sense of your body, you create a reference point for the next time you need to make that choice.

You come to realize that there are no “good” or “bad” choices of food, only points of data.

There are no failures, only discoveries.