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Ludicrously Premium Coffee is Coming Soon

Can you spot the coffee plant?

Take a close look at the picture above. Which of those is the coffee plant? And what’s growing all around it?

Now take a look at this picture:

Bet you didn’t have trouble spotting the coffee plants in that second picture. Those nice, neat, evenly-spaced rows. The gently, rolling hillsides. The full sun exposure.

Coffee plants hate that.

Coffee is a shade-loving plant. It wants occasional sun, and prefers a cooler, moister atmosphere. What happens when you put a coffee plant out in the blazing sun, arrayed on a hillside in neat little rows? Well, two things:

  • You can fit more coffee plants into a smaller space, and get more beans
  • It stresses the hell out of the coffee plants. They get very irritable

Ever wonder what stressed-out coffee plants make? Bitter coffee beans. And I don’t mean that figuratively: the high sun exposure literally increases the acidic profile of the coffee berries, and the beans inside of them.

What’s the equivalent of “100% grass-fed” for coffee?

That’s easy. Shade-grown.

Coffee plants that are grown in the shade create richer, smoother, less-acidic berries, and coffee beans with a profile that is completely unlike anything you’ve ever had.

For as long as I’ve been making fatCoffee, I’ve wanted to offer a coffee that was just as premium as the butter I used. 100% grass-fed organic butter deserves a 100% shade-grown organic coffee!

Look for it soon, here!
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The Time For Change Is Now – The EPIC Blog

I have mixed feelings about this.

First, I LOVE Epic’s products: I regularly include samples of their jerky, protein bars and snack packs in Premium Subscriber’s monthly boxes, for free. (They’re great, and I don’t mind buying their products to share with people I think will like them.)

BUT, I have intense doubts about the likelihood that General Mills will not subject them to the same quarterly pressures placed on all of their divisions. There just isn’t a very good track record anywhere of large food conglomerates purchasing smaller brands and letting those brands just continue to practice as they always have been. I hope I’m wrong here.

But I know the economics. 100% pasture-raised cows produce 50-75% LESS milk than their conventionally-raised, feed-lot-bred brethren. And I have difficulty seeing how General Mills is going to continue to accept that kind of “inferior” performance. Again, I hope I’m wrong.

#updates #pastureraised #bigfood

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What’s the difference between fatCoffee and Bulletproof® coffee?

A lot of folks have written asking about how fatCoffee compares to their current routine: making Bulletproof® coffee with Brain Octane® oil, using Kerrygold butter, using only coconut oil, etc. So this seemed like a great time to spell out some of the differences!

It’s just as well, because this will help explain some other things about fatCoffee:

  • Why does fatCoffee go out of stock, especially in the winter?
  • Why is fatCoffee more expensive than just using Kerrygold butter and coconut oil?
  • Why getting a Premium Subscription to fatCoffee is the only way to ensure that you’ll get your shipment every month.

fatCoffee vs. Bulletproof Coffee®

When you follow the “official” recipe for Bulletproof coffee – well, first you have to start with some very special coffee beans that have been specially processed to specially remove all of the un-special mold that all commercial coffee might have. Two things about this:

  1. All high quality coffee is processed in precisely the same way as Bulletproof Upgraded coffee. I’ve tried their beans – the coffee is quite good, and definitely not a bad place to start. But you can do just as well buying your coffee from a local roaster near you, who is doing the two things that ensure their coffee is also mold-free: using high quality beans, and roasting them at a temperature which will obliterate all traces of mold.
  2. The recipe is not particularly unique, or new. Despite it’s “origin story” detailing its invention as the result of an encounter with Tibetan Butter Tea (po cha) Ethiopians have been making butter coffee for a smidgeon over 900 years. Ostensibly what’s different about the Bulletproof coffee recipe is the Brain Octane oil.

In addition to grass-fed butter, the use of a coconut oil distillation (Brain Octane) increases the presence of caprylic acid, one of the two components of MCT oil. fatCoffee contains MCT oil (about 1/2 tablespoon per serving) made from coconut oil, so the main difference is that fatCoffee has both caprylic acid and capric acid.

Brain Octane vs. MCT Oil and Coconut Oil

So, two things to keep in mind: MCT oil is an incredibly common food and beauty product. Because it’s colorless, orderless and tasteless, it’s an ideal carrier oil for fragrances and other skin care products. That it’s useful as a nutritional product too shouldn’t be a surprise, when you consider that you’re gut is basically just the part of your skin that’s on the inside of you.

Second, focusing on only one of the fatty acids in coconut oil misses the benefits of the rest of what coconut oil has to offer. Coconut oil is a fairly complex thing, and isolating a single element from it can have some benefits – but again, at the expense of the whole food. That’s why fatCoffee has organic, virgin, cold-pressed coconut oil (which has never been heated, or chemically processed.)

Not all “Grass-fed butter” is equal

Then there’s the whole “grass-fed” butter thing. The label can be confusing. Technically, there is no standard definition for “grass-fed”; a cow that once nibbled some hay that flew into her pile of corn and wheat silage is technically “grass-fed”, and the go-to choice for most people – Kerrygold butter – isn’t 100% grass fed (look for the phrase “up to 312 days a year” in that press release.)

fatCoffee is made from ghee which is only made from butter that is 100% grass fed. (Technically, the cows eat the grass, turn it into milk, and that’s turned into butter. And then ghee. Butter doesn’t eat grass, even when you ask it to very nicely.)

 This has several “spill-over” effects, for some of the reasons detailed this piece about where the best butter comes from:
  • Devoting more acreage to growing grass for use as haylage in the winter means less space for actual cows, and less milk, and less money for the farmer. As a result, the ghee we use is about 4x more expensive per pound equivalent than even high-quality “grass-fed” butter.
  • Likewise, demand for 100% grass-fed butter has gone through the roof in the last year, so there are often supply shortages, especially in the cooler months.
  • When I make fatCoffee and get it ready to ship to customers, I sometimes have to make some hard choices: sometimes, only Premium Subscribers get their orders filled, while others go on backorder to wait until supplies have been replenished. This sucks, because I don’t want to say no to anyone – but it’s the commitment I’ve made to the people who’ve committed to fatCoffee.

Rich flavor, convenience… and goat’s milk

fatCoffee has some specific benefits which following the generic recipe for Bulletproof® Coffee won’t get you:

  • Individually-packaged servings create the perfect cup, every time.
  • The packets are sturdy, travel-ready, and don’t need to be refrigerated.
  • Organic cocoa butter, organic ground vanilla bean, organic spices and organic cocoa powder make for several extra-delicious options.
  • Powdered goats milk (or powdered coconut milk in our Milk-free version) helps to create a rich, thick, foamy, latte-like beverage even if you’re on the go – add fatCoffee and a cup of hot coffee to a tightly-sealing thermos and you can make a fatCoffee latte in about 60 seconds.


Comparison Breakdown

So, how does fatCoffee stack up against a cup of Bulletproof® Coffee made according to the official recipe?

  • For a single serving of fatCoffee, you’ll pay about $2.50 (less if you buy a larger box or subscribe), vs. about $1.35 for a cup of Bulletproof Coffee®, made with 2 TBSP of Kerrygold butter (about $0.62, at $3.69 per 12oz pack) and 1 TBSP Brain Octane Oil (about $0.73, at $23.50 per 16oz bottle.)
  • fatCoffee packets can go anywhere and don’t need to be refrigerated. Brain Octane oil is portable and shelf-stable; butter is not. Butter will melt, and spoil in about a day if not refrigerated or sealed in an air-tight container.
  • You can make fatCoffee anywhere you have a hot cup of coffee and a tightly-sealing thermos. Bulletproof® Coffee requires a blender (and you have to clean that up.)
  • fatCoffee has MCT Oil, coconut oil and goat’s milk, Brain Octane oil is only caprylic acid.
  • fatCoffee has about 220 calories per serving and 25g of fat (21g saturated fat); a cup of Bulletproof® Coffee will have about 330 calories and 38g of fat (30g saturated fat)
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Deliciously automated, but never cutting corners

I never cut corners. Side-notches, yes. But never corners.

Last time I wrote to tell you about a new packaging option that I’m really excited about. (Short version: stick packs will be more convenient, but I need 50 people to sign up for Premium Subscriptions before I can make that happen.)

Those are at least a few months away from becoming a reality.

Right now, though, fatCoffee Release 1.5 is officially in the record books. And by “record books” I mean “the little notebook I use to keep track of my production process.” (Think those will end up in the Smithsonian some day?)

Here are a few shots of the production process in full swing:

As the process has scaled up, I’ve been working on making things more complex. Well, not on purpose; it’s more of a consequence of trying to create some variety for you to choose from.

At it’s core, fatCoffee begins with butter. 100% grass-fed butter that’s higher in CLAs and Omega-3s than conventional butter, and even higher quality than what’s sold as “grass fed” in most grocery stores. Unless you’re buying your butter directly from a local farmer, and you know for sure how that farmer is feeding her herd, chances are good your butter is coming from cows that are at least partially grain-fed.

But fatCoffee is made only with butter from the Oasis at Bird in Hand farm collective in Lancaster County, PA, where the cows are raised only on grass, year-round, and the farms are tended by horse-power.

Once that butter is turned into ghee, however, I start looking for ways to make the fatCoffee experience even better. I’ve been working on a milk-free version of fatCoffee (for folks who are on a Whole 30 or AIP regimen, or who just don’t like the taste of goat milk), as well as a dairy-free version (for the pure Paleo’s among you), and my personal favorite: a rich, chocolate version that goes fantastic with coffee, but is also great on it’s own.

I’m looking forward to sharing these all with you soon. In the meantime, if you haven’t tried a taste of fatCoffee yet, now’s an excellent time.

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Making fatCoffee even easier, with stick packs

It’s time to scale up production a notch.

When you try to scale anything up, you inevitably run into challenges. Maybe you find that the equipment isn’t up to task – maybe you find that while you had plenty of stamina to mix and package 500 servings, 5,000 was a different story.

But scaling up also lets you try things you couldn’t do at first – and brings into view some neat options that are worth talking about.

For starters, fatCoffee Chocolate will soon be available. I used 100% organic, raw cocoa powder for this new flavor, rich in antioxidants, magnesium, iron and fiber. There is absolutely no sugar in this, but you still get a rich, creamy, decadent flavor. I really hope you’ll try some.

If you’ve tried fatCoffee (you have, haven’t you?), maybe you’ve found it challenging to pour the contents into a thermos suitable for shaking, or whatever container you’re using.

If you’ve gotten the hang of tearing off just a corner of the packet, then you’re probably fine. But why should you be leaving it to chance?

Up until now, fatCoffee has been packed in stock-sized square packets. At the quantities I’ve been working with, this is the only option. But now there’s a new option coming into view… with your help.

Three examples of stick packs, sealed in slightly different ways, as part of the fatCoffee Stik Pak prototyping process.

These are the first prototypes of the fatCoffee Stik Paks. They’re longer, narrower – but they hold the same amount of fatCoffee (one marvelous, fluid ounce.) And they’re still tough as nails, and won’t open until you need them to.
If you look closely at the top, you’ll see that they’re sealed in a few different ways – we’re experimenting with the sealing angle so that when you tear them open, you’ll be able to squeeze the fatCoffee right into any thermos or water bottle. And because of their size and shape, there’ll be less waste as well.

Here’s the catch: these are fully-custom, tricked-out, 3-mil, metalized foil pouches. They’re just the right size, because they’re unique to fatCoffee.

And I have to order at least 50,000 of them.

That’s a big commitment. But I’m ready to make it – with a little help from you. If I can get 50 more people to subscribe to fatCoffee, I’ll be able to place an order for the first production run of these new packs, and we’ll be on our way!

If you’ve tried fatCoffee and enjoyed it, a Premium Subscription is the best way to make sure you get to enjoy fatCoffee every day. You get up to an extra 10% off, plus some free goodies in each shipment. And you’ll be helping to make the next Release of fatCoffee our best, evah!