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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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