You may have already guessed I love tea, but coincidentally, I hate coffee. Therefore, when I was first introduced to the idea of Bulletproof Coffee, my brain started whirling about how I could make Bulletproof Tea. More on that below, but first,
What is Bulletproof Coffee?
The phrase ‘bulletproof coffee’ comes from the website “Bulletproof Exec,” where Dave Asprey, expert biohacker and productivity expert, explores ways to optimize health and maximize efficiency and productivity.
Bulletproof Coffee can also be called Keto/Ketogenic Coffee, because it has been used by the low carb community, perhaps even before it was popularized on Bulletproof Exec, as a way to kickstart morning fat burning, and train the body to run on ketones.
What are Ketones? When you’re in a carbohydrate-depleted or calorie-deficient state, your body turns to burning stored fat for fuel. When fat is broken down, ketones are released. Ketones can not only fuel every cell in your body, but more importantly, they can specifically fuel the brain. Releasing and using ketones for energy is known as ketosis–the holy grail area for the low carb devotee–a fat-burning, high-energy, clear-mind state of being. And one that reduces body fat!
What is in Bulletproof / Keto Coffee?
Keto coffee consists of coffee and some form of MCT-dense fat or oil. MCT stands for Medium Chain Triglyceride, and is the closest food substance to ketones; that’s why taking MCTs can help push the body into burning fat, releasing ketones, and using ketones for fuel. (When dietary fat is sufficient, and carbs are low, the body prefers to use stored body fat for energy.)
The most popular form of MCT is coconut oil, which is about 65% MCTs. Other coffee additions include butter (less than 15% MCTs), half-and-half, and full-fat cream, all with even smaller percentages of MCTs.
To be truly “bulletproof,” the coffee should be made with a pure MCT oil (over 80-90% MCTs), such as that available from the Bulletproof Exec.
Depending on the size of the cup, and your personal tolerance, between 1-4 tablespoons of MCT-dense fat are typically added.
Now, About Ketogenic Tea
I don’t know about you, but the thought of adding coconut oil or butter to tea, is…well…less than appealing. (Though, it is certainly popular with Tibetans.) Nonetheless, having been sold on the benefits, I decided to give coconut oil tea a try.
I tried coconut oil in Belight Tea. I tried coconut oil in green tea. I imagined coconut oil in white tea and oolong tea. The problem is, at least for me, none of those have enough body or strong enough flavor. I don’t want coconut-flavored Belight Tea, or somewhat greasy coconut-flavored green tea. So I kept trying and here are my recommendations…
Flavored Black Tea – Black Tea has the body to support coconut oil, and when its flavored, it has enough taste of its own to balance the coconut. My recommendation would be for black tea with vanilla, cinnamon, spice, or tropical flavors.
Flavored Matcha – Because matcha is powdered, and you’re drinking the whole tea leaf, it actually has the body and substance to mix well with MCT oil. However, being a form of green tea, matcha doesn’t do well with coconut oil flavor-wise. That’s why I’d recommend flavored matcha, such as those from Red Leaf.
Celestial Seasonings Gingerbread Spice – If you’re looking for a caffeine-free option (a note on that below), this is the best MCT pairing I’ve found. Despite being only herbs, it has enough body to blend with the coconut oil and the ‘spice’ masks the coconut flavor.
To Caffeine or Not
The Bulletproof Exec recommends coffee in part for its caffeine, which, of course, helps with the rocket-like energy, and getting the brain firing early in the morning, thus enhancing productivity.
However, the reason why many people choose tea is because of its lower caffeine levels, and the presence of L-Theanine, which makes the caffeine effect even gentler.
Sara Gottfried, MD author of The Hormone Cure and Stephanie Person, keto expert, both recommend against caffeine, particularly on an already drained system, as caffeine can raise cortisol and strain the adrenals. Just the act of raising cortisol can lead to increased fat storage around the midsection (quite the opposite of what most people doing a low carb or bulletproof diet are going for!)
I personally will have a full caffeine tea (green, oolong, or black, though not necessarily keto) about 4 times per week, and a low caffeine tea, such a Belight Tea, or an herbal infusion everyday.
But should you go all the way caffeine-free? The choice is yours. By choosing tea, you’re already way better off than if you’d chosen coffee.
If you’re thinking of trying a keto tea, let me emphasize that it only works for fat loss in a low-carb state, meaning you wouldn’t have a bagel for breakfast then have coconut oil tea. And, it works even better when doing intermittent fasting, for example having keto tea instead of breakfast, followed by a late lunch.
My recommendation to make tea with MCT oil is to use the hottest water the tea will allow, fully steep the tea, remove the tea bag or strain the leaves, then add the fat/oil. Otherwise, in my experience, the oil will cling to the leaves and get absorbed in the bag so you’re not actually drinking much of it. And keep the liquid hot, else the coconut oil becomes too thick.
Bulletproof coffee or Keto Tea will fuel your productive, clear-headed, energized morning, allowing you to skip breakfast, avoid late-morning blood sugar crashes, and feel great until lunch.
Now, it’s your turn: What is your favorite tea to make Keto Tea?