10th
Dec
2014

Posted in Kafevend Blog

What we should and shouldn't eat takes some keeping up with. The shifting sands of nutritional health have recently swung in favour of fat, as long as it's the right sort, and the paleo or caveman diet enjoys a steadily increasing following. 'But what does fat have to do with my tea and coffee?' you may wonder. Well ordinarily, not a lot, unless you're drinking it with cream or full fat milk. However, there are options to drink either tea or coffee with butter added in; let us explain!

The people of Tibet are no stranger to the concept of adding butter to their tea. The energy levels required to live life at a high altitude and in icy conditions mean that the preparation and drinking of butter tea is ingrained into local culture. Better known as yak tea because it's yak milk, rather than cow's milk, which is used to churn the butter that goes into it, the drink takes some getting used to for those not used to its rich, oily and salty taste. The preparation is rather more involved than a British brew up too. Black tea is crumbled off a tea brick and boiled for several hours to make a tea concentrate, which is then used a little at a time along with water to dilute it. Yak milk and butter are added to the blend, along with a little salt, in a special churn called a chandong. Unsurprisingly, the resulting tea has a far higher calorific content than an ordinary cuppa and is best consumed while it's at its hottest before the fat has a chance to separate.

More recently, butter has made its mark on coffee. Advocates claim that the addition of butter and oil to your early morning coffee not only keeps you feeling full for longer, but improves your ability to concentrate too. Grass-fed unsalted butter is the type recommended for blitzing into your coffee via a blender. As well as having a better taste, grass-fed also blends in more easily.  A dose of MCT oil is added to the mix too. MCT stands for medium-chain triglycerides and this type of oil is said to be quickly used as energy by the body, meaning that very little is stored as fat.

Silicon valley entrepreneur, Dave Asprey, is the leading light in butter coffee circles. Discovering the empowering effects of yak butter tea on a trip to Tibet, he decided to look into its properties and eventually applied them to coffee. He calls his result ''Bulletproof Coffee'' and encourages people to drink it as a high protein breakfast alternative.

It's not a drink you'll find in many coffee shops as the butter content tends to detract from the flavour of the coffee, but if you're an avid follower of the paleo diet you may well be whizzing up your own in the blender each morning already. And for those of us who prefer toast and marmalade, a bowl of porridge and a mug of instant, never fear – carbs are bound to come back into fashion soon enough!

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