15 Ideas for Delicious Bulletproof Coffee Hacks
By: Dave Asprey
October 30, 2014
- Butter in coffee? Amazing. But that’s not the only way to elevate your morning cup of joe.
- Different coffee add-ins can pack an even bigger nutritional punch. Think antioxidants to combat free radicals, collagen protein to support vibrant skin and nails and other quality fats to keep you fueled.
- Read on for my favorite Bulletproof Coffee hacks and the science behind why they work.
In addition to putting butter in coffee, I’ve experimented with adding other nutrients to create new flavors that have an even bigger impact on how I feel. It turns out I’m not alone. Bulletproof fans add a lot of creative things to their daily Bulletproof Coffee recipe. A thread on Facebook about this inspired me to share my own favorite Bulletproof Coffee hacks.
Why fat helps you absorb more nutrients
I’m a Bulletproof Coffee purist most of the time, yet in the morning – depending on how I feel – I’ll add other stuff to my ritual of blending in unsalted grass-fed butter and Brain Octane MCT oil.
Blending nutrients into your coffee (or really any beverage) with quality fats is classical biohacking, pure and simple. You’re taking something healthful and wrapping it in small drops of fat created during blending called micelles, which increase the absorption of the nutrients. This principle is what helps your body absorb antioxidants in vegetables when they’re consumed with some fat. We’re talking lipid droplet chemistry here, and you can feel the difference (plus get some awesome flavor combinations).
Without further ado, here are my top 15 Bulletproof Coffee hacks — and a controversial bonus tip at the end.
15 Bulletproof Coffee hacks
L-Theanine is a popular supplement that works synergistically with caffeine. It’s an amino acid naturally found in tea that increases alpha brain waves. It has been shown to mitigate negative effects from caffeine, including impaired sleep quality and anxiety, while boosting the positive effects.  You can also take it in a capsule in the morning along with your coffee. But why not blend it in? It won’t change the taste, but it changes how you feel.
Turmeric is the popular yellow spice used mainly in Indian cuisine. It contains a powerful compound called curcumin, which supports a healthy inflammation response and is a strong antioxidant. Adding it to your coffee will boost the total amount of antioxidants, but will diminish the coffee flavor.   If you don’t like coffee, but want to get more antioxidants, try this Bulletproof Turmeric Latte recipe.
Ginger is rich in gingerols and has been used for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-nausea effects. Like turmeric, ginger will diminish some of the coffee flavor. Mix this stuff with turmeric, and you’ll taste NO coffee (but what kind of masochist would do that?) and get a powerful anti-inflammatory herbal blend.
4. Grape seed extract
Grape seed extract has an astringent, tannin flavor that’s not bitter (depending on the brand). It also has positive effects on your blood cholesterol and inflammation.  A pure grape seed extract can add amazing flavor notes to coffee.
5. Collagen Protein
Collagen Protein is a great addition to Bulletproof Coffee as protein source that’s high in the amino acid glycine. It supports healthy tissue repair while revitalizing your skin. It also stands up well to the heat of coffee, which is not true of quality whey protein. Learn more about the benefits of collagen protein.
Vanilla adds a great flavor and has historically been used as a cognitive enhancer. Real vanilla (only about 5% of the “vanilla” people consume) has a super high ORAC score of 122,400. You can mix vanilla extract or powder in with your coffee grounds, or add after brewing.
Cayenne is well known for its health impacts, especially since it works synergistically with MCTs for thermogenesis. However, cayenne has a high risk of mold toxin contamination, so opt for a high quality source like Nature’s Way. It is also a nightshade, so it’s a suspect food on the Bulletproof Diet Roadmap. Be sure it’s helping you. And get ready to sweat!
8. Blueberry powder
Blueberry Powder has a high amount of polyphenols, as well as a high ORAC score. It also raises BDNF, which helps brain function. Remember to watch out for high amounts of fructose, a naturally-occurring sugar in fruit. I use blueberry extract in the morning, or blueberry powder in my second cup when I have one.
9. Eggs and/or egg yolks
No butter? Eggs, and especially egg yolks, are a good alternative as a source of quality fats. They are packed with micronutrients like omega-3s and vitamin K2 (see below). Check out this Bulletproof Coffee Egg Latte recipe.
10. Bilberry Powder
Bilberry powder is made from bilberries, a close relative of cranberries. It can reduce eyestrain and support overall eye health. It’s expensive, so increase its bioavailability by combining it with fat in your Bulletproof Coffee.
11. Cacao butter
Cacao butter provides a subtle chocolate finish to your coffee. It’s also a great source of quality saturated fats. It’s not a replacement for real grass-fed butter. Just add a little!
12. High-quality chocolate powder
Make your Bulletproof Coffee into a polyphenol-rich mocha with an unsweetened, high-quality chocolate powder. If you want that chocolate flavor without having to break out your blender, try Bulletproof Coffee Cold Brew — Dark Chocolate tastes exactly like a creamy mocha.
13. Vitamin K2
Vitamin K2 is a powerful addition to your coffee. It’s heat stable and doesn’t change the coffee flavor. To get the lowdown on how crucial K2 is to your biology, check out this article.
Maca, also known as Peruvian Ginseng, is an endocrine adaptogen that can help balance hormones. It’s also high in vitamins and minerals like magnesium, potassium and zinc. I like this one. But watch out: when I was looking to create a maca supplement, I put a high end supplier’s brand through the exhaustive Bulletproof Process for testing, and it failed with high aflatoxin levels of 13 ppm. Also, natives use gelatinized maca, NOT raw maca, because raw maca has anti-nutrients in it.
15. Ceylon cinnamon
In rodent studies, cinnamon has been shown to lower blood glucose levels. It also has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties, and may help protect against neurological disorders (again, in animal studies). Ceylon is in contrast to the kind of cinnamon you usually find in generic grocery stores, which is called cassia. It’s worth upgrading to Ceylon, especially since cassia may expose you to a toxic compound called coumarin.
Bonus tip: Add nothing at all!
Black coffee is great too, when you’re not hungry. I often enjoy a cup of black coffee brewed with Bulletproof Coffee Beans. Or I make a shot of espresso made with finely ground coffee beans in my La Marzocco GS3 (at 198.7 degrees Fahrenheit to be exact).
How else have you successfully hacked your morning (or early afternoon) Bulletproof Coffee? Share it in the comments below.
Join over 1 million fans
Sign-up for the Bulletproof mailing list and receive the latest news and updates!
This is an updated version of an article originally published October 2014.