Ever heard the phrase butter coffee? I was snapped out of an in-depth chat about bike stuff at our post-ride coffee stop with those exact words. “What!?” …. was all I could think and blurt out! The reply was simply butter in your coffee … not as exotic as I had hoped. “What!” was still all I could muster. Simply put, it is adding butter to an espresso or long black and emulsifying it using a whisk or frother.
Gobsmacked, I finally found another question, “Why?” Without too much detail, my buddy found it on BulletProof Executive. He did some digging and found it had it’s origins in NASA research into Yak butter and Tibetan tea. The ability of mountain people to go from low to extremely high altitude with minimal physical dramas prompted the research. The ability to cope with altitude changes was attributed to the high caffeine tea in combination with the triglycerides in the Yak butter. The triglycerides in butter are also attributed to improved brain function. I was intrigued and had to give it a go – all in the name of the coffee experience!
There were a few recipes around but I went for my own version – I made a long black (2 shots on top of hot water) using the Revolution Espresso blend. Melted 25g of unsalted butter (grass fed butter is the best … apparently). Then used a handheld milk frother to emulsify the butter with the coffee. My buddy says a drop of cream aids the emulsification if you don’t want to go the straight butter. It actually looked ok. When I smelt the aroma, there was a strong hint of caramel (oh no … said it again), but that was definitely the butter and sugar more than the coffee! There was a buttery feel on the lips as I drank it but I also got a clear, almost pure taste of the coffee. The best way to describe it is if you imagine a long black as a coffee with rough edges, the butter acted as sandpaper to smooth out the bitterness. My wife thought I was crazy and said she felt nauseous thinking about. She had a sip and admitted it was quite nice.
Seriously, I thought it was amazingly good! Following the cup I was left with a lip balm feeling on the lips, the wonderful taste of coffee on the tongue and the tingle of enhanced brain function on the body ;-). If you’re intrigued give it a go! If you don’t want to try this at home, you can go to the Merlo coffee shop in Ballow St, The Valley near the Wickham Hotel – they do it. My bike riding buddy goes there, so they won’t look at you weirdly! I will do it again.