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Bulletproof coffee is a whipped drink of high-quality coffee, grass-fed butter, and a shot of medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil. Invented by Silicon Valley investor and technology entrepreneur Dave Asprey and now part of his comprehensive “Bulletproof Diet” plan, the popular drink is marketed as a “biohack”: brain food that can substitute for a meal, help increase energy, and burn more fat throughout the day. Although controversial, some swear by Bulletproof’s combo of healthy fats and caffeine.
On first sip, Bulletproof tends to get a “love it or hate it” reaction. It’s creamy and foamy like a latte, but can taste somewhat bland because the butter mutes the coffee. But it is also a rich drink that will immediately appeal to some palates. For me, it was an acquired taste.
Devotees typically have to make their Bulletproof coffee at home since it’s unusual to find in coffee shops. But getting the brew in Denver has become a lot easier as various cafes have added the drink to their regular menus. Carbon Beverage Cafe, The Molecule Effect, and Honor Society all offer their own distinct versions—and they’re worth trying.
Located in Riverfront, Carbon uses local Method Coffee Roasters beans in its customizable Bulletproof drink, which can be made with your choice of either an Americano (espresso and hot water) or drip coffee. Blended with grass-fed butter and coconut oil and served in a clear glass, it’s creamy and filling. Ask for the “Superhero” version (not on the regular menu), and you’ll receive your Bulletproof with a shot of booze. The bar recommends Irish whiskey, brandy, or Cognac. It may not quite fit the definition of a “biohack,” but I liked how the bite of booze balanced the creaminess and enhanced the flavor.
The Molecule Effect in Lincoln Park premeasures the fatty ingredients (two tablespoons of grass-fed butter and coconut oil) for its Bulletproof to make sure that it has the perfect consistency when blended with two shots of espresso. This funky cafe is built to inspire creativity with an industrial design and unusual art, like an LED poster that endlessly scrolls through Tinder profiles, so the Bulletproof ethos fits right into their offerings. Plus, the Molecule Effect opens at 6 a.m. every day but Sunday, so you can get your blast of energy first thing in the morning.
At downtown eatery Honor Society, the Metabolic Paleo coffee offers a serious a.m. boost. This kicked up version of Bulletproof coffee features organic coconut oil, grass-fed clarified butter, maca root (a South American plant that purportedly enhances performance and memory), vanilla, molasses, and maple syrup. Thanks to the extra ingredients, this rich, smooth drink tastes a bit like a lighly sweetened vanilla latte.
During these winter months, some advocates claim that a shot of healthy fats might help keep away the blues. According to Asprey, the oil and butter content in Bulletproof coffee also helps to slow the body’s absorption of caffeine, meaning that the drinker will feel a more gradual, longer-lasting sensation of alertness and less of a jolting buzz. Just remember, due to the butter content, Bulletproof is definitely best warm. As it cools, the butter and oil begin to solidify and give the drink an unappealing texture.
Carbon Beverage Cafe: 1553 Platte St., 720-428-8565
The Molecule Effect: 1201 Sante Fe Dr., 720-502-6966
Honor Society: 1900 16th St., 720-420-0614