“What’s that ‘Bee Invincible’ coffee you have up there on the menu?” is a question we get every now and then. It’s partly because few places in the area serve it—The Juice Standard (TJS) may actually be the only one but don’t quote us—so it’s rare. But even for vegan or Paleo bees used to ordering coffee with almond, soy or coconut milk or cream, seeing coffee made with oil and butter seems a little weird. But that’s until you try it. And if this is totally new territory for you, let us explain….
Ever hear of “buttered coffee” or the trendier term “Bulletproof Coffee?” They’re actually riffs off an ages-old Tibetan drink called “yak butter tea” that uses yak butter the way Westerners use typical dairy in our cuppas. (Tibetans have more yaks than cows so they turn yak milk into butter…butter that can be kept shelf stable for up to a year if wrapped properly.)
In recent years, “buttered coffee” became all the rage when this guy researched the yak butter tea he tried on a Tibetan trek. After understanding the energy it gives Tibetans living and working the land in high altitudes, he learned that yak butter is super high in medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs)…a “healthy fat” that supplies long, slow energy. Back here in the United States, to mimic the Tibetan drink’s benefits he combined a serving of freshly brewed coffee with a tablespoon of coconut oil (high in MCTs and lauric acid…and rootin’-tootin’ tasty) and a tablespoon of grass-fed butter or ghee (close cousin to that yak butter…and, very tasty) to create “buttered coffee.” When you blitz it all up in a high-speed blender the mixture froths like a latte. And it’s just as creamy, without the dairy.
There’s a lot of info on the Internets about how the oils combine with coffee’s caffeine to slowly release energy rather than in a typical surge or crash. If you’re a food nerd like me, head to The Google and have at it. Recipes abound.
Since few places make this smooth, satisfying (and dareIsay healthy) coffee, most fans make it at home. But a standout feature of TJS’ recipe was deftly explained to me last weekend by TJS Operations Manager Zach Harder.
“One of the things that sets our Invincible apart is that we use espresso rather than freshly brewed coffee, and the texture is sort of cloud-like…light, airy and floaty,” says Harder. Further, Harder says that using two espresso shots and two draws of water uses less water than a typical cup of coffee which also contributes to a richer coffee flavor when blended in TJS’ high-speed Vitamix with a tablespoon of our favorite Purium coconut oil and Kerrygold grass-fed butter (unsalted). (You may also order it with ghee, which is clarified butter that has its milk solids removed through a heating process.)
Harder was totally right. I make mine at home and was blown away by the espresso difference (espresso made with Mothership beans roasted locally by our friend Josh Walter from Sunrise).
Bee Invincible isn’t the acquired taste you’d imagine, especially if you take your brew with a creamer but no sugar. Come try. And if you make yours at home, let us know what you think of ours.