If you follow nutrition trends you might already be familiar with Bulletproof coffee—a drink invented and branded by biohacker Dave Asprey, who claims his blend of coffee, grass-fed butter and coconut oil has profound health benefits. The concoction already has a cult following among wellness fanatics and the performance-conscious Silicon Valley set, and Asprey hopes to take its healthy appeal mainstream this year with the opening of an NYC cafe.
Asprey first struck on the idea during a trip to Mount Kailash—a remote area of Tibet with an elevation of 17,000 feet (5,182 meters). After drinking a cup of local yak’s milk tea, he was able to overcome the combined negative effects of high altitude and subzero temperatures, and began finessing a coffee version of the drink once he was back on American soil.
His creation is a mixture of Guatemalan or Colombian coffee that’s low-mold and invigorating without being jittery; grass-fed, unsalted butter which has a higher content of Omega 3s and vitamins; and something called Brain Octane Oil, which is essentially medium chain triglyceride oil derived from coconuts (what else?) Allegedly this liquid miracle has the power to curb appetite and enhance fat burning (despite containing upwards of 450 calories per cup—all from fat), boost brainpower and clarity, and aid exercise performance.
As a biohacker, Asprey has done his research, and the Bulletproof website lists plenty of references to back up its lofty health claims. However, it’s not without its skeptics, two of which referred to Bulletproof coffee as “a scheme to get you to buy some very expensive magic beans” and a marketing triumph akin to the grapefruit diet.
The first Bulletproof coffee brick-and-mortar cafe opened in Los Angeles—a city known for embracing the wellness trend du jour—back in 2015. This year they’re also looking to set up in Austin, Chicago, San Diego, and San Francisco as well as New York — whose health conscious, highly ambitious residents will no doubt be enthusiastic Bulletproof customers.