April 23, 2014

The New Face of Coffee Kills Cancer, Fights Crime & Looks Like This. ~ Brenna Fischer {Product Review}

Photo: David Leggett on Flickr.

It is inhumane, in my opinion, to force people who have a genuine medical need for coffee to wait in line behind people who apparently view it as some kind of recreational activity.”

~ Dave Barry

I feel very strongly about my coffee (pun intended) and I know how I like it.

I like it rich, flavorful, caffeinated and punch-you-in-the-face strong.

I look forward to a great big mug-o’-focus every morning.

In fact, as I write this, I am drinking a hot, buzzing cup-full of the newest addition to the breakfast table, Bulletproof Coffee.

Bulletproof Coffee and its benefits have become the newest thing in foodie and health-nut circles over the last few years, claiming their “clean” processing technique fights cancer and inflammation while increasing antioxidants.

It’s founder, Dave Asprey, is a well-known “bio-hacker” and “upgrade” expert. Dave says that all of his research and bio-hacking is rooted in one question.

What are the simplest things you can do to be better at everything?”

As someone with a “medical need for coffee”, I wanted to try his Bulletproof products that claim they can prolong mental clarity and focus, enable me to control my energy levels and even avoid crankiness due to a caffeine crash.

I decided to request the Bulletproof Brain Kit which includes:

  • Two 12oz bags of Upgraded Coffee.
  • One 32oz bottle of Upgraded MCT (coconut) oil.
  • One oral dispenser of Upgraded Glutathione (antioxidant).
  • One bottle of 30 Upgraded Aging Formula capsules.

Bulletproof Brain Kit

Upgraded Coffee

I have to admit, at first, I was unimpressed. It had no unique flavor qualities and was not as bold as I had expected. In fact, the first pot I brewed was a little on the weak side.

However, the noticeable difference between the Bulletproof version and it’s original counterpart, was obvious in the aftermath of its effects.

I felt the familiar buzz of a good cup of Java but without feeling wired or jittery and unlike my regular coffee, afterwards, I felt no caffeine crash, or headache.

Instead, I felt energetic but focused. I was able to harness my thoughts and funnel them into productive tasks without my brain ping-ponging between thoughts.

(This is remarkable for someone with ADD whose main coping mechanism is to funnel any excess energy through athletic endeavors.)

Since there was no coffee-cliff to fall off, I was able to avoid the usual crankiness that comes when my blood sugar drops.

The reason for this is because typical coffee withdrawal symptoms are caused by mycotoxins which are formed in traditional coffees from drying the beans in the sun or fermenting (spoiling) them.

“Clean” coffee, however, like Bulletproof, is mechanically processed with clean, cold water. This dramatically cuts down on the harmful molds and bacteria that can impact health and cause those caffeine headaches.

The signature drink of the Bulletproof Coffee movement is based on a traditional Tibetan drink that is a combination of yak butter and tea.

It is meant to help the body use its fat stores to fuel the body instead of dipping into precious glucose (sugar) energies which deplete its ability to perform, especially in the Tibetan mountains and at altitude.

The recipe is:

  • Two tablespoons grass-fed butter
  • One or two tablespoons of MCT oil
  • Two cups of Bulletproof Coffee

Blend all ingredients until a thick, rich foam forms and enjoy.

I made a vegan version by substituting four tablespoons of full-fat coconut milk.

Vegan Bulletproof Coffee

It was delicious, creamy, satisfying and kept me going for about four hours before feeling hungry.

However, I could have done without the oily feeling left in my mouth from the MCT oil.

Upgraded MCT Oil

MCT or medium chain tryglycerides, is Bulletproof Coffee’s saturated fat side-kick and is derived from coconut oil.

Its purpose is to help fuel the mind and body with healthy fats for sustained energy, metabolism and mental focus.

Since I prefer not to put MCT oil in my coffee I used it, instead, on my oatmeal, in several baking recipes and to sauté vegetables. It has no flavor so it’s easy to use as a substitute.

It has a shelf life of three years, is stable enough to cook with up to 320 degrees Fahrenheit and provides a healthy dose of fats for the brain.

However, make sure to start off slowly when introducing MCT oil into your diet. Too much at once, or on an empty stomach, causes diarrhea and stomaches.

This is not how you want to start the morning…it’s powerful stuff.

Upgraded Glutathione

I did not try the Upgraded Glutathione because, unfortunately, it is not vegan.

Lactoferrin, an ingredient in Upgraded Glutathione, is derived from the immune system and, according to Wikipedia, lives in, “[…] secretory fluids, such as milk, saliva, tears, and nasal secretions.” There is no known vegan source.

Instead, my fiancé volunteered to try and review it.

Glutathione is an antioxidant that detoxifies your body and protects it from inflammation, toxins, and pathogens.

According to my fiancé it had a bitter taste, but felt light in his stomach. He feels he’d need to take it longer than 30 days for any noticeable differences in inflammation or detoxing to take effect because the results are cumulative rather than immediate.

Upgraded Aging Formula

This product offers metabolic support against aging conditions.

Since, I used this product in conjunction with the Upgraded coffee and MCT oil, I can’t be sure how much credit to attribute to it for my increased mental focus, but I can be sure that it did not detract from it.

(I would, however, consider a name change, since as it is, it seems to send a mixed message…)


$18.95 for a 12 oz bag of Bulletproof coffee is pricey, but at least the money goes towards a good cause.

It ensures hand-picked harvesting from a single, Passive Organic (it is not economical for them to become certified organic), family-owned estate in Central America.

This farm does not allow chemicals of any kind, and works to enhance the antioxidant capacity of their beans by roasting them in small batches. They also insist on mechanical processing to ensure the lowest amount of molds and toxins. 

Even though, I think the mental focus and sustained energy without the crash is worth it, most days I just don’t have that kind of money in my budget.

There are, however, other non-toxic versions out there and the Bulletproof website even has a page dedicated to helping you seek them out. Some of these brands might even be local to you, and if so, may be cheaper.


I am happy to report that my Bulletproof products arrived in minimally packaged, biodegradable cardboard and there was no unnecessary plastic wrap.

On behalf of medically-dependant-coffee-drinkers everywhere, I raise my mug to Bulletproof Coffee.

Thank you.

Love elephant and want to go steady?

Sign up for our (curated) daily and weekly newsletters!

Editor: Jenna Penielle Lyons

Photos:  David Leggett/FlickrBulletproof Coffee, Author Brenna Fischer

Read 2 Comments and Reply

Read 2 comments and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Brenna Fischer