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Why Put Butter in Coffee

A quick overview

Maybe you saw someone do it on TV. Or you read about it on a Paleo blog. Or you saw something about it on the internet. Or maybe you’ve been to Tibet or Nepal, or Ethiopia at some point in the last 1,000 years. Adding a high-quality fat to a hot drink such as tea or coffee has been around a long time.

Unexpected? Think about what you might put in your coffee today: milk, creamer, or half-and-half. Butter (and ghee) is just way further up the so-creamy-it-tastes-like-heaven curve.

Not all Butter is Created Equal

You can’t just slap a pat of any old butter in your coffee, though, and expect decent things to happen. Because butter coffee is about more than just the taste of churned cream or ghee, it’s about getting the right kinds of fats into your body.

Milk from grass-fed cows makes all the difference, both in the taste and color of the butter, and in the composition of the fats inside.

Not all “Pastured Butter” is actually 100% grass-fed

If you’re trying to maximize the benefits of putting grass-fed butter in your coffee (or anywhere in your diet), it makes sense to look for butter that comes from cows which are always 100% pastured and grass-fed. Unfortunately, for one of the most popular grass-fed options, this isn’t the case. If the cows’ feed is being “supplemented”, it needs to be supplemented with hay, alfalfa, or other grasses that can be stored for winter feed. 

Ghee or Butter?

Sometimes people ask why you would use ghee instead of butter. The answer is simple: ghee doesn’t need to be refrigerated, because all of the water and milk solids have been removed through gentle heating. What's left is pure butterfat which, if stored properly, can keep good for a year or more without refrigeration. 

Ghee is essentially clarified butter. When you slowly and gently heat butter, the milk solids settle to the bottom, and the water evaporates. What’s left is ghee, which has a slightly sweeter, nuttier taste profile. It’s also completely shelf-stable, so again – no refrigeration required.

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