Coffee Brewed In Pure Fat (No Water At All)

Hey guys, I was watching a recent bulletproof radio episode with Barry Sears where Barry was talking about polyphenols. He was mentioning that some polyphenols need fat for better absorption, and that some are not very water soluble at all.


It got me thinking about bulletproof coffee. I know that after the coffee is brewed you mix it with fat and consume. But you are brewing with water. If some polyphenols (or any soluble substance you wish to extract out of the coffee beans for that matter) are not very water soluble, what would happen if you were to brew coffee in purely fat? Would you extract more / different things from the coffee? Logic tells me yes....


This sort of question leads me down the path of extracting compounds using solvents, which is a path I a familiar with due to my business where I produce a natural natural tonic water (for gin and tonics) extracting the quinine from tree bark. Extracting compounds with solvents is fun, and sounds like a lot of complex chemistry, but we do it every day (brew coffee and tea) - after all one of the worlds best solvents is plain water. While you can increase the effectiveness of water by changing the PH levels as well as other things, when it comes to making a nice palatable cup of coffee, I would argue this is something we dont want to do (sour coffee doesnt really appeal).


So in the normal extraction method we use water, and water is a hydrophilic solvent (will mix with polar molecules). If we were to change the solvent to pure fat that would be hydrophobic solvent (will mix will with non-polar molecules) thereby extracting different compounds. There are solvents that will mix with both polar and non-polar which would be able to extract both types of compounds at the same time, in varying efficiencies- an example of edible versions of these solvents would be alcohol and glycerin. For the sake of BPC I would also argue that we dont want to be adding either alcohol or glycerin of these to our morning brew.


Now to come back to reality, no one would really want to be drinking a cups worth of coffee infused fat, so the idea of brewing coffee in just fat is somewhat unrealistic. So as brewing with water and brewing with fat are likely to extract different compounds, what would happen if you were to utilise both methods? Instead of blending fat into your normal water brewed coffee, what if you brewed a separate batch of coffee using only fat, and then blend that "coffee infused" fat into your normal water brewed coffee? 


It opens up a few questions... What kind of different compounds are you likely to extract, good and bad, by brewing coffee with pure fat? If you are heating fat to "brew" coffee will the extra heat cause the fat oxidise at all? Then there are a host of "fat brewing" questions such as temperature (as fat can get a lot hotter than water, thereby extract more stuff) and brew time, which I think is another can of worms..


Any thoughts?



  • What a weird idea :-D well, you could theoretically try to extract your coffee grounds just with your 40g of butter/mct mix, make a thick paste out of it, and add the water later. messy in the french press, but could work. 90 degrees (dave's coffee temperature) should theoretically be safe, but I am not an expert and I am very concerned about oxidizing oils.. so that risk alone would make me avoid the technique until I were sure butter and mct can take 3 minutes of 90°C without oxidation.

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