National Coffee Day vs International Coffee Day

national coffee day history

Every year millions coffee lovers from around the world get a chance to celebrate their passionate love for anything related to a cup of java.

It is a once a year event that is promoted by major food & beverage retailers and various associations.

Of course that depends if you follow either the 29 Sept day in the US or 1 Oct day around the rest of the world. Either one was created as an awareness day designed to promote the amazing coffee culture, which you can read more about in the history section.

In the US, many big name brands like: Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Wawa, McDonalds and 7-Eleven, for example, typically give away free cups of coffee on the day to consumers visiting a participating store or restaurant.

These companies like to run these specials to help attract more clients to their particular convenience food and drinks brand. It makes sense why.

The end goal being that customers who take them up on the free coffee offer, in the short-term come into a store and spend some money. Then they will hopefully return time and time again in the future when they think of buying a take-away cup of joe. Brand loyalty and more lifetime sales at the end of the day would be a great marketing result.

National Coffee Day

What is National Coffee Day?

Promoting NCD on 29 September

National coffee day is only promoted nationally within the US, with its origins coming from the National Coffee Association (NCA). The NCA is the major organiser who is behind this unique US holiday. The official social media hashtag is #NationalCoffeeDay used by official NCA channels: Twitter, Facebook, its blog and official website page.

Is It National Coffee Day Today?

National coffee day in the United States of America is always celebrated each year on the 29th September. It was on Thursday, September 29 in 2016 and will be on Friday, September 29 in 2017. This means the day of the week can be different each year, but the calendar date will always be the same.


The US uses a different calendar date compared to the rest of the world for which day they celebrate on for some reason which will see below. There are reports that say the NCA started promoting this awareness day back in 2005.

However, it hasn’t been easy to find a reference like an old press release, advert image or clipping, news article or archive webpage. The earliest sign we could find online was only in 2013 with this tweet from their official account:

It would appear that the New Orleans Coffee Festival on 3 October 2009, which was held at The Southern Food and Beverage Museum, used the term National or International Coffee Day in the US. However, this wasn’t the start of the official day worldwide.(1)

You can see old archive images of the what happened on the day here.

International Coffee Day

What is International Coffee Day?

ICD Logo

International coffee day is promoted globally around the world, with its origins coming from the International Coffee Organisation (ICO). ICO are the international body that represents many foreign countries and is the organiser behind this holiday event.

The official social media hashtag is #InternationalCoffeeDay used by official ICO channels: Twitter, Facebook, its blog and official website page.

When is International Coffee Day?

The official international coffee day (ICD) that is marketed by the International Coffee Organisation (ICO) is always on 1 October of each year. It was on Saturday, October 1 in 2016 and will be on Sunday, October 1 in 2017. This means the day of the week can be different each year, but the calendar date will always be the same.


As with most national holidays and special events there is a historical reason why it was started by someone or an organisation behind it just like Cyber Monday and Black Friday for example.

As you could see by the two different dates mentioned above, that many countries around the world might celebrate their own version of a dedicated day at custom dates throughout a year.

London international headquarters of coffee

During the ICO meeting on 3-7 March of 2014 held at the ICO headquarters, 22 Berners Street, London, UK, the council tabled a proposal to consider for an International Coffee Day.

The proposal was put forward by the Private Sector Consultative Board (PSCB) of the organisation. The 77 Member States of the ICO then discussed this idea during the meeting and put it to a vote.

The proposal was passed and it was agreed to, by ICO member states, to celebrate International Coffee Day annually on 1 October, starting 2015, instead of each country having a unique day.

This would help to create uniformity in the marketing awareness campaign by creating just one single day of celebration for lovers of coffee from around the world. (2)(3)

ICO member governments represent 98% of world coffee production & 83% of world consumption with a list of current member countries as June 2016 below (*denotes provisional application)(4)

Exporting Member Countries (42)Importing Member Countries (35)
AngolaEuropean Union:
Bolivia- Austria
Brazil- Belgium
Burundi- Bulgaria
Cameroon- Croatia
Central African Republic- Cyprus
Colombia- Czech Republic
Costa Rica- Denmark
Côte d'Ivoire- Estonia
Cuba- Finland
Democratic Republic of the Congo- France
Ecuador- Germany
El Salvador- Greece
Ethiopia- Hungary
Gabon- Ireland
Ghana- Italy
Guatemala- Latvia
Honduras- Lithuania
India- Luxembourg
Indonesia- Malta
Kenya- Netherlands
Liberia- Poland
Madagascar- Portugal
Malawi- Romania
Mexico- Slovakia
Nicaragua- Slovenia
Panama- Spain
Papua New Guinea*- Sweden
Paraguay- United Kingdom
RwandaRussian Federation
Sierra LeoneSwitzerland
Timor-LesteUnited States of America

Which Event is Bigger?

As you can see from the graph below, according to historical Google trends data, the amount of people searching online from around the world for the either term shows a clear winner.

Looking at the difference between the blue US celebrates day & red international celebrated day phrases it is blatantly obvious which one is way more popular and gets a significantly bigger percentage of online traffic and searches per year.

You can also see when the spikes in the graph occurred that most people searching online for more information will do so roughly between Sep, 27 – Oct, 4 dates. This is since it is a one day event with flash sale deals to be had.

Other Notable Dates

The oldest mention of an organised national coffee day marketing event was by the “All Japan Coffee Association” back in 1983.

Translated from Japanese in to English they said:“In Japan, the fact that coffee consumption is higher in the Autumn and Winter period, in 1983 the All Japan Coffee Association declared October 1 would defined as Coffee of the Day”.


Japan is an ICO member state, which could explain how 1st October was chosen.

Marketing Ideas

Both the ICO and NCA USA would like to encourage any independent businesses, private companies, public associations, and of course coffee lovers to arrange to host an event or awareness campaign on either dedicated day.

Some ideas how to do this could be:

todays good mood sponsored by coffee quote
Tweet, Pin, or Facebook Share this Image on Your Social Media Accounts with a Hashtag
  • Use social media channels like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to invite friends to an event using the official hashtag #InternationalCoffeeDay or #NationalCoffeeDay. To help get you started we made this image for you 🙂
  • Host a coffee cupping tasting event at a local coffee shop, work office or even in your own home.
  • Run a limited offer discount on coffee related products via a promotion if you own a coffee shop or cafe.
  • Make a personal video about how much or why you love coffee so much. Use this footage to upload YouTube & promote on social media websites along with the #InternationalCoffeeDay or #NationalCoffeeDay hashtag.
  • Run an coffee themed art competition. Once people have entered their pieces of art (photography, poetry, drawing, paintings, sculptures, short stories…) hold an exhibition to display them for others to see and appreciate them.
  • Host a masterclass or workshop. Maybe teach different brewing techniques using a French Press or Aeropress, how to do latte art or educate people on how to roast coffee beans at home & the differences between a light, medium or dark roast.
  • Host a mini-lecture by an expert knowledgeable about everything coffee, like say a local roaster or barista talking about what are peaberry coffee beans or how to make butter coffee.
  • Arrange an organised tour to a local coffee farm and/or washing station to get the more people interested in farming and growing coffee plants.
  • Promote a charity fundraising campaign to raise money or supplies that go toward helping charitable coffee projects.
  • Have a screening of a coffee-related film, like The Coffee Man documentary or any other one, at a local venue or cinema.


Whatever you decide to do for marketing, the day is all about creating awareness of this top 3 traded commodity in the world.

Not only the money that is made from trading it. Think of all the people involved in getting the final product into your cup for you. From the growers, farm workers, exporters, buyers, roasters and baristas who make it for you with love and passion.

Happy Coffee Lovers Day where ever you are drinking some today 🙂

Please pin this image to share the love.

coffee noun for survival juice quote

Peaberry Coffee Beans: Speciality Coffee Drinkers Guide

roasted peaberry coffee beans

Peaberry coffee beans, arabica beans & robusta beans.

These are words you might overhear being mentioned by coffee lovers, or hipsters, who are chatting with their local barista, or roaster, on what to order next.

A novice coffee drinker may start off drinking instant coffee. Hopefully, as their taste buds and palates start evolving with time they will start to appreciate the massive differences available.

From the different types of beans that are grown, how they are roasted and even the brewing methods used. Just like fine wines, aged Scottish whiskeys or French Michelin star chef made food, there is a much larger & very enjoyable flavor experience to be had from tasting different coffee bean varietals.

As the novice delves deeper into the world of coffee, filled with these percolated, addictive, brown potions, they will undoubtably be captivated by the vast extent of fascinating flavors & delicious varieties that await them at their local speciality coffee fuelling station.

One of the curiosities you are sure to find at some stage as you explore the world of third wave coffee culture is the peaberry bean.

What Is A Peaberry Coffee Bean?

difference in appearance of round peaberry coffee bean vs regular flat coffee bean

A peaberry coffee bean is a natural occurring mutation of either arabica or robusta varietals (species) where only one bean is produced by the coffee cherry.

The peaberry coffee bean variation occurs in all coffee belt growing districts, from places like Kenya & Costa Rica to Hawaii and from low to high altitudes. This type of coffee bean is not influenced by the cultivation or processing method used by a farm. It is estimated that 5-10% of coffee grown will produce peaberries.(1)

Peaberry the word is also known as caracoli or carcacol which is the Spanish word for “snail”

How Does It Happen

A normal coffee cherry will contain two beans (seeds).

These two seeds develop in the center of the cherry and will each have one side that is flat & touching the other one. They are sometimes called “flat beans”.

When the fruit produces only one bean that is round (pea) shaped then it is called a “peaberry.”

Did you know that in very rare occasions, you may get three seeds develop that then look triangular in shape.(2)

raw green coffee bean in fruit shell

In terms of appearance, because it’s the only seed in the cherry, there’s nothing for it to grow against and flatten it. The result being that single coffee bean then develops into an unusual oval (or pea) shape as an end product.

These peaberries are usually much smaller than their “twin” counterparts and develop an elongated shape when roasted.

Many people mistakenly assume this is a specific species of bean, a special blend, or even a genetic defect, but none of these descriptions are accurate. It is just a natural occurring anomaly and perfectly fine to drink.

Botanical Reasons It Happens

Coffee cherries are the fruit of the coffee tree and contain the seeds, which will eventually be turned into beans. Doesn’t matter which bean you grind, all coffee species have traces that originate to a genus of plants known as Coffea.(4)

The best summarised explanation we could find why small, round seeds form was this one:

The ultimate cause of a peaberry is that either the ovule fails to be fertilized, or there is failure in the growth of the endosperm. Several factors are thought to cause these two conditions: Insufficient pollination, environmental conditions, and genetic defects. Peaberries are much more common in the extremities of the plant, where weather conditions are more severe, the journey of the nutrients is much longer, and the agents of pollination, gravity and wind (it is estimated that insects account for only 5-10% of pollination), have a harder time reaching the stigma of the blossoms for fertilization.

Source: Casa Brazil Coffees

Remember a green coffee bean is actually a fruit, a berry to be precise, called a coffee cherry.

Each berry produces two of these ovules. Anyone who has carefully examined your average coffee cherry will notice it has a round side and a flat side that is split in two by a crevice (crack) in the middle.

However, there is at least one exception to this rule.

Sometimes two seeds don’t develop within the coffee berry. When this happens, the single seed growing inside the berry is not limited to one side and grows into a “rounded” coffee bean a.k.a peaberry coffee bean.

For the most comprehensive history and background on everything to do with coffee we recommended reading this book by William H. Ukers (1922) titled “All about Coffee”(5)

Fun Fact: Did you know that Benjamin Franklin used to hangout in coffee shops before it became fashionable(6)

How Are Peaberries Harvested?

unroasted coffee beans

Unfortunately, there’s no way to tell from looking at the fresh read or yellow colored coffee cherry fruit hanging on the branch if inside you are going to be get a single raw peaberry seed or two regular seeds.

That means the cherries have to be sorted by hand after a worker has picked them from the field.

They then have to be manually processed at the farm to be hand separated from the rest of the crop in order to be sold as a stand alone product. To help achieve this feat, they are sorted by screen size device at a dry mill before being bagged ready for export.

You might get some underdeveloped dual-bean cherries that also make it through the screening process as they are also small enough to pass through the filter holes in the screen.

In many cases the peaberries are sold alongside the normal coffee beans in order to save money from having to isolate them from the rest regular or even elephant size green beans in a batch. What this ultimately means is that if you want to try peaberry coffee beans then be prepared to pay a bit more per gram then you would with normal roasted coffee beans. Again, because more goes work goes into the food manufacturing process to sort them this increases the end user price.

There was a time (believe it or not) when these round coffee beans were rejected. They were considered inferior by coffee merchants! Maybe this was due to their smaller size and the somewhat unappealing difference in their appearance regular shaped beans. Little did the traders know years latter how those small beans would be worth something.

Does Peaberry Coffee Taste Better?

Freshly brewed cup of joe

Probably most coffee aficionados will tell you they can’t notice much of a difference in: aroma, body, acidity, bitterness, flavor or finish characteristics experienced.

Nevertheless, if you think there will be some sublime nuances in the flavor profile of a peaberry that are lacking in the regular cup of Joe – you may find you are only paying for the sorting process.

Still this is one of those hot topics that is debated time and time again in the speciality coffee tasting world. You’ll get a different answer with every coffee distributor, barista or connoisseur you may ask.

Here are some common answers some might tell you:

  • Coffee folklore, says peaberries are considered superior to the rest of same crop harvested because all the flavors and nutrients that would be dived into a double bean are instead condensed into just the one bean. Creating a “super berry”.
  • Some say it tastes brighter, juicier and sweeter.
  • Since they are round in shape they roll in the roaster better and develop a more even roast per bean.
  • As they are handpicked by workers the inferior seeds are not mixed into a batch.

If you are a lover or a hater they are just like regular split beans with some of them tasting amazing, and some of them being rather average or dull.

It is a natural grown product and so natural differences will occur. However, it does definitely have a different taste profile than its twin brother from the same harvest. Saying that this doesn’t mean it will definitely translate into a higher cupping score at competitions.

Then if you would ask this question to the big coffee emporium, selling peaberries at four or five times the rate of regular beans, they would explain in no uncertain terms that not only is the taste of peaberries superior, it is also the cure for premature balding and the answer to the upcoming energy crisis – they could be exaggerating their answers a little bit.

How to Roast Peaberry Beans

The natural small size of the caracoli beans means the roasting recipe needs to be tweaked from roasting a regular size bean. Roasters have to take into consideration a few variables like:

  • Size of the mesh in the drum of whatever manufacturer they use like a home Behmor roaster. A tip would be to first put the beans into the cylinder then shake it to see how many might be lost during the roast before starting to roast a batch.
  • Temperatures needed as being smaller they will heat up fast and different to what recipe larger bean sizes would require.
  • Roasting time needed again as they heat up faster
  • Using the sprouted bed roasting technology to roast small green coffee beans(7)
  • Listening for the first crack as it might be harder to hear when it happens so over roasting to an undesired profile might easily occur.(8)
  • Dealing with the extra chaff produced by these.(9)

Some coffee roasters think that roasting peaberries is slightly more challenging than roasting regular coffee beans. That’s down to the shape, and size meaning that more care is required then usual. As such, a slow and steady roast works best and that’s in order to ensure that the flavours develop on the inside just as much as on the outside.

Best Peaberry Coffee to Buy

Palm civet animal eating kopi luwak coffee cherries

I know I’m already talking to the converted, however, coffee is the most enjoyable beverage to drink during the day or after dinner at times. Not only for its refined robust flavor & tons of health benefits, but also for the signature energy boost that has empowered people to finish deadlines and changed nations like the Boston Tea Party.

When it comes to choosing which peaberry to buy just be aware of the Tanzanian mystery. You will more than likely see Tanzanian peaberry coffees for sale versus say a Brazilian, Costa Rican or any other South America or African region. Why this is is it not fully known or understood.(10)

The two most common types you might go with would either be a Tanzanian Peaberry coffee or a Kona Peaberry coffee from Hawaii. Going with either one of these is going to be good choice to experience this varietal of bean if you haven’t before.

These are very different from the most expensive coffee in the world which is Kopi Luwak which is collected after Indonesian cat-like animal called then palm civet or also civet cat has finished digesting it first. This can sell for $3000 USD per kilogram. You can get a more affordable version to try on Amazon if you are keen to just taste it once.


The next time you your in your local supermarket or coffee shop we’d suggest trying out some peaberry coffee beans if you have never tasted them before.

Of course use the best coffee making equipment that you can to get barista level brewed coffee.

No matter what recipe you use to make your coffee (have you tried making tea or coffee with butter yet?) you are sure to enjoy another cup of the liquid that helps make the world a beautiful place to live.

Yak Butter Tea | Traditional Tibetan Tea Recipe

cup yak butter tea from tibetTibet is the traditional homeland for the Tibetan people who like to drink both yak butter tea and sweet milk tea. Our focus is on Tibetan butter version which is known as: Po Cha (“Tibetan tea” in Tibetan), Cha Süma (“churned tea” in Tibetan) or Su Cha (in Sherpa)

Tibet is an autonomous province with the People’s Republic of China and its most famous person being the Dali Lama, the leader of Tibetan Buddhism. It is the highest region in the world because it is where Mount Everest is with a peak elevation of 8,848 m (29,029 ft) above sea level. You can understand now why it is nicknamed the “Roof of the World”.

The natural mountainous terrain means there are lots of peaks and troughs which can make it very harsh to live in. Living at high altitudes has it own challenges on human physiology. This is why mountaineers who like to climb and trek up big mountains like Mt. Everest need loads of energy in easy digestible and easily cookable formats. One of the traditional energy drinks in the region that the locals have relied on for centuries is putting butter, made from yaks milk, into brewed tea.

Butter Tea Recipe

Tibetan using Chandong for churning butterKnown locally as Po-cha by the people of Tibet, it is made from churning tea, salt and yak butter.

A tea brick is crumbled into boiling water and boiled for hours to produce a smoky, bitter brew called chaku. Chaku is then poured into a wooden cylindrical churn, called a chandong, along with a hunk of yak butter and salt to be churned for a couple of minutes before serving.

The chaku can be stored to make butter tea when required. Tea bricks from Pemagul, Tibet or pu-erh tea bricks from Yunnan are used.

There are different ways to make things of course to each persons preference for flavors. Here are some recipes to consider.

Traditional Recipe

This a traditional po-cha recipe for two people. This will make about two cups each person.

  • Bring four cups of water to a boil (32oz/948ml)
  • Add 2-3 tablespoons of pu-erh tea leaves
  • Add a heaped quarter of a teaspoon of salt
  • Add a 1/3 to 1/2 a cup of yak milk
  • Reduce heat and let the tea steep for hours to make chaku
  • Strain tea leaves from chaku
  • Add chaku to some freshly boiled water
  • Pour tea mixture into a chandong along with 2 tablespoons of yak butter
  • Churn for 2-3 minutes
  • Drink the tea

Western Recipe

This a modified po-cha recipe for two people. This will make about two cups each person.

  • Bring four cups of water to a boil in a stove pot (32oz/948ml)
  • Add 2-3 tablespoons of loose black tea leaves or 2-3 tea bags
  • Add a heaped quarter of a teaspoon of salt
  • Reduce heat and let the tea steep for 3-4 minutes
  • Strain the tea leaves or remove the tea bags
  • Add a 1/3 to 1/2 a cup of milk
  • Pour the brewed tea mixture into a food blender
  • Add 2 tablespoons of grassfed butter (salted or unsalted)
  • Blend the tea for 20-60seconds
  • Drink the tea

Tibetan monks and citizens are said to be able to drink up to 60 small cups a day for helping to stay hydrated and for nutrition. It is also used a soup dish.

The origins of Bulletproof Coffee are said to be because of this particular butter in tea drink that Dave Asprey had when hiking in the Tibetan mountains. You do also get a Bulletproof Tea.


The three main ingredients are:

  1. Tea from Pemagul, Tibet or pu-erh tea from Yunnan,
  2. Butter from yaks and,
  3. Salt.

Pu-Erh Tea

Lets look at this type which is a common traditional variety choice.

pu-erh tea brick example“Pu-erh” is made from “maocha” (a.k.a mao-cha). This maocha is the green tea leaves and stems of the broad-leaf varietal of Camellia sinensis plant (C. sinensis assamica). This plant is grown well in n the Yunnan province in Southern China and in India. This particular plant is used to make green, oolong, and black teas options.

Other names known as are: Arbre à Thé, Camellia sinensis, Camellia thea, Camellia theifera, Sheng pu-erh, Shou pu-erh, Té Pu-erh, Tea, Thé Pu’Er, Thé Pu-Erh, Thé Puerh, Thea bohea, Thea sinensis, Thea viridis, Théier.

Puerh tea is made through two main process: fermentation and then ageing. The result can be either two types of pu-erh – “raw” Shēng Chá or “ripe” Shu Chá.

The raw version is made by picking the leaves then allowing them to wilt before being dry roasted on a open wok which is known as “Killing the Green”. The roasting process helps to prevent full oxidation. The roasted leaves are then rolled and rubbed to bruise the loose tea product which is then sun dried. Once ready the loose tea is then pressed into compact bricks ready to be sold.

close-up pu-erh tea leavesThe ripe version follows the same process as the raw except the sun dried raw loose tea leaves then have yeasts (molds) and bacteria added to it. This is to allow fermentation and aging further before being compressed into a final product. Some microbes involved in fermenting include different speicies like Aspergillus, Penicllium and Rhizopus. If you are concerned about mycotoxins take some activated charcoal.

It can come in a loose form or compressed into different shapes like a brick, cake or disc.

Pu-erh tea is used as medicine and is popular not only in Tibet but also Southwestern China and Taiwan. It is used to help improve mental alertness, like coffee, but also for reducing high cholesterol levels, unlike coffee.


example domesticated yak in tibetThe English word yak is derived from the Tibetan word yag. This actually refers to the male yak whereas the female yak is known as dri in the Tibetan language.

The milk is from the domesticated yak (Bos grunniens a.k.a “grunting ox”) which is common species across central Asia. It looks similar to buffalo milk. The raw milk is said to have a higher content of solids, fat and protein than dairy cow or goat milk. Yak milk is composed of 83% water, solids content of around 18%, fat content has a seasonal range of between 6.5% – 16%. and it has a sweetish, fragrant taste.

large amount of yak butterStudies have shown that compared to milk from a cow, yak milk was richer in protein (especially whey protein), essential amino acids, fat, lactose and minerals (except phosphorus).

Products made from yak milk appear to be particularly rich in bioactive & functional components. The milks profile of amino acids and fatty acids, high levels of antioxidant vitamins, specific enzymes, and bacteria with probiotic activity are thought to have helped nomads and sherpas cope with the harsh high altitude climate they live in.

Yak butter is comparable to commercial grassfed butters like Irish or French. The raw yak butter contains 12 – 15% water, 1% protein and the rest fat. It can be turned into ghee used for cooking or putting into tea. Yak milk fat globules are bigger than cow’s milk fat globules. Since yak milk fat content & fat globules are larger than dairy cows, it takes much less time to make butter from it compared to other types of milk.

Yak butter is not only used in tea but also:

  • To light lamps,
  • To make the staple dish tsampa
  • To heal chapped lips
  • To make butter sculptures during the Tibetan New Year (a.k.a Losar)


Different types of colors of saltOf course Tibetan butter tea is said to taste salty and not sweet. That’s because salt is added when making it. Salt is a natural taste enhancer for for food and drink recipes.

You think Tibetans only use pink Himalayan salt. The Himalayas mountain range is in tibet so they can harvest. However, white looking table salt is also farmed on the Tibetan plateau from dried lake beds. Salt is mined from caves and surface salt beds.

The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau has the worlds highest altitude salt lake called Nam Co. You can see workers doing hard manual work in a salt mine in the mountains here.

Yanjing (meaning salt well in Chinese) is a traditional salt mining town where farmers have fetched water from the salt wells by the Lancang River for many years. It said that the white salt produced is of the highest quality for using as a ingredient for food. Compared to the deep red salt produced which is used to boil tea or feed livestock.

There are many benefits to salt and contrary to popular belief, salt is not going to instantly cause high blood pressure problems in individuals. Salt is a medical dietary necessity in order to stay alive and have a functioning physiology. Even on a low salt diet for helping kidney stones you still need some.

If you are on a low-carb high fat, ketogenic or fasting type diet, which nomadic Tibetans would be, then the salt is necessary to help muscles avoid cramping.

Some listed benefits of salt are:

  • Helps regulate the water content in your body
  • Helps to promote a healthy pH balance in your cells (particularly your brain cells)
  • Helps to regulate blood sugar health
  • Assist in the generation of hydroelectric energy in cells in your body
  • Helps you absorb food particles through your intestinal tract
  • Supports efficient respiratory health
  • Promotes clear sinuses
  • Helps to prevent onset of muscle cramping
  • Helps to promote stronger bones
  • Helps to regulate your sleep cycle
  • Supports male and female sexual libido
  • Promotes good general vascular health
  • Helps to regulates ideal blood pressure

Tibetan Tea History

Yak Butter Tea
The “four pillars of life” on the Tibetan plateau is – meat, salt, tsampa, and tea. Out of the four tea is the only traditional staple that has had to be imported. The staple food for Tibetans is something called “tsampa” which is typically eaten alongside the favored beverage of po-cha.

Map of Tea Horse Road ancient trade routeTea doesn’t naturally grow in Tibet. So how did it become one of the preferred drinks for many local people?

The answer is the Tea Horse Road. It is an ancient trade route going through Tibet, Sichuan and Yunnan. Beginning around the 6th century, Chinese people from Sichuan and Yunnan provinces would travel with packs of tea loaded on horses. The tea was then traded with people from Tibet for more horses. Hence, their route was called the Tea Horse Road.

Related Products

Below you can find products available on Amazon and other retailers to try recreate an authentic experience in your home, even if you don’t live near Tibet.

Puerh Tea Bags and Brick

Real Yak Butter or Ghee

Unfortunately it is very difficult to source the real deal in the US or Europe. In the US try contact as a supplier. Otherwise a good grassfed butter like Irish Kerrygold, New Zealand Anchor Butter or Raw French Butters are a great second choice. Along with using quality ghee like Bulletproof ghee.

Jar of Bulletproof grass-fed ghee

Himalayan Salt or Sea Salt

You can use pink Himalayan salt or a good sea salt like that from Aztec as an alternative which are both packed with minerals.

Food Blender

Unless you go the traditonal route of hand churning in a wooden churn it is more likely you’l use the modern way of just blending it all together in a decent high speed blender made for hot liquids like the Blendtec.

Tibetan Tea Cup

You can finish off the experience by getting your hands on an authentic Tibetan Yak Butter Tea pot.

Tibetan Yak Butter Tea Bowl
Price Disclaimer


Third Wave Coffee Culture: From Roast to Cupping

Speciality CoffeeWhen you only want to drink gourmet coffee or speciality coffee you have just joined millions of other coffee fans who take joy in experiencing the best taste of coffee. However sipping the flavors of a single origin or a medium roast blend is one part to the coffee culture. In the following video is a great glimpse into how much pride and thought goes into making coffee from the roaster to the coffee shop.

As fans of Bulletproof® Coffee we all know how much pride and detail Dave likes to go into making his Upgraded™ Coffee beans. Dave has mentioned how you want to find those coffee shops with the tattooed barista wearing a bow tie who likes talking coffee crack. It just shows once you enter the world of coffee it becomes an expression of you.

What is Specialty Coffee?

Red Coffee CherriesBecoming a better coffee connoisseur is by increasing your knowledge for everything about the coffee industry. See this as improving your coffee education.

Below is a nice basic overview for how does coffee get from the farm to a coffee roaster to you eventually getting to drink that cup of coffee. It is a very short overview of the process of coffee going from coffee cherry to coffee cup from

Premium Coffee Bean Journey

Now Upgraded™ Coffee beans do not follow the exact process laid out in the above video. Dave has developed his own Bulletproof Process™ which starts at the farm and goes all the way to roasting and packaging.

Roasting Third Wave Coffee

Roasting Green Coffee BeansAs you get deeper into the coffee culture and lifestyle, you naturally will want to start expanding your coffee language skills away from just knowing the difference between a cappuccino, espresso and americano, to saying things like: “When did you roast the coffee?” and “Did you roast it to first crack or second crack?”.

Each head coffee roaster will have their own secret recipe when roasting their various types of green coffee beans. When you are not grinding Upgraded™ Coffee beans at home, a cool thing for a Bulletproof® coffee fan to do when visiting a new coffee shop, is to have a more in depth chat with the roaster or barista.

Go ahead and ask them if the particular coffee bean you want to try was roasted to first crack or second crack. You will see them smile because it just shows them you have a deeper appreciation for their art, and that here is someone who loves a good cup of coffee, because they care how the coffee is made.

What Is The Crack Sound During Coffee Roasting?

You can get a first crack or second sound whilst roasting coffee beans. This occurs when the beans expand and crack open the outer shell of the bean. The sounds indicate when a bean reaches different temperatures. It is used as a guide by roasters.

Coffee beans that are being rolled around in a commercial roasting drum are hard to see. If you are visual person, then you’ll love this video clip showing how coffee beans expand, and you’ll get to hear the crack sound as the bean reaches different temperatures.

Now coffee isn’t normally roasted this way, as shown in the video. It would be rolling around and in constant motion. The makers of this video said: “We thought it would be fun to toss a few test dummies into a toaster oven, turn it up to about 500°F and watch them actually crack.”

Here is a good definition what each crack sound means from coffee roasting on Wikipedia:

Sound is a good indicator of bean temperature during roasting. There are two temperature thresholds called “cracks” that roasters listen for. At about 200–202 °C (392–396 °F), beans will emit a cracking sound much like popcorn does when it pops, only much quieter. This point is called “first crack,” marking the beginning of light roasts. When the beans are at about 224–226 °C (435–439 °F), they emit a “second crack.” During first and second “crack” pressure inside the bean has increased to the point where the structure of the bean fractures, rapidly releasing gases, thus an audible sound is emitted.

Hope you have more fun talking coffee lingo with a local coffee roastery.

Bulletproof Coffee French Press Brewing Method Tutorial

Bulletproof Coffee French PressIf you have read the Bulletproof Coffee recipe here then you’ll know that Dave Asprey recommends using the French Press method to brew your coffee. Of course, using this way to make Bulletproof coffee is not the only way; there is also the incredible new age AeroPress coffee method too.

Knowing how to use a French press coffee plunger, the correct way, allows you to experiment with many different coffee brewing variables. This just one reason that makes it a great piece of coffee equipment for any coffee hackers out there.

What is a French Press?

Chambord la cafetiere original designA French press is a coffee pot that contains a plunger with fine metal mesh filter at the end that pushes the coffee grounds to the bottom of the pot once the coffee has brewed & is ready to be poured. It is also known as a press pot, coffee press, coffee plunger, cafetière (UK) or сafetière à piston.

It is a coffee making device patented by Italian designers Attilio Calimani & Giulio Moneta back in 1929.

Swiss inventor, Faliero Bondanini, designed a version called Chambord that was manufactured in France in the 1950’s. The popularity of this type of coffee brewer, with the French people, is where the French Press name originates from. The classic Bondanini Chambord design is now owned by Danish company, Bodum, and is still available to purchase here.

Recommended Products

You will need the right tools and products to help you make sure that you can easily follow the step by step instructions, hints and tips below. Investing in buying quality products will pay dividends; you will appreciate well made equipment, especially with daily use.

Here is a list of recommended coffee making tools you will need:

    1. Bulletproof coffee whole beans (decaf or caffeinated)
    2. Filtered water. This Soma filter is recommended for home use.
    3. One of the recommended digital measuring scales
    4. Bonavita precision pour & temperature control kettle (comes with digital timer built-in)
    5. One of the recommended burr coffee grinders
    6. Best French Press for Making Bulletproof Coffee

Hario best coffee maker for Bulletproof coffee

French Press Instructions

  • Pour some hot water into the empty, glass french press pot; this helps the coffee stay warm. Pouring hot water is easier & more precise when using a gooseneck kettle.
  • Pour the hot water out after 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  • Grind your coffee beans fresh using a burr grinder to a coarse grind setting.
  • Use a digital kitchen scale to measure the right amount of freshly ground coffee to water ratio. A common ratio is 1:15, i.e. 15 grams of ground coffee per every 225 grams of water. For 3 cups use 17 grams (2-3 tbsp) to 275 ml water.
  • Create a coffee bloom by using a small amount of water to wet the coffee grinds.
  • Bloom the coffee for about 30 seconds to release the carbon dioxide gases.
  • Carefully pour 195-196°F (91°C) boiled filtered water and let the coffee steep.
  • Put the french press plunger lid on whilst waiting for the other 3 minutes and 30 seconds.
  • Allow the coffee to brew for 4 minutes in total. Use a clock for precision timing.
  • Gently push the plunger filter down to the bottom to complete the brewing process.

Plunging Tips: If your coffee grind is too coarse the plunger will be very easy to push down. If your coffee grind is too fine the plunger will be very difficult to push down.

Bulletproof Coffee Recipe Steps

  1. French press brewing works best with a medium coarse coffee grind.
  2. Decant your freshly brewed coffee after plunging to stop it from steeping for any longer in the press pot.
  3. Pour the freshly brewed coffee into a blender, along with grass-fed butter & Brain Octane oil.
  4. Blend all together to create a Bulletproof Coffee.

Video Tutorials

Here are two great videos from two different barista’s (pronounced buh-REE-stuh; from the Italian for “bartender”).

This will help you watch a barista make coffee using the French press method.

Travel Tips

It is all well and good having all the right gear at your house, but what if you need to travel? If you enjoy making plunger coffee then you are in luck. You can use this Bodum insulated stainless-steel travel French Press coffee and tea mug.

  • The travel mug can make 15 fluid oz. (0.45 liters) which is perfect for a single cup on the road.
  • The plunger is built into the lid and stays inside the mug as you sip your coffee
  • It comes with a non-slip silicone grip that is available in four colors: black, red, white or green.
  • The double wall design means hot drinks stay warm for longer like a thermal flask.

All you need to do is ask one of the Coffee shops at an airport for some boiled water. Top tip would ask Starbucks for hot water as they use water filters to keep their coffee taste consistent worldwide.

If you want to be a proper coffee hacker when you go camping or travelling through airports then you might need a portable coffee grinder like this nice small compact one from porlex. Use this to grind up some coffee beans on the go wherever you are.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Question: Can I make tea using a French Press?
    Answer: Yes, you can steep the loose tea leaves just like the coffee grinds. You could also make Bulletproof tea using cacao.
  • Question: Can I make espresso, cappuccino or lattes?
    Answer: You cannot make an espresso based drink as the pot makes brewed coffee that is percolated.
  • Question: What press pot sizes are available to buy?
    Answer: You typically can get 1 cup, 3 cup, 4 cup and 8 cup pots on Amazon.
  • Question: What should I do with the used coffee grinds?
    Answer: Don’t throw the spent grinds down your kitchen sink. Instead scoop them out using a spoon into a bin. Even better would be to add the coffee grinds to your garden soil or flower pots & use as a compost to improve the nutrient levels.
  • Question: Is a press pot dishwasher safe?
    Answer: Read the manufacturers manual with the product you buy. Most brewing chambers are made of glass and so should be safe to clean in a dishwasher, however, refer to the users manual of the one you purchase. You can also unscrew the metal plunger parts and place in the silverware basket.
  • Question: Can I just rinse the coffee press under hot water from the tap?
    Answer: Yes, this would be sufficient for daily use until you need to do a bigger clean to help get rid of excess coffee oils that might make your brewed coffee taste more bitter after prolonged use.

Click here to choose favorite roast flavor

Help Others Find Grass-Fed Butter for Bulletproof Coffee

Grass-Fed ButterAs you already know Dave Asprey, The Bulletproof Executive, recommends Kerrygold butter from Ireland in the Bulletproof® coffee recipe as his regular grass-fed butter of choice. However, Kerrygold might not be available near you in your town, city or country. There is a solution. Maybe you have a local dairy farmer who feds their cows grass and who also qualifies as a premium grassfed butter brand to use in Bulletproof coffee.

It is always a good idea to support those farmers who use sustainable grass-fed farming methods. It will be the only way to help keep the retail market for real butter alive. Consumer spending habits dictate the supply and demand in the agriculture world. This means those who lead a Bulletproof lifestyle need to spread the word about where to find these types of farmers around the world on different continents in places like the United States, Canada, South America, UK, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa. Change starts with you so only buy grass fed butter where you can.

Grass Fed Butter Brands Around the World

You can find out what other butter brands fellow biohackers are recommending on the Bulletproof Diet. This Facebook Note below is for you too find out and to share helpful tips for finding natural grassfed butter in any town, city or country around the world. Help out by letting others know which butter brand you use on your vegetables and in your Bulletproof Coffee.

Stay Bulletproof 🙂

More Butter Resources:

Bulletproof Tea Recipe: How to Make Butter in Tea

bulletproof teaFor whatever reason, you may not be a keen coffee drinker or just don’t like drinking coffee. If you prefer to drink a cup of tea you can make that a cup of Bulletproof® Tea. You follow nearly the same steps used in the Bulletproof® coffee recipe in the Bulletproof® tea recipe. Instead of using coffee beans you just ideally use cacao tea.

Brewing a cup of tea is a great alternative option to having coffee. Remember that, the concept of Bulletproof® Coffee was created from the tradition of making yak butter tea in the Himalayan mountains. So the traditional origins of putting butter into tea is historically older than doing so with coffee.


Below you will find the step by step instructions for making a hot or iced version of the tea along with the recommended amount of ingredients to use when making a cup for 1 person.

Bulletproof Tea Recipe Steps

  1. Brew cacao tea, or green tea, as normal in a tea pot.
  2. Add 1 teaspoon (5ml) of Brain Octane Oil to every 8oz. (237ml) of tea.
  3. Add 1-2 tablespoons (15-30ml) unsalted, grass-fed butter.
  4. Mix all ingredients into a blender & blend on high speed for 20-30 seconds – until it is frothy on top.
  5. Pour it out, drink & enjoy your cup of tea.

Recommended Tip: Try gradually increase the amount of Brain Octane or MCT oil added each day, as desired, to reach max of 1-2 tablespoons (15-30ml) per cup.

Video Tutorial

In the video you can see the guys over at Onnit™ labs supplement store love using Upgraded™ coffee beans and Upgraded™ MCT oil. You can also see in their video example that you still use a grass-fed butter, like Irish Kerrygold butter, and a medium chain triglyceride oil or pure C8 oil (which is Brain Octane Oil).

There is one point in the video that Dave Asprey, the Bulletproof Exec, would probably not want to you to do. That is to use black tea bags. In fact, he recommends to use green tea as an alternative to regular tea bags, like English breakfast tea. Then of course there is the best cacao tea available, which is the optimal ingredient option.

Bulletproof Iced Tea Recipe Steps

  1. Brew your tea as normal in a tea pot.
  2. Add 1 teaspoon (5ml) of Brain Octane Oil to every 8oz. (237ml) of tea.
  3. Add 1-2 tablespoons (15-30ml) unsalted, grass-fed butter.
  4. Blend on high speed for 20-30 seconds
  5. Add your ice cubes and blend again for 2-3 minutes till smooth appearance
  6. Pour it out, drink & enjoy your cup of iced tea.

Serving suggestion would be to make the iced tea on a hot Summer day when you want something to quench your thirst plus give you energy without turning to a cold sugary drink.

Bulletproof Cacao Tea

Bag of Bulletproof Cacao TeaAt this point there isn’t a Bulletproof chai tea, but there is cacao tea option.

Back in 2014, Dave released the first and only official tea product just for Bulletproof fans. Bulletproof® Cacao Tea was born and is the perfect alternative to drinking coffee.

If you were wondering what the ingredients are let us explain. The final product is made from 100% single estate, rare heirloom cacao beans that meet Bulletproof food testing standards. Basically these things are premium quality!

What happens is that the beans have a shell around them. This shell is taken off, dried and then gently roasted. The roasting helps to release the beautiful natural flavors that come from cacao.

What you end up with when you brew these roasted cacao shells is a tea that has a smooth cacao flavor on your taste buds. Plus, it is packed with good nutrition that supports the regenerative antioxidant processes we all need, and it has a naturally relaxing effect on your body. Perfect for detoxing periods, trying to come off or take a break from coffee and especially if you are sensitive to caffeine this is a great replacement hot drink.

You can now purchase a large 4 oz. bag of loose leaf cacao tea help you to start making a paleo tea that tastes amazing. Using these loose leaf cacao shells is the recommended type of tea when making a Bulletproof cup of tea made with added Brain Octane™ Oil and grass-fed butter.

Health Benefits

Here are some extra details about Bulletproof Cacao Tea:

  • Rare heirloom cacao beans that meet Bulletproof food quality standards,
  • Rich source of useful antioxidants called procyanidins,
  • Contains theobromine, caffeine’s calming little brother,
  • Helps to maintain healthy serotonin levels for natural relaxation,
  • Delicate tea flavor, and not like hot chocolate.

Benefits of Tea Vs Coffee

There are definitely benefits to drinking tea. Especially green tea products because they have substances that coffee beans do not like:

  1. EGCG, a compound that reduces body fat accumulation,
  2. L-theanine, a relaxing amino acid that smooth’s out the stimulating effects of caffeine.

Green Tea Vs Black Tea

The reason green tea is preferred over black tea is that a 2001 food quality study done in Portugal on tea leaves showed that black tea could contain as much as 88% mycotoxins. Particularly one called fumonisin.

There are the normal reasons why food molds are not good for you. These are:

  • Weight gain
  • Brain fog
  • Inflammation

The fumonisin mycotoxin is also linked to human esophageal cancer.However, this is definitely not saying drinking tea made from regular tea bags will give you cancer. It is that when you look at what are best tea leaves to drink when trying to stay healthy in the long-term, it appears green tea is the better than black tea.

Mycotoxins in Tea Remedy

Bottle of Bulletproof Upgraded Coconut Charcoal CapsulesIf you are at all concerned after reading the passage above that you may have had some mycotoxin exposure, remember, there is a biohacking solution.

You can help to detox your body and get rid of those unwanted mold spores. You do this by using the best activated charcoal to help detox. The right stuff has an amazing ability to efficiently absorb harmful substances out of our guts.

The recommended activated charcoal product to use would be Bulletproof® Upgraded™ Coconut Charcoal. This particular activated charcoal product goes through a more expensive acid washing process to help get rid of toxic heavy metals that are common in the manufacture process. Plus, it is ground much finer than most brands which means it has a much better absorption ability. You can try see if there are any coupons available when buying your bottle.

At the end of the day it is about practicing Bulletproof lifestyle principles and not following a plan rigidly. Test, test and test again on yourself to see what works best for you and your health needs. So yes you can make Bulletproof tea instead of coffee.

Stay Bulletproof 🙂