The Bulletproof Coffee Beans Difference

Example of green Bulletproof coffee beans

Bulletproof coffee beans are one of the three most important base ingredients used in the original Bulletproof Coffee recipe. The other two base ingredients being grass-fed butter or ghee and MCT oil.

Dave Asprey created a massive stir in the health and coffee world when he promoted the fact that coffee can have high levels of different mycotoxins. You will even hear from a past president of the Specialty Coffee Association of America discuss it with Dave below. Most people knew they could easily taste the difference between premium vs cheap coffee. Not many had thought that even premium beans could contain unwanted levels of these mycotoxins.

In the rest of the article you will find out that there is Bulletproof process to check every step of the coffee production chain to help produce the highest quality end product.

Mycotoxins in Coffee

Mycotoxins are unhealthy toxins created by fungi. This form of mold spore is present on almost all types the crops grown. Myotoxins like Ochratoxin A & Aflatoxins B1 due occur in coffee. The amount can vary wildly depending on many factors. Roasting coffee beans and using wet processing method can help reduce toxin levels.

US Testing Standards

In the following video Dave Asprey interviews Mark Inman, who is a past president of the specialty coffee association of America. Mark is open and frank with Dave in their discussion about the concern of mycotoxin testing standards and why rejected coffee ends up North America.

One of the most shocking parts was how a batch of 1000 containers of Ethiopian coffee beans was turned away from Japan in 2008. The reason being that all those beans tested positive for high levels of mold toxins and so were rejected for human consumption by the Japanese authorities. However, those same rejected beans were allowed to enter the USA and Canada. This is because testing procedures and standards are much lower than Japan and Europe.

Conversation Transcript

Dave: I am here with Mark Inman. Past president of the SCAA, the Specialty Coffee Association of America, which is the largest governing body for coffee. Mark is it true that you actually invented coffee and the internet?
Mark: Haha no, I did not.
Dave: But, you are sort of a coffee guru amongst coffee guru’s. Would that be a fair thing to say?
Mark: Ah some may consider that, sure.
Dave: How big of a problem is mold in coffee?
Mark: Mold and coffee can be a significant problem. It’s not often talked about in the United States. In Japan and Europe it is a significant issue that is tested rigorously; in the United States we haven’t gotten to that level of enlightenment yet. So slowly, but surely, we are getting there. You are one of the first persons I’ve heard as a company coming out with this type of dialogue.

So it is very interesting to me as I’ve seen this concern throughout the world. Obviously it’s going to be the next thing in the U.S. that we should be concerned about; it’s a significant problem.
Dave: One of my goals is to actually push the U.S. to have, and Canada actually just call it North America, to have regulatory standards in line with the rest of the world.
Mark: Sure.
Dave: Because right now stuff that is rejected from Japan will end up in the U.S.
Mark: Absolutely it is the secondary market; it is where the coffee goes if it is rejected from another country.
Dave: So this is something that bothers people when they hear about it, but I mean is this just a little bit of the coffee, does some of it get destroyed because it didn’t meet the requirements of one country or it’s just never shipped it goes somewhere else?
Mark: It goes somewhere else, I mean a significant portion of natural coffee or commercial based coffee will have coffee that’s coming from the rejected coffee from other countries. Usually because Ochratoxin toxins levels are higher than, or even detectable, and those countries they reject that to the U.S. where it is purchased readily for the commercial market.
Dave: Wow, that’s pretty scary!
Mark: Yeah.
Dave: Can you tell me about what happened in 2008 with Ethiopian coffee?
Mark: So 2008 I was the acting President of the SCAA and was in a meeting with the Ethiopian Ambassador where we all got the notification at that point that Ethiopia was banned from importing to Japan and coffee that was on its way on ships were turned away.
Dave: Now most Americans who are into coffee know that Ethiopian coffee can be really amazing coffee.
Mark: It is the birthplace of coffee.
Dave: It is, and some of the very clean Ethiopian coffee that I’ve had has been amazing.
Mark: Ah hum.
Dave: In my experience it’s been harder to find coffee that meets the standards that I have that are unusual.
Mark: Sure.
Dave: But it is still delicious coffee.
Mark: Right.
Dave: So in that year they had a particular mold problem.
Mark: Ah hum.
Dave: But that was a 1000 containers or something like that?
Mark: Yeah.
Dave: So those 1000 containers of coffee where did they end up?
Mark: The United States is where they ended up. Europe would reject that as well they have similar testing standards. So the U.S. and Canada would have received that.
Dave: Wow. Well Bulletproof would have rejected because our testing centres are way in excess of any government standards.
Mark: I would think so yeah.
Dave: Awesome; a 1000 containers of coffee that Americans drank.
Mark: That’s right.
Dave: Wow!
Mark: Yeah.

The Bulletproof Process

Farming red & yellow coffee cherries
Bulletproof Process Chooses Only Best Coffee Cherries

The Bulletproof process is designed to test for mycotoxin levels in batches of coffee beans. This helps to produce Bulletproof coffee beans that have low levels of mycotoxins compared to regular coffee. The testing is a lot more sensitive to mycotoxin levels than the standard US coffee industry testing. These tests are not public to protect the intellectual property that went into developing it.

Listen to Dave explain the Bulletproof process on site at the coffee farm in South America where the beans come from. He takes you through the reasons why he does what he does to ensure quality controls of his branded beans.

You get to see the difference between a coffee cherry that is acceptable under Bulletproof standards and ones that are not. Dave tells you why you do not want to roast a beans that doesn’t look right.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Question: Doesn’t the roasting process kill the mold from the the heat?
    Answer: Yes, it kills the mold growing on the bean; it doesn’t kill all the toxins produced by the mold though.
  • Question: Is single estate or organic coffee toxin free?
    Answer: No, molds can grow on any beans no matter how organically grown they are.

Bulletproof Coffee Beans

Hopefully you can see the benefits of buying coffee beans that have gone through rigorous food standards testing to order to try protect the consumer from exposure to unwanted toxins. When someone is trying to biohack their health to cure the symptoms of a condition or to live a better life then quality products are vital. This is one reason why these are called Upgraded Coffee Beans.

Caffeinated Products

Here is a list of the current caffeine beans options available to purchase:

Decaffeinated Products

Here are the current decaf coffee options available to purchase:

Decaf Vs Regular Coffee

Regular versus decaf Bulletproof coffee beansWhen Dave Asprey first started the his recipe, decaf coffee was not an initial option.

One of the major reasons why this was the case was because Dave was concerned about mycotoxin levels in decaf beans.

The technique to decaffeinate coffee removes most of the caffeine chemicals in the bean. This can leave that bean then vulnerable to mycotoxins growing on it. Caffeine helps prevent myotoxins from growing on the beans while they’re in storage.

That was the case until Dave discovered the chemical free, Swiss Water process. So the beans can be decaffeinated with chemicals just before roasting and not hanging around to get moldy.

He also found some brain research that showed:

“This is the first evidence showing the potential benefits of decaffeinated coffee preparations for both preventing and treating cognitive decline caused by Type 2 Diabetes, aging, and/or neurodegenerative disorders.” Dr Pasinetti¹

So with Bulletproof fans asking for decaf he sought to produce an alternative decaf version of his favorite cup of java.

There is also the option for people very sensitive to coffee that they can try Bulletproof Tea instead.

12 Reasons to Drink Coffee

Here are twelve health benefits linked to drinking coffee:

  1. Number one source of anti-oxidants in the Standard American Diet
  2. Has thermogenic properties to help promote fat loss
  3. Similarity between coffee effects and qi-stimulating events
  4. Acts as an ergogenic aid in aerobic and anaerobic exercise
  5. Rich source of polyphenols which improve carbohydrate metabolism
  6. Lower risk of Type 2 diabetes
  7. Increased Insulin Sensitivity and beta cell function
  8. Lower risk of prostate cancer in men
  9. Lower risk of memory loss in women with aging
  10. Boiled coffee seems better than filter coffee to reduce risk of cancer in men and women
  11. Women are less likely to develop depression
  12. Women are less likely to develop stroke

In the next video Dave explains how not all coffee is made equally. He goes over just some of the ways of farming and food processing standards that he is looking for to get a high quality coffee bean.


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