This is a three year review of something I really enjoy. I bought this Thermos in 2013.
I have never used it for cold drinks. Only hot. I make coffee blended with butter, MCT oil, and an assortment of powders. This is primarily the drink I keep in it. Other than that, hot coffee.
I wash by hand with a dish soap and vinegar mix, no problem with paint. However, for about six months I used a dishwashing machine with a cheap packet detergent that caused the paint on the bottle to peel. It would come off on my hand as I used it, in little flecks. The product use instructions say not to use cleaner with bleach in it. I think this was my problem. I used a clorox or bleach type dishwasher soap, and when I did the paint was peeling.
The bottle still keeps drinks hot and insulates just as well as the first day I bought it. I sometimes make coffee, pour into bottle and seal, and find it piping hot four hours later.
Damages: The metal part of the body has two deformations. First on the rim. You can see from the photo that it is flattened a bit where I dropped it once while cleaning. The lid still screws on fine and does not leak since the rubber gasket fits lower in the mouth. Second on the outer, upper edge near the front. Not sure when that happened, see below.
The rubber parts are still in tact and functional. The top sealant piece has absolutely no problems. The small, spring-action hinge comes out from its hook every once in a while. I would estimate about once every two months. It’s a simple fix. I place a fingertip on either side of the loose part of the ring, and press into the edge of the cap where the rectilinear hook is located. The ring fits back into place and stays. The cap, with it’s one-hand flip function, still works perfectly. Maybe a fraction of a second slower than brand new. The simple, occasional fix is well worth the longevity of this bottle. Even without the rubber ring secured, I can still open and close fine if it happens in the car and I can’t use both hands to fix it in the moment.
The brand logo has completely worn off. This happened within the last year, and I’m not sure why. Looks kinda cool.
General usage: For two and a half years, I took this to work daily on my commutes. Fits into my Civic cup holder, it’s quite tall but great for easy grabbing. After I quit, I took it with me on a backpacking trip through southeast Asia for three months. I kept it in the top or side of my 48L Osprey pack, both on ground and in flights. I checked my bag in every time, using an airport transporter bag also by Osprey. The damage to the body may have come from these episodes, but I doubt it.
Specific usage: I first used the Thermos in the car while driving. I would pop the lid with one hand and drink while steering with the other. It is pretty heavy, maybe three pounds when full, so I didn’t drink on turns or in complicated traffic. Drink responsibly, right? About two years later, I used it primarily in the office and at home with a mug on the side. So I unscrewed the cap, poured into a mug, and drank from the mug. Meaning I haven’t used the cap for the full three years, just so you know.
Size: It’s a great size for the amount it holds. Fully three cups of coffee. Magnificent.
Handling: It can be quite thick and heavy for a one-handed grip. More like holding a football than a cup. Again, I would guess it weighs about three pounds when full. Get used to the balance, though, and even the daintiest user can be ready to rock and roll.
Style: It’s a sleek, black cylinder. Batman could be carrying this around Gotham without missing a beat. I can’t complain. The only thing I would caution about is in airports and high tension places, like Los Angeles freeways, and especially when you travel overseas. It can look like a weapon, no joke. Be careful when you bust it out to suddenly take a swig, that you aren’t doing it in front of an officer or in a threatening way. I can see how this could lead to alarm. However, I have not had any real issues. Just one funny look from a driver in Los Angeles one time when I lifted it up for a drink.
If you are looking for a lighter alternative, I would suggest the Zojirushi 12 oz. bottle. I also traveled with that, for my wife. Lighter, much easier to hold, just as functional and durable. Keep an eye out for that review.
Thanks for reading and leave a comment if you want to add.
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Features: Metal burr grinder does a fair job of pulverizing coffee beans. Never jams. Grounds end up in glass beaker with silicone rubber sleeve protection. Easy to disassemble and clean.
Downside: Need to jar and tap the entire machine to make grounds empty out completely into beaker. When new, the plastic bean container on top shifted out of the largest ground setting during grinding – to the release position – and stopped the grinding. Better to keep it at the second to last setting for coarser grounds. This didn’t happen again since.
Application: Sits on the counter top for daily morning brew at home. Pour beans in top, push grind button, shake and tap.
Features: Small enough to be a true handheld travel grinder. Adjustable ceramic burr for ground size. Removable handle for compact storage. Good for pour over brewing on the go.
Downside: Requires time and effort for finer grounds. Removable handle needs to be secured to body with a rubber band when not standing upright.
Application: I took it backpacking through Bali, Singapore, Thailand and Korea. Stored butter coffee ingredients like vanilla beans in the clear bottom part. Pour in beans and close top, fix handle on and grind. Unscrew bottom to pour out grinds.
Features: Stainless steel French press beauty brews 30 ounces of coffee. Double walled body keeps coffee hot while brewing. Smooth lines make it easy to clean. Ergonomic handle and contoured spout make pouring clean and effortless. The lid fits pretty deep below the rim of the jug, lessening spills. There’s a little arrow embossed on the top for easy reference to the pour opening. The press itself is wonderful. There’s a silicone rim around the filter that cleanly keeps the grounds down as it slides against the jug. The shaft is solid steel, and screws into the filter via a sturdy attachment. The metal filter screen is fine enough to make a clean, crunch-free brew, but somehow can be pressed with very little effort.
Downside: Some coffee gets trapped under press screen when fully depressed, but tilting all the way gets it out. The brew is harsher than pour over, so if you like a strong coffee, this is way to go. Cleaning out coffee grounds is quite inconvenient. There’s no easy way around it. Let it cool down first, pulling up the lid just enough to be able to hang over the edge and expose the used grounds to the air. This makes it easier to scoop out the grounds later. I use a soft spatula.
Application: Good for brewing coffee on rushed mornings. Brew hands-free for four minutes while adding butter coffee ingredients to blender. Pour finished coffee out and blend. Pour over brewing, in contrast, requires full occupation.
Features: Light steel kettle can boil 1.2L water over all types of stove tops. No cleaning needed if good water is used. Lid fits very well and rattles when boiling. Spout is ingenious, pours pinpoint water for precise soaking of coffee grounds.
Downside: Handle angle and spout length require some distance from grounds. Difficult to brew directly into a tall blender if counter is too high. Placing the blender in the kitchen sink allows for easier brewing.
Application: Hario is the authority brand on pour over coffee brewing. I used this every morning for three years to make my butter coffee. The ceramic dripper cup, featured below, can be placed on top of a blender lid opening, and the coffee brewed directly into blender and other ingredients. Paper filters are also needed. See Make Butter Coffee for the setup and instructions.
Features: Heavy ceramic cup has spiraling on the inside to direct flow of water through coffee grounds. Lip on the bottom fits most mugs securlely. Very easy to clean.
Downside: Ceramic breaks easily relative to plastic or metal. I had to glue the bottom of mine back together and it works fine. Paper trash. For mugs that don’t fit, you may need to carefully balance while pouring.
Application: Open and insert a paper filter into the dripper cup. Pour coffee grounds into paper filter. Pour hot water over grounds, spiraling out from the center. Size 01 fits enough grounds for about two mugs of coffee. Size 02 fits enough grounds for about four mugs of coffee. Officially it’s 3 cups, but I stretch it with more grounds and careful brewing. Rinse after use and sit upright to dry.
Features: Light yet sturdy spoons. Shallow bowl fits into small package openings. Easy to clean.
Downside: Ring holding them together was flimsy and came apart. Spoons constantly fell out of ring. This was fine for me because separate spoons make measuring easier.
Application: Measure and dump dry powders, like creatine, vanilla, and cacao, first, then the stickier powders and liquids last. Collagen powder is better measured with a separate scoop altogether, as it sticks and can transfer over to other ingredient packages. Save the MCT oil for last. If you accidentally dip a spoon wet with MCT into your chocolate powder bag, you won’t be the first or the last person to have done that.
Features: Cheaper than other brands, this blender has a light-weight plastic jar that makes it easy to handle while adding ingredients and to pour. The flexible lid fits well and is easy to clean. The whole thing is simple in design and has no cavities where mold can collect.
Downside: Having a towel held firmly down on the lid is a must, to prevent hot coffee from shooting out through the center cap. The blender is not meant for a large volume of liquid, so the hard plastic cap in the middle of the lid doesn’t seal tight. This is also not a very powerful blender. Foam will be fluffier and not as thick as with a Vitamix.
Application: This blender is on the tall side. Use a low counter or table, or a clean sink, if using a pour over kettle. Remember to hold that dish towel down hard on the lid and blend at the highest speed for a full 30 seconds. You’ll have very good butter coffee.
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Have I told you about butter coffee? Creamy, smooth, and delicious, it gives me immense energy and focus. I first started having this concoction with breakfast, and found that it helped me in strength training. Eventually, I just had more butter with it and didn’t eat breakfast at all. I now go the entire day without any other meal, until dinner.
When I drink this concoction, I get mental clarity, sustained focus, and a predator state of mind and body that is unparalleled by energy from any other food. If I haven’t made it for you already, I’ll show you how so you can experience it for yourself.
At first, your body will need to learn to effectively absorb nutrition from fat. This takes several days to weeks for some people, especially if you are not in the habit of eating a lot of fat. Most self-described healthy eaters do not eat much fat. Keep your regular meals at first and just have this coffee with breakfast or an hour before training. You want to feel it out and do what works best for you.
Basic Butter Coffee Recipe
30-35 grams of coffee beans for two cups of single source coffee
Two tablespoons grass fed butter
One teaspoon high quality MCT oil
Boil water (or start brewing if using the basic coffee machine)
Throw the butter and MCT oil into a large blender
Brew the coffee and add it to the blender
Hold down the top of the blender lid with a dish towel and blend on high for 20 seconds
Of course to make it even better, here are things to consider:
Get The Best Ingredients
The quality of your ingredients lends to the flavor, level of energy, and creativity you will get from your cup.
Single Source Coffee for Clarity
Single source coffee beans are grown, harvested, and processed on one estate or farm. All other beans, sometimes called blends, are mixtures of beans from two or more estates. Single source beans come without the added time of storage and transportation. Coffee is vulnerable to mycotoxins, which can cause headaches and jitters. Mycotoxins are inevitable, but through good practice and minimal exposure to the environment they can be suppressed. The less time from harvest to your cup the better. I didn’t know how much of a difference this would make until I gave single source coffee a try. I noticed significantly better results. Even when I was tired, I had calm mental clarity from it, not just a jittery buzz. No crash in energy, and no headache. Now I always look for coffee that lets me be even-keeled and fierce. There are two types I drink primarily, but you can find others if you look for them.
I found a great tasting single origin coffee in a local store. I really enjoyed the flavor of this light roast. It was from Alto Mayo Estate, a single coffee farm in a mountain region of Peru. The coffee smelled amazing, roasty and smooth. I had great results from this coffee every day, feeling clear minded, focused, and strong when I drank it. If you have a quality grocery store nearby, find a single source coffee with the roast intensity that you enjoy most.
The key to finding good coffee anywhere is to verify that it says “single origin”,”single source”, or”single estate”. I don’t pay attention to the phrases Fair Trade, Shade Grown, and Certified Organic. While they do hold social value, they also warrant a higher price tag. Whatever you choose to buy, drink it and test it yourself for absolutely positive symptoms. Do not assume it’s good based on the label or the price. The whole point is to find something that allows you to accomplish greatness.
With that being said, some blends may be okay if they are from the same roaster. If you know the beans are roasted at the same facility and are blended there, they may be as good as single source. But again, try the coffee and make sure it brings you mental clarity and sustained focus.
Grass Fed Butter: Nourish Your Soul, Body, and Mind
Grass fed cow butter is the key to creating the smooth frothiness of your concoction. It’s important that the butter is from grass fed cows. Cows that are 100% or almost completely fed on grass are healthier and happier beasts. Butter from such beasts makes me a happier beast. The ultra nutritious elements like healthy saturated fat, CLA, omega-3 fat, butyric acid, vitamin K2, vitamin E, and beta carotene are elevated in cows that eat grass only. There are two types I tried, and both are excellent.
The most reliable brand that I get from Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods is Kerrygold Unsalted Butter. It’s an awesome Irish butter that comes in one-cup bars. If you don’t have a store nearby, you can get in online. It’s a little more than the store price, but it is worth it if you can’t get it anywhere else. I get a box of 20 at a time and stock them in my freezer.
My other go-to butter is harder to find on the west coast of the U.S., but it can be found in some other countries more easily. I love Anchor Unsalted Butter from New Zealand grass fed cows.
On a recent trip to Asia I was stoked to find Anchor butter from a Jakarta store. I had never used it before, but it was surprisingly good in my coffee. The subtle flavor and smooth texture pair well with the cacao and vanilla I use.
The Best Quality MCT Oil
MCT turns the light switch on in my head. Medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) are fatty acid chains of 8 and 10 carbons in length. C-8 and C-10 fats absorb through the gut into the bloodstream to the brain fast, where they can be utilized as energy in the form of ketones.
Ketones have been found in research to be more efficient brain fuel than glucose, and I feel the difference. When my brain has this fuel source, I have more clarity, better mental function, longer sustained focus, and no crash. It also brings my body into a fat-burning mode. This has been shown to help regulate body weight, and it’s certainly proven true for me. MCT oil is usually derived from coconut and palm kernel oil, and there can be a very slight coconut scent to it.
There are several different brands out there, and the quality of the MCT oil is determined by purification and processing. Purification affects the concentration of C-8 and C-10 versus other types of fat that are not MCT. Processing includes how the coconuts are stored and pressed, and where they are from.
NOTE: This fuel is intense! I recommend using the regular MCT oil first. It will help to make a smoother transition to this different energy source.
Bulletproof XCT Oil I used to have this regularly in my coffee before I tried Brain Octane oil. It has both C-8 and C-10 fatty acids. This is a good starting point if you haven’t tried MCT oil. It isn’t as intense as Brain Octane, and I think it would be the best choice for learning the effects of MCT oil on yourself before venturing into the more intense version. Flavor is slightly more coconuty than the following Viva Labs oil that I also have used. This is a very clean product that I can rely on for top performance.
I have used high quality coconut oil before in my coffee, when I ran out of MCT oil. Coconut oil will add a lot of flavor, but in my opinion it’s overbearing. Also, it is not a sufficient substitute for MCT oil. There is only a very small percentage of C-8 and C-10 fats in coconut oil, contrary to common belief. The majority of advertised “MCT” oil here is C-12, which actually does not act like the shorter chains in energy utilization.
With that being said, if this is your only source of MCT, it will still provide you with some benefits of fat-based brain energy. And I’ve talked to some friends who really love it. Plus it’s delicious for cooking chicken curry dishes. Maybe I’ll post on that later. If you’re getting all of your MCT from coconut oil, use four tbsp or more. As a flavor or C-12 supplement, use one or two tbsp.
Flavor and Creativity
These next few ingredients are what make my butter coffee taste so good, compared to ones you find here and there in shops and cafes. I add these elements every time I make my concoctions, and have had the most amazing conversations with friends, breakthroughs in strength training, and mental performance after having it.
This is my favorite hack for butter coffee. Vanilla bean has amazing flavor and also has flavonoids that enhance creativity. I add this without fail to my coffee concoction every morning.
Second only to vanilla bean, cacao butter is another flavor and nutrient must-have for me. It’s the pure fat of cacao beans and this is what they use to make white chocolate. Cacao butter gives a rich, gourmet scent and flavor to the coffee. It has the concentrated elements of chocolate that enhance your creativity and brain power.
I add chocolate powder to my butter coffee to make it rich and dark. Good chocolate, like good coffee, has flavonoids and antioxidants that enhance brain and performance. Gauge the flavor, it can be rich and quite bitter. Start with about a teaspoon or less.
My coffee has no sweetener, but my wife likes hers a bit sweet. This stuff of nature is the perfect solution if you want to be in ketosis yet want that rich sweetness in your coffee. This will not trigger your insulin response, unlike sugar. And it tastes naturally sweet, unlike stevia.
Xyla North American Hardwood Xylitol. The best type, pictured here, is made from North American birch trees. The cheaper brands are made from Chinese GMO corn. I recommend using one to two teaspoons per cup to start. It has about the same sweetness as regular cane sugar.
Building Blocks and Fuel
These ingredients can be added as needed for the different types of activities you do on any given day. Add these one at a time and observe whether you benefit from them.
Grass Fed Collagen
Collagen is one of the building block of your tendons, skin, and hair. It is needed for repair of tissue after training, and makes your skin more vibrant when you provide yourself with enough. Unlike whey protein, which caused gas and bloating, collagen has been problem-free for my digestion. For these reasons it is great for strength training, tissue repair, and skin and hair boost.
BULLETPROOF® Upgraded Collagen Protein Super fine-grade and from grass fed cows. It’s processed with enzymes rather than heat, which prevents damage of the proteins. I generally only add collagen on the day of, and up to three days after, a training session.
Collagen does make me hungry after about four hours, which causes a slight decrease in focus. This is because protein triggers an insulin response. With protein, you will get similar, but not as drastic, effects as when you eat carbs. After strength training, this isn’t a problem, since I will eat anyways. But on normal days without training, I forgo the protein in the morning.
My wife, on the other hand, has it every morning in her butter coffee. She simply feels better and more energetic with some protein. Use at least one tablespoon.
I add a baseline dose of creatine every morning with my coffee. Without causing huge swelling of muscles, this simple nutrient has allowed me to maintain strength and muscle mass for longer periods of time between training sessions. It is one of the key supplements I use to increase longevity of strength. Creatine also boost brain function.
Now Foods creatine monohydrate This brand has been my go to for years. No side effects, suggesting it is clean and pure. Use 1 teaspoon or 5 grams daily.
METHODS TO MAKE MAGIC
I’m laying this recipe out for first time dabblers in butter coffee. The way you make your coffee will affect how it feels, tastes, and energizes. Even for more veteran practitioners, small hacks can give you a better concoction. To have delicious butter coffee it must be three things: Hot, well-brewed, and well-blended. How you set up the ingredients and the order in which you prepare it can be the difference between a floating oil slick and a creamy concoction of joy.
Prepare Water First
Start a kettle on the stove before anything else, as you will need time to prepare the other ingredients and want the water hot when you’re ready to brew. If you’re using a normal coffee maker, get it all set up with beans and start brewing. Use spring or well water for the best flavor. Water has as much flavor and texture as any other ingredient that goes into coffee. Make your coffee with tap water and you’ll taste the tap.
For the Pour Over technique, prepare about a quarter cup more water than the amount of coffee you plan to make.
As the water heats, get all your ingredients into the blender. You will need one that holds at least four cups or one liter, because the liquid will expand like crazy when you blend it. I use the KitchenAid blender, which is not the highest-end thing out there, but works just fine for this purpose:
Note: The stronger the blender, the finer the foam. You can get an incredibly smooth concoction with the VitaMix Blender.
Brew the Coffee Into the Blender
You can brew your coffee however you choose. If all you have is the classic coffee maker, just use that for now. My all time favorite method of coffee brewing is the Pour Over technique. Coffee tastes the best when I make it this way, but a close second is the French press, and honestly after that it’s just the normal coffee maker.
The Pour Over Technique
The pour over technique requires a kettle with a thin pouring spout, as well as a filter cup and filters. Here is how I brew pour over.
Boil water in the dripper kettle and turn off heat.
Grind coffee beans to slightly finer than medium granularity. Any finer and it will take forever to brew and you will get too much acid. This is how fine you want your grounds for pour over brewing:You can use an electric grinder like the one I have above or a hand grinder if you want to have more evenly ground beans. This takes a lot more time and effort though.
Fold the crimped edge of a paper filter, open up the filter, and place into the ceramic cup.
Wet the filter paper by pouring just enough hot water along the edges of the cup. This gets rid of the flavor of the paper.
Dump the ground coffee into the filter paper.
Starting from the center of the cup, slowly pour water in an outward spiral until you cover all the beans with water. The grounds will start to breathe and expand. Let the gas escape and as the grounds deflate, continue to pour in the same spiral manner until you have poured all the water. The pouring should take about 3-4 minutes total.
Brew directly into the blender to save time and keep your coffee hot. Here’s an honest picture of my set up, dirty dishes and all. I want to give you an idea of how you can brew directly into the blender. Note that with my blender in the dish rack, it allows me to brew at a more comfortable level than if the blender were up on the counter top:
Once the coffee is brewed and in your blender with the other ingredients, place the lid on securely and cover the top with a dish towel. Hold down the towel over the lid tight while you blend it on the highest setting for 20 seconds. Depending on the quality of your blender, the coffee may punish you if you don’t hold it down.
Marvel at the creaminess.
Keep the rest in a thermos and drink it through the morning.
These are my two favorite containers for coffee.
The Thermos is larger and holds a full two cups of coffee, fairly hot through the day.
The Zojirushi is smaller but keeps coffee radioactive hot the entire day.
Up the dosage on the butter and MCT oil slightly after a week or two, if you can glean the benefits without having the runs. You can always lower amounts the next time if you don’t feel as good of an effect.
Don’t change the MCT dosage drastically. Try increasing by a teaspoon each week, making sure to observe the quality of focus. You don’t want to end up dizzy or give yourself digestive issues by taking too much in the beginning.
If you’re hungrier, add more butter. Try increments of one tablespoon. Use the minimum effective dose.
That is it. Try it in the morning, about an hour before a training session, or before any task that will take a lot of brain or body power. You’ll be restless the first few times if you don’t have a world or two to save.
I had butter coffee as fuel for a 370 lb. squat and 391 lb. deadlift at my first powerlifting meet, a 5k in under 23 minutes with no training, and the LA Downtown Ketchum Stair Climb, which was a stair climb to the top of a 76-story skyscraper, in 19 minutes. These are not Olympic numbers, but I did all this without needing tons of protein or carbs immediately before or after. I hope you find that reasonable amounts of healthy fat as a source of energy puts you on a different level from just pounding protein and carbs.
Let me know in the comments if you try this and how it goes for you! If I’ve made this concoction for you before, let others know how it tasted what it felt like to drink it. I think a lot of people are curious about what butter in coffee would be like, and they will be surprised by how good it can be if done right.
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